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Do Mice Really Like Cheese: Fact or Fiction?

By : Rita Stadler

Growing up on a farm, there were always mouse traps lying around waiting patiently, filled with a nice slice of cheese.  Some days the mice would fall for our trickery and sometimes they wouldn’t.  I always wondered if they were getting smart and catching on to our traps. Life is full of mysteries — but recent studies have shown that mice aren’t always attracted to cheese, and sometimes avoid it completely.

What do mice eat? If mice don’t love cheese, then what do they like?

Research has shown that mice will eat pretty much anything that has minor nutritional value, so yes, mice will eat cheese.

Given a choice though, mice seem to prefer sweeter treats, such as fruits or grains.  Setting a mousetrap with cheese is not the most likely bait to succeed, especially if the rodents have been raiding your cereal cupboard for any amount of time.  Also, as many a cat owner can tell you, housecats love cheese, so I would definitely not want to leave some out on a trap that could snap or stick Mr. Whiskers!


Another study by Dr. David Holmes, of Manchester Metropolitan University, found that mice don’t like cheese at all.  You may have noticed from time to time that cheese has a rather pungent aroma.  Mice notice this too, and their little noses are much more fine-tuned than ours.  If a rodent is hungry enough, it may nibble on cheese, but the scent would not lure a mouse to a trap.  Alarmingly, Dr. Holms even said that mice would turn to humans and other animals as a food source over the dairy option. Just one more reason we need to keep these critters out!

Know their weaknesses…

Do mice really like cheese?Knowing that mice are choosy, not cheesy, will spare you from wasting the good stuff on a dirty, old mousetrap.  Getting rid of mice is easy when you know what they like and what they don’t; their strengths and weaknesses. A mouse’s sense of smell is very strong, but can be a weakness when you use something they don’t like–like Fresh Cab® botanical rodent repellent — guaranteed effective and safe to use around children and pets.

Put that one in your mousetrap and I guarantee, you won’t catch any more mice, because there’ll be none!

  • Rick

    Dryer sheets wrapped around mothballs keeps them from coming . Spreading ground pepper along baseboards works in about 48 hours

    1. Rita Stadler

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for sharing your DIY tips!

  • Journey Waitz

    MICE ARE NASTY!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Mildred Montalvo


      They are pesky little critters indeed. It is best to keep them away from our homes, cars, surroundings. They carry diseases and bacteria. Just getting in contact with anything that they contaminated puts us at risk. Plus biting and chewing anything they can find. Did you know that the CDC does not recommend sweeping or vacuuming mice dropping? This could stir up pathogens and cause you to inhale them.
      We recommend Fresh Cab or Stay Away Mice to keep them away from your home. Better than traps, which attracts them to your home. Take a look Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent

      Thanks for reading!

  • Maddhatter

    I have a dozen pet mice, and they all love cheese. In the normal rotation their favorite is Swiss, but they go gaga for smokey cheddar on the occasion when we get from Hickory farms. They get a small piece every morning. Once in a while I give them each 2 mac and cheese noodles. They love it!

    1. Rita Stadler

      Nature is certainly unpredictable and full of surprises!
      Thanks for sharing!

  • Chloe

    Interesting. I wonder why disney chose to make mice /love/ cheese?

    1. Rita Stadler

      I’m curious too about how the whole misconception began, although I don’t think Disney is responsible. You can read more here. Thanks for commenting!

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