Do Mice Really Like Cheese? Myth vs Reality

House Mouse
© MainelyPhotos/

Written by Kyle Glatz

Published: August 5, 2022

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If you’ve ever watched old cartoons, then you know that putting a block of cheese on the counter is a siren’s call to a mouse. The small rodents will come running out of the woodwork to feast on the cheese, distending their stomachs and altering their body shape. Is there any truth to those shows, though? Do mice really like cheese?

Today, we’re going to explore the myths and realities of whether mice eat cheese. We’ll show you what foods mice prefer to eat and even which one is the best bait for a trap.

What Do Mice Normally Eat?

Pet Mice

Mice prefer sweet foods like fruit.

©Rudmer Zwerver/

Before we look at whether mice like cheese, let’s take a look at their typical diet. Mice are omnivorous creatures, meaning they eat both meat and plants. In fact, mice like to eat just about anything that isn’t nailed down.

Some of the most common foods that mice eat include:

  • Grains
  • Seeds
  • Fruit
  • Insects
  • Pet food
  • Many human foods and trash
  • Various creatures’ eggs

However, mice can also eat various types of meat, but they’re not likely to kill other creatures. Instead, they’ll feast on dead animals that they happen upon. One of the few things that mice do kill to eat is other mice. As dreadful as that may seem, it’s a matter of survival. However, most of the foods mentioned here are not things that mice love.

In other words, if you’re baiting a trap for them, you don’t want to count on grains and seeds to get them to come. Instead, you need something that is not what they eat every day.

Do Mice Really Like Cheese?


Cheese is not the favorite food of most mice, but they’ll still eat it.

©Rudinski Vyacheslav/

Yes, mice really do like cheese. There are some qualifications to that statement, though. Mice prefer cheese that is not too aromatic. Also, cheese is not high up on their list of foods that they absolutely love to eat.

The little rodents love to eat just about anything, but they have a strong preference for foods that are sweet and loaded with carbohydrates.

So, will mice eat cheese if they find it? Absolutely, they will gobble down just about anything they can get their greedy paws on. Will they do parkour across your countertop and feast on cheese until they’re about to burst? Probably not.

That doesn’t mean that no foods are guaranteed to drive mice crazy and make them come running from their hiding spots. Knowing the foods that mice love can give you an advantage. Consider that a popular method for killing mice is baiting snap traps. If you can find the right food, you can draw out mice and lure them to their doom.

Let’s take a closer look at foods that are more tempting to mice.

Should I Bait a Mouse Trap with Cheese?

Cheese is not the best food to bait traps for many reasons.


You can bait a mouse trap with cheese, but you should only do that if you are out of other baits. Several problems exist with using cheese as a way to bait mouse traps. For one thing, it goes stale and becomes unpleasant to eat rather quickly.

Also, the more a piece of cheese sits out, the less appealing it becomes to the mouse in terms of smell, their preferred way of finding food. Even then, you need to make sure the cheese stays on the trap. Mice can just pull the cheese off with ease, and then you miss them and lose your cheese.  Lastly, you have to cut the piece of cheese to size on the bait portion of the trap.

When you look at it this way, cheese may not be the best thing to lay down on a trap. However, other foods exist that are perfect for traps and attract mice just as well.

What Are the Best Foods to Bait a Trap?

peanut butter

Peanut butter is a much better mouse bait than cheese.


If you’re going to bait a trap to catch a mouse, cheese is not the best one to use. Instead, you should try using peanut butter. Peanut butter has a moderate amount of carbs and a lot of sweetness, at least in commercial brands. Mice love peanut butter since it smells good, tastes good, and provides great nutrition for them.

However, peanut butter also provides other benefits for baiting traps, too. For example, peanut butter sticks to traps and is very fragrant. A small amount will cause mice to approach a trap. Also, it is inexpensive. You can add a small dollop of peanut butter to the trap, and that is all it takes.

Other great bait foods include soft cheeses, melted candies like chocolate or gum, jelly, and jam. All of these foods bring mice, stay on the bait portion of the trap, and are hard to get off the trap without setting it off.  

Best Practices for Laying Mouse Traps

Knowing the best foods to use for baiting a trap is not the only thing you need to worry about. Instead, you have to follow some best practices for baiting mice stations to get the most out of them. Follow these guidelines, and you will start catching mice with your traps.

  1. Don’t overload your traps, or the mice will make off with the food on them and not spring it.
  2. Place baited traps in dark places like cabinets and behind your kitchen appliances, and write down their locations so you can check them.
  3. Place mouse traps perpendicular to your baseboards with the baited side facing the wall. Don’t set the trap with the baited side running one way, or a mouse could run over it and not trip it.
  4. Use multiple mouse traps to increase the odds that you’ll catch a mouse. Not every trap catches a mouse, so set extra to catch them off to increase the odds you’ll catch one.
  5. Check your traps often. You need to clear away dead mice and reset the traps if you want to have any luck ending an infestation.

These tips will help you bait and set traps the right way. You’ll quickly start making an impact on the number of mice in your home!

Now you know what foods mice really like and which ones are best for traps. So, do mice really like cheese? Sure, they enjoy cheese, but it’s not their favorite food and some kinds are not as attractive to them. Your best bet is to use peanut butter to draw in the mice!

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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