Do Mice Eat Snails and Slugs? (Is it Safe For Them?)

Mice usually have a wide variety of foods to choose from. They tend to favor plant-based foods, such as seeds and grass. However, mice will consume insects, slugs, and snails if they come across them.

Yes, mice do eat snails and slugs at your home or in the garden. To get to snails and slugs, mice will easily chew holes in their shells. You have a mice infestation in your garden if you see many empty slugs and snail shells. You can confirm the presence of mice in your garden if the slug shells have 0.5mm wide parallel incisor marks.

Do Slug Pellets Kill Rats and Mice?

Yes, slug pellets contain toxins, metaldehyde, and methiocarb which are lethal for rats and mice. When rats or mice eat the slug pellets, the poison attacks their nervous system leading to paralysis and eventually death. 

Rats and mice will die from slug pellets when they eat slugs that have already ingested the poison. It can take one to three days for the mice to die, known as secondary poisoning. 

Slug pellets are extremely dangerous, and one or two are enough to kill rats and mice instantly. Due to their small size, the poison in the pellets acts very fast. 

Do Mice Eat Slug Bait?

Slug bait is mainly made up of bran, apple, molasses, and a bit of metaldehyde. They are made into chewable pellets for the slugs to ingest easily. However, not only the slugs find them tasty but the mice too.

The bait comes in liquid and powder form, and the mice find it easier to eat as they can simply lick it off. Mice will eat anything they come across as long as they can digest it. Slug bait is still poisonous to the mice and will kill them instantly.  

If you place some slug bait in your garden, but the number of slugs doesn’t go down, mice are likely eating the bait.

Do All Rodents Eat Slugs?

Even though most rodents prefer plant-based meals, they are opportunistic feeders. But if they’re hungry enough, they won’t allow a tasty meal of slugs to get away.

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Shrews, rats, squirrels, and other tiny mammals are some rodents widely known for eating slugs. Normally, the rodents tear a hole in the slug’s shell and remove its body.

Most rodents leave the slug’s shell on the ground after removing the body, preferring not to eat it. Larger rodents like squirrels swallow the shell. The slugs’ calcium carbonate and protein-coated outer shells are nutritious to the rodents.

Is it Safe For Mice to Eat Slugs?

If the slugs don’t have harmful parasites, it is safe for the mice to eat them. Lungworm parasites are among the harmful parasites that slugs carry.

If the slugs had previously taken slug pellets, eating them can be dangerous for the mice. The poison in the slug pellets will lethally affect the mice. 

If you use slug pellets in your garden, you should consider that other animals, like your pets, might eat the slugs. Hence, it is advisable to use pet-friendly slug pellets like wool pellets. You don’t have to buy the commercial wool pellets as you can make them yourself.

What Eats Mice in a House?

If you are not keeping a mouse in your house as a pet, then seeing several mice running around your home is worrying. Most people will often wonder what can eat mice inside a home. 

The most common predators of mice are cats, snakes, and rats. Animals including owls, hawks, lizards, dogs, and skunks also prey on mice. Barn owls are incredibly effective mice eaters and can quickly eat up a lot of mice within a short period.

While some other animals don’t always necessarily live in your house, if mice happen to stray onto your land, they will eat them.  If you live in a more rural area, raccoons, foxes, and vultures won’t have any trouble eating mice if they come across them. 

Do Rodents Eat Snail Bait?

Snail baits are often used to kill snails, but regrettably, they frequently attract rodents and other animals as well. Small rodents include mice, rats, porcupines, squirrels, and voles.

Because they are opportunistic eaters, rodents eat almost anything they come upon. There is no exemption with snail bait. Many kinds of snail baits are available on the market, but they all contain the deadly metaldehyde, a toxic toxin. The bran or wheat is blended with the snail baits.

The bran or wheat in this mixture will attract the rodents to the bait.

Do Slugs and Snails Eat Rodent’s Bait?

Most rodent baits contain grain, which snails and slugs enjoy eating. The snails and slugs will feed on the bait using their rasping mouthparts. The snails do succeed in using their mouths to eat the rodent’s bait.

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Snails have jaws; however, they have their teeth on their radula, which is like their tongue. The snail’s radula is broad and long and can extend far beyond its mouth. They can tear anything they encounter because their tongue is like coarse sandpaper.

