You have decided to get a rabbit. After buying everything you need for your new pet, you set up its enclosure. You see a shadow in the corner and worry that it’s a threat to your fluffy new family member, luckily it’s your imagination, but now you are curious do rabbits attract mice?
Mice are not attracted to your rabbits; mice are attracted to the food you give your rabbits, their warm and cozy bedding, and of course, their droppings. Rabbits kept as pets get high-quality food, which attracts the mice because mice have a very acute sense of smell.
When you get a rabbit, you always want to research to ensure that you know how to care for them correctly, and in this article, I will share the information I found about rabbits attracting mice.
Do Rabbits Attract Mice?
You might worry that rabbits are dirty, and this will attract mice to them. Mice are not attracted to your rabbit. They are rodents that move around at night, looking to feed themselves.
Mice are attracted to what you feed your rabbits, rabbit droppings, and the warm hay bedding and flooring material you give your rabbit.
The cold winter months are when you will have the most problems with mice. The mice need a warm place filled with food and bedding to ride out the cold winter months.
Why Do Rabbits Attract Mice?
Mice are opportunistic scavangers. Mice have an incredible sense of smell, and this ability to sniff out food and attractive nesting sites are what mice look for when out and about.
Rabbits that are pets have the perfect habitat that mice want. When mice find a suitable food reserve, they send out pheromones to other mice that signal they found food and a new nest.
They will be attracted to sheds you might use to store your rabbit bedding and food in. Here are the things mice are most attracted to:
Types of Rabbit Food that Attract Mice
Mice are attracted to the food you feed your rabbits. Because mice are opportunistic omnivores, they will usually eat what they find. They will eat:
- Mice like fresh fruits like cherries, apples, bananas, pears, melons, and pineapples.
- Mice like fresh vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, peas, carrots, and parsley.
- Alfalfa and Timothy hay pallets; mice love these rabbit pellets and eat all the leftover pellets from the previous day.
- Because of their sharp sense of smell, mice will even go into your trash bags to get to the discarded old food, bedding, and rabbit droppings.
Types of Rabbit Bedding that Attract Mice
Mice are always on the lookout for cozy, warm bedding and dark nooks and crannies. They like the smell of rabbit bedding. So it needs to be cleaned regularly.
- Any paper bedding helps them create a warm nest.
- Hay bedding is suitable not only for bedding, but they like to nibble on hay as well.
- Fleece bedding; they will rip and shred it to make it fluff up more and look like shredded paper.
- Towels; they will also shred towels into smaller pieces.
Rabbits don’t mind mice and won’t make a fuss when they find mice in their hutch, so it is crucial to keep a close eye on your rabbit hutch, paying close attention to the dark warm crevices they might be hiding or nesting in.
Why Rabbit Droppings Attract Mice
Mice and other rodents will get attracted to the smell of your rabbit’s droppings. They are Coprophacic, which means they eat droppings to get the nutrients that the droppings might contain.
It’s why mice are attracted to domesticated or pet rabbits. Pet rabbits eat a high-nutrient diet. A rabbit’s body will only use the nutrients it needs, and the body will flush the rest out in the urine and droppings.
Mice can smell the extra nutrients in the rabbit droppings and signal other mice to this new food source. They will eat the droppings when their food sources are scarce.
Are Mice a Threat to Rabbits?
Mice, unlike rats, will not attack rabbits or their kit. Mice are scared scavengers that frighten easily, and it is more likely that your rabbit will scare the mice with any significant movements.
They will eventually get used to their movements and won’t be afraid to come into their hutch and create a living space for themselves with your rabbits.
Unfortunately, rabbits won’t keep them away due to their docile nature but will live peaceably with mice. Mice won’t attack your fluffballs, but they are very dangerous to rabbits in other ways. Some dangers that mice pose include:
- Mice carry diseases like hantavirus and salmonella. These diseases are transmitted when the rabbits come into contact with contaminated mice nesting material, droppings, and urine.
Even if the mice droppings are dry, the tiny dust particles can still contaminate rabbits with diseases.
Mice can also carry some other deadly viral infections like Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis. Other rodents can also carry this disease and transmit it to your rabbits.
This virus will cause inflammation in its host’s brain and spinal cord, and it could lead to paralysis and even death if left untreated.
- Mice also carry things like lice, mites, and fleas that can transfer to your rabbits. Some of these parasites can prove deadly if not treated in time.
Some of these diseases and bacterial infections like salmonella can be transmitted to humans, so keeping mice at bay is vital. If you suspect your rabbit might have one of these viruses or diseases, please take them to the vet immediately.
It would be best to take special precautions when cleaning your rabbit hutch by wearing gloves, closed shoes, and disinfecting your hands right after you have finished cleaning the rabbit hutch.
