Do Mice Eat Potatoes? {Do Instant Potatoes Kill Mice?}

Mice will eat just about anything they can find as opportunistic omnivores. Do Mice Eat Potatoes?

There is also a popular method of exterminating mice with instant potatoes. Is there any truth to it? How long does it take for instant potatoes to kill mice?

In this article, we will understand the outcome of mice eating different foods with a focus on, “Do Mice Eat Potatoes?”

Do Mice Eat Potatoes?

Yes. Since mice have an omnivorous diet consisting of just about anything they can forage in the wild and in our homes. Eating potatoes is considered quite normal for field mice.

Mice, rats and voles gnaw on potatoes and leave bite marks on them. The problem lies with this starch expanding in their gastrointestinal tract. If a mouse eats too many potatoes, it can expand and cause major digestive issues that could lead to death.

Eating instant potato powdered flakes will certainly kill a mouse who cannot judge the rate at which this powder expands in its stomach once it drinks water.

Do Potatoes Attract Mice?

Any food source could attract a mouse. A mouse will use the opportunity as an invitation to Feast on whatever is available whether they are:

  • seeds
  • grains
  • meats
  • cheeses
  • pet food
  • fruits
  • veggies

This includes potatoes. A mouse is looking to hoard caches of food for upcoming winter seasons and periods of drought to avoid starvation.

A mouse is not a picky eater. They will know when to stop gnawing on a potato. If they consume powdered potato flakes, it could lead to their death as it rapidly expands in their gastrointestinal tract

How Do I Keep Mice From Eating My Potatoes?

A mouse would prefer to eat chocolate or peanut butter over potatoes any given day. Set traps around your potato patches in the evening and wait for this bait trap with peanut butter or chocolate to attract a mouse and divert its attention from your potatoes.

You can mix peanut butter with baking soda, borax or diatomaceous earth as a way of exterminating them. Your potatoes will continue to grow without being disturbed.

Are Raw Potatoes Poisonous to Mice?

If potatoes are raw, a mouse’s stomach could create cyanide. Raw sweet potatoes result in cyanide in rat stomach’s in a recent study.

Small amounts of sweet potato or potatoes that are raw should be safe for a rat or mouse to consume. If the sweet potatoes or regular potatoes are cooked beforehand, they will be much safer for these rodents to eat.

What Foods Are Toxic to Mice?

There are not many toxic foods on the list for mice. They can consume plenty of foods in moderation. A mouse could gorge on chocolate and become sick even though they love this particular food item.

The following list below contains some items that are toxic to mice:

  • Avocado
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcohol
  • Instant Potato flakes

A small amount of alcohol could poison a rodent like a mouse, but a tiny amount of avocado or potato could be tolerable as long as a mouse knows when to stop eating it.

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How Long Does It Take for Instant Potatoes to Kill Mice?

  • Less than a day

Instant potatoes could be lethal for a mouse. They can die after consuming it in less than a day. This is because the potato flakes can expand in their stomach after a mouse becomes very thirsty from ingesting the powder.

When the mouse drinks water, the potato flakes swell up. They will continue to expand throughout the day leaving a mouse dead by the end of it.

Do Potato Flakes Kill Mice?

Yes. Potato flakes have been used to kill mice in many DIY strategies available to homeowners. Instead of using poisonous powders like diatomaceous earth or boric acid, simply sprinkling potato flakes will attract a mouse to consume it.

This mouse will become very thirsty at the end. When the mouse starts to consume liquids to overcome the thirst from eating potato flake powder, the food source will begin to expand.

As little as 2 tablespoons of instant potato flakes on a paper plate will be enough to kill a mouse by the end of the day.

How Much Instant Potatoes Will Kill Mice?

If you are only using instant potatoes to kill mice, you will need 2 tbsp. of it. If you would like to add an artificial sweetener, peanut butter or chocolate to the flakes a mouse will be more attracted to it.

Either way, the flakes are going to swell up inside the stomach of a mouse as soon as it decides to drink any liquid such as water when they become dehydrated from consuming the dry powder.

Do Potatoes Kill Mice?

Potatoes can result in cyanide in the stomachs of a mouse or rat. This is only if they consume a large amount of it.

More often than not, mice or rats gnaw on the outer layer of a potato and leave the rest of it as they continue on foraging.In these cases, potatoes do not kill mice.

Potato flakes in the box or packages can be placed out for mice and cause them to die. The reason why is because the flakes can expand in their stomach as a mouse or rat begins to drink water afterwards.

What Is Instant Mashed Potatoes?

Instant potatoes, instant mashed potatoes or instant potato flakes are chunks or powdered versions of dehydrated mashed potatoes. They are easily made by simply sprinkling it out and adding water.

Once water is added,  they expand into mashed potatoes. The texture is capable to hold up with a monoglyceride emulsifier. The potato starts absorbing water added to it.

When using this substance as a rodent killer, it’s quite a slow and painful way for them to die has it swells up in their gastrointestinal tract throughout the rest of the day.

Most rodents will not survive more than two tablespoons of this packaged substance in their gut after they consume water.

How To Stop Mice From Eating Potatoes?

  1. If no other source of food is nearby or food sources are limited, potatoes will be an attractive meal for a mice to gnaw on. A mouse would prefer peanut butter, cheese, nuts and fruits over potatoes any given day.
  2. If you would like a mouse to avoid eating potatoes, you should plant them at least 4 inches deep. Voles will probably get to it before a mouse does.
  3. If you have a small garden, crop rotation would help to avoid these rodents from devouring your potatoes. Covering them with pilot straw protects them from the hot sun.
  4. If you have a problem with these rodents attacking your potatoes, you can sprinkle some instant potato flakes around your crops.

Mice will consume this rather than digging a hole to reach the potatoes growing 4 inches deep. As they continue to consume these potato flakes they will get thirsty. Once they drink water, the potato flakes will expand in their stomach causing them to die.

Signs of Mice and Potato Damage

If you’re constantly noticing that there are holes in your potato plants the size of a nickel or a quarter, you probably have a problem with mice or voles eating them.

They will make track patterns on the soil surface and feed on the roots, tubers or bulbs of these potatoes.

They can cause extensive damage to your crops. The sooner you spot this the faster you can act to stop them.

When mice gnaw on your potato plants, predators will show up as they are attracted to the scent of these rodents. They will also contaminate your crop in the same time.

If you have a problem with moles instead, they will be digging trenches and tunnels around your potato plants. Voles will begin girdling your potato plants as well to this.  When they do so, they will disrupt the flow of water and nutrients that flow into your potato crops.


Mice will leave a mark the size of a quarter and trails on the soil’s surface. Mice and rats are destructive to many of our plants. One Mouse alone could end up gnawing on multiple potatoes and ruining your crops.

They may eat the seeds, bulbs and tubers. Since mice also enjoy eating insects, they will hang around this area for easy protein-rich meals as well.

Sprinkling instant potato flakes will be an easier meal for a mouse to enjoy, but they won’t know what’s coming.

As little as 2 tablespoons of instant potato flakes can expand inside the stomach of a mouse as soon as they begin drinking water. Their guts will fill up with this expanded mashed potato substance and cause them to slowly die in the next 24 hours.


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Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable