Mice might be cute and cuddly in controlled circumstances, but pretty much every homesteader knows by now that they are a giant problem when they are on your property.
They can terrorize chickens and eat eggs, infest and ruin livestock feed, spread disease, and tear up your house- aside from making everything filthy.
You need to act quickly when you have a mouse infestation under way, and though poisons are undeniably effective they are also very risky when it comes to kids and pets.
One old method for dealing with mice is, allegedly, feeding them uncooked rice. Will uncooked rice kill mice?
No, uncooked rice probably won’t kill mice. It’s theoretically possible if a mouse were to gorge on the stuff, but chances are they will be able to eat it without any problems. You’ll need another solution to get rid of mice reliably.
Unfortunately, uncooked rice is going to do you more harm than good when it comes to your mouse problem.
Mice will be able to eat it and not only not die, but they will get good nutrition from it! When you want them dead, that’s definitely counterproductive.
The good news is there are plenty of other techniques you can rely on to eliminate mice and some of them even use other foods that are genuinely toxic to them. I’ll tell you a lot more about this topic down below.
Isn’t Uncooked Rice an Old-Fashioned Mouse Killer?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the notion that uncooked rice will kill mice, or any other animals for that matter, is pretty much just hot air. It’s a myth. Made up. An old wives’ tale.
I think it only stuck around for this long because it is always offered with the embellishment that the teller first read about it in some old Farmers’ Almanac or other old-timey tome of proven country wisdom. Makes it sound legitimate!
The notion is that a mouse will eat a big belly full of uncooked rice which will then start to swell up inside their stomach, either from digestive juices or the subsequent drinking of water, and that will fatally rupture the innards of the poor, doomed little creature. In reality, this just does not happen…
Now, strictly speaking, it’s possible that a huge quantity of uncooked price could kill a mouse, but it would be from intestinal or stomach impaction which halts the movement of food through the digestive tract. And even though it’s possible, it’s still unlikely…
Consider this totally debunked: uncooked rice is the last thing you want to use by itself for killing mice.
Will Mice Eat Uncooked Rice?
Oh yes, absolutely. Mice tend to like rice and they will definitely seek out and eat uncooked rice.
Even in its uncooked form, the remarkably good sense of smell that mice possess means they can quickly detect it and home in on it from a considerable distance away, especially in an enclosed space.
As an attractant, it definitely works, but it’s not a fatal poison or bait.
Is Cooked Rice More Appealing to Mice?
Yes! Although it has some disadvantages, namely in the fact that it will spoil and mold much quicker than raw, uncooked rice, steamed or boiled rice is softer, easier to eat, and far more digestible for mice.
This makes it more attractive and it is even more aromatic, increasing the effective attraction range.
But, just like with uncooked rice, it isn’t fatal when consumed and is nutritious for the little critters. You’ll have to combine it with poison or a trap to get a kill.
What’s the Best Kind of Rice to Attract Mice?
You can really choose any sort of rice you want if you plan on baiting a trap or making some homemade poison baits with it. White rice, brown rice, blue rice, yellow rice, and any other sort of rice whether it is plain or seasoned will definitely be plenty attractive to mice. Any preferences they might have aren’t significant enough to keep them from eating it.
And for clarity, there’s also no specific type of rice that is more or less toxic to mice.
Should You Add Anything to Rice to Attract Mice?
You can add a variety of other mouse-attracting foods to rice if you want to make a sort of super bait or just use up old or already spoiled food for your campaign against the furry little scumbags.
Decent foods to include with rice, whether or not it is cooked, are various dried berries, tree nuts, grains, seeds, and similar items.
I myself have found that a mixture of birdseed and rice seems to be a particularly good mass mouse attractant. This can draw them in from all over the property and that will allow you to dispatch them all at once with the right approach, whatever it is.
If you want to go toxic, you can add baker’s chocolate or very dark melted chocolate to rice to make poisonous treats that mice won’t be able to resist. More on that in the next section…
Are Any Normal Foods Truly Poisonous to Mice?
Yes, several, in fact. Known foods that are attractive to mice and also toxic to them in high quantities are grapes, raisins, walnuts, and raw legumes- the latter could be peanuts, peas, green beans, or anything else in that category.
As alluded to above, chocolate is toxic for mice and for most other mammals because it contains theobromine. High concentrations of theobromine can cause cardiac arrest or internal bleeding and subsequently death.
Dark chocolate has even more theobromine, and the darker it is, the more dangerous. Hence the recommendation for baking chocolate with rice if you want to make a lethal concoction for a mouse.
Also, you can use instant mashed potatoes as an actual mouse killer that raw rice is proclaimed to be! Mice love the stuff, and when they eat it, the dehydrated flakes will, in fact, swell up and result in either a fatal injury or blockage that will kill the afflicted mouse is dead.
What’s the Best Bait Food for Use with Mouse Traps?
Ask any pest control specialist and they will tell you that the very best thing you can use for attracting mice, either in conjunction with poison or for baiting a trap, is peanut butter.
Mice absolutely love peanut butter; they love it so much that it is impossible for them to resist.
But more than raw appeal, peanut butter also gives us an advantage because of its characteristics: it is sticky, moist and remains fresh for a long time meaning it will attach to traps and not come free easily.
This results in a mouse having to commit to getting the peanut butter and thus triggering the trap.
Whether you want to use a lethal trap or a humane non-lethal catch trap peanut butter is guaranteed to bring mice in by the dozens.
Using nothing more than a common jar of peanut butter and about a dozen humane cage traps I was able to depopulate my house of a mouse infestation numbering at least 80 rodents in the course of a week!
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.