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  • Tampa Educational Article of the Month - Do rats chew in wires? Why?

Do rats chew in wires? Why?

Do rats chew in wires? Why?

Rats find it much easier to chew wires, cables, wood and even water heating pipes than most other types of materials because of their dental makeup. The chewing of wires and cables by Florida rats has been identified as one of the leading causes of power outages in Tampa homes.

Secondly, the reason why rats chew wires is because their teeth are always growing, thus they have to chew constantly. When Tampa rats chew on wires and electricity cables, they end up exposing the copper cores that conduct electricity and by doing so, they expose themselves to the risk of electrocution, just the way they expose the home to electricity problems such as power cuts and high risk of fire accidents.



The front incisor of most rodents (including rats), do not stop growing, even when their bodies have stopped growing. The continuous growing of the front incisor teeth is a trait shared by Tampa rats, mouse and other rodents, and a single incisor tooth can grow more than 5 inches within a year. When rats find nothing to gnaw upon, they often end up chewing the material for support or to gain access to other parts of the Florida home (including walls, doors, and the attic). Sometimes, Florida rats chew items just to create clutters where they can create nests and hide (wires are some of the clutters you will normally find in rat nests). Rats can chew through wires and create holes as big as half an inch wide.

Rats also chew wires in order to have absolute control over the length of their teeth. They also chew on wires especially when there are no food around or when they smell some food close by. The chewing of wires by rats , is an aggressive behaviour that sometimes help them fight off smaller predators or preys. Rats can chew on insulation wires such as those found in the attic, in order to create nests and more spaces to store their food. Sometimes Tampa rats chew on wire, and use the remnants to create a warmer environment for their newly born babies.

When rats chew wires, the flammable materials or even gases within the Florida environment are at the risk of catching fire- this may be aggravated with hot weather conditions, low humidity and strong wind. In the United States alone chewing of wires by rats has been identified as one of the top three most significant causes of domestic fire incidences. In the third world countries where rat infestation are more common, rats are known to chew wires close to sources of food and this can trigger a number of several other problems such as Lassa diseases, contamination of exposed foods and several other chronic infections that can be contracted through direct contact with Tampa rats.

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