Do Rats Chew Through Water Pipes?

rat controlTo chew or not to chew – that is the question!

With rats and mice starting the make the move into our homes and offices for the winter, it’s time to revisit an interesting set of facts.

Last year I was involved in a media story asking the pest manager’s viewpoint on the question “Do rats chew through water pipes?“. This question was raised when a damaged poly water pipe in a ceiling caused extensive damage for a poor Brisbane resident. They blamed rats for the damage.

This however, is a very different question to one many folk ask “Can rats chew through water pipes?“.

The damage caused in the case above could have been caused by rodents (no one could be absolutely sure).
But what everyone was saying that:

  1. You shouldn’t put rat baits in the ceilings – it might encourage rodents to go there.
  2. You should put a bowl of water up in the ceiling to give the rat a water source just in case they get up there, so that they don’t chew though a pipe for water.

Can rats chew through water pipes?

If the pipes are made of plastic (poly pipe), the short answer is YES.

But you need to ask the more relevant question…

Will rats chew through water pipes?

This has a more interesting answer.

Here are some facts…

  • When it comes to rats and mice in ceilings:
    Many rodent species like to visit ceiling voids (baits or not).
    If they decide to set up home, then you NEED baits or trapping to get rid of them.
  • Rodent Baits (by their nature) will cause a rodent to dehydrate – hence they get thirsty.
    But by the time they get weak and feeble and really “need a drink”, rodents will often leave their “home” in search of a close water supply. They are unlikely to expend a lot of effort and energy in ‘chewing’ through pipes when there is a dog water bowl just at the bottom of the wall.
  • I would not recommend the free supply of water in a ceiling. You are really asking the rats to set up home with all the mod cons. They have already decided by this time that food and shelter are available, now they have drink on tap was well!
  • Never ignore a potential rodent problem in the ceiling.
    Let them breed and before long they will evict you and move in downstairs.

What you do to avoid any problems with rats in ceilings?

Your primary objective is to stop them getting in – “Lock the doors”, so to speak.

  • You need to seal up all key access points into the ceiling void. A rat can gain entry through a hole as small as 12 mm in diameter and a mouse only needs a hole no larger than 6 mm in diameter. They love to climb up walls and drainpipes.
  • If you get professional pest control help, they can place baits in secure, lockable rodent stations around strategic points on your property as a ‘perimeter defense’. The rodent baits must be locked away and inaccessible to humans and pets.

The worst thing you can do is to ignore a potential rodent problem in the ceiling. Let them breed and before long they will evict you and move in downstairs.

Learn more about Rat Control here…

In the meantime…

  • Do you have any rodent stories or pictures to share?

  • Do you want to know more about rodents?

I’d love to hear from you…

Feel free to leave a comment on this post – OR

Share your story or viewpoint here

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2 Responses to “Do Rats Chew Through Water Pipes?”

  1. Rick Pauli February 3, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    Enjoy your article.

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