6 Foods in Your Kitchen That Are Bringing Mice Into Your Home

Forget all the tall tales about cheese: Rodents are really after these items.

Whether you're using it to whip up a top-notch three-course meal or sneak in a late-night snack, your kitchen is the center of all things food-related in your home. Unfortunately, certain items you stock in your cupboards could be inviting some unwanted guests of the rodent variety to dinner. If you're already battling an infestation or are simply looking to avoid one, it's essential to know which foods in your kitchen are simply irresistible to mice. Read on to see which items could be creating a rodent party in your pantry.

RELATED: 7 Cleaning Habits That Attract Mice.

Sweet snacks

Chocolate slices with fresh mint leaves on a dark slate, stone or concrete background.

Keeping a stash of treats in your cupboard is an absolute must for anyone who's a sweet tooth. But according to Terminix, chocolate is as irresistible to mice as it is to most humans. This is especially true when the treat also includes peanut butter, which is another mouse favorite. Make sure to keep an eye on your sweets supply for any signs of nibbling, and consider storing them in sealable plastic containers that can help keep rodents from getting into your beloved bonbons.

Seeds and grains

A splay of seeds, grains, and products like bread and pasta

Either as a salad topping, smoothie ingredient, or a simple snack, seeds and grains are a kitchen mainstay that can make up a part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, having them in your pantry could be providing mice with an ample supply of one of their favorite foods.

But there's no reason to ban them from your kitchen altogether: Just make sure to store items like rice, quinoa, popcorn, chia seeds, lentils, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, faro, and barley in airtight glass jars or plastic containers instead of in their original bags or boxes. You should also make sure to clean up any debris left behind in your cupboards from broken or leaky containers during any deep cleaning projects.

RELATED: If You Notice This Smell at Home, You May Have Mice, Experts Warn.


While it might be doubtful that mice or rodents will be making their way into your fridge, meat is still a major draw for the pests if it's left lingering in the trash after being thrown out. This can be an especially tricky problem if you're going a long time between changing bags.

"Most people might not know that rodents are omnivores." John Carney, Founder and President of SafeSpray Pest Control in Opelika, Alabama, tells Best Life. "We suggest throwing away any meat scraps and leftovers in a sealed trash bag and taking it to the curb as soon as possible. The smell of rotting meat can draw rodents into your kitchen."

And it's not just those steak scraps in the trash that could draw in pests: Dried meats can be equally appetizing to mice and other rodents. "If you have beef jerky lying around your kitchen, make sure to store it in an airtight, plastic container since it is very pungent and will bring mice into your home," says Jerry Hebert, owner of Extermatrim.

Pet food

person putting hand into bag of dog food

It's your duty as a pet owner to keep your furry friends well fed. However, it's equally important that you're not accidentally leaving out plenty of food for mice or other rodents to snack on by not correctly keeping your kibble.

"Storing pet food in open bags, on the floor, in your kitchen pantry is a recipe for a rodent problem," Denise Trad Wartan, General Manager of Trad's Pest Control in Jacksonville, Florida, tells Best Life. "Pet food should be stored in plastic tubs so it blocks the smell from rodents and makes it harder to access."

RELATED: 6 Things in Your Yard That Are Bringing Mice to Your Home.


winter superfoods,Best Foods for Maximizing Your Energy Levels

Nuts are a staple in kitchen cabinets, whether as a super easy snack or whipped up in butter form. Unfortunately, they also happen to be as popular with pests as with people, meaning you should take extra care when stashing them away.

"One of the top foods that drive mice to your home is nuts," Tony Salerno, owner of Tony's Pest Control, tells Best Life. "Mice love peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and various other nuts. This snack is high in protein and is a great food and energy source for mice. If you're finding these rodents in your home, check to make sure any nuts you have stored properly in sealed containers or bags."

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Fruits and vegetables

person with plates of grapes and blueberries in kitchen

Getting plenty of fruits and veggies is an important part of any human's diet, but it turns out that fresh produce can also be alluring to rodents. Everyday items such as broccoli, strawberries, grapes, and kale can be a huge draw to mice, but experts say they're also especially driven by the food they can find in nature.

"The top food that we find brings mice into your home is fruits and berries," Wade Beatty, owner of Western Pest Control, tells Best Life. "Mice often eat from raspberry and blackberry bushes, as well as apple and pear trees in the wild, so this food source is one they tend to look for within your home. These rodents are drawn to the smell and sweetness of fruits, so make sure there are no rotting fruit or fruit remains left around your kitchen."

RELATED: If You're Not Cleaning This, You're Inviting Mice Into Your Home.

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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