Omnivorous Eating Habits of RodentsWhile many rodents are strictly herbivores (i.e., they eat only plants), mice and rats are omnivores, meaning that they can feed on either plants or animals. These rodents are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything that offers some nutritional value if they need it to stay alive. Insects and their larvae are good examples of prey for mice and rats since they are small and usually easy to find and catch. However, depending on the situation, rats and mice will also eat spiders (and their eggs), worms, snakes, frogs, and birds if they are small enough for the rodents to get their paws on and bring down successfully. That being said, most omnivores have preferences, and rodents are no exception. Given the choice, mice and rats prefer plant-based foods, such as fruits, nuts, and seeds. The sweeter the food, the more likely the rodents will be interested in it. If there are plant-based treats like these available (peanut butter is a particular favorite), rats and mice will probably leave the insects alone and not actively seek them out for a meal.
Relationship Between Insects and RodentsBecause insects are not a favorite food of rats and mice, they most likely are not leading the rodents into your home. However, that does not mean that you should not be concerned if you have an indoor insect problem. The same attractions that draw insects into your home may also appeal to mice and rats. For example, insects are also drawn to sweet foods, such as fruit, sugar, honey, and other treats. Some insect species are also opportunistic enough to feed on whatever food is available. The good news in all this is that the same measures that are effective at persuading insects to leave your home are also effective on rodents, and vice versa.
Methods of Making Your Home Unappealing to PestsMany rodents like mice and rats have to feed constantly to keep up their metabolism. If they cannot find enough food to eat, they are unlikely to stay around for long. Some things you can do to dissuade these intruders is to keep your house clean by,
- Wiping up spills on your counter
- Washing the dishes on a daily basis
- Clearing away any clutter or garbage that could serve as shelter
- Fixing any plumbing leaks that could provide fresh water
- Any food that you keep in cupboards should be stored in airtight containers made of glass or hard plastic