Why would rats chew on wires?

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Rats really will chew through anything, and that's what makes them so dangerous as wild animals that invade your home. Electrical wiring - they'll chew right through it. The same applies to wood, plastics, and other building materials, including brick. In fact, there are few very materials that these rodents won't be able to gnaw and claw their way through. In case you were wondering, aluminum flashing and steel wire mesh are two things you can use to keep them out. They can't chew through these two strong metals.

A rat's incisors will never stop growing, and that's what makes their chewing action so impossible to stop. If the rats didn't gnaw and chew on things, their teeth would be very long. They need the chewing to wear them down. The fact they the rats might be chewing on your electrical wiring isn't something the rats have done on purpose to annoy you. It's just something they do - they chew through everything and anything that gets in their way.

Learn more: Diseases caused by rat urine

If that electrical wiring is close to a wooden beam, or it touches that wooden beam, you have a very dangerous fire risk. That is actually one of the biggest concerns when you have rats in your attic, and is one of the biggest reasons why you should regularly check your attic for signs of damage, wear and tear, or animal invasion.

Of course, electrical wiring is just the tip of the iceberg. These are animals that really will chew through anything. If you have PVC pipes, they'll chew through that, and that can cause leaks, and in worst-case scenarios, even flooding. If you have wooden beams or rafters, they will chew that those too, and that can cause serious structural damage to your home. These kinds of repairs are not small repairs, and they will cost hundreds, and potentially even thousands of dollars to put right. Do you have that kind of cash floating away spare in case of rat repairs? In this current economic climate, many homeowners do not.

Wiring behind refrigerators meaning that white goods need to be replaced or repaired, damage to curtains, walls, furniture, urine stains, fur and grease staining, the feces lying around … Chewing is only one small part of a very big problem when you have a rat infestation.

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Rats like to chew, and they can spend all day chewing if that’s what it takes. They like to chew such things as cables, water heating pipes, wires of any type, and wood. When a rat chews on the wires or cables running into the home, it can cause a power outage. 

The teeth of a rat are constantly growing and because of that, the rat must chew to keep them at a certain length. When they chew into wires, they expose the copper inside. The copper is responsible for conducting electricity. At this point, they can become electrocuted with the right twist of the teeth. It also leaves your wires exposed and this can increase your chance of a fire starting in your home. 

If rats are unable to find wires and cables to chew on, they will turn to doors, walls, and other places in the home that will open up the possibility of reaching something they can chew on that will keep their teeth trimmed. When a rat chews on a wire, it is satisfying his needs to gnaw. This also gives them the power in their jaw to create a nest using the items that are around them. When it gets cold, they want to have a warm bed to curl up into. When they are ready to have babies, they want the nest complete for their new arrival. The main reason why rats chew on wires is that it is satisfying to them. It creates a calm mode for them to feel less aggressive and more in control. 

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking your attic about three or four times a year. When you check up in your attic, you want to look for signs that a rat is living up there. Feces is one of the first and most common signs. If you see this, you may want to scout out the wires you have in your attic. Once you find the wires, check them out for bite marks and be sure that all the wires are intact. If not, they will need to be replaced by a professional. While you are calling the electrical professional, you may want to go ahead and call an exterminator to come out and eliminate the rat problem you are having. 

If the wires need to be replaced, chances are the rat will chew on them again if you do not have the rat problem solved. It's important that you don’t have any more rats living in your attic. You will want to go around your home and inspect areas that the rats may have used to come into your home. When you find the opening, it will be small, repair it so that they cannot come back into your home. You don’t want any more unwanted guests in your home without your permission. When the rats are gone and the wire is replaced, you can feel better about the safety of your home and your family.