16 Foods That Kill Mice Instantly

If you’ve ever had even a single mouse loose in your home, you know what kind of damage they can do. Chewing holes in things, breaking into food, leaving their nasty droppings everywhere.

foods that kill mice collage

And then of course all the scratching and squeaking in the walls at night! They are just as big a problem out in the barn, and they’re a common pest and ruiner of unsecured livestock feed.

And you’ve got to get rid of mice fast because they multiply explosively and that can mean a genuine infestation if you aren’t careful.

But using traps requires a ton of extra time and effort to check and maintain them, and poisons are obviously dangerous to all of our other animals and anything that might eat the mouse!

The solution? Stick to using foods that are fatal to mice. Mice love to eat, and using a little bit of ingenuity and the right toxic foods, you can get rid of mice in your home and elsewhere while presenting a minimal hazard to kids and other animals.

Keep reading and I’ll tell you about 16 of them…

1. Avocado

Avocados make delicious guacamole, and are pretty good all by themselves in various recipes, but as it turns out humans are just about the only animals that can eat them safely.

This is because avocados contain a toxin known as persin that is dangerous or outright deadly to most mammals, and especially small ones like mice.

Although the flesh of the avocado contains very little persin, the seed and skin do have it. I recommend using the chopped up skin of the avocado, perhaps mixed with something else that they might like to eat, in order to take them out.

Remember, you must take pains to keep this away from dogs and cats as it can harm them too!

rhubarb plant surrounded by woodchips
rhubarb plant surrounded by woodchips

2. Rhubarb

Most people only think of rhubarb in a food context as it pertains to delicious strawberry rhubarb pie, but did you know that rhubarb is actually toxic? It sure is, and especially when raw.

Rhubarb contains extremely high levels of oxalic acid which can easily result in a serious strain on kidneys, or worse…

Once again, this is particularly dangerous to mice. Mincing up some rhubarb and mixing it with other vegetables or foods that mice like to eat is a good way to promote them to eat it, so you have to stay on top of it changing out the rhubarb regularly because it will rot quickly.

a Three Heart lettuce
a Three Heart lettuce

3. Lettuce

It’s hard to imagine anything less harmful to any animal than lettuce, but lettuce is actually bad news for mice. And not because it is toxic, either!

But lettuce has a tendency to give mice serious diarrhea. That’s why most pet owners who keep mice are warned to avoid feeding them lettuce except in very small quantities.

Now, you probably don’t want mice running around more than they already are, and especially not running around with diarrhea, but the trick is that this will dehydrate mice extremely quickly.

Mice are already highly vulnerable to dehydration, and giving them lots of lettuce to eat means they’ll probably be unable to find enough water to keep from perishing.

garlic in ground
garlic in ground

4. Garlic

Garlic is something that can make virtually any savory dish from any kind of cuisine a whole lot better. But that’s just for us humans; garlic is actually highly toxic to many animals because the compounds it contains can result in anemia.

In the wild, most mice instinctively avoid garlic plants, but if you buy some store-bought stuff, mix it with some butter and other bait that is known to attract mice, they won’t be able to resist the savory smell.

It will take time to work, but it won’t take too much before any mouse that chows down on it collapses and dies.


5. Grapes

Grapes are another food known to be directly toxic to mice, in addition to promoting diarrhea.

Although the exact mechanism by which grapes harm mice isn’t known, it is known that it results in serious kidney damage for them – most likely due to the presence of tannins and monosaccharides.

This is actually a great one-two punch to use against mice because, while the kidneys are struggling to deal with the toxins present in grapes, the loss of moisture from the diarrhea is going to compound the effects.

Plus, grapes are sweet and all-natural, and most mice like to eat them normally anyway. Again, it will take several grapes and a little bit of time, but you can depend on these to work…

raisins inside freezer bag

6. Raisins

Raisins work just as well as grapes against mice for obvious reasons, only they are not as known for causing diarrhea since they lack the high moisture content of grapes.

However, raisins have highly concentrated sugars compared to grapes and make a perfect accompaniment for mixing into peanut butter and other known mouse baits which will make them totally irresistible.

Again, as a reminder, they won’t kill instantly but it won’t take too many in the diet of a mouse for them to meet a grisly fate.

7. Cola

No doubt one of the most surprising things on this list, cola, and other carbonated beverages, can kill mice by expanding in their stomachs thanks to those carbon dioxide bubbles, the fizz.

As it turns out, mice cannot burp, and they don’t have any way to get the gas out of their system before the bloat has fatal effects.

Plus, the sweet sugary smell of cola will rapidly attract mice.

If this has one downside, it is that the carbonation in a can or bottle of cola has a very short lifespan, and that means this method is best employed in areas where mice room freely and you can set it up quickly during times of peak activity, such as out in a barn. Once the cola goes flat it won’t work!


