6 Types Of Plants Mice Eat And How To Stop Them

mouse climbing on plant

Mice are small mammals that often find their way into our homes and gardens, scavenging for food and shelter. One of the most common concerns is the damage these tiny creatures can do to plants. Curious little creatures, mice love nibbling on a variety of plant types, causing frustration to gardeners who work tirelessly to maintain the beauty of their landscapes.

Although it may seem like mice will eat just about anything that crosses their path, they actually have a preference for certain kinds of plants. Understanding their eating habits is vital to keeping these unwanted guests away from your precious greenery. Furthermore, implementing preventative measures and natural methods of repelling these furry critters will allow you to maintain a healthy and beautiful garden despite their presence.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mice have a preference for certain types of plants, which they tend to consume more frequently.
  • Understanding mice eating habits and preferences can help homeowners protect their plants more effectively.
  • Implementing natural and preventative measures can keep mice at bay and maintain a healthy garden.

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Plants Mice Eat

Mice Diet

When it comes to mice, their diet preferences are usually wide-ranging. Though small in size, mice can certainly have an appetite for various types plants, greens, and berries. To keep mice from devouring these tasty treats, it’s essential to be aware of their favorites!

  1. Grass: Mice love to munch on tender grass shoots. A well-maintained lawn is essential for keeping mice at bay.
  2. Houseplants: Some mice are attracted to the cover provided by potted houseplants. Ensuring proper plant care, keeping soil adequately moist, and avoiding overwatering can deter mice from invading your indoor jungle.
  3. Roots and Leaves: Mice are also fans of roots and leaves found in garden plants. Root vegetables like carrots and radishes are a delight for mice, so planting in raised beds or using wire mesh can be a helpful preventative measure.
  4. Berries: Mice can’t resist sweet and juicy strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries! Installing protective netting around your berry bushes can be an effective way to keep mice from enjoying your hard-earned harvest.
  5. Seeds and fruits of plants: Mice have a fondness for seeds, berries, and various types of fruits. Your garden might be their favorite buffet if you’re growing plants that produce these scrumptious treats!
  6. Leafy greens: Your lovely lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens aren’t safe from these tiny rodents. Mice will nibble on these nutritious plants to satisfy their hunger while also getting essential nutrients!

Fun fact: Mice can scale walls with ease, so make sure to store your potted plants high up where mice can’t reach them!

Mouse Repellent Vegetation

Just as there are plants that mice love to nibble on, certain vegetation can be used to help repel these pesky critters. Repellent plants can be grown in your garden or placed strategically around your home to discourage mice from getting too close:

  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Marigolds
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Moreover, keeping your garden free from clutter and debris, such as piles of leaves or wood, can greatly reduce hiding spots for mice and encourage them to search for a more hospitable environment.

Did you know? Mice are more likely to be attracted to your garden if there’s an abundance of insects and other pests present, so implementing natural pest control methods can help in this aspect too!

With strategic planning in your garden and home, you can keep mice from feasting on both your indoor and outdoor plants. Just be sure to also maintain proper lawn care, storage of plants, and use of repellent vegetation.

How To Keep Mice Away From Your Plants

Mice may be notorious for having a gourmet palate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t outsmart these tiny rodents and stop them from eating your plants! Let’s learn some natural methods of keeping them at bay.

  • To protect seedlings and young plants, you might consider covering them with a wire mesh. This acts as a barrier that mice can’t chew or squeeze through.
  • Introducing natural predators, like owls and snakes, into your garden can help keep the pesky mice population under control.
  • Planting pungent herbs like garlic, mint, or lavender around vulnerable plants can help repel mice because they dislike their strong scents. You might say they have a mice sense of smell!
  • Fence it: install a fine-meshed fence around your garden to keep rodents out. This can be especially useful for smaller areas or raised beds.

You’ll want to make sure your fence has no openings larger than 1/4 inch or mice will be able to squeeze their way through. We like this Hardware Cloth because it’s made of galvanized metal and has openings that mice can’t get through.

Another crucial aspect is maintaining a clean garden. The National Pesticide Information Center recommends removing any dense vegetations around your garden to prevent mice. Remove piles of leaves, debris, and unnecessary clutter to eliminate hiding spots for mice, making them rethink their unwanted residency. A tidy backyard might just do the trick!

Here are some additional ideas to make your garden mouse proof:

  • Keep a watchful eye for any signs of mice activity (tiny pawprints or gnawing damage), so you know when to take action.
  • Make sure your compost bin has a secure lid and is well-maintained. Mice find decomposing plants quite appetizing!

