Do mice store food? While squirrels and packrats are better known as rodent hoarders, mice have also been known to steal food intended for humans or pets and hide it away for later. While this can be inconvenient and costly, it is not the biggest issue you have to worry about. While mice are eating your food or stealing it away for later, they may contaminate it with the excrement. If you eat contaminated food, you could get really sick. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your food.
Know What Foods Attract Mice
Mice are omnivores, meaning that they can eat both plants and animal meat. They are also opportunistic feeders, meaning that they will eat any food that happens to be available. Nevertheless, they do have preferences, and certain foods may draw them inside.
Contrary to popular belief, mice do not love cheese. They’ll eat it if it’s the only food available, but it isn’t their first choice. Mice actually prefer meat to cheese, which may explain why they love pet food, which is not only meaty but easily accessible, especially if you always keep your pet’s food dish full.
In the wild, mice feed primarily on berries, fruits, nuts, grains, and seeds, so these foods attract them. Mice use their sense of smell to find food, so they are attracted to snack foods with a strong smell, such as candy or flavored popcorn, chips, or crackers.
Store Food Securely
Mice and other rodents have strong front teeth that they can use to gnaw holes in softer materials. In fact, rodents have to keep gnawing or their front teeth will grow too long and cause them problems. Mice can easily chew through the original packaging of many foods, such as plastic bags or cardboard boxes.
Fortunately, there are several materials that mice cannot chew through easily, such as metal. You can protect your food from mice by storing it in the refrigerator or freezer, or by using metal cabinets in place of a traditional pantry. You can also store food in metal or glass storage containers with tight sealing lids. These containers avoid attracting mice by trapping the smell in, and even if the mice find the food, they won’t be able to get inside.
Plastic containers can also protect food against mice, but only if they are made of thick, heavy-duty plastic. If the plastic is too flimsy, mice will be able to chew through it.
Mice are small prey animals that evade predators by running and hiding. Household clutter in the form of old papers, discarded clothing, or unused furniture provides possible hiding places, which is attractive to mice. Mice may also be attracted to old paper or fabric because they can rip it up and use it as material to make a nest.
Have a Professional Seal off All Potential Entry Points
The best way to protect your food from mice is to prevent them from getting into your house in the first place. It can be difficult for an amateur to identify and locate all potential entry points because mice can squeeze through very small openings.
Furthermore, the materials available to you for sealing off entry points, such as steel wool and caulk, may be effective temporarily but are unlikely to serve as a long-term solution. Mice are very tenacious and are highly motivated by the prospect of food. As a result, they may find a way past DIY deterrents.
Our technicians are trained to locate possible mouse entry points around your home. We use sealant intended specifically for wildlife exclusion to close them off. If you already have an infestation, we remove the mice humanely and return them safely to their natural habitat. As a part of our services, our technicians clean and decontaminate all the areas that mice were present inside the home. Find out more about mice removal in Milwaukee from Skedaddle.