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Do Rats Eat Acorns? All You Need To Know

Do Rats Eat Acorns? Acorns, the small seeds produced by oak trees, have been a staple food for wildlife for thousands of years. Squirrels and other rodents are commonly known to eat acorns, but what about rats? Do rats also have a fondness for these small nutty treats? In this blog, we will delve into the topic of whether or not rats eat acorns and explore the implications of this behavior. Join me as we discover the fascinating world of rats and their eating habits!

What Does A Rat Eat?

Rats are known to be omnivorous creatures, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything they can find. This allows them to survive in a variety of environments and adapt to changes in their food sources. Here are some things that rats typically eat:

  • Grains: Rats love to eat grains, such as wheat, corn, and oats. They will even gnaw through bags and containers to get to them.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Rats are fond of fruits and vegetables, particularly sweet ones like apples and carrots. They will also eat leafy greens like lettuce and spinach.
  • Protein: Rats need protein in their diet, and they will eat meat if they can find it. This includes insects, small animals, and even the remains of other rats.
  • Nuts and seeds: Rats will eat nuts and seeds if they are available, and they particularly enjoy foods like peanuts and sunflower seeds.
  • Garbage and scraps: Rats are notorious for scavenging through garbage cans and compost piles for food scraps. They are particularly attracted to oily or greasy foods.

In addition to these foods, rats will also eat anything they come across that smells or looks like food. This includes things like soap, glue, and paper. Rats are not picky eaters, and their diet can vary depending on what is available to them in their environment.

Do Rats Eat Acorns?

Yes, rats do eat them, but it is not a preferred food source.

  • Acorns contain tannins, which make them bitter and can cause gastrointestinal distress in rats if consumed in large amounts.
  • However, if rats are hungry enough, they may eat acorns as a last resort.
  • In the wild, rats often rely on a diverse diet to meet their nutritional needs, and acorns may be a part of that.
  • Domesticated rats, on the other hand, are typically fed a balanced diet of commercial rat food supplemented with fruits and vegetables.
  • It is important to note that while rats can eat acorns, it is not a significant part of their diet and should not be relied upon as a primary food source.

Overall, while rats are opportunistic feeders and may eat acorns in the wild, they do not typically seek them out as a preferred food source.

Do Rats Hide Acorns?

Acorns are not usually hoarded by rats. This is because acorns are not a perishable food source, and rats tend to prefer food that can be stored for longer periods. Additionally, rats are not adept at cracking open the tough outer shell of an acorn, which means that the reward of the small amount of food inside may not be worth the effort for them.

Do Acorns Attract Mice?

Yes, mice are attracted to acorns, as they are a source of food. Let’s dive into the details.

  • Mice are omnivorous and opportunistic eaters, and acorns can be a part of their diet in the wild.
  • Acorns are high in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, making them a nutritious food source for rodents.
  • Mice will also store acorns as a food supply for the winter months, hiding them in burrows or other protected areas.
  • If you have acorns around your property, it may increase the chances of mice being attracted to your area.
  • Mice are attracted to areas with a lot of food sources, so if you have a lot of acorns in your yard, it may make your property more appealing to mice.
  • It’s important to keep in mind that while acorns may attract mice, they are not the only factor that contributes to a mouse infestation.
  • Other factors, such as shelter and water sources, also play a significant role in attracting mice to an area.
  • To prevent mice from being attracted to your property, it’s essential to eliminate potential food sources, such as acorns, by cleaning up fallen debris regularly.


In conclusion, the relationship between acorns and rodents is complex and multifaceted, with various species showing different preferences and behaviors towards this nutritious food source. While rats may eat acorns, they are not their preferred food, and they may not necessarily store them. On the other hand, mice and squirrels may actively seek out and hoard acorns, using them as a winter reserve.

Moreover, the scent of acorns may also attract other animals, such as deer, bears, and birds, creating a diverse and dynamic ecosystem. As always, understanding the natural habits and needs of wildlife is crucial for creating a harmonious coexistence and preventing conflicts or infestations.

Robert Gillman, Ph.D.

Science Editor

Robert Gillman is a rodentologist and the publisher of the website RodentsFacts. He has dedicated his career to studying rodents and their behavior, habitats, and impact on the environment. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Robert has become an expert in rodent control and management, and has helped countless individuals and organizations address rodent infestations.

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