What Can Rats Chew Through? Some Are Effortless!

Rodent Guide
Written By Rodent Guide

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

Rat’s teeth can grow up to 5 inches EVERY year! During a rat’s lifetime, its teeth do not stop growing. They need to gnaw almost constantly.

In this post, I examine some items a rat can chew through. Because once you know, you can arm yourself and prevent a home rat invasion!

What Can Rats Chew Through?

I mentioned above that rats need to constantly gnaw at things to keep their teeth growth in check.

If a rat does not gnaw to keep the length of its teeth down, it will not be able to eat and will die.


can rats chew through concrete
Rats can chew through concrete, but it will take a long time!

You may think concrete is much too tough for a rat to chew through, but you’re mistaken.

When concrete is not cured correctly, a rat will be able to chew through it.

Keeping rats away from your home can be a challenge, right? The fact that they can chew through concrete makes the challenge much harder!

When making repairs to your home that involve concrete, always talk to the builder to ensure that the concrete is cured.

It is worth noting that although a rat can chew through concrete, does it have the time to finish the job?

Can Rats Chew Through Concrete?

Yes – but only when it has not been cured correctly.


can rats chew through wire
Rats can chew through wire, although the smaller the holes, the less chance of success!

Any rodent that chews through a wire is a danger to your home. This is especially true if the wire is electrical.

There are 2 types of wires which I will consider here.

The first is electrical wire, and the answer is yes – Rats can chew through the wire.

The second is wire mesh. You can use wire mesh to stop rats from entering vents, but you need to be aware of the size of each hole within the mesh.

Wire mesh with tiny gaps is an excellent way of sealing a vent. It is a different story when the holes are big enough to fit a rat’s tooth. If a rat can get its teeth into the mesh, it can chew through to get to the other side.

It is worth noting that wire mesh will deter rats unless there is an excellent reason to get to the other side, food is the top reason!

Can Rats Chew Through Wire?

Yes – Although wires with very small holes will be difficult for a rat to get its teeth into.


can rats chew through metal
Soft metals are no problem, but heavier metals will make the challenge too great!

Simply saying that rats can chew through metal will not clear this up for you. We need to look into the different types of metal to understand what a rat can and cannot chew through.

Soft metal will not pose much of a challenge to a rat. Metals such as aluminum and tin are soft metals that will not hold up against a set of rat teeth.

A rat cannot chew through heavier metals like iron, titanium, or chromium.

The strong the metal, the less chance you have of it being chewed through. Even some of the weaker metals will take some time to get through.

I hope you know about the presence of a rat before it has a chance to finish chewing!

Can Rats Chew Through Metal?

Yes – but only soft metals.


can rats chew through wood
Some wood is more of a challenge, but rats will be able to get through it eventually!

I think you probably already know the answer to this one!

Wood is a very common material used to build rat nests. It is also perfect for them to gnaw on to keep the size of their teeth at a good length.

Can Rats Chew Through Wood?


Steel Wool

can rats chew through steel wool
Yes, but it will hurt their gums, so they will likely give up trying.

Although I have already answered whether or not rats can chew through metal, I wanted steel wool to have its section. Mostly because steel is not real metal, it is a variation of one.

Steel wool is a common tool in your arsenal to help deter rats from your home.


For two reasons. Steal is a hard variation of metal, for a start.

Secondly, because the steel wool is shredded into smaller pieces, chewing it will cause rats great pain. So although they may try to chew through it, the pain will make them quit before they finish.

Can Rats Chew Through Steel Wool?

Yes and No – They will give up due to the pain.


can rats chew through glass
Yes, but it will hurt them too much to complete the job! They do only need a small hole, though.

Like steel wool, you must consider how much pain the chewing will cause the rat.

We have all got a piece of glass stuck in a hand or foot, right? It causes a little bit of pain.

Imagine chewing on glass – it is gonna hurt!

The critical thing to remember here is that it is not just the teeth that must be strong enough to cope with whatever the rat is chewing. These rodents have gums too!

While rats can chew through the glass, they will give up before they chew it all.

Also – it is worth considering the structure of the glass. If it is a spherical container, a rat may not get its teeth into the glass to begin chewing.

Can Rats Chew Through Glass?

Yes – but they will give up when they realize how painful it is!

Copper Pipe

can rats chew through copper
Copper is a weak metal, making it easier for a set of rat’s teeth!

You may have copper piping around your home to carry your water supply. If a rat chews through this, you will have a leak you will need to deal with.

Assuming the copper pipes are within the walls of your home, it could lead to a very costly bill!

Copper is a pretty weak metal, which makes it great for pipework (because the shape is easily manipulated), but not good if it needs to withstand the teeth of a rat!

Can Rats Chew Through Copper Pipe?



can rats chew through walls
Rats can chew through walls, but the materials used will dictate the length of time it will take them.

Walls are made of many different substances, such as stone, brick, concrete, and wood.

It depends entirely on what your walls are made with.

Can Rats Chew Through Walls?

Yes – but it also depends on the materials used to build your wall.


can rats chew through ceilings
Rats can chew through ceilings, but it depends on the materials used.

Similar to walls, the answer depends entirely on the material used to make your ceilings.

As most houses do not use ultra-tough materials to make a ceiling, the answer is likely to be yes.

Most ceilings are made from wood, gypsum, plastic, or fiberglass. Each of these materials is easy for a rat to chew through.

Can Rats Chew Through Ceilings? 



Can rats chew through plastic?

I was on vacation in a house deep in the forest. During our stay, we had rats in the house.

One evening, I laid a few items on the kitchen floor and perched myself on the worktop. After a few minutes, a rat appeared from behind one of the cupboards. The first thing it went up to was the plastic bottle!

The rat dragged the plastic bottle behind the kitchen cupboard and spent the next 5 minutes chewing it up.

Once the rat had gone, I checked behind the cupboard, and it left nothing of the plastic bottle. It had used the chewed-up plastic as part of the rat’s nest!

Can Rats Chew Through Plastic? 

Yes – rats can chew through plastic!

PVC and ABS Pipes

PVC and ABS pipes are used in plumbing for drainage, sewage, etc.

They are used in place of copper piping and are becoming increasingly popular for plumbers and DIY enthusiasts.

It will not surprise you to learn that rats can easily chew through PVC and ABS pipes, which may cause a lot of damage to your property!

Can Rats Chew Through PVC/ABS Pipes? 

Yes – rats can chew through these pipes!


Now that you understand what a rat can chew through, I hope it helps you understand what you can do to keep rats away from your home.

It might be easier to consider what a rat CANNOT chew through!

If you think you may have at least one rat in your house, you will need to perform a thorough check to confirm your suspicions before detailing an action plan to eliminate the rat (s).

As you may know, rats can pose a huge risk to your health and those who live with you. Let’s have a quick rundown of some of the diseases which rats can transmit:

With that in mind, I am sure you will agree that you must get rid of any rats, fast!

Good luck!


About the Rodent Guide

I’m an expert in do-it-yourself rodent control. For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people live harmoniously alongside these critters by sharing rodent control solutions that are effective and kind.

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

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