Do animals chew on water pipes? What are the risks?
Wild animals that live in the wild are beautiful creatures that feed our imagery of woodland fairy tales and keep make our visits to the country magical moments. But when they decide to invade your house and move in permanently, they can become a very real problem.
Small woodland creatures like mice or squirrels can and will chew through absolutely anything. Wood, fabric, plastic, are all fair game to these tiny rodents, so if you have plastic water pipes in your house, they are at a very high risk of becoming victims of their sharp teeth and undying determination. Most wild animals will chew through these in order to use the materials to build their nests, or to make neat little pathways in search for food. Anything in their way will get chewed through if there is the slightest chance that they will find food on the other side.
If you have sprinklers in your yard or and irrigation system set up for your vegetable patch, these pipes can also be damaged by burrowing creatures like rabbits, moles, groundhogs or foxes.
The damages caused to water pipes are no joke. If the damage occurs inside your house, a water leak can damage plaster, wood and paint. If the leak is small it will go unnoticed, seeping through layers of insulation, drywall and paint, causing rot, mold and even structural damage to your home, not to mention the smell of damp mold.
If the damage is caused outside in your garden or irrigation system, the loss of water pressure can severely affect the growth of your crops, can cause bogging and swamping of the earth around the leak, and will signify increased costs of utilities due to the constant loss of water.
In both cases, it will mean high costs in repairs, walls, ceilings and floors will inevitably have to be broken open to replace the damaged pipes, and gardens and neat lawns will suffer greatly at the hands of the plumbers who come to find the leak and replace the damaged parts.
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We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.