Several rodent baits are available for use;

  • Pellets bait: The bait comes in small sizes that can be carried easily by rodents and snails. Snails can easily eat it because of its small size.
  • Block baits: These baits are a little bit bigger than pellets. They are large rough blocks with appealing surfaces for biting. Snails will eat them, and you might notice a lot of mucus surrounding the bait area. 
  • Liquid baits: Professional baiting containers are typically used with liquid baits. Given their preference for moisture, they readily drink it when snails come upon the liquid bait.

Do Mice Eat Snail Pellets?

Mice are opportunistic feeders and will eat anything they come across. If they come across snail pellets, they will eat them, which is dangerous. Homeowners commonly use snail pellets to get rid of snails in their gardens. Hazardous chemicals are used in snail pellets to do this.

Apart from the poisonous chemicals that make up the snail pellets, proteins are also included in the pellets to attract the snails. It is these proteins that will attract mice to eat the snail pellets.

Mice will chew through the rich protein plastic that covers the snail pellets. Sadly, the mice will not stop at the plastic covering but will proceed to eat the poison.

What Attracts Mice in a House?

Other things besides snails and slugs will attract mice to your house. When certain conditions are present in your home, mice will flock there.

1. Clutter

Clutter attracts mice because it is their ideal hiding spot. Small storage areas, attics, and garages are a few areas of a house that are likely to have clutter. The more mess there is, the more difficult it is to clean up, and the more comfortable mice will be.

2. Food

Mice can never resist the temptation of food, whether it be leftover food, newly prepared meals, or rotten food thrown in the trash. Mice enjoy foods like berries, sweet fruits, cereals, seeds, nuts, and pet food. They enjoy eating other items like paper, wiring, and cardboard.

3. Warmth

Mice are attracted to warm places, especially in the winter, when it is freezing outside. If your house has cracks and openings, mice will use them to get inside your home where it is warmer. Mice seek places that offer them a steady heat source, such as close to water heaters.

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What are Snails Attracted To?

It can be disappointing to discover snails in a lovely garden. However, several factors will attract them to your garden or yard. Let’s examine what could have attracted the snails to your garden in the first place;

1. Nutrient-dense plants

Snails enjoy feeding and are constantly hungry, preferring the green leaves of plants. Snails are attracted to some plants in your garden. The primary snail attractants in your garden include basil, strawberries, lettuce, beans, marigolds, and cabbage.

2. Wet soil

Wet soil attracts snails in large numbers because it keeps their bodies moist. Regularly watering your garden or lawn will keep the soil moist and attract snails. Your garden becomes the perfect place for snails to live if the ground holds onto the water for an extended period.

3. Water

Snails won’t leave your garden if there is easy access to water. Snails require an area where they can easily get water as they easily become dehydrated. They move with their stomach feet; hence, a steady water supply is necessary because the feet need mucus to stay lubricated.

4. Shelter

Snails need a place to live, so if they can find one in the garden, they’ll stay there. The best homes for the snails are large stones, wooden logs, dense grass, and plants. Snails prefer a location that allows them to hide from predators but should also have moisture and shade.

Frequently Asked Questions( FAQs)

1. What do snails and slugs eat?

Most slugs and snails are omnivorous and have no problem eating practically everything. Their favorite food items include rotten tomatoes, carrots, excrement, fungi, dead plants, and yeast. Other slugs and snails are cannibals and have no qualms eating their kind.

2. What’s the difference between a slug and a snail?

Both belong to the Gastropoda class and share many similarities. However, the snail has a hard outer shell that it can retract into. On the other hand, the slug does not have a hard exterior shell and may either have a reduced or an internal shell. Another major difference is that while snails always look for food, slugs are nocturnal.

Conclusion

When given a chance, mice will happily eat snails and slugs even though they generally prefer grains and seeds as food sources. The shells of the snails and slugs won’t stop the mice from getting to the bodies and eating them.

Slug pellets are dangerous for the mice because they contain a poison that, if consumed, can quickly kill them. If mice consume slugs that had already ingested the pellets, the mice will die from poisoning.

About Stephanie

Stephanie is fond of doing all backyard-related work at her home. She loves to take sunbathe and do a barbecue in her free time. She often shares practical tips and friendly expert advice on everything relating to home and yard on this blog. When she is not writing, she goes camping with her husband and little kids.