Mice are a notorious household pest. Most North Americans have experienced them at some point in their lives, whether they’re wilderness camping or enjoying a summer at a lakeside cottage.
You can also find them in cities, especially when the weather turns cold and they need shelter.
They carry disease and create a mess. So it’s understandable that you might ask, ‘What animals eat mice’ as you tackle how to get the resident mouse out of your house.
Why Are Mice a Problem
There are two significant problems when you encounter a mouse infestation. They’re messy, and they are a health risk.
Mice build nests by eating you literally out of house and home. It’s frustrating enough when mice get into your food supply, but they also display destructive behavior towards:
- Electric cables
That’s bad enough since their predilection for electrical wiring can start house fires.
Worse, if the mice have moved into your home, they can contaminate it by urinating and defecating in your house. This is one of the ways mice spread diseases to humans, and the more you have to clean up after them, the more likely you are to catch something.
Not only that but because they reproduce quickly, keeping on top of a mouse infestation without help is almost impossible.
What Animals Eat Mice?
So, what can you do about these pests, and crucially, what animals eat mice?
The cat and mouse have a long and infamous history of being rivals. You see it in cartoons like Tom and Jerry, and you see it reflected in the very real and very dead mouse your cat leaves you on the kitchen floor.
What’s interesting is that most house cats stop there. Because they are secure and well-fed, they see no need to eat the mice they leave you.
But while domestic cats might not eat mice, their undomesticated contemporaries do.
Wild cats, just like your resident tabby, are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a primarily meat-based diet. Mice are an excellent source of protein to:
While everyone knows cats chase mice, we don’t often think of them as food for dogs. But many wild canid-classified mammals eat mice, especially city-dwelling wild dogs like:
Another animal that eats mice is the snake. These reptiles have the distinction of swallowing their prey whole.
A cat plays with its food, but snakes are more interested in devouring their prey. Their jaws can expand to an impressive 150 degrees, allowing them to ingest animals significantly larger than they are. That includes fast-moving mice.
The lizard is another animal that eats mice. Unlike the snake, however, lizards don’t instinctively seek out mice. They are less keen on the challenge of hunting, so when they do eat mice, it’s often frozen mice given to them in a domesticated context.
That said, occasionally, a larger wild lizard will seek out a mouse if it thinks it can withstand the confrontation.
Birds of Prey
Finally, birds of prey are yet another animal that eats mice. Their keen eyesight enables them to spot mice from a considerable distance. It is then easy to swoop down and snatch the mouse.
Birds of prey include:
Like snakes, they eat mice whole and spit the bones and undigestible parts of the mouse out later.
Risk to Your Pets
As discussed, mice pose a considerable problem when they move into your home, and not just to the people living there. They can spread ticks to your pets and in some cases, leptospirosis.
While these are treatable, they leave you with expensive vet bills and a continuing pest problem.
How To Get Rid of Mice Effectively
By now we have established that many animals eat mice. However, relying on them to control your mouse infestation isn’t the most effective way of solving it.
Risks to Your Health
And while mice persist, they pose a health threat to you and your family, because they can spread illnesses like:
- Rat bite fever
Signs of Mouse Infestation
If you aren’t sure if you have a mouse problem, look for classic signs like:
- Chewed electrical cords
- Nibbling around books/papers/tissues
- Feces in or around food
If you suspect a mouse infestation, get in touch. Our dedicated team at Stampede Pest Control can quickly and efficiently address your mouse problem without jeopardizing your health or that of your pets. And we’re happy to help.