Do Mice Truly Love Cheese?
Mice and cheese make the perfect pair. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Tom & Jerry, you’ll probably think that as long as you’ve got some mature cheddar in the fridge you’re ready to handle any mice problem in your home. But is the mouse/cheese love affair as real as we’ve been lead to believe? Does cheese make the perfect bait for these squeaky little rodents? Maybe not.
Read on to learn about the truth behind the myth, and why our association between mice and cheese is stronger than a block of stilton.
Origins of the myth
While the modern popularisation of the myth can largely be attributed to Tom & Jerry, the association most likely began back in the Middle Ages. Back then, refrigeration of food was nothing like it is now. Meat was hung from hooks and salted, jars would store grains and preserves – but cheese was left easily accessible on the floor. Hungry mice nearby would sink their teeth into anything they could sniff out, and cheese would be the perfect candidate.
But today, given the choice, even the most picturesque of cheese wheels wouldn’t necessarily be the first item on the mouse menu.
What do mice love?
Mice are not fussy eaters. Rather than hunting down some prime Gorgonzola, a foraging mouse will eat just about anything on offer. A prefered meal would contain sweet fruits, veg and grains – they’d even opt for chocolate if it’s around – but they wouldn’t pass up on much. Peanut butter has been found to be an effective bait for mice, and cheese would commonly end up passed over if other sources of sustenance are available.
Cables, cardboard and cannibalism
You’ll probably be aware that mice love to nibble through wires and cardboard – and plenty of other things around the house. They don’t do this to feed, they do it because of their teeth are constantly growing. Chewing on PVC cable jackets, soft cardboard, plastic bags and the like helps them to control the size of their teeth.
Mice will, however, resort to cannibalism if there’s no alternative. Mothers have been known to eat their young if food isn’t plentiful, and this is the same for wild mice struggling to feed themselves.
When you’re desperate to get rid of a mice infestation in your home or business, the Swiss cheese just won’t cut it. Instead, contact the professional pest controllers at ClearFirst – and save the cheese for your sandwiches. Our experienced team of technicians provide a thorough rodent control service to our customers, and we always aim to help make your living environment mouse, rat and pest proof for the future. To find out more, give us a call today.