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It should come as no surprise to anyone that rats do indeed chew on wires. And due to this interesting habit of theirs, they can cause major damage to a house or place of business – exposed electrical wires which are near wooden structures or insulating materials can pose a high fire hazard, and there are plenty of instances where that was the cause of a fire. Furthermore, this habit of theirs can completely destroy appliances big or small, cause huge material damages, and in the very least, be a big inconvenience for the residents of that location. What’s more, there are a lot of good reasons to handle rat infestations early on, as most homeowners insurance policies will not cover damage done by rats, nor will the state or county take responsibility for what happens on your property, even though rats are wild animals and pests.
But why do they like wires, and why do they chew them? Rats don’t like wires specifically. They don’t go around finding your electrical wiring and destroying it on purpose. The reason for their chewing is an interesting one, actually – they need to grind their teeth regularly to prevent them from overgrowing. Yes, rat teeth continually grow throughout the rat’s lifetime, and they’re apt at grinding them as not to allow them to overgrow. Overgrown teeth will prevent them from feeding, and they’ll actually die of starvation. For the most part, rats can manage grinding their teeth with no exterior help, like chewing on any materials they can come across. It’s when their teeth suffer from certain medical conditions or need to maximize the grinding that they actually target anything around them to chew on.
We can help answer: What property modifications will keep down rodent populations?
Rats view wires as particularly attractive, because they are usually easy to access, easy to hold while chewing, and the insulation is neither too hard, nor too soft as not to have an effect. Remember that rats can chew through wood, insulation, plastic, carboard and even concrete – but all these materials are often found in pretty dense shapes, so it’s kind of hard for their teeth to manage to chew them. Wires, especially exposed ones, make for an easy-to-access nibbling source, and they’re commonly found all around. Exterior rats have been found quite often to inhabit parked cars and focus on chewing on the wires inside the car. They’ll do the same thing in attics where wires abound, and behind drywalls where again, they find a hefty amount of easy-to-reach chewable wires.
Find out if a pest control company remove a rodent
So, no, rats don’t have a personal feud with you and your electrical wiring. They chew through most stuff they find lying around, and the best thing you can do is find a local wildlife removal professional, give them a call and have them solve the rat problem before it gets out of hand and ends up costing you a pretty penny on repairs. Alternatively, you can try dealing with the issue yourself, but be sure that you’re prepared to properly take on this meticulous and risky task. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.