8. Instant Mashed Potatoes

There’s no special trick to this one. You don’t need to add anything, and potatoes don’t have some unique, toxic property to mice. But what instant mashed potatoes will do is make mice very thirsty.

When the mice invariably seek out water to wash down their meal, the instant potatoes will expand rapidly and significantly in their stomachs, rupturing their digestive tract and killing them.

It’s definitely a bad way to go, but instant mashed potatoes have a major advantage in that they are extremely cheap, available everywhere and absolutely non-toxic to other animals.

sweet potatoes
sweet potatoes

9. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are directly dangerous to mice. Sweet potatoes have compounds that are somewhat harmful to mice, and they’re also very starchy.

This results in a significant disruption of their digestive processes – usually a blockage that will end up being fatal.

Once again, this is a slow-acting but still very dangerous food for mice. A few nibbles here and there won’t hurt them, but if you make it easy for them to get sweet potatoes, they’ll be more than happy to dine on them for several days, and they will figure out too late that they should have avoided them.


10. Cocoa Powder

There is hardly any sweet treat on Earth more beloved than chocolate, but like avocados, this is one thing that only human beings can eat safely.

Chocolate, or more specifically cocoa, contains a compound called theobromine that is extremely dangerous to most other animals, mice included.

And here’s the real trick: the darker the cocoa, or the more concentrated it is, the more dangerous it is.

A mouse that eats a good portion of cocoa will probably be fatally poisoned before they realize what’s happening, and this can be one of the fastest-acting fatal foods on this list.

But, mice might not be particularly attracted to cocoa powder alone, so consider mixing it in with something like peanut butter or flour and a dash of water to form a little balls or cakes that they will eat.

coffee grounds
coffee grounds

11. Coffee

At first, this seems like a strange inclusion. Do mice really go after coffee grounds? Not usually, though they might when given nothing else. But the reason we want to use coffee is because caffeine is extremely toxic to mice.

You probably know what to do from here: get a bunch of coffee grounds, mix them into peanut butter or into any other soft bait that will attract mice and then keep the program going for about a week.

If they eat the bait over the course of several days, they will likely wind up fatally poisoned from caffeine toxicity.

glass of peppermint iced tea
glass of peppermint iced tea

12. Tea

Tea works much like coffee, only it works quite a bit slower because it has a lower overall caffeine content in most cases.

Still, if it’s what you have in your house don’t hesitate to use it. And it has to be actual tea, not herbal tea, because herbal tea doesn’t contain caffeine.


13. Flour, Sugar and Baking Soda

A surprisingly simple and highly adaptable toxic combination of foods for mice. Mixing flour, sugar, and baking soda is so effective because mice are instantly attracted to it thanks to the flower and the sugar, but the baking soda will fatally disrupt their stomach once they ingest it.

You can mix up a batch consisting of equal parts of each and leave it in little trays where mice can get to it. It might take as little as one significant feeding, perhaps two or three, and then your mouse is probably history.

14. Flour and Cement

If you thought the last mixture wasn’t cruel enough, this is definitely the one for you! I know, I know, cement isn’t a food, but flour is and sometimes our erstwhile toxic foods need a little help.

The effect of this one should be obvious: once this deadly mixture of dry cement powder and flour is eaten, the moisture in the mouse’s stomach we’ll begin to activate the cement which will solidify and kill them by mechanical laceration or by completely blocking their digestive tract.

15. Peanut Butter and Aspartame

Mice love peanut butter, but you know what mice don’t love? Artificial sweeteners, and that’s because they are usually extremely toxic to them. Well, most of them are, and most toxic of all to mice is aspartame.

Get your hands on several packets for a small can of artificial sweetener that is a pure aspartame, and mix it liberally in with peanut butter before placing it as bait normally. A few feedings and it is lights out for the mouse.

16. Peanut Butter and Vitamin D3

This is another curious one on our list, but it’s definitely a recipe that works. It turns out that vitamin D3, especially high concentrations of it, is quite dangerous to many animals, not the least of all mice but also dogs and cats, so be careful with this one.

All you need to do is get some vitamin D3 supplement pills and then crush them up using a rolling pin and a plastic bag or a mortar and pestle before mixing them in with the peanut butter. A few doses will cause fatal organ failure in mice.

These Foods are Much Safer than Poison, but Use Them Cautiously

The preceding foods, and combinations of foods, have all been known to kill mice quickly.

However, just because they aren’t true mouse or rat poison doesn’t mean you should use them carelessly.

Several foods on this list can still be hazardous to dogs, cats and other animals, so still place them with care and try to keep them out of reach of anything but your intended targets.

foods that kill mice pinterest

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