Storing This in Your Pantry Is Attracting Mice to Your Home, Experts Warn

The pests are more after this sweet treat than they are cheese.

What you keep in your kitchen cabinets to eat can say a lot about who you are as a person. But whether your cupboards are jammed packed with high-quality ingredients for cooking or simply with enough snacks to get you through your new work from home schedule, there are certain foods that potential pests enjoy just as much as you do. And according to experts, some items may be in your pantry right now that mice find irresistible. Read on to see what could be attracting mice to your home.

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Peanut butter and chocolate are attracting mice into your pantry—especially as candy or treats.

Peanut butter chocolate cups on a table top

Milk and cookies. Pasta and cheese. Bacon and eggs. Truly iconic food combinations can take two items that are great on their own and make them even better as a duo. But if you're one of the many who keeps peanut butter and chocolate candy on hand to fulfill your sweet tooth cravings, you might want to be mindful of your stash as the two foods are practically irresistible to mice—especially when they're combined, according to the experts at Miche Pest Control.

Make sure to keep chocolate, peanut butter, and other sweet snacks in places mice can't easily reach them.

A mouse or rat eating peanuts in a cabinet or pantry

Contrary to popular belief, many experts use peanut butter and chocolate as bait in traps to catch mice. According to experts at pest control company Orkin, rodents are attracted to foods that make for the most efficient meals. "Although it is commonly believed that mice are attracted to cheese, they tend to prefer foods that are higher in carbohydrates," the company wrote. This can make nuts, grains, and seeds particularly alluring.

According to Charlie Church, president of pest control company Getem Services in Norfolk, Virginia, this means you might want to avoid keeping sweet snacks and treats anywhere pests can easily access them, such as a countertop or in a tabletop serving bowl. "Mice enjoy a variety of human snack foods such as jerky, chocolate, crackers, and candy," he tells Best Life. "They'll seek out anything that's high in sugar, protein, or salt."

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Experts recommend storing sweet treats like chocolate and peanut butter in sturdy containers.

glass jars with flour, sugar, oats, and rice in them on kitchen counter

But just because you're stashing sweet treats like peanut butter and chocolate in your pantry doesn't mean you're necessarily guaranteed to attract mice. Experts suggest making sure to store items in sturdy containers that can keep the pests at bay.

"Thin cardboard boxes, thin cellophane, plastic bags, or paper bags can all be easily compromised by mice," Timothy Best, technical manager for Terminix, tells Best Life. "If the product is edible and easily accessible, mice will find it. With that, homeowners should not concern themselves with what food they keep, but more so how they keep it. Using rigid plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids will help keep items from 'attack.'"

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Make sure to store other foods that could attract mice carefully.

family of mice eating cheerios in kitchen

Of course, rodents looking for a meal aren't going to be overly picky once they get into your kitchen. Even if chocolate and peanut butter aren't readily available, mice will gravitate towards some of their other favorites. Fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and apples, are a big draw, as are seeds and grains, especially in items such as trail mix or granola bars. If you fear a pest invasion, make sure to keep these things safely stored in the fridge or in sealed plastic or glass containers in your cabinet or pantry to keep them at bay.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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