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How Long Can a Mouse Live Without Food?

how long can a mouse live without food

There are many methods for eradicating a mouse infestation, ranging from baited traps to electronic deterrents to all-natural products. But preventing them from getting the food and water they need can certainly play a role in getting rid of your unwelcome rodent boarders.

The truth is, it’s not as easy as you think to get rid of mice by means of starvation or dehydration. They are very resilient animals, as most pests are. And they can wait out a “famine” for longer than you may realize is possible.

That said, it is possible to deprive mice of the food and water they need, in sufficient quantities, so as to assist in mouse control (though this is seldom a solution by itself.)


There are many facts about mice that most people are completely unaware of. One of them is this: mice can only live 2 to 4 days without consuming at least some food.

Mice can only live a few days without food.

Mice and cornMice get most of their moisture (water) from the food they eat, typically. That means that they can only survive as long without food as most animals (and people) can go without water – a few days.

Mice tend to nibble little bits of food frequently, and they can get into places where food is stored through even penny-sized holes. You often won’t even be aware of what kind of food they are eating or where their food supply is located.

Also realize that even a small store of food, or just crumbs lying around on your floors, can last a long time and keep mice alive and well.

However, here are some ways to limit if not eliminate your mice’s food supply:

  • Sealing off all known potential mouse food sources.
  • Keep your kitchen floor and whole house clean, free of food crumbs.
  • Exterminate insect pests in your home that mice might eat.
  • Don’t leave the dog or cat bowl out full of food – mice will eat it!


Rather than banking all you hopes on dehydrating (or starving) your mice, you need to find out how to kill mice or at least how to get rid of mice.

Mice without waterUnderstand that while mice can only go a few days without food (they’re not into fasting), they can go literally months without taking a single drink of water.

But mice will certainly take a drink when they can. And if you eliminate food but leave water readily available, they’ll drink the water to survive. So even though the effects won’t be overwhelming, do your best to eliminate mouse’s water supplies – it helps at least a little at least, in conjunction with eliminating their food supplies.

What about baby mice?
Baby mice, called “pups, ” drink the milk of their mother for the first 2 weeks of their lives. By three weeks, they are roaming about outside the nest in search of their own food. But mama mouse needs more food/water during pregnancy and while caring for young – and tightening their food supply will make more difficult for mice to maintain a booming population.

Here are some ways to deprive your mice of water:

  • Don’t leave water out in a dog or cat dish.
  • Don’t leave standing water in sinks or tubs.
  • Keep your indoor air dry with a dehumidifier or other method. This cuts down on “drinkable” condensation.
  • Make sure the crawl space, basement, and areas just outside the home are free of standing water or puddles.

But truth be known, you can’t easily kill mice by trying to eliminate food and water. You need to combine that with other methods.

Here is a three-step plan to do that:

  1. Reduce/eliminate food and water supplies as mentioned above in this article.
  2. Set up traps with food mice can’t resist (like peanut butter or cream cheese) – this forces mice to eat the bait and/or poisoned food.
  3. After your mouse supply seems to have petered out, use electronic and natural mouse deterrents to keep them out. And seal off any known entry points.

Can They Survive Their Whole Lives Without Drinking Water?

With literally no food and water, mice will either die or leave your premises in search of sustenance. As long as they have plenty of food/water in you house, they will stay there for life.

Interesting facts about Domestic miceClick this link for an answer to the question “How long do mice live?” But understand, they will live up to four times longer in ideal conditions, such as in your food and water rich home!

While it is unlikely that a mouse would go its entire life without taking a drink of water, it is certainly possible. As long as the animal is getting enough moisture (water, after all) from its food, it can go without water. It’s would be like humans surviving on watermelons and grapes and never drinking “actual water.”

Thus, mice can live a long while without water and only a short while without food. Targeting their food/water supply is a good component to an anti-mouse strategy, but it won’t likely work alone. Combine it with other methods, however, and you enhance the overall effectiveness.