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What Can Mice Chew Through?

Some people think of mice as cute, little animals they would love to have as pets, while others jump for cover at the sight of one scurrying across the kitchen floor. Keeping mice you buy at the pet store in an appropriate cage is one thing, but trying to prevent wild mice from entering your home is another. When it comes to feeding, mice are nibblers. They actually damage or contaminate much more food than they could possibly consume. When it comes to searching for shelter inside structures, mice are determined creatures. Just what can mice chew through? Let’s examine the question more closely.

It's all about the teeth. Mice have front incisors that never stop growing. Because of this, mice must constantly gnaw and chew in order to keep their teeth filed down. If not for this gnawing, their teeth would grow to a point where eventually they could no longer eat, resulting in death.

It doesn't take much. Mice can fit through an opening as small as one-quarter of an inch wide. That’s about the diameter of a dime. A good rule of thumb to use when trying to prevent mice from entering your home is the pencil trick. For example, if you can slide a pencil underneath the threshold of a door, that’s enough space for a mouse to get in.

Come on in. The answer to "what can mice chew through," if they can’t enter a space through a hole or crack, is a long list of building materials. Just to mention a few, mice can chew their way through wood, plastic, vinyl and aluminum. That said, you might be curious to know, "Can mice chew through concrete?" The answer is yes, but only if the concrete is not cured properly. There is one material that mice tend to shy away from – steel wool. Can mice chew through steel wool? Yes, but they choose not to in most instances because a steel wool bundle has sharp edges that are abrasive to their nose. The problem is, oftentimes, they will grab the bundle with their feet and pull it out of a sealed opening.

Cause for concern. It’s a known fact that many house fires are caused by mice, because they sometimes chew on electrical wiring. Why do mice chew wires? In the process of gnawing things to keep their incisors whittled down, they inadvertently chew on wiring – causing the wires to short circuit.

Having mice as pets may be enjoyable for some, but if you’re having a problem with wild mice invading your home, call the pest management professionals at Terminix® for a solution.