Among the many methods of killing mice, including the use of food baits and poison, many people want to know if it is true that giving mice chocolate is useful in killing them, and how fast chocolate can do the job.
Chocolate does not kill mice fast. Chocolate causes slight toxicity to mice, but small amounts do not harm them. The exact dose needed to kill mice has not yet been established. Mice will likely not die from eating chocolate because they can tolerate large amounts of chocolate.
While we do know that chocolate can kill mice, we also want to know how we can use it effectively as a poison or bait to get rid of the little pests in our homes.
We will discuss the behavior of mice regarding the consumption of chocolate if it is practical to use chocolate as a mouse poison, and how to use it.
The Amount of Chocolate Toxic to Mice
The minimum dose of chocolate or cacao that is needed to kill mice has not yet been established.
It is therefore unlikely that they will die from eating chocolate because they usually stop eating before they have consumed a lethal amount of chocolate that can harm and kill them.
Chocolate contains a high amount of cacao solids. Furthermore, chocolate is very attractive to mice because of its nutritional value and its high sugar content.
Mice can indeed die from consuming too much of this sweet treat. This is due to the fact that mice cannot physiologically process and eliminate theobromine from their system.
Theobromine is an ingredient of cacao, and since cacao is used in making chocolate – in fact, cacao comprises chocolate’s main ingredient – then majority of chocolate bars and candies usually contain a high amount of this compound.
Not all mice are the same, and some mice can consume a few grams of chocolate and get killed, while others can tolerate a higher amount. There are a lot of cacao solids in a bar of chocolate.
Studies that Determine Chocolate Toxicity to Mice
Unfortunately, there has not yet been scientific studies known to have determined the toxicity of chocolate to mice.
Lori Chaddock from the Rat & Mouse Gazette, who also works within the field of veterinary medicine, stated that there is a distinct lack of information that has been published about the harm that chocolate can do to mice.
Veterinarians have noted that baker’s chocolate, which is unsweetened, has the highest theobromine content, which is the ingredient toxic to animals. However, since it is unsweetened, it is unlikely for mice to become attracted to it.
For pet mice, veterinarians are hesitant to say if chocolate can be used as a mouse treat, since they were worried that overfeeding may cause mice to ingest an amount that is toxic to them.
In the laboratory, scientists have been known to consistently give modest amounts of chocolate to mice being used for research. This is anecdotal information, however, and has not been published as an official scientific finding.
Jean Carper, an author of a book on Alzheimer’s disease, wrote that a scientific study gave mice flavanol from dark chocolate to see if dark chocolate benefits the brain.
The study was not targeting the effect of theobromine on the mice, and it did not report if the mice died from the dark chocolate fed to them.
It is worth noting that scientific researchers fed mice chocolate without being concerned if it is toxic to them. No reports of mortalities from chocolate feeding have ever been reported.
Anecdotes Say Chocolate is OK for Pet Mice
For pet mice, it has been observed by owners that an occasional treat in moderate amounts, such as one-half chocolate chip or chocolate candy shavings, does not prove harmful to mice.
Based on this anecdotal account, the answer to the question, “Does chocolate kill mice instantly?” would therefore be a no.
But again, if you ask “Is chocolate toxic to mice?,” the answer is a yes.
Mice are thought by some to be able to metabolize theobromine in the same way that humans can, which means the risk of toxicity is not high.
Some studies have shown that dark chocolate, which contains higher amounts of theobromine, is not preferred by mice, probably because of the bitter taste.
Reports from owners of pet mice say that mice will not likely be killed even if they ate large amounts of chocolate.
Theobromine, the toxic cacao ingredient
Theobromine can be found in cacao plants. It is generally toxic to animals.
Humans can also be negatively affected if too much is ingested, although the human body can eliminate cacao and other plant toxins and theobromine.
In low quantities, chocolate with a high cacao content is actually beneficial to people, providing protection to the heart, increasing one’s energy levels, helps strengthen teeth, decreases inflammation, uplifts one’s mood, and benefits the respiratory system.
Chocolate as a bait for mice
Studies have shown that it is not cheese, as depicted in many cartoons, that is the best mouse bait. Instead, it has been found that mice are very attracted to chocolate and peanut butter.
Therefore, if you want to have a higher chance of catching the mice that have been plaguing your house, it would be better to use chocolate instead of cheese.
To make your bait even more enticing to mice, you can use peanut that is covered in chocolate.
Related Post: How To Stop Mice from Stealing The Bait
The Best Chocolate to Use as Bait
According to a study, mice get attracted to chocolate that has higher sugar content.
In testing four kinds of chocolates that have various cacao and sugar content, researchers have uncovered interesting findings.
The chocolate types tested were the following:
- Milk chocolate, which has 20% cacao and 56% sugar
- White chocolate, which has 30% cacao butter and 52% sugar
- Plain chocolate, which has 62% cacao and 38% sugar
- Dark chocolate, which has 85% cacao and 15% sugar.
The study found that even though mice were more attracted to white chocolate, the study animals liked milk chocolate more.
The researchers were amazed at how the mice determined even the minute differences in sugar content among the various chocolate types.
Milk chocolate only contained four percent more sugar than white chocolate, but mice ate twice the amount of milk chocolate as compared to the white chocolate they consumed.
Usually, white chocolate contains cacao butter, sugar and flavoring. Cacao butter only has theobromine in trace amounts, and is therefore less toxic to mice.
In the study, the mice completely ignored the dark and plain chocolates.
Therefore, if you want to use chocolate as bait, it may be logical to use milk chocolate, as it has been shown to be favored by mice in the laboratory.
Foods That Can be Toxic to Mice
Some of the foods that are known to be toxic to mice, aside from chocolate, include the following:
- Raw beans
Other food items that are bad for mice include foods with processed sugar, salty foods, and spicy foods.
What poison can effectively kill mice?
There are several excellent poisons to use to instantly kill mice. These include the following:
- Calcium releasers –releases calcium steadily into the bloodstream and calcifies the cardiovascular system and the arteries, killing mice within one to three days
- Acute toxins – these can kill within a mere 24 hours, and include zinc phosphide, which causes the digestive system to swell; and bromethalin, which interferes with the function of the mitochondria in mouse cells
- Anti-coagulants – these substances prevent blood clotting in mice, so that they bleed internally and die within six or seven days
Related Post: Mouse Poison vs. Traps: Which One Is Better
What bait can best be used for mice?
There are many effective baits for trapping mice. These can include the following:
- Peanut butter
- Gum drops
- Beef jerky
- Dog or cat food
- Sweet foods
- Fatty foods
- Bird seed
- Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
- Breakfast cereal
- Preserved meats
- Crackers with butter
- Nesting materials like yarn, twine, dental floss, straw, hay, tissue paper
Related Post: Best Mouse Bait Stations That are Safe For Kids and Pets
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