Mice and cheese go hand-in-hand, right? Especially in cartoons, movies, images, and so forth.
But, do mice actually like cheese?
This is a valid question if you’re trying to use bits of cheese as bait to catch unwanted mice coming into your home, feeding a stray mouse in your garden, or looking for treats for your pet mice.
This answer will surprise most of you reading this – mice aren’t that fussed about cheese.
They will eat cheese if they find it and they’re hungry. But mice will eat almost anything they come across as you may have noticed.
The truth however is that mice prefer foods richer in calories and sugars. They are much more likely to steal cereal, grains, and bits of fruit than cheese given the choice.
Where Did the Myth That Mice like Cheese Come From?
Image credit: Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
I’ve looked into this a few times and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, where, and when the myth that mice will steal any cheese they can find came from.
Sure, they do like cheese. They will eat almost anything they can find, but as I explained above it’s not their favourite food or first choice.
It’s likely to have started because cheese was one of the foods mice had access to when it was left in pantries all those years ago.
Then all it took was for a popular cartoon like Tom and Jerry to keep showing Jerry on the constant hunt for cheese and mice cheese became culturally synonymous.
So, Should You Use Cheese to Catch Mice?
As I’ve explained, cheese isn’t a mouses favorite food so I wouldn’t recommend using it to try and lure them into a trap.
You’re going to have much better success with sweeter foods that they like, such as:
- Peanut butter
- Crackers and butter
If you’re struggling to catch mice in your house I’ve covered some tips and tricks to help you catching mice here.