While we’re on the topic of prevention, it is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each garden is different, and a combination of these strategies may prove to be the most effective. So always be ready to make some adaptations.

House Mouse vs Deer Mouse

mouse hiding on shelf in corner of shed

Preference for Human Food

House mice (Mus musculus) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are quite different in their eating habits, even though they both belong to the rodent family. While house mice are mainly omnivorous, deer mice tend to have a more varied diet that includes a range of plant life, seeds, and insects.

When it comes to snacking on human food, the house mouse has a notorious appetite for scavenging in cupboards and pantries. They’re particularly attracted to grains, seeds, and sweets. Deer mice, on the other hand, are more likely to search for food outdoors.

If you’re a homeowner looking for natural ways to deter mice from certain plants in your garden or home, here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep your living space clean and well-sealed, as this can significantly reduce the chances of a mouse invasion.
  • Remove pet food and birdseed from easily accessible areas, as these attract mice.
  • Store food in sealed containers and avoid leaving food on the counters.

Now, knowing about house mice and deer mice, you can better understand their preferences for human food and their interaction with plants. By implementing these preventative measures, you can successfully keep your beloved plants and greenery safe from these nibbling invaders.

More On Plants That Keep Mice Away

View of a herb in a raised bed in the garden.

We’ve already mentioned that certain plants can help repel mice from your garden. Here’s a more in depth look at how you can use aromatic plants to keep mice away.

Citronella and lemongrass are popular choices for homeowners looking for natural mouse repellents due to their strong scent. These plants are widely used to ward off mosquitoes too! Another plant that mice find unattractive is clover. Planting a patch in your yard might just keep those pesky rodents at bay!

Garlic and onions are not only great in the kitchen, but their pungent aroma can also deter mice from feasting on your plants. You’ll be glad to hear that both catnip and citrus plants can make your home less inviting for mice, but if you have cats, be aware that catnip might attract them!

Moving on to eucalyptus, this plant is not only a natural mouse deterrent but also adds a touch of elegance to your garden. While Panadol might not be a plant, it’s worth mentioning that studies have shown mice are averse to acetaminophen, the active ingredient in it!

Wintergreen, spearmint, and peppermint have refreshing smells that humans enjoy, but mice dislike. Planting these beauties creates a barrier against these unwelcome guests. Just like its family members, daffodils are also great for home pest control since rodents really don’t fancy their taste.

Though lavender is loved by many people for its calming scent, mice seem to disagree! Planting some in your garden is an excellent way to deter them. Contrary to popular belief, marigolds don’t actually repel mice, so planting them may not be the best strategy against rodent invasion.

To prevent mice from devouring your plants, consider incorporating these tips in your garden:

Repel them with plantsPlant a border of citronella, lemongrass, or peppermint plants around your garden to keep mice out
Use IntercroppingPlant garlic and onions among other plants in your garden to deter mice
Maintain a clean gardenRemove piles of leaves or debris to avoid attracting rodents

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, it’s up to you to put these anti-mouse strategies into action. Best of luck protecting your plants and keeping mice at bay using these natural methods!


Mice can be quite a nuisance in your garden, eating away at your cherished plants! It’s important to identify which plants they love, so you can take measures to protect them. As your garden grows, consider protecting these mice favorites:

  • Grains: Mice love cereal crops, like corn, wheat, barley, and oats.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Apples, pears, berries, tomatoes, lettuce, and carrots are just a few examples of mice delicacies.
  • Seeds and nuts: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hazelnuts might attract some furry guests.

To reduce mice activity in your garden, try implementing these preventative strategies:

  1. Physical barriers: Install wire mesh or hardware cloth around the plant beds, making sure it’s buried several inches deep, so they can’t dig under it.
  2. Eliminate hiding spots: Clear debris, rocks, and wood piles where mice could potentially nest.
  3. Incorporate natural repellents: Plant strong-smelling herbs like mint, lavender, and oregano, which may deter mice.
  4. Keep a tidy garden: Regularly harvest your fruits and veggies, so there’s less incentive for mice to forage. Also, dispose of any fallen produce, as it may attract these unwanted visitors.

By understanding the plants that mice love to eat and employing preventative methods, you can keep your garden thriving and ensure that these uninvited guests don’t ruin your hard work. Remember, a well-maintained garden is the best line of defense against mice. By utilizing these methods, you’ll be able to protect your beloved plants and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

How to pest proof your home in under a day e-book by Zack DeAngelis

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