Rats: What They Chew (And Don't Chew).
Peter D. Sealey: "uh, pipes, metal pipes. Copper pipes. Aluminum cans. Stucco. The wiring."
- Pipes: The only way that a rat could physically be capable of chewing through a pipe is if that pipe was already compromised.
What does this mean? It means that it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for a rat, just for the sheer amusement of it, to chew a pipe. The pipe is, one
would hope, thick, round, and strong. Now if the pipe is in need of a replacement because it has rusted with age, for example, yeah, with a lot of
effort a rat could widen the hole...but he would only do so if there was good reason. Really, if you had 8 months to live, would you waste one
month of it trying to chew through a pipe for grins? I didn't think so.
- Fact: The diameter of a rat's mouth is about an inch.
- Fact: A rat's teeth, like ours, are made up of enamel-covered-dentin, you know, calcium phosphate, not the world's strongest alloy, not
diamonds, just teeth.
- Aluminum cans: OK, I'll give you that. Some of the world's greatest beverages come in cans and our rats love Pepsi.
Of course they wouldn't actually chew through a can to get it: They'd just ring the service bell and demand that it be served on a platter....or
in a cup - that's fine too.
- Stucco: Huh? Why? Do you think rats have a vengeance against art?
- The Wiring: Let me just pose this question: If a wire was so important that damage to that wire was a problem, would you not cover it
with something durable? Rats have been around before wires (if you're not sure, just trust me on this). That means the potential hazard of rodent
teeth has been known before wires were known. It seems to me that humans must be pretty stupid for offering perfectly tasty shreddable material
and plastic as chew toys. When people construct submarines, they don't construct them with seaweed, they used metal and glass. Why?
Because fish eat seaweed!
Terrance Powell: "Rats will eat just about anything. ... Clothing to plastics to rubber and, of course, to food."
Yep. Clothing makes nice nesting material when you're cold. Plastics and rubber are just tasty. And food, yum!
Terrance Powell: "The interesting thing about rats is that they have two pronounced front teeth, incisors, and they continually grow. In
order to overcome the growth of the teeth they constantly gnaw.
Four, actually: They come in pairs. Two uppers, two lowers. But close enough. They do continually grow - no cavities! This is great,
actually, I've never had to spend a cent on rat fillings.
Samantha Martin: "If I could have trained rats to tear people up, I would have."
Remember, Sam, the rats got fed up with Willard's abuse at the end of the movie.
Old adverts: "...gnawing holes, weakening structures, ruining plumbing, and starting fires. They ruin large quantities of food and other
supplies, destroying ten times as much as they eat."
And we wonder why so many people are afraid of rats? Hmm.
- Gnawing holes: They make larger holes of existing smaller holes.
- Weakening structures: ...only because the structure is already weak. Now who's fault is that?
- Ruining plumbing: I feel like I'm repeating myself, here ...only because the plumbing is already weak. Now who's fault is that?
- Starting fires: You know, I can't help but chuckle. I've got this image of a rat awakening from his slumber to pick up his supply of
gasoline and a match so he can set his home on fire because he's tired of the stinky human smell that he has to wake up to every evening...
...Seriously: The rats aren't chewing wires and causing fires. If the sheath around a wire is that compromised that it can
instigate a fire, chances are that wire should have been replaced long ago...And that makes me say, once again: Now who's fault is that?
Rats: Loathsome Pests.
Rats: In Our Buildings.
Rats: Attacking People.
Rats: What They Chew (And Don't Chew).
Rats: Favorite Pasttimes.
Rats: Personal Hygeine.
Rats: Pet vs. Wild.
Rats: The People Who Love Them.
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