Incredible Incisors

Have you recently found shavings of wood, clothes going torn, cables losing their insulation or holes in your walls at home?

There is a chance of your home being invaded!

Yes, invaded by the pesky creatures, called rodents!

How is it even possible for such tiny creatures to do this?

But they do this. They make use of their incisors to make these menaces happen.

What makes the rodent’s teeth so strong?

The intricately crossed crystals of a mineral called calcium hydroxyapatite embedded in collagen make their teeth strong. The composite microstructure is so strong that it has served as a model for a so-called “bio-mimetic material,” a synthetic copy created in the laboratory with ceramics and polymers.

Incisors are the front-most teeth in mammals. These incisors have thick layers of enamel on the front and little enamel on the back. Dental enamel is the hardest substance of any mammal’s body, but rodent enamel is the toughest of the tough. Because they do not stop growing, the animal must continue to wear them down so that they do not reach and pierce the skull. As the incisors grind against each other, the softer dentine on the rear of the teeth wears away, leaving the sharp enamel edge shaped like the blade of a chisel.

Most species have up to 22 teeth with no canines or anterior premolars. In rats, these are the four, long, sharp front teeth, two on top and two on the bottom. Rat incisors are highly specialized for gnawing. They are open-rooted, which means they grow throughout life. Rodents also have one or multiple pairs of premolars or molars (these teeth, also called cheek teeth, are located towards the back of the animal’s upper and lower jaws). Molars are the rearmost teeth in the mouth, used for grinding food prior to swallowing it. Molars are never replaced. Rats have only one set of teeth during their life. Rats particularly have 12 molars, six on the top and six on the bottom and three on each side of each jaw.

Rodents eat a variety of different foods including leaves, fruit, seeds, and small invertebrates. The cellulose rodents eat is processed in a structure called the caecum. The caecum is a pouch in the digestive tract that houses bacteria that are capable of breaking down tough plant material into digestible form.

Rodents gnaw with their incisors by pushing the lower jaw forward and chew with the molars by pulling the lower jaw backward. In conjunction with these chewing patterns, rodents have large and complex jaw musculature, with modifications to the skull and jaws to accommodate it.

Their teeth are so razor sharp that they can gnaw through the hardest of substances including lead pipes, cinder blocks, solid wood doors, a four-inch-thick slab of concrete, even a half-inch thick sheet of iron. Rats have gnawed through iron cabinets to access food. Insulation is not safe from mice either. They will tunnel into insulation inside walls and attics, either to make a home or to gather soft materials for their nests. By chewing through electrical wires, rats have caused many house fires. Rats and other rodents are believed to be the cause of 25-40% of all house fires through chewing wiring and creating nests of flammable materials like paper, cloth, and other bedding in confined areas.

Rodents will chew through the food packing to get to the food. They may chew through boxes and bags which you may think are safe.

The mice have no respect for any item. They will gnaw on and into just about any chewable item that is stored in the attic, basement, garage or closet – including irreplaceable family heirlooms, valuable paintings, and important documents. Mice also can dig up and feed on newly planted crops in gardens, cause damage before harvest, and burrow into other areas on the property for food and nesting.

An adult rat’s jaws are 20 times more powerful than a person’s. The bite of rat can easily cut through bone. Rats can and will attack people if they sense that they are defenseless such as the elderly, disabled, and infants. Squirrels have a bite force of around 7,000 psi. Squirrels can gnaw holes into the walls and chew the metal articles easily.

Gnawing is one of the key tell-tail signs of the presence of rats. Gnawing may be visible on doors, ledges, in corners, in wall material, on stored materials, or other surfaces wherever rats are present. Fresh accumulations of wood shavings, insulation, and other gnawed material indicate active infestations.

Let’s have a look on the below news articles where rodents have left the evidence of their menace.

Rat complaints in San Francisco have surged over the past five years

September 25, 2017 – SFGATE

A rat race of sorts is happening in San Francisco, where rodent complaints have surged in the past five years.
Since 2012, San Franciscans have steadily reported more rat sightings to 311, San Francisco’s official site for information and complaints. This year, the agency received around 848 calls from January through August and, if the numbers continue at the same rate, it’s projected that there will be about 1,272 calls made by the end of 2017.

Rodents cause north Abilene house fire

September 14, 2017 – Big Country

Rodents started a fire that caused $5,000 worth of damage to a north Abilene home Thursday morning.

A press release from the Abilene Fire Department states the fire began after rodents chewed through wiring in the attic of a home on the 1800 block of Grape Street just after 9:30 a.m.

Smoke was seen coming from the eaves of the home when firefighters arrived on the scene, but crews were able to contain the flames to the attic and quickly got the fire under control.

Investigators were able to determine the rodent-chewed wