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Who’s Chewin’ on Poo?

Most of us don’t want anything to do with poo. I know my wife and I would be happy if we could opt in to making this a weekly occurrence for our children….especially during that diaper phase. Despite its repulsiveness, poo is making the news in terms of:

  • fertilizer
  • radiation control for space travel
  • medical fecal transplantation

And then there are the rodents. They are diving into a whole different realm of nastiness. So you ask, wait…who’s chewing’ on poo?

Why Rodents Eat Their Poo

I could tell you about the capybara, but that isn’t exactly relevant in the Detroit metro. Mice are the rodent that we care about. And the answer is yes, mice eat their poo too. The term for this is coprophagic.

Mice eat their own feces to enable them to absorb essential nutrients such as vitamin B12.

A mouse eating an acceptable “biscuit”

Mouse Coprophagy Medical Implications

“I already knew mice were gross, why should I care about this?” you ask. Well, mice are being used for studies on the effects of different treatments on the microbiome. The issue with mice eating their poo changes the microbiome interactions and composition between the large and small intestines.

Researchers started off trying to solve the issue with wire cages so the feces would fall out of reach, but mice wouldn’t let that stop their vitamin rich, tasty treat from reaching their mouth. They showed their ability to eat it directly out of their poop-shoot.

The coprophagy isn’t limited to affecting just gut microbe research. This realization may have significant implications for other medical research being done on mice. This could change the dosage elements of studies as well as the effects of spatially digested and altered elements of drugs being looked at. In both spheres, some experimenters are incorporating mouse diapers to capture the tasty turds and keep them off the mouse menu.

Residential and Commercial Concerns

Mice have their places in research labs and nature, but they need to be excluded from direct contact with our homes, businesses and lives. They are carriers of far more pathogens than I want to bore you with in this appetite inducing blog. Many of the concerns including airborne ones are related to their droppings. Add to that the concern of droppings being attractive to them for consumption and we should be doubly concerned with getting rid of them and keeping them out.

Rodents can be tricky, but the Rove Rodent Ridders are ahead of their game. Whether you are in the unfortunate circumstance of dealing with mice currently, have had them in the past, or realize the wisdom of putting up a preventive measure to defend against their invasion, we have the answer for you.