Two rats going through dirty dishes in a kitchen sink

Are rodents the most expensive tenants you’ll have?

Rodent damage can be extremely expensive and can burn a hole in your wallet when it comes to repairs. When someone mentions the word ‘mouse,’ you might automatically think of those cute cartoon adaptations that filled your childhood with fun and laughter. Or maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum and immediately grossed out. No matter the feeling you get, having mice or rats as guests in your home isn’t all fun and games.

If you’ve noticed visible rodent damage in your home, contact us to speak with one of our Technicians for rodent exclusion and customized treatment options. What kind of damage should you be looking for? Find out below.

Tan colored mouse sitting on the shelf of a white cabinet looking out of the open cabinet door

Give us a call to get rid of rodents in your home.

Why do rodents cause so much damage?

Well, that’s a great question.

Rodents chew on everything. Their incisors never stop growing and they will file their teeth together to keep them sharp. Rats and mice use their teeth frequently, so keeping them in tip-top condition is imperative. Their teeth are as hard as iron. If the rodent can’t go over or under an object, they will use their razor-sharp teeth to get through it.

Grey and brown colored rat chewing on a stick while holding it with his front paws on a white background.

FUN FACT: Rodents such as rats and mice spend one-fifth of their lifetime grooming themselves.

What kind of damage do rodents cause?

Though they are tiny, rodents believe nothing is too big to take a bite out of, relatively speaking. A key sign you might have a rodent problem, whether it be rats or mice, is the damage they leave behind. This usually consists of these small pests gnawing on anything they can get their teeth into – wires, wood, pipes, and cars. Yes, even your car.

Rodent damage on a wire from a grey colored mouse chewing on the black wire that is plugged into an electrical outlet

Wires

Whether it’s your HDMI cable to your TV at home or the computer power cables running to your servers in your office, rats and mice will chew and gnaw through them all.

The major risk that comes out of this nasty habit is the potential fire hazard it causes. Exposed wires can pose a shock risk, especially in areas such as the kitchen and bathroom where there’s often a lot of water or condensation. And, as you know, water mixed with electricity is never a good combination.

On top of this damage, they can also produce electrical shorts, resulting in blackouts and other electronic-related issues.

Rodent damage to multiple colored wires that mice and rats have chewed through.

Wood

Rodents can chew their way through many kinds of wood structures. Think your door frames, baseboards, and any wooden beams in your home. The main reason they chew through wood is to get to new areas of your home. Mice and rats are always searching for a potential nesting environment or delicious food.

Rodent damage on a wooden wall from the grey rat on the floor.

Although mice and rats are very nimble and can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps, sometimes an opening just might not be big enough. When times like these occur, rodents will use their versatile teeth to gnaw at the fixture to make the gap big enough to squeeze through. Talk about persistence, right?

Pipes

Pipes made from PVC, such as drain pipes and indoor plumbing, are also at risk of rodents chewing at their infrastructure. There have even been some cases in which rodents have been able to chew their way through lead pipes and concrete! These chewing habits can cause major damage to your plumbing system. Gaps around pipes (pipe chases) are a much more likely entry point, especially if it is just sealed with foam.

Closeup a young rat eating rusk inside a pipe. Isolated on white background.

Cars

Unfortunately, cars provide a great nesting area for rodents. They are warm, cozy, and sheltered from the elements. On top of this, if your car is parked in an attached garage, it gives them easy access to the holy grail of all rodent feeding areas – your home!

One of the major negative effects of rodents nesting in your car, aside from the increase in feces, is the damage they will cause. Your car is a playground for teeth maintenance for rats – all those wires, plastic, and upholstery for them to gnaw to keep their teeth in check. Say hello to an expensive trip to your local auto shop.

Rodent damage on a car engine electrical wiring harness from a chewing rodent

Aside from the damage rodents can cause to your home and the financial ramifications of said damage, these home-dwelling pests can also cause a serious risk to your health. And you can’t put a cost on your life. 


To learn more about the diseases that rodents can carry, check out our other blog, “What diseases do rodents carry?

Eliminate the chance of rodent damage with Ehrlich’s rodent exclusion

We think it’s safe to say that no one wants to deal with mice or rats in their home. Repairing the rodent damage to one of these items can cost you a ton of money, especially if it has gone unnoticed for quite some time. Rodent exclusion is the best way to avoid expensive repairs in your home. Protecting your property from the outside is crucial in keeping rodents out. 

You can always follow our practical prevention tips to keep rats and mice out of your home. If you are struggling to manage a mouse or rat issue in your home, reach out to your local rodent control experts at Ehrlich Pest control.

Emily Nicholson

Emily Nicholson is a Digital Marketing Coordinator for Rentokil North America. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two dogs. She loves being outside - mountains or beach - and enjoys working out, walking her pups, and relaxing with her husband, friends, and family.

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