Why Do Rats Chew on Everything? (And How to Stop It)

One of the most terrifying things one can discover is their beloved stuff all trashed and chewed up by rats. It’s frustrating and it can be a major headache if you actually need it at that moment. Sometimes it can be during an emergency other times it’s just urgent, but nevertheless, it’s always something devastating to discover.

But why do rats chew on everything? The reason is quite simple, rats’ teeth keep on growing all the time like nails thus they need to continuously chew on stuff to wear them out. Although this is one of the main reasons for them to do so, there are a few more than can lead them to do it so. If you want to know more continue reading down below.

Rat gnawing and chewing a finger. They are widely known to do this with everything.

Why Do Rats Chew Car Wires?

Some rats love to chew on car wires because they have plastic protection made with cellulose or derivatives of cellulose. This can come from whole fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, and other plant foods. Problem is, that rats love to chew on them and this can cost you thousands of $$$ if things go really bad and they damage important wiring from your car.

Many rats chew car wires when they are parked outside on the streets and there are hidden spots nearby (such as bushes and clutter). People also often park their cars near trash cans or trash drop-off locations and end up risking their vehicle’s integrity by doing it so.

Why Do Rats Chew Clothes?

Rats often chew clothes to make accommodations for their nests, this is very true when you happen to have lots of clutter nearby. When rats invade a place they will start gnawing at everything in their surroundings and explore what they can use to make themselves comfortable.

If they have a family this is quite normal, they will gnaw and chew soft fabric to make a cozy nest for themselves and their newborn younglings. If you see a lot of chewed clothes in one specific place it’s really no big surprise if you find newborn rats in there.

Why Do Rats Chew Carpets?

Carpets are one of the most coveted items for rats, not only they can chew and use their fabric to build a nest but they can also use it to sharpen their teeth. The downside is that they can tear down a really good carpet in a matter of days. They can chew and tear down a carpet indiscriminately and before you know it the whole thing is completely wasted.

Many rats are also attracted to carpets when they smell something of their interest, if you happen to spill some sauces or anything edible on a carpet it is always recommended to wash it off, or you might end up with rats renovating their dentures on your beloved possessions.

Why Do Rats Chew Dog Food?

Rodents like rats are opportunistic feeders so they will feed on whatever they can find, especially abandoned dog food because it’s full of nutrients even when it’s all dried up. Many dogs won’t eat dog food that is not fresh or that has several hours exposed to open air, but rats don’t have that problem and they will eat it gladly.

Why Do Rats Chew Dog Poop?

What many people don’t know is that dog poop is a primary food source for rats and other rodents. And even if you are fast enough in cleaning it, the truth is rats can find their way into almost everything. So, if you trash the poop out, make sure to close the bin well, otherwise, they’ll just pop in and feast themselves until full.

Why Do Rats Chew Dead Rats?

When resources are scarce rats are able to eat other dead rats in order to survive. Their carcasses will provide lean protein which is one of the most beneficial nutrients for a rodent. This is not common behavior for rats if there are resources available for eating, but when there’s nothing left, they will chew a dead rat for sure.

Why Do Rats Chew Electrical Wires?

Electrical wires can provide rats with the right consistency for wearing down their teeth. Since they are constantly growing, rats need to do maintenance on them on a regular basis. Since you can pretty much find electrical wiring all over the place, that action is a no-brainer for many rats.

Why Do Rats Chew Everything?

Rats are rodents by nature, it’s in their behavior to gnaw and chew on everything. This will keep their teeth in shape but also will promote their constant growth as well. A rat that chews everything is a healthy rat. It’s not a desirable feature of theirs for us humans for sure, but they have mastered the art of it.

Pro tip: If you looking for some do-it-yourself rat extermination, check our professional guide.

Why Do Rats Chew Each Other?

Some rats may try to chew on each other as a behavioral thing, it is known that rats often do wrestling and non-aggressive pinning on each other as part of their routines. We call that social biting, it is used to identify other members and it keeps them happy and in shape.

Rats will fight a lot, and thus will often chew on each other constantly.

Why Do Rats Chew Fruits?

Fruits and berries are one of the most rat-preferred foods. They are sweet and are a great magnet to attract rats and other rodents, these fruits can provide water and food for them. When growing outside, rats will consume fruits and berries every time that it’s available.

