Why Do Rodents Chew and Gnaw So Much?

rodent infestation can be more than just a health hazard: it can also be highly destructive. Part of the problem comes from a rodent’s incessant need to gnaw on hard or tough surfaces. Just about anything can become a target, including your home’s furniture, drywall, ductwork, cables, and more.

What causes this chewing behavior, and what can be done to stop it? Here’s what you need to know.

Rodents’ Incisors Never Stop Growing

Even if rats and mice aren’t hungry, they’re still going to chew incessantly. Why? Like other members of the rodent family, mice and rats have incisors that grow continuously throughout their lifespan. Since rodents can’t use a file to grind down their teeth, they need to gnaw on hard objects to keep their teeth from growing.

Once a rodent’s incisors get too long, they can create painful ulcers in its mouth. If the teeth grow even longer, they can prevent the rodent from eating and even cause it to starve to death. Rats, mice, and other rodents must keep gnawing to survive.

Can Rodents’ Teeth Damage My Home?

The teeth on rats and mice may be tiny, but they’re astonishingly durable due to a layer of hard enamel on the front of their incisors. In fact, a rat’s teeth are rated harder on the Moh’s scale than copper, iron, and steel! As such, a rat can damage many objects and surfaces around your home, including:

  • Plumbing pipes
  • Wooden supporting beams
  • Drywood and plaster walls
  • Molding, wainscoting, and baseboards
  • Cabinetry
  • Cables and wires

Of all the destruction rodents can cause, damage to your electrical system is the most dangerous. When rats and mice chew through the insulation around the wires, this greatly increases the possibility of dangerous sparks or arc faults, some leading causes of electrical fires.

Are Mice or Rats Damaging Your Property?

If you’ve noticed teeth marks or other signs of a rodent infestation around your home, don’t wait to contact Rodents Stop for an expert solution: (866) 290-9305. We provide trusted rodent control services and rodent proofing throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange County, Ventura County, and beyond.