Why do rodents eat automotive wires?

Understanding why rodents gnaw on wires, and other components, is important in finding ways to prevent it.

Contrary to the common belief, they actually do not eat wiring for food. Rodents gnaw constantly, to sharpen and keep the length of their teeth in check. Unlike most mammals, the teeth of a rodent grow rapidly throughout the life of the animal. A rat’s teeth may grow up to 2.8 millimeters a week! In just one year, they grow almost five inches. If they do not wear away, soon they would outgrow the mouth.

The rodent’s tooth is a unique arrangement, designed to stay razor-sharp. Very thick enamel covers the front, and the rear is softer dentin material. Dentin is similar to bone and wears much faster than the front, leaving a very sharp edge.

Rat’s tooth enamel is 5.5 on Mohs hardness scale. Aluminum, now favorite material for electrical connections, is 2.5; Copper is a three and even Iron rates as four. (Diamond is ten and Talc is rated as one.) Cutting through a wiring harness is no challenge to any rodent.

All that said, if you were a rodent, would you prefer to chew on stinky goo made from petroleum foam rubber, or a yummy vanilla smelling one made from Soy?

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Barbara Novak

Google Reviews: December 2022

After having our car rewired after parking the weekend at a theme park in Orlando, i researched and found Rataway. Have used it with the waterproof additive ever since. Aksi on our AC lines outside our home and our rooftop satellite dish after we found the squirrels had chewed the plastic coverings. Soy is used in plastics now and the rodents can smell it. We spray our car and the plastics outside.

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