What do Mice Eat in the Wild?

When we think of mice, we usually think about them in their own natural habitat. They will live in a wide variety of habitats – from natural habitats to urban habitats. This means they are hugely adaptable to the types of environment they live in.

This also means that mice are omnivores, so they will adapt to their environment and eat what they can find in it.

They are opportunistic animals, as they will find food where they can without causing too many issues to other animals in the habitat and exposing themselves.

If the wild mice live in nature, they are very likely to eat all types of food, including herbivorous foods.

They will scavenge their area in order to find vegetation that they’ll consume. This includes fruits and plants around them, as well as roots, tree bark, corn, oats, or even potatoes.

In urban areas, mice have to adapt to their surroundings. Mostly, they will eat human food leftovers that they can find in garbage bins and round restaurants and large complexes. They will also eat insects and plants, especially if they live in urban parks.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what else mice do in the wild – what they eat, drink, and how they survive when they’re all alone.

What Do Wild Mice Drink?

Mice are very sturdy animals, and they don’t require too much water to survive. They’ve adapted to a fairly frugal type of life, so they will actually get most of their water requirements from their food, especially from plant-based foods.

Other than that, mice will only look for water if they are in dire need, and if they can’t survive without it. They will prioritize food and look for water from that source.

However, in some cases, mice will actively look for water in their habitat. They will try to locate water sources and water leaks from buildings nearby.

In the wild, they will try to find stagnant water from rainfall, or they will satisfy their drinking needs with food.

They will drink between 3 and 9 ml of water if they have constant access to it during the day. However, they can survive with much less water around them, which can happen quite often, and they have adapted to it happening.

Do Wild Mice Eat Insects?

Yes, wild mice will also consume insects, especially in the wild. That’s the case especially when they can’t locate other types of food around them.

They especially like beetles as they are fairly easy to catch. But they will also sometimes hunt for grasshoppers and leafhoppers, as well as caterpillars.

They probably don’t eat many flies and mosquitoes because those animals tend to fly at higher altitudes and mice wouldn’t even be able to catch them nonetheless.

Mice will only eat insects if they have no other source of food nearby. However, insects can be a great source of protein for mice.

They will also sometimes eat snails and centipedes, as well as other larvae. These animals will be slightly harder to find for urban mice, though.

Can You Keep a Wild Mouse as a Pet?

Yes, it is possible to keep a wild mouse as a pet, but you have to know one thing: wild mice are slightly different than pet mice that are breed at home.

Wild mice have different habits and are terribly scared of you, so you will do well to catch them. But even if you do, there are two main things that you need to keep in mind:

  • Wild mice carry diseases
  • They can be aggressive and bite you

Both of these are major concerns if you want to catch a wild mouse. They will carry and transmit diseases that are harmful to you (not them directly, but their fleas will jump onto you and bite you). These diseases can also be transmitted when a mouse bites you.

Another potential issue is those wild mice can get aggressive and might bite you. That’s because they are scared of you at first, and they will try to defend themselves by biting you. Be careful of that.

What is the Best Food to Catch a Wild Mouse?

Catching a wild mouse is possible, but you’ll need to use a trick or two to entice them. One good way to do so is to feed them and offer them foods that they will find attractive.

Normally, wild mice will get attracted to foods that have high amounts of sugar and fat. This includes foods such as milk chocolate, peanut butter, and other similar types of food.

A good idea to catch these mice is to offer them some of these foods and then try to trap them without hurting them. That’s easier said than done, but with some simple tricks, you’ll be able to catch a wild mouse quite easily.

Follow this fantastic method to try and catch several wild mice in your home, but try not to hurt them if you want to keep them.

Can Pet Mice Survive in the Wild?

Pet mice have gotten used to your surroundings and are somewhat spoilt. So you might be wondering if it will be able to survive in the wild.

The answer is yes, they would probably be able to survive, although with some difficulty. These mice are used to being fed daily and they don’t have to search for food, so they are spoilt in a way.

However, mice have a strong survival instinct and will do everything they can to survive. They will use everything they can to survive and they will try to find foods from almost any source they can find. They will probably get along fine.

Having said that, it’s still not recommended to release a pet mouse in the wild.


Wild mice are adaptable creatures. They will eat almost anything they can find in the wild, from plant-based foods such as fruit and leaves to meat-based foods like insects.

avatar Jane
Jane is an experienced animal care specialist with a focus on rodents and small mammals, with over 10 years of experience in the pet industry. Her articles provide practical guidance on choosing the right pet and managing common health issues. Jane is an advocate for animal welfare and supports organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife. read more...

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