Mice eat the same foods as parrots, including nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit, and pellets. They can scale vertical heights and squeeze into the tiniest gaps, meaning parrots may not be safe from mice.
Mice aren’t a physical threat to adult parrots but can spread disease, bacteria, and parasites (fleas and mites). Mice sometimes eat baby chicks and parrot eggs and are attracted to leftover food.
You can keep mice out by better positioning your parrot’s food and cleaning the cage every night. Store all food in air-tight containers and seal up any entry points to the cage.
Are Parrots Afraid of Mice?
In evolutionary terms, parrots are higher on the food chain than mice.
However, if your parrot’s easily startled or has never seen a mouse before, it’s bound to be a little afraid the first time it encounters a mouse.
That said, mice are likelier to be afraid of parrots than the other way around. The problem is that mice will bypass this fear if they’re desperate for food and water.
Will a Mouse Kill My Parrot?
It’s unlikely that a mouse would attack a parrot unless cornered. However, mice can cause parrots to die due to the diseases they spread.
While mice aren’t predators, they may enter a parrot’s cage and attack the chicks. They’ll also eat their eggs if they’re desperate for food.
According to Live Science, mice have been found eating albatross, great shearwater, and Atlantic petrel chicks 300 times their weight by gnawing through their feathers and skin before eating their entrails.
Do Parrots Attract Mice?
Parrots don’t attract mice, but seeds and food scraps draw them to the cage. Mice are opportunistic omnivores, so they’ll eat whatever they find. Signs of mice activity include:
- Droppings, which are small and long.
- Bite marks or scratches on cage walls and perches.
- Ammonia smell from their urine.
- Nests or nest materials, such as straw or shredded newspaper.
- Startled parrots, particularly at night when mice are most likely to emerge.
A well-stocked cage containing food remnants and water is a haven for a hungry mouse.
Do Parrots Attack Mice?
Parrots will attack any animal they believe to be a threat as they can’t fly away. Parrots have powerful beaks, wings, and claws that are an effective defense.
Mice are only small and delicate, so there’s every chance they could die from an attack, particularly if you own a large parrot.
Can Parrots Get Sick from Mice?
Mice carry diseases like listeria, salmonellosis, and hantavirus that can be transferred to parrots. Mice pass on disease and illnesses through:
- Food contamination
- Direct contact, like bites and scratches
Parrots risk breathing in particles contaminated with mouse urine and droppings. Not only that, but mice carry fleas and mites. While fleas are less likely to live on parrots, mites are common.
How Do You Keep Mice Out of Parrot Cages?
Keep mice away from your parrot’s cage by following these steps:
Clean the Cage
Maintaining a clean cage is the best way to prevent mice from being attracted to food in the cage.
While you don’t necessarily need to deep clean the cage with soapy water and disinfectant more than once a week, remove all dropped seed husks and food scrapes every day and wipe the surface down.
Keep Seed Containers Up High
Mice will eat a parrot’s seeds if they can reach them. To minimize the risk, move the seed trays higher up or use hanging seed containers and position them from the cage roof.
You could center the containers. Mice can scale cage mesh, so they’ll easily reach the seeds if they’re too close to the cage sides. Unfortunately, parrots are messy birds and will drop some of their seeds.
When storing your parrot’s food, ensure it’s in a sealed, air-tight container and not in open bags.
Mice can chew through plastic packaging, so keep the bags off the ground if you don’t have any metal or thick plastic containers. The same applies to fruits and vegetables, so keep them safely stored.
Seal Cage Openings
Mice can squeeze through gaps as small as 6-7 mm, which is roughly the same diameter as a pen.
They can also jump several decimeters and scale vertical heights without injuring themselves, even if they fall several meters. This means they can easily get into parrot cages if given the opportunity.
Keep them out by sealing any gaps around cage or aviary doors and roofs, and consider putting a layer of sheeting at the bottom to stop mice from climbing in.
Solid Aviary Floor
This step isn’t as necessary for indoor cages, but if you have an outdoor aviary, avoid positioning it on soil or bare earth that mice can tunnel through.
Place the aviary on a concrete surface or use paving stones and wire mesh to make it impossible for them to enter through the bottom of the cage.
Bird-Safe Mouse Repellent
You can’t use poisons to get rid of mice. Instead, look to bird-safe mouse repellents to keep them away. Electronic mouse repellents use high-frequency sounds to drive mice away.
Another option is to use peppermint oil to repel mice. According to Phytotherapy Research, peppermint oil triggers an avoidance response in mice, so sprinkle some onto cotton balls and place them where mice are likely to hide.
Another effective way to stop mice from eating your parrot’s food is to sprinkle cayenne pepper or chili flakes onto it. Peppers and chilis are hot because of an active component called capsaicin. However, this chemical component causes a burning sensation in mammals, not birds.
Never underestimate the danger posed by mice. While they’re unlikely to pose a physical threat to adult parrots, they pose a danger to their chicks and eggs and carry deadly diseases.