7 Foods that Invite Rats and Mice to Your Home


Rats and mice are the most adaptable among all rodents in terms of their habitats and dietary styles. They can eat just about anything humans eat and coexist with humans in different environments.  This is largely the reason why rats and mice have continually been a nuisance to people all over the world.

If you have spotted a rat or mouse in your attic or basement, you may be wondering, “Which foods do rats eat once they get inside my house?”

Alternatively, if you have noticed rodent activity in your garden or a neighbor’s property, you may be asking, “What attracts rats and mice to my home?”

The answers to these questions are all around us. It can be an open compost bin at the far end of your garden, an overflowing trashcan just outside your entrance door, a pile of windblown leaves in your garden, or a sink of dirty dishes.

Which Foods Attract Rats and Mice to Your Home?

To keep their continually-growing incisor teeth in shape, rats and mice indulge in routine chewing and gnawing. This is how they damage your property.

But, rats and mice can also eat around 15-20 grams of a variety of edibles each day. Listed below are the top seven foods that may be attracting rats & mice to your home:

1. Plants

Rats and mice can eat just about anything they can get their sharp teeth on. Plants are no exception. Rats and mice often feed on the flora of the environment they live in. They can nibble on everything from weeds and grass to barks and twigs. Also, they love plant/flower seeds.

Rodents do not just consume the plants.

Plants, bushes, leaves, etc. can also provide rodents with a regular supply of nesting material as well as hidden areas to dig in burrows or establish secret exploration/escape routes around your property.   

This is why rodent control experts in LA recommend homeowners to trim down overgrown vegetation on their properties.

2. Grains & Seeds

Rats and mice are attracted to grains and seeds attached to plants in agricultural fields or grain storage containers.

Who doesn’t like a free and unlimited supply of food?

In suburban areas, rats and mice often seek out seeds and grains stored in your pantry, attic, or basement.

On occasions, tasty seeds available in your garden or flowerbed can also motivate rodents to go a step further and explore ways to get into your house.

3. Nuts

Be it almonds, walnuts, peanuts, or hazelnuts – rats and mice love them all!

Such high-protein foods can provide necessary nourishment and are among the favorite foods of rats and mice.

4. Meat

Rats and mice will generally prefer seeds, grains, fruits, plants, etc., but they will not hesitate to nibble on meat.

Many rodents, including rats and mice, are omnivorous creatures.

They are likely to eat meat if it’s available in trash cans, kitchen sinks, dumpsters, etc. but they do not hunt for it.

Rats, in particular, will eat all types of red meat, poultry, and fish.

5. Fruits

Each time they get a chance, rats and mice will blissfully nibble on fruits and berries.

So, if there are apple/pear trees or blackberry/raspberry bushes on your property, you need to make sure fruits and berries aren’t left to rot.

The smell of rotting fruits and berries can work like a magnet for attracting rats and mice to your house.

This can ultimately lead to large-scale rodent infestations.

6. Pet Food

If a food item is good enough for your pet dog or cat, it’s good enough for a rat or mouse as well.

Be sure not to leave pet food bowls unattended, especially during the night, whether inside or outside your home.

7. Sweet and Salty Foods

Rats and mice love salty and sweet treats.

Be it jerky, tiny pieces of chocolate or gumdrops, rats and mice will try to consume them as much as possible.  

Final Words

How well you limit the access to these foods, can go a long way in keeping rats and mice away.

But, it does not necessarily guarantee that there’d be no rodent infestation. You still need to rodent-proof your house.

Remember, using traps and rat poison to deal with a rodent infestation is a bad idea. DIY methods hardly work.

Rats in Los Angeles are becoming an epidemic. Don’t wait until you have a rodent problem. Take preventive measures such as pre-purchase rodent infestation, attic cleaning, or rodent-proofing early on.