Why do rodents chew electrical wires?

Why do rodents chew electrical wires?

No matter what part of Brisbane you live in or how tidy you keep your home or your backyard, you’re likely to experience rodents getting into your home at some point. 

Small, capable and able to squeeze through even the tiniest of spaces, rats and mice have been plaguing humans for thousands of years (cats were a treasured animal in ancient Egypt for their ability to keep rodents at bay).

Just like us, mice and rats want somewhere warm and safe to sleep, raise a family and get away from the elements and animals that might otherwise make a meal of them. This is why we often find mice and rats in ceiling cavities, under homes and in backyard sheds, cubbies and compost bins. 

Why do rats chew things?

If you’ve ever had a rat or mouse population infest your home, you will notice they will chew almost anything. There’s actually a very good reason for this. All rodents have a pair of upper and lower teeth called incisors that unlike our teeth, never stop growing. Their teeth have no root system and if they don’t chew things to grind them down,  they will eventually grow into their brains, killing them. 

This means rats and mice are constantly finding things to chew on to grind down their teeth. Now if that just happens to be an electrical cable in your home, so be it!

Why do rats chew electrical cables?

Let’s be clear, rodents aren’t particularly picky about the things they chew. Insulation, wires, paper and straw are all great things to chew on or build nests from so if it’s lying around in your ceiling, walls, backyard or shed and rodents are around, it’s likely going to be chewed upon by these pests. 

Rats don’t hunt down wires specifically in your home (there are no wires out there in nature so it’s not as if they’re part of a regular diet for rats out in the bush) so it really comes down to a question of availability. 

Wires are everywhere in your home. Head on up into your ceiling and take a look at the electrical work and you will quickly discover your ceiling is full of wires of all sorts of thickness and availability. As wires are small and easily manipulated by tiny paws, these make the ideal ‘chew toy’ for rodents as they can easily move wires around and hold onto them to get a better grip for chewing. 

As we’ve mentioned, rats aren’t fussy and they won’t just stop at electrical wires in homes. They are often the cause of damage to vehicles because they chew electrical wires in cars. Many car manufacturers are moving towards more sustainable and environmentally-friendly products like soy-based wire insulations, which is not only great for the environment but also very attractive to rats and mice. 

If rats and mice chew wires, is it dangerous?

Obviously, if a rodent chews through an electrical wire this will cause the current to surge through their body, which never ends well for the rat or mouse. But there can be other dangers if rats and mice keep chewing the wires in your home such as:-

  • Security systems going offline
  • Security systems being set off
  • House fires
  • Shutdown of entire homes electrical system
  • Time off service (if they chew through internet, gas or phone lines)

How to stop rodents chewing wires in your home

The only surefire way of making sure rodents don’t chew the wires in your home is to get rid of them altogether. That’s where a professional rat and mouse exterminator like Abolish Termite & Pest Control can help. Call us today on 1300 057 067 or book an inspection.


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Abolish Termite & Pest Management
Unit 4 / 54 Paisley Drive
Lawnton QLD 4501
Phone: 1300 057 067