What draws rodents into your home? It’s what draws them to every place. Food! With rats and mice is just as much about practicality and nutrition as it is taste. So we decided to put together a list of foods that are rodent’s favourites. Having in mind rodents have a better nose than even dogs, we put scores to give you an idea how attractive each of them is to potential pesky infiltrators.
Grains & Seeds
Grains and seeds are the most natural rodent food. It doesn’t matter if they are dried and stored or fresh off the plant. In rural settings mice and rats seek out storage spaces or help themselves to what’s in the field. In the suburban environment rats and mice may burglarise bird feeders, or attack your flowerbeds. Your cupboards aren’t safe either. They can and will eat baking ingredients, oat and cereal from your cupboards if presented with an opportunity.
Nuts are another of the all time favourites. They are so highly nutritious for rats and mice that they can subsist entirely on them. Nuts are also rich in protein and thus a high value target for rodents.
While not tasty as seeds and nuts, plants are often used as food. However this is more or less a starvation safety net for rodents. While preferring anything more filling in general, especially hungry mice or rats will go for a nibble on anything from grass to tree bark. This is a rare occasion in suburban environment, since many other sources of food are readily available.
Fruit & Berries
Probably the favourite food of all kinds of rodents. They are also the strongest magnets for rodents. This is because their incredible sense of smell. Decomposing fruit emits a much stronger sweet smell than seeds and nuts. If you have any berry bushes or fruit trees in your yard, be sure to harvest them and not leave any fallen fruit lying around. Same goes for keeping fruit remains in the rubbish.
You may not have expected this, but salt is actually a big attraction for rodents. They would consume as much as possible. It helps them retain water for longer and apparently they like the taste of salty foods.
Rodents are omnivores and as such aren’t opposed to some meat in their diet. However actively hunting is not typical behaviour for them, although rats are known to prey on mice. Rats and mice are generally opportunistic in regards of meat, snacking on it if they come across it readily. Rats are more partial to meat and will eat any kind of rotten fish, poultry and red meat from rubbish disposal containers and spots.
If your pets are eating it, be sure that rodents will have interest in it as well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s cat food, dog food, or even fish food. It also tends to attract them quite well, because of it strong scent and the fact it’s often kept in non-sealed containers and bags. If you keep animal food around your house we suggest you seal it in an airtight container or at least place it so the little critters can’t find or reach it.
This should be a no-brainer. Both rats and mice love your rubbish bin. It’s a gold mine of potential food for them. The things that especially draw them to the rubbish pile are the ones that smell the strongest while decomposing – cheese, bread, fruit and veg, and meat. To battle this you need a strong metal bin (they can chew through plastic and would with ease) with a heavy hard to open lid.
If hungry enough rodents can even eat conventionally non-edible materials like leather and fabric. They typically give a nibble to everything that seems even remotely edible to them, to try it. Sometimes even the plastic insulation of electric cables. Go figure.