Are Mice Attracted to Fertilizer? What You Need To Know

Mice are one of those common pests that love to get into everything, including your yard and garden. Many smells can attract mice to your yard, but what about fertilizer? Will mice be attracted to the fertilizer you use? 

Mice are attracted to organic fertilizer containing rotten fruits or vegetables. Usually, they’ll ignore regular fertilizer. However, note that the nutrients in your gardens and lawn can attract mice, too. Rodents love rotten food and will occasionally munch on grass. 

The rest of this article will discuss what attracts mice to yards, how they feel about different types of fertilizers, how to tell if there are mice in your garden, and how to keep them from returning. Keep reading to learn more about fertilizer and preventing garden mice infestations. 

Does Grass Fertilizer Attract Mice?

Keeping a pristine green lawn can be difficult without the help of a grass fertilizer. Grass fertilizers are specifically cultivated to aid your lawn’s growth and overall health. Chances are, if you spent the money for your lawn to look good, you want it to stay that way. So the important question is, will grass fertilizer attract mice? 

Grass fertilizer doesn’t attract mice. However, mice sometimes like to eat grass and can occasionally be found chewing on people’s lawns. The fertilizer itself doesn’t contain anything that attracts mice. Mice are more likely to be attracted to your lawn if it has fruit and nuts trees above it. 

So as you can see, mice also don’t immensely enjoy grass fertilizer, and the chances of mice invading your lawn to eat it are relatively low. Like your pet dog, mice will generally leave fertilizer alone since it’s not very appealing.

Mice are considered prey animals. That means they’re constantly alert for danger and prefer not to find themselves out in the open. It also means that generally, they’ll avoid wide-open spaces like your lawn. So, for the most part, you shouldn’t worry about mice presence unless you’re experiencing an infestation. 

Does Organic Fertilizer Attract Mice?

Another prevalent type of fertilizer is organic fertilizer. Organizer fertilizers are the best option if your want to keep your garden organic, as these fertilizers don’t use synthetic nutrients. Plus, organic fertilizers are less energy-intensive to create. But the real question is if organic fertilizers will attract mice.

Organic fertilizer can attract mice if you use homemade compost. However, mice are far more likely to set up home in your compost pile than in your garden once you’ve laid the fertilizer. They’re attracted to the warm, smelly place with plenty of rotten treats to nibble on. 

Ultimately, mice typically look for safe places with plenty of food and water. Unfortunately, they’re highly attracted to the smell of rotting food, which compost piles tend to smell like. So you may end up with mice making a home in your compost pile, but it’s unlikely they’ll hang out in your fertilized garden soil. 

However, if you have plenty of ripe fruits and veggies in your garden or produce that has begun to rot, there’s a good chance this will attract mice. Mice have excellent noses; once they discover a food source, they’ll frequently return until the source is depleted. 

What Attracts Mice to My Yard?

As previously discussed, mice will want to hang around your yard for several reasons. However, it’s important to note that mice are everywhere. There are many different types ranging from field mice to house mice, and there is always a chance of you encountering one in your yard or garden. So what exactly attracts them to your yard? 

Fruit trees, nut trees, garden produce, unprotected compost, junk piles, and regular water access attract mice to your yard. Mice simply look for a safe place to live with access to food and water nearby. They love rotten food and hiding in piles of wood. 

Mice can be found anywhere they can thrive, and they prefer to live close to a shelter, food, and water sources. Luckily, mice don’t tend to overrun a yard, and there are plenty of ways to deter the little pests from harassing your plants and yard. But first, it’s important to discuss how you can tell if mice are present in your yard and garden. 

How To Tell if Rodents Have Been in Your Garden

First, you’ll want to identify if you indeed have mice bothering your yard and garden. Of course, the best way to do this is through visual confirmation. However, there are other obvious signs that you might have some tiny furry friends helping themselves to your plants. 

The following are signs mice are in your yard and garden:

  • You’ve seen one. Where there is one mouse, there are many more. Mice aren’t inherently bad for your yard. However, you’ll want to keep a careful eye on their population as they can easily get out of hand. 
  • There is mouse poop present. Mouse poop is small, long, and brown. If you notice this sort of poop on shelving in your shed, along with piles of wood, or on stone paths through your yard, there’s a good chance that mice are present. 
  • Something is taking bites out of your produce. Mice bites out of produce are distinct compared to the marks that birds leave. It will look like something small took a chunk from your plant, or the whole piece of fruit/veggie will be missing. 
  • You’ve come across stashes of food and bedding. If you find stashed food or bedding in dark, quiet places, there’s a good chance that mice are hanging out in your yard or garden. 

So if you notice any of these signs, you probably have some fuzzy friends hanging around. Sadly, as cute as mice are, they can damage a garden if they’re allowed to get out of hand. Mice are just trying to live their lives, so it’s best to do what you can not to attract them to your space in the first place. 

How To Keep Mice Away From Your Yard

Mice are attracted to places with food, shelter, and water, making yards an excellent place to live. Luckily there are several ways to keep these common pests from invading your space. 

Here are some ways to keep mice out of your yard and garden:

  1. Pick up any rotten tree fruit or nuts off the ground. These easy-to-reach foods will give mice a reason to return to your yard regularly. Cleaning up any fruit that falls and removing fallen nuts is a good idea. You can compost the fruit or eat the nuts. 
  2. Clean up any junk or piles of wood. These types of items provide shelter for mice, and they will likely set up home there. A tidy yard will attract far fewer pests. 
  3. Cover your compost or place it where mice can’t reach it. Mice love making their homes in compost piles as compost provides shelter and food. If possible, you should use a bin that seals or is difficult for mice to climb. 
  4. Clear away dead or overly dense foliage. Dead plants near the ground provide mice with plenty of covers to scamper through your yard. Clearing that clutter will result in fewer unwanted pests. 
  5. Clean up any outdoor pets’ food after feeding. Mice are known to get into pet foods. If you have outdoor animals, there’s a good chance the food will attract mice. 

Though you don’t have to worry too much about fertilizer attracting mice into your yard, you should be aware of other things that will. Mice shouldn’t be a problem if you do your best to keep your yard tidy and free of rotting food. 

Also, if you want to learn more about keeping mice out of your compost, I recommend watching Gardens That Matter’s video tips on keeping rodents out of your compost. She does a great job of creatively solving this problem.


Mice aren’t attracted to fertilizer. However, they may be attracted to the plants you’re fertilizing. Mice love produce and any fruit or nut that drops from trees. The quicker you pick up possible food sources, the less likely you will be to have mice. It’s also essential to keep your compost secure as they will quickly set up home in it if left unattended. 

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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