Can You Really Use Cola To Get Rid Of A Mouse Problem In The House?

There are many potential reasons why you're having a pesky mouse problem; but, because they can reproduce so quickly, they're tough to eradicate. After all, a mouse can give birth to several babies every month, causing the population to explode. 

Driving them away at the first sign of them and then keeping them away is important to avoid having an infestation. But, if you don't want to call a pest extermination service just yet, multiple hacks are available that you can try on your own that claim to eliminate these rodents. 

One such hack claims that you can use cola to eliminate mice. Although this hack may have some truth behind it, it's highly unlikely that you would be able to kill mice using carbonated soda or cola, barring some unusual circumstances. You can use carbon dioxide for the euthanasia of rodents, according to the National Institutes of Health, which may also contribute to the idea that this hack may work. However, using carbon dioxide for euthanasia requires concentrated amounts not found in cola.

Because rodents cannot burp or vomit, it's not recommended that you feed your pet rats and mice any carbonated beverages. The animals may have a desire to drink the sweet liquid, but introducing the carbonated soda to the rodents' diet could cause health problems for them. This information would seem to make the hack of using soda to eliminate mice a realistic possibility. However, there simply isn't enough carbonation in cola or soda to affect the mouse in this manner.

Would a mouse have an attraction to cola or soda?

Although mice do have an attraction to sweet smells and liquids, like cola, they also have an attraction to multiple types of odors and foods. The foods with especially strong odors that a mouse likes include peanut butter, bacon, hotdogs, gumdrops, jerky, marshmallows, and soft cheese. They may also have an attraction to scents like pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon. If mice have other foods and smells in the area other than the cola, you may have a difficult time attracting the rodent toward the cola you intend to use to poison them. It's important to eliminate any other sources of food or odors that the mouse may find attractive to cause them to investigate the soda.

A 2022 research study published in Experimental Gerontology found that rodents will willingly drink sugary soda in place of water. However, the research study did not find that the rodents died after ingesting the sweet carbonated liquid. Instead, the researchers found that a significant consumption of soft drinks by rodents led to health problems for the animals, including tooth decay, cognitive problems, and diabetes. The health problems for the rodents appeared within less than two months of drinking heavy amounts of cola and other sweetened soda.

Although the researchers did not focus on trying to prove whether cola consumption would kill the mice, this study seems to disprove the idea that the carbonation would cause a fatal buildup of gas in the rodents' stomachs.

Are there any potential problems with attempting this hack?

Even though it is highly unlikely that using cola to try to kill mice is going to work, you certainly could try it. However, are there any downsides to trying this hack?

First, killing the mouse by overfilling its stomach with gas would not be a humane way to get rid of a mouse. Even if it worked, it would take a long time to kill, and it would create a highly painful death for the animal. Additionally, if it took several weeks to kill the mouse, the animal may have had one or more litters of babies in that time, which wouldn't really reduce your infestation problem. A standard snap trap is going to be a far more humane way to kill the mouse quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Leaving a bowl of cola out to try to attract the mice and to encourage them to drink enough of the cola to introduce a lethal level of carbonation may draw other pests in addition to the rodents. The sugary cola could attract insects like wasps and ants that you definitely don't want to see in your home. Although some of the insects may drown in the soda, it would attract far more than it kills. This could create a bigger problem than what you are experiencing with the mice, especially if the soda hack doesn't work on the mice, meaning you now have mice and insects in your home.