Mice diet is a varied as the human diet. They are not shy about trying something new and will often partake in the scraps left in the garbage. It is this free spirit regarding diet that makes mice quite brave around humans.
Favorite foods that make up the house mice diet are cereals, grasses, seeds and other grains. They will take food from the garden and the field. They will take food from your cupboards and counters. House mice, and field mice alike, will have a field day in your trash can, too. In the end, the house mouse is the least discriminating eater you may come across. They will eat anything edible. This will include insects, carrion and meats, butters and candies. It is not out of the realm of truth to say that anything that is not poisonous makes up the house mouse diet.
Field mice are more likely to visit your garden for dinner than the house mouse. Their favorites include berries, apples, pears and apple tree and pear tree bark, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, tulip bulbs, grains such as oats and wheat, corn, beans, and nuts. They also enjoy fungi.
Water is not as important for their survival. They can actually survive quite successfully with little or no liquid water. Instead they get the water from their food. There are repercussions to inadequate water in the food, however. A diet with poor moisture content will affect the house mouse’s ability to breed.
Mice Diet-Physical Attributes
As successful a species as most, it should be no surprise that mice have a whole range of physical attributes to help them in their quest to keep hunger at bay. This attributes range from the senses to their running power.
Mice, house and field, have an incredible sense of smell to assist them in fulfilling their diet needs. This keen sense allows them to pass up many poisons or foods that may be too rancid to eat.
Mice are able to fit through the tiniest of openings to get to their dinner. In fact, they can fit though a hole as small as ¼ inch.
Mice have ever growing incisors that allow for their ability to eat most anything, including your trees and shrubs!
Don’t expect water features won’t deter them either. Both house and field mice are excellent swimmers and will traverse small creeks and streams to get to your finest seeds. Dangerous predators might not present a problem because these little mammals and make a dash of eight (8) miles per hour to evade the fastest owl in order to get to their next meal.
Mice Diet-Benefits and Detriments to Humans and the Ecosystem
The diet of the house mouse as many detriments. In the yard they will eat newly planted seeds and plants quickly destroying a day’s work in the spring garden.
Woody shrubs and trees are also damaged by the house and field mice diet. In late winter when food is scarce mice will not hesitate to enjoy the smaller wood stems of trees and shrubs in your yard. In addition, the field mice diet may also inhibit the growth of important forest trees including pines and oaks because they eat so enjoy partaking in their tender seeds.
Benefits of the mouse diet are not numerous but they do exist. In fact, the white footed mouse is actually hailed for doing their part to enhance the nutrient uptake of forest trees. Field mice, which hold various kinds of fungi at the top of their favorite food lists, spread the spores of the fungi throughout the forest in their excrement. The fungi spores enter the soil where they work their magic with the trees.
Both the house mice and field mice are credited with eating insects that humans may consider to be pests, the quantities are not normally sufficient to be of benefit.