Why Do Rats Chew Feet?

Although not common, rats with hunter skills may try to bite a human foot if they are desperate for some food. This is not normal behavior for them because they always want to consume resources using the least effort but it can happen if a human is sleeping and they are extremely hungry.

Why Do Rats Chew Foods?

Rats have sharp teeth to help them gnaw and chew foods among other items. They are rodents so it’s their behavior to do it so, rats will not eat everything from a piece of food, that’s why they will chew just enough to satisfy their hunger or other curiosity (which one’s bigger).

Why Do Rats Chew Fingers?

If a hand is evading their domain or seems threatening to them, rats will bite and chew the fingers in order to defend themselves. Rats play fights all the time, so you might expect some nibbling from them. Non-domestic rats will bite and chew fingers no matter what.

Why Do Rats Chew Grass Seed?

All rats love to eat grass seeds especially when they are very hungry. They are easy to reach and they can have it in abundance, not also that, they are very fulfilling as well. Some people may have a hard time growing grass due to rodent activity. Usually, they dip them in hot pepper sauce to counter effect the rats’ destruction.

Why Do Rats Chew on Water Pipes?

Water pipes often offer a way for rats to invade homes and other places, for that reason they chew on them. Other times rats are just thirsty and have no way to drink water so they chew on pipes to create a leak to cease their thirst.

Why Do Rats Chew On Plastic?

Chewing on plastic is another great way for rats to keep their teeth in order. The hardness of the plastic materials is perfect to worn down their growing teeth. Sometimes plastic material is used to wrap food and stays with its smell, rats can also chew them due to this particular reason.

Why Do Rats Chew on Wood?

It is common for rats to chew on wood structures such as door frames, wood beams, and baseboards to make themselves in a particular division. This not only serves to keep their teeth healthy but also will potentially bring them new areas with nesting environments or resources for nutritious food.

Why Do Rats Chew up the Paper?

Paper is one of the best materials rats often use to make their nests, it can grant them warmth and coziness, especially in the wintertime. It can act as a softener if they are nesting in some rough place such as sharpened wooden areas. This also poses a threat to fire hazards and it’s one of the most dangerous reasons for having rats living inside residential walls.

Why Do Rats Chew Plants?

Rodents like rats will definitely eat plants and other vegetables to satisfy their hunger. Plants with juicy stems can provide food and water to rats when they chew on them. If there are no resources nearby, rats can survive a long time just by eating plants. Not all plants are attractive to rats, some in fact will repel them.

Why Do Rats Chew Potatoes?

Potatoes might not be the first choice of a meal for rats but potatoes can still be appreciated and will be lifesaving if no other resources are around. For this reason, many farmers struggle with rats because they can destroy entire crops just by gnawing at their potatoes.

Why Do Rats Chew Rubber?

Although it may seem a strange decision, rats will chew rubber to keep their incisor teeth honed. They often chew non-edible materials in order to do it so. Incisor teeth can grow faster than nails and having them too long can make eating impossible, thus the importance of keeping them operational.

Why Do Rats Chew Their Tails?

Some rats chew on their tails to escape the traps they are caught in, they can also chew their tail if some particular spot is hurting or bothering them in any way. It is known that some rats develop some OCD symptoms and behaviors and this can lead them to chew on their tails while doing maintenance on their fur.

Rats will destroy everything by chewing whatever appears in their path, it’s their natural behavior.

Why Do Rats Chew Through Walls?

When rats want to reach a particular division or item they are smelling, they will chew through a wall in order to get it. They can also do it if they want to nest somewhere to start raising a family or simply just to stay away from outside predators.

How Do You Stop Rats From Chewing?

There are some clever ways you can try to keep rats away from chewing your stuff, among them you can:

  • Clear all the clutter you have, inside and outside your house. Without these areas to hide, rats don’t risk invading those places.
  • Keep all trash cans sealed, this will avoid attracting rats to them and will avoid rats inside them gnawing garbage bags.
  • If you can, park your car indoors and avoid keeping your garage door open without no one nearby, if you can’t do that, install some anti-rodent netting around your vehicle.
  • Verify your property for cracks and other possible openings that rats can use to make themselves in and seal them.
  • If you have pets, don’t keep their food outside and clean their bowls after they’ve finished eating, if you don’t have them, think of getting one to scare rats away.