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What Rats Chew and Don't Chew

Rats are notorious for their excessive compulsion to chew on things -- boxes, packets, wirings, clothes, documents, furniture, drapes and so much more. This behaviour often drives onlookers to assume that chewing is rat's most favourite pastime; but of course, we know better. These rodents wouldn't waste so much time trying to penetrate something out of sheer pleasure, they always have their reasons. It is very likely that they have sensed that food will become available to them after they have accomplished their feat. Well, rats don't have much time to live (an average lifespan is 8 months), thus, by virtue of common sense, it is easy to see why they would practically do anything to get food.

Steel Pipes and Concrete Walls

Nonetheless, no matter how infamous rats are for their foraging behaviour, because their teeth are not made from diamonds or infallible alloy, there are certainly a lot of things that they cannot chew on such as glass, metal and other very compact materials. It should be noted that when rats indeed try to gnaw a steel pipe or a concrete wall, the pipe or the wall is definitely already physically damaged. Thus, the most that the rat could have contributed is to widen the hole on the pipe's surface or the crack on the wall. The bottom line is that it is impossible for rats to do the damage on their own; the enamel-covered dentins of the rats are definitely no match against the solid steel pipes or the very compact concrete walls.

Aluminium Cans

Some rats are desperate enough to leave dents on the can's surface, but it is very rare for rats to be able to successfully tear-open an aluminium can with their teeth. However, the real downside here is that by the time the rats are able to come near the can, they also have every opportunity to pee on the can and thereby contaminate its extremities. If you are not careful and you do not wash the cans properly before you open them, you might just spread the contamination into the contents of the can itself, which means that you are going to contaminate your body too. Thus, one should not be complacent when it comes to rat problems; whether they are able to damage the container and get to the food, there is still a fat chance that they will be able to cause you the same troubles, no matter what.


Stucco is the proper name given to the fine plaster that masons use to coat design-rich surfaces and mouldings. This material gives shape to the architectural designs that increases the aesthetic value of a structure. Although this material is rather soft if compared to concrete, it is still very rare for rats to chew on Stucco. This most viable explanation to this is that this material is seldom used to decorate areas where food is available, thus, the rats also do not see any reason to mess up with them.

Electrical Wirings

Rats have been known to damage electrical wirings at home; some even complain about this problem with their rat-infested cars. At first, it is quite difficult to see why rats would chew on the wires when, obviously, they might have already noticed that even after doing so, they will not get food. However, a recent study revealed that rats are only inclined to chew of wires with rubber insulations that would taste "salty". This means that the rats really assume that the wires are the food themselves. Thus, if  you want to avoid such problems, the best step that you can take is to use wirings with more durable insulations or if you can afford, have these wires run though a steel pipe; that way, you are not only protecting them from the rats but from humidity and temperature too.
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