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Rats can easily chew on water pipes, particularly if they are made out of plastic. In fact, rats can chew through a vast array of materials, from plastic to wood, drywall, and even some soft metals in some cases. They’re determined and stubborn little creatures, and they have the tools to go hand in hand with that too. If the rat wants in, it’ll get in, unless you have protected that space beforehand, of course.
It is quite unlikely that you will find rats in your sewer systems or pipes, but it does happen, particularly in places where the water and sewer systems themselves are quite old. Floods and other natural events can cause sewer systems to become flooded, and this also makes it a lot easier for the rats to get in. They can swim, climb, hold their breath for quite a long time, and squeeze through the smallest spaces, surviving on scraps of food that not much else in the food chain would happily munch down on. Rats were basically made for living in sewers and other small spaces.
If rats do chew on your water pipes, the biggest risks are of flooding. Floods can be expensive when it comes to repairing the damage left behind after the water has been mopped up or subsided. Some homeowners insurance won’t cover you for a burst water pipe, if the bursting was caused by rats chewing. A rat problem is one that you should generally pick up from quite an early point, especially if you do your due diligence as a homeowner and inspect / care for your property regularly. You will notice feces, staining from urine or fur rubbing, or maybe even tiny paw prints, and you’ll definitely spot the chewing action. You may even hear these creatures. Essentially, rats make it quite easy for you to pick up them, so if you don't, and then you suffer with damage as a result, you may be required to put your own hand in your pocket to pay for the repairs.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:How To Guide: Who should I hire?
- What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.How To Guide: do it yourself!
- Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost?
- Analysis of wildlife control prices.animals in the atticnoises in the attic