For more information on the health risks mice pose, read: https://bit.ly/3aVCr6u
How to Keep Mice Away from Your Rabbits
There are, however, solutions that you can look at to keep mice away from your rabbit hutches. It would be best if you looked out for these signs every time you clean your rabbit enclosure, even after implementing these prevention methods.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Rabbit Enclosure
It would be best if you cleaned outdoor enclosures or hutches daily. It will help eliminate the smell of food and droppings.
The bedding should also be washed regularly or thrown out because even if you remove the droppings, the smell will linger, enticing the mice to visit your rabbit hutch.
On days that you feel the rabbit enclosure is clean, spot check and remove any droppings left in the hutch or litter tray; even small amounts of dropping might attract mice.
Food Hygiene to Keep Mice Away from Your Rabbits
Because mice are attracted to your rabbit’s food, ensuring no food is left unattended is crucial. It is a massive temptation to mice.
Try to keep all pet food inside thick plastic containers that will help mask the smell of the pet food. When you take the old bedding out of the rabbit hutch, take care to put it in bins that mice can’t get into or chew through easily.
It will discourage them if they can’t get to the discarded food, bedding, and droppings. The heavy bins also help mask the smell of the waste inside.
If you have compost near your rabbit hutch, it is best to keep it in safe and secure compost bins. Compost makes a perfect nesting environment for mice.
Placement of Rabbit Hutch to Restrict Mice Access
Place your rabbit hutch either flush against the wall or at least 3 feet away from any walls. If your hutch is near trees or brushes, consider moving it away from the tree, as mice can hide and even live in trees if they find food nearby.
Your rabbits need to have shade, but an artificial shade net would be better than a tree. You can also extend the roof of the hutch for extra shading.
Cleaning Up Clutter to Keep Mice Away
Mice are not only attracted to your rabbit’s enclosure but also to clutter. Mice love to nest in warm, damp, and dark places.
You might not keep them away entirely, but you can make your yard and garden less attractive to them by cleaning things up like:
- Piles of leaves, garden waste, and rubbish bags or bins.
- Cardboard boxes or pieces of cardboard, mice are notorious for nesting in cardboard.
- Piles of wood or wood shavings, wood is warm and soaks up the sun. Mice love the heat. Wood also has dark areas making it an excellent mating ground.
- Remove large sheets or covers like tarps or tablecloths.
- Compost heaps, as stated before, instead put compost in secure bins.
- Clear up old or unused toys; they might harbor small nooks and dark spaces that attract mice to nest.
Other Methods of Keeping Mice Away from Rabbits
Most animal lovers don’t want to consider pest control to keep rodents away, but there are humane methods that you can try.
Extreme forms of pest control like poisons and toxins can also harm your rabbits, so you should only consider this option if all else fails. Here are some humane pest control methods you could try:
- Humane traps: Rodent these traps don’t have to be lethal. You can buy rodent traps to capture the rodents, safely remove and release them away from your house.
- Rodent deterrents: You can buy two types of rodent deterrents: natural and chemical deterrents. You can use chemical deterrents that are safe for your rabbits, other pets, and your garden.
You can spray some of the deterrents in high mice activity areas, and these sprays will disrupt the mice’s pheromones, and others smell awful to rodents and keep them away.
A natural deterrent that is proven to keep rodents of all sorts away is peppermint oil. Mice hate the smell of peppermint.
You can put some peppermint oil in a spray bottle, add some water, and spray liberally all around and near your rabbit hutch, rabbit food storage, refuse bins, and compost bins.
- The last option is calling an exterminator. They will be able to either catch the mice with traps or poison bait. It is crucial to remember that these methods can harm your other pets and rabbits.
Upgrading Your Rabbit Hutch to Keep Out Mice
The one thing you can do to make sure your rabbits stay as safe as possible is to upgrade their enclosure. It will help keep mice and other rodents out of your rabbit hutch.
- One of the first things you can do is to replace wire flooring with thick plastic or solid material and not mesh wire.
A Mesh wire floor is hard to keep clean is not suitable for your rabbit’s hocks. It also helps block it off as an entry or exit point for mice.
- For the sides/walls, use mesh or chicken wire with holes no bigger than 0.5 inches to prevent mice and other rodents from squeezing through and into the hutch.
- Block any holes, cracks, or crevices that are big enough for mice to squeeze through. If you stop them from getting into the hatch, they can’t transmit any diseases to your rabbits.
- You can invest in a welded mesh hutch that is specifically built to keep rodents out. These enclosures are also easier to keep clean; they have roofs that you can extend for shading, they have solid floors to keep mice out, and they won’t harm your rabbit’s hocks. Your rabbits will love them.
Rabbits are lovely fluffy pets to have, but their food, bedding, and droppings attract mice.
Mice are docile and will not attack your fuzzy friends, but they carry diseases that can make your rabbits very ill if exposed to mice droppings and urine.
That is why taking preventative measures to keep mice away is very important. By keeping your hutch in strategic locations, keeping it clean, and spraying natural rodent deterrents, you could keep mice at bay.
Consult a vet if you had an encounter with mice and your rabbit looks ill. It is vital to your rabbits’ health and your own as well.