Why Do Rats Chew Wires (and What’s Your Next Step?)

If you are dealing with an out-of-control rodent problem, it might affect your family’s health. Apart from the health issues, these creatures can cause other troubles too. For instance, they might chew things such as electrical wires. It could lead to malfunctioning electronic devices, or sometimes the whole electrical wiring system might shut down. Have you ever wondered, why rats chew wires?

In general, rats chew wires because of their constantly growing teeth. These teeth act similar to a cat’s claws. Since the teeth are constantly growing, rats chew things to eliminate the pain. Also, it keeps the rat’s teeth in excellent shape.

Why Do Rats Chew on Wires? (Going Into Detail)

car wirings chewed by mouse
Video | WCNC

Before calling a pest control service, there are a few things that you can do for this rodent problem. However, to find a solution, first, you need to understand the causes of the problem. So, here are some facts on rodents chewing wires.

Rats Will Chew Anything

Rats do not go for the wires straight away. As you can understand, it is in their nature to chew things. However, rats like to hide in dark places, and the electrical wires might be in those dark places. Eventually, they will start chewing wires. If rats don’t chew on wires, they will chew plastic, glass, rubber, rock, aluminum, wood, and cement objects.

Chewing is Good for Their Teeth

mice upper and lower teeth in zoom

In a modern household, you can find electrical wires everywhere. The rats will start chewing wires to prevent their teeth from overgrowing. Wires are an excellent source to grind their teeth. They cannot get the same results from chewing on old cardboard or paper. So, rats tend to have more liking for wires than the other objects.

They Chew Car Wires Too

car wire in zoom chewed by mouse
Video | 10 Tampa Bay

If you think rats only chew on house wires, you are dead wrong. They are well known for chewing car wires too. Many automotive manufacturers use renewable materials for their products. Even though this is an excellent technique in terms of eco-friendly environmental trends, manufacturers use edible materials such as soy. They use soy as a coating for vehicle wires. Rats are highly attracted to this soy coating and will start chewing on the soy insulation immediately. Sometimes rats might damage the engine wiring. Replacing engine wires can be rather expensive. (1)

Dangerous Outcomes of Rats Chewing Wires

group of mouse found in a car
Video | 10 Tampa Bay

Because of this insane chewing, rats can bring lots of damage to your home or workplace. For instance, rats like to stay in places such as basements, floor boards, attics, and inside of your wall. These places might have a considerable amount of electrical wiring, and rats can damage or destroy the wiring in many ways. So, here are some of the common disastrous outcomes that can be caused by rodents chewing wires.

  • The chewing might be too intense. In some cases, it can shut down the entire electric system.
  • Sometimes rats might chew security wires, and it can cause false security alarms.
  • After getting damaged, the electrical wires might catch fire, and it might be the beginning of a large house fire.
  • Sometimes a rat might chew a wire that is hard to replace. For instance, a wire located inside a wall is the hardest to replace.

Common Electrical Issues That Occur Due to Rats Chewing Wires

A damaged electrical wiring system is horrible. If you only have to replace the wire, you can consider yourself a lucky person. Because the outcome can be more devastating than replacing a wire. Here are some common electrical issues that occur due to rats chewing wires.

  • Circuits shorting out
  • Breaker tripping without any overloading
  • Complete electrical outage
  • Overheating can lead to the melting of wires and appliances
  • Can start an electrical fire

Next Steps

If you suffer from such a rodent problem, you might ask yourself, how can I get rid of these nasty creatures? Fear not; I have some solutions for you.

Use Dry Ice

Dry ice is capable of producing carbon dioxide, which can kill rats. So, place some dry ice on places where you suspect the rats might come and go.

Set Traps

It is always a good idea to set some traps. The snap traps are the most common method for this rodent problem.

Rat Poisons

Use rat poisons outside of your home. These poisons are powerful and can affect humans too. So, never use them inside your home.

Call a Pest Control Service

If you need to handle your rodent problem with experts, don’t hesitate to hire a pest control service.

diy mouse trap at home showing how mouse were caught
Video | mouse channel

Tip: Or you can always use a simple homemade rat trap. (check the image above)

The Better Solution is Prevention

Even though I gave some tips on how to get rid of rats, it is always better to handle the rodent problem without any cruelty. The best way to do that is through prevention.

man blocking hole of a box to trap mouse
Video | Shawn Woods

  • Seal any holes or cracks on doorways, foundations, windows, or sealing. It will prevent rats from entering your house.
  • Don’t keep leftover foods in the kitchen and dining area.
  • Eliminate the tall vegetation around your home. (2)
  • Keep the grass cut short.
  • Remember to clean the house inside and outside regularly.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) eco-friendly environmental trends – https://www.facebook.com/
(2) vegetation – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/vegetation-types

Vide References



10 Tampa Bay

mouse channel

Shawn Woods

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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