All too often we hear this scenario: In an attempt to eliminate mice in the kitchen, a homeowner sets his or her Victor® mouse trap with cheese as bait, waits a day or so, and nothing happens. The mouse is still at large.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, we assume mice and cheese go together like rabbits and carrots. Like monkeys and bananas. It’s an honest mistake a lot of people make, and with good reason. We hear it in stories, and see it in films, cartoons, and commercials. We have accepted it as a given for countless years: mice love cheese. But its unreliable success as bait for mouse traps has left people wondering: “Do mice like cheese?” Perhaps not.
To demystify the link between mice and cheese, our very own expert, Boris Bajlovic, contributed to Insight Pest Solution’s pest guide, Tips and Secrets from 117 Experts. Boris shared the “cheesy truth about rodent control” with this solid advice:
“Mice far prefer foods with high protein and fat content over cheese. That’s why the best mouse trap baits include peanut butter, hazelnut spread, chocolate, and meats like bacon or beef jerky. Be wary of large portions, which rodents can nibble without tripping the trap.”
Sweets are a favorite of mice, placing chocolate and fruits high on their list of delicacies, with grain being a staple food in their diet. That isn’t to say that they would not eat cheese if they came across it, but typically they would do so only if they were hungry enough and no preferable food source was available.
We tend to think that if we love a food, then all animals must love it as well. However, that isn’t the case, especially where aromas are concerned. The nose of a mouse is very sensitive, its sense of smell quite strong. This is why things with powerful fragrances, such as peppermint, make such effective repellents against mice.
Cheese can be extremely pungent, and this is actually unappealing to mice. If you were to use one of these strong-smelling cheeses as a lure, it would likely drive them away from the trap instead.
It is not known how such an erroneous bit of information turned into “common knowledge,” but it is believed to have started back when meats were hung for salting and then secured afterward, away from the reach of critters. With grain similarly contained, the only available food for mice to raid was the cheese, which was not kept in sealed containers because of its need to breathe.
Add centuries of folktales and art depicting mice with their prized treasure – culminating in the iconic cartoons that truly enforce this myth – and we have the false belief that has yet to be erased from the public mindset.
Trapping a mouse can be a trial-and-error process. But you can take some shortcuts with Victor’s list of best mouse trap baits. As a starter, researchers and trapping experts alike recommend peanut butter bait for several reasons:
This doesn’t only apply to snap traps. You can place peanut butter at the back of electronic traps and live traps as a means to lure the critters inside as well.
For those looking to quickly get rid of mice, try out Victor® Fast-Kill® rodent bait stations that come pre-filled with a single-feed mouse poison made from bakery-grade ingredients. To use, just place the disposable bait station near signs of rodent activity. The mouse simply enters the bait station, nibbles on the rodent poison, and the rest is history. And that’s something to feel great about!