Rats are stereotyped as dumpster divers and creepy creatures, but what are they truly capable of? Rats are more clever and capable than most people know. Can rats chew through walls? Yes! Find out more about what rats can do and how to stop them from gnawing their way into your home.
Dangers of Rat Infestation
Rats and other rodents carry infectious diseases that are spread through their saliva, urine, and droppings. Anything they come into contact with is essentially contaminated. In fact, some bacteria like that of Hantavirus can even become airborne if dust and dirt around a rat nest are kicked up by a broom or vacuum.
Rats will seek out water and food sources and contaminate those as well. A pantry raided by a rat is completely spoiled. Eating anything that a rat has come into contact with could be very harmful, as that is yet another way that disease is spread. Finally, some diseases carried by rats are spread by fleas. They are usually transmitted via fleas to pets in the home.
Here are some of the most common diseases spread by rats:
- MURINE TYPHUS
Can rats chew through concrete? Yes. Rats have distinguishing physical features that separate them from mice and give them the capability to chew through just about anything. Check out this diagram for more information on how to tell rats and mice apart.
Image courtesy of orkin.com
The most common rats that invade residential homes are Roof rats and Norway rats. They share many physical similarities, such as a long, thick, hairless tail, greasy fur, and small ears. Their bodies are quite a bit larger than mice, and their mouth is blunter.
So if rats can chew through concrete, what is special about rat teeth?? Rats have two types of teeth, incisors, and molars. The four teeth in the front that are long and sharp are the incisors. Rats have two on top and two on the bottom. Highly specialized for one purpose, rat incisors are specifically designed for gnawing. The incisors are open-rooted, which means they never stop growing. They will continually grow throughout their life. This makes gnawing not just a dirty habit, but an absolute necessity for rats,
Rtas molars are the back teeth in the mouth. Molars are simply used for chewing and digesting food. Rats have three on each side of each jaw, six on the top and six on the bottom. The 12 molars are not open rooted and are never replaced. Rats have only this one set of teeth for life.
Image courtesy of ratbehavior.org
Not only do rat incisors continually grow, but they are also super strong. The incisors have a hard layer of enamel that covers the front side of the tooth. Over time, the incisors wear down at an angle creating an ultra-sharp, bevel-shaped cutting edge. These features combined are what allow rats to chew through electrical wires, concrete, and more.
What Else Can Rats Chew Through?
What else can rats chew through?
How Often Do Rats Make it Inside?
Think your home is safe from a rat infestation? Think again. Rats plague all communities in all corners of the continental U.S. Even the cleanest home can have a rat lurking in the attic! Here are a few statistics on how frequently rat infestation occurs:
- 29% of Americans have experienced a rat problem
- Rodents invade about 21 million homes each inter
- 45% of rodent invasions occure during fall and winter, 29% during sping, and 29% during summer
- 50% of rodent infestations are located in the kitchen, 27% occur in the basement, and 24% in the attic
- Homes with rat infestation are at higher risk of electrical fire
How Do I Prevent Rat Infestation?
The best rat prevention starts with a thorough home inspection. To effectively remove rat infestations it is essential to search for and locate all of the rodent entry points. This is why inspection is a central part of the approach and is crucial to successfully get rid of mice and rats. Our qualified inspectors perform an inspection of your home to identify all current and potential entry points. They will inspect the lower crawlspace, the attic, the roof, garage, and the entire exterior perimeter.
All rodent entry points will be found and a trapping system will be installed in the infested areas. After the inspection is completed, your inspector will fill out a rodent exclusion report and go over the details of the report with you.
How to Prevent Holes Being Chewed In Your Walls
After investigating your property, you need to rodent-proof your property by sealing up any entry points created by rat chewing. GRC has a tried and true rodent exclusion method for sealing entry points:
- Fill The Holes: There’s no rocket science here. Once we’ve found the entry point, we fill the holes with steel wool or copper mesh. We make sure to fully extended the product through the length of the hole. The copper wire will not rust, it’s lightweight, affordable, easy to install, and most importantly rats cannot chew through it. The best way to seal off an environment from any pest (rodents or bugs) is to completely make it impenetrable. Use a plaster, silicon, or concrete Spackle to fill holes entirely, even after the copper wire has been put in place.
- Image courtesy of buyxcluder.com
- Seal It Up: next we use caulking and get to work sealing the area around the mesh. We always use the hardware cloth first. Although it might seem easier to just fill a space using caulking alone, we must remember that mice and rats can chew through the stuff like it’s peanut butter, so we fill small holes with steel wool first to deter chewing
- Image courtesy of the CDC
- Use Grout And Broken Glass: This method works best for outdoor foundations and sidewalks. We can patch holes and cracks in your foundation using wet cement mixed with broken glass. The glass will deter rats trying to take advantage of the cement before it dries.