Yes – yes, they can. While many people swear that using aluminum foil to block holes can stop mice from invading premises, they are mistaken. For a fact, pet experts know that any mouse can swiftly and quickly chew through the soft aluminum foil. Also, many people who have put the material to the test have reported being unsuccessful in deterring the mice.
However much mice chew through aluminum foil strips, their teeth do not allow them to chew through any metal thicker than that. This means that storing food in metallic jars will successfully stop any mice from eating it. Actually, the two materials commonly used in securing possessions from the teeth of mice are metal and glass. In this post, you will know many other materials that mice can chew through. With the information you get, you will be forewarned and will be able to protect any mice-chewable things. Tag along and read on!
Mice 101: What Stuff Can The Critters Chew Through
If there is a thing that should concern you immensely, it should be the presence of mice. These and other rodents like rats can damage your valuables and possessions heavily. Apart from that, they are also agents of disease spreading. So, it is vital to know what exactly you are up against. In this section, we will look at the materials that a mouse can chew through. This way, you will be able to arm yourself in your quest to live in a mouse-free house. The following table is going to summarize the list of the materials we will look at:
|Mice 101: What Can They Chew Through?|
|The Materials Of Focus|
|Plastic Containers||Expanding Foam|
|Steel Wool||Glass Fiber (or Rock Wall)|
|Duct Tape||Tin Foil|
Before we make any further move, it is essential to note that mice, like any other rodents, need to gnaw and chew on things constantly. This is motivated by the fact that they have teeth that grow throughout their lives. If they stop chewing and grinding, their incisors will overgrow and have trouble eating their food.
As they say, being forearmed is equivalent to being forewarned. Once you find out the materials that mice can chew, you will have so many places to look out for when hunting. The info given in this article will be invaluable to your search. Let us now take each material one at a time:
Yes – drywall is chewable to mice. Before we materialize this discussion, we need to know what makes up drywall. The material has two things: a core and an outer layer. Gypsum is the material that makes up the core of drywall, while the outer layers are each made of paper. During manufacturing, gypsum is usually combined (or mixed) with fiber to form the drywall’s core. If you don’t know that gypsum is, it is a mineral made up of the compound calcium sulfate dehydrate.
Since mice can effortlessly and quickly chew through pieces of paper, it will not be challenging for them to beat the outer layers and reach the core. Since the core is a mesh of crumbliness, the mouse does not take long before it dismantles it.
2. Plastic Containers
Yes – plastic containers are chewable to mice. It doesn’t matter if the plastic is too thick. A thick piece of plastic only means that it will take the mouse longer to get through. Again, mice can take down plastic containers.
When it is hunting for food, a starving mouse will use its excellent sense of smell to triangulate the location of the goodies (forgive my technological spirit). When it registers in their mind that food is somewhere, they will move in that direction. If you store food in plastic containers, therefore, they become targets.
Since we are on a plastic subject (see what I did there?), you should consider both insulation and PVC on wires. Mice can chew and gnaw through them very quickly, and a lot of damage could follow. As you already know, when the wiring of a house is damaged, the repair costs can be very painful to the pockets. We will revert to this wire-y discussion later.
3. Steel Wool
Yes – steel wool is chewable to mice. Although an energetic mouse can gnaw through steel wool, it would eventually choose to leave the material alone. The reason is that steel wool is a little too difficult for them to take down. Since a piece of wool has many sharp-pointed tips, the mouse will get hurt in the process of chewing it. When it feels the pain, it will stop with the gnawing attempt and go for something else.
Apart from chewing steel wool, a mouse will effortlessly move a small steel wool bundle. So, it would be a bad idea to use it as an obstacle for stopping a mouse from getting inside your house. If you choose to use it, ensure that it is firmly stuck and fixed in its place. This means that if used correctly, steel wool can be a perfect thing to use for deterring mice.
Yes – concrete is chewable to mice. But this doesn’t mean that many mice can chew through an entire building. Mice can only chew and break down concrete only if it has not been correctly cured. If the curing is still ongoing, the mice will have a concrete feast to enjoy (see what I did there?).
So, you don’t know what curing is? Well, here’s the thing: curing is the processing of making sure that moisture is adequate within the concrete as it continues to dry. Substantially, the strength of concrete increases between 3 and 7 days after it has been laid. Uncured concrete has around half of the strength of cure concreted. What mice can chew through is the uncured concrete.
Yes – wood is chewable to mice. Actually, reliable sources have it that wood is such an easy picking for mice. Obviously, the thicker a piece of wood is, the more challenging it will be for the mice to take it down, and the more time the chewing will take.
What about hardwoods – can mice chew them? Well, they may be more of a challenge but not impossible for mice to start and finish off. If the wood is there only thing to gnaw on, the mice around will not hesitate until everything is done with.
