Peanut butter is a staple in many households. But did you know that humans aren’t the only ones who are crazy about this spread?
Mice actually love peanut butter, and they even get out of their way just to find this food paste. You are probably wondering now what peanut butter does to mice, and the answer would depend on whether you are asking for a mouse you want to get rid of or a mouse you have as a pet.
Peanut butter does not contain any toxic ingredient to mice, and they would not die just because they ate some of it. However, peanut butter may be dangerous for a mouse because of its sticky texture: it can block the mouse’s airways and cause choking or suffocation. And this is the reason why many use peanut butter as bait in mouse traps.
Mice cannot resist peanut butter so they would more often than not approach the trap that has peanut butter in it.
The reason behind this is that mice are naturally seed and nut eaters when they are out in the wild; that is why they love everything about peanut butter spreads when they find their way into your home.
There is actually a scientific reason why mice can easily die of choking or suffocation due to peanut butter spreads’ sticky nature.
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Mice Do Not Have Ability To Cough Up Food
One of the reasons why peanut butter is dangerous to mice is because a mouse cannot help itself when it is already choking on the sticky spread. Mice do not have the physical ability to vomit what they have eaten, thus the danger of eating peanut butter.
Researchers claim that mice do not actually have the brain circuits necessary for vomiting. They also found out that the muscles in the diaphragm and stomach of the mice are reduced and are not structured in a way that would make them capable of vomiting.
Also, unlike humans, mice could not just drink some water to try and flush the peanut butter down their throat.
Mice Naturally Attracted to Peanut Butter
Aside from the fact that peanut butter is derived from nuts, which mice really love, it also has high-calorie content.
Mice love carbs because they need to get as many calories as they can because they know that there is no assurance as to when they can eat again. Mice are naturally scavengers so they will eat anything and anywhere.
Peanut butter is also a good source of calories during the cold season. Mice need to keep their overactive metabolism so they could remain warm during these times. The smaller the animal, the more heat is lost.
Lastly, peanut butter has great smell and taste. These features are so strong that the peanut butter becomes very irresistible to mice.
Other Foods To Feed To Your Pet Mouse
According to People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), mice are omnivores. They eat plants, grains, and insects when they are given a chance to do so. They have given a number of food items that you can choose from when feeding your pet mouse.
The top foods on the list are commercial mouse food, which you can find in pet shops, small amounts of fruits and vegetables, and healthy treats. Commercial mouse food is best sprinkled around the home of your pet so they can hunt for it. This makes mealtime less boring and doubles as a fun game for your mouse.
The safe ones are apple, dried banana, melon, peach, pear, and red grapes for fruits. You can choose vegetables among broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, chicory, cress, cucumber, and sweet peppers. You can also feed your pet mouse some basil, coriander, parsley, and sage.
As for healthy treats, you can feed your pet mouse some scrambled egg, lean meat, peas, chickpeas, beans, and mealworms.
Remember that mice cannot be fed with treats alone. Their diet must contain a combination of seeds, vegetables, and treats to get the proper nutrition they need.
If you want to introduce new foods you have seen on the list above, you should gradually introduce such to your pet mouse on a daily basis. If your mouse’s diet is suddenly changed, your pet could get an upset stomach.
Foods To Avoid Feeding To Pet Mice
Stick with the list of fruits as mentioned above. You cannot use oranges, lemons, or grapefruit as food for your mouse.
You cannot give other food items to your mouse are cabbage, candies, chocolate, corn, junk food, uncooked beans, and onions. Chocolate is believed to be toxic to mice because it contains theobromine, which is poisonous to them.
You also cannot give carbonated drinks to a mouse because their gastric system isn’t built to pass wind. Like the inability of mice to vomit, the same concept applies to a mouse’s inability to pass wind.
This means that the internal gas from the carbonated drinks would not be expelled, so it could lead to the death of the mouse.
Milk is also not safe for mice. Mice are lactose-intolerant. In line with this, contrary to popular belief, cheese is not a favorite for mice because it can cause them an upset stomach.
Although this article provides items that can and cannot be fed to your pet mouse, a good rule to remember is if you aren’t sure it’s safe to give to your pet, you should not proceed to feed it.
Use Peanut Butter As Bait To Get Rid Of A Mouse
Now that peanut butter has been discussed as a dangerous food item to your pet mouse, you can actually use it as a bait for unwanted mice in your house.
Unlike other methods like sticky traps and live mouse traps, peanut butter is actually one of the most humane ways of getting rid of a mouse. It is also cheap, almost always available, and easy to use.
Remember that mice aren’t particular with the kind of peanut butter you use. As long as they know it’s the deadly spread, they would most likely approach it and want to consume it.
One of the things you should also know when setting up a trap is that mice can smell humans’ scent. Hence, it would be best if you were careful never to mix your scent with the peanut butter. To successfully do this, you can use a rubber glove in setting down the peanut butter trap.
If you are using a snap trap and peanut butter, place the spread on the trigger. If you are using a live catch trap, be sure to put the peanut butter on the far end of the trap.
Also, be sure just to use a small amount of peanut butter because it should not be too much that the mouse could just nibble on the edges and not get caught.
Another tip is to place the traps near walls or dark places because mice usually avoid open spaces. If you haven’t caught any mouse for a week or more, you should move around the traps to capture the pest better.
If you want the peanut butter trap to be fatal, you can mix baking soda with it. The homemade poison must have an equal amount of peanut butter and soda rolled into the size of marbles.
If you do not have peanut butter, you should know that mice are also attracted to jelly beans, cooked bacon, hot dog, a drop of molasses or honey, or even dental floss and cotton.
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