The perfect items for mice to utilize when building their nests are wood shavings. That is why wood will never be left behind. What you see a log lying aimlessly in the yard is what mice see as a block of nesting material.
6. Expanding Foam
Yes – expanding foam is chewable to mice. While using expanding foam to seal holes is an excellent idea, it will not stop aggressive mice that are ready and okay with chewing through it. If you have small holes in your home, you must get them sealed for many reasons, well, apart from locking mice out. Covering the holes will ensure that your house remains warm, especially if you live in a cold climate.
As seen in this portion, however, determined mice will get to the other side by chewing through the expanding foam covering.
7. Glass Fiber (Or Rock Wall)
Yes – glass fiber is chewable to mice. Actually, the material is very popular with rodents since it offers comfort, protection, and warmth from predators. Since you may not hear rats or mice moving on glass fiber, make sure that you check the material regularly. Also, keep looking for other signs around your house.
Yes – Kevlar is chewable to mice. If you don’t know, Kevlar is a heavy and toughened rubber used to reinforce materials and constructions joined together. So, do not rely on Kevlar for keeping mice out of your homes since the rodents will work their way around them.
9. Rope Caulk
Yes – rope caulk is chewable to mice. Do not depend on rope caulk for keeping out mice. The rodents will be able to get their incisors into the material very quickly. They will also gnaw the rope caulk away, ensuring that they make a hole large enough to accommodate their entry to whatever place.
While this might be surprising, it is true: rubber is very chewable to mice. If you want something to keep mice at bay, rubber is not something you want to rely on. But, you don’t have to worry about your tires or anything of that sort. If a piece of rubber is standing between the mouse and its destination, the rodent will take its time and gnaw on it. The mice can cause a lot of damage to seals and windows by chewing them, which will be very costly to repair.
11. Hardware Cloth
Yes – hardware cloth is chewable to mice. For a question that comes up frequently, answering it is fairly easy. Mice will not hesitate to chew through the cloth.
12. Duct Tape
Yes – duct tape is chewable to mice. While this should appear as common sense, many people use the tape in repairing pipes. They do that without thinking if the mice that caused the damage will come back. If you inspect a place you repaired with duct tape and realize that there are bite marks, you will know the critter to point your finger at.
13. Tin Foil
Yes – tin foil is chewable to mice. Many people will cringe at the thought and idea of tin foil chewing. However, mice will make a hole fairly quickly by chewing it. So, it is not advisable to patch up the holes with the material.
Bonus Section: Preventing Mice From Chewing Electrical Wiring
This final add-on section will narrow down the discussion and focus on rodents and chewing electrical wiring. At the moment, it is not a secret: rodents do chew on almost everything, including wood and insulation. It is unfortunate that even in pondering rodent infestation danger, many homeowners have overlooked the hidden risks that blow out when electrical malfunctions happen. It is without a doubt that correcting or repairing electrical problems induced by rodents is very expensive. If you fail to fix the damaged connections and electrical wiring, a life-threatening fire is likely to ensue.
As mentioned elsewhere in the article, the teeth of all problem rodents (mice, rats, and others) do not stop growing. So chewing is instinctual and comes naturally to the rodents. This can be dangerous and fatal because if electric wiring remains bare without insulation, it could spark a home fire. Reports from the NFPA, or the National Fire Protection Association, note that all fires sparked by home electrical malfunction or failure kill at least 420 people every year. Additionally, the injuries associated with the said fires average about 1370 every year. The annual cost for taking care of electric-induced fires is in the region of $1.4 billion (property damage).
To boil down the figures, faulty electrical connections and faulty electrical wiring present severe risks to the family dwelling in the structure, the personal possessions, and the structure itself. Rodents that infest homes are likely to come across the following: electrical panels, junction boxes, and loose wiring in the walls, attic, and crawlspaces.
So, you need to quickly and safely identify and correct electrical damage that has been caused by chewing rodents. However, many homeowners identify damaged wiring way after an electrical accident has occurred. This is because rodents only chew in your house’s hidden spots. When squirrels, mice, or rats nest around junction boxes and wiring, they could stir up excessive overheating of those places. The likely to follow consequences include shorted circuits, tripped breakers, whole-home electrical outages, and fires.
Sadly, there is no quick and straightforward solution to identify whether your house’s wiring has been compromised or slightly damaged. This is sad because it may create future fiery issues if you know what I mean. Most fire victims usually notice the damage when a fire or a malfunction is caused. For that reason, therefore, you need to ask an electrician to conduct a thorough safety check to give you peace of mind.
As is the case many times, though, the best defense is prevention. This means that you should quickly work on eliminating any rodent problems before the situation becomes too much – so much that they end up damaging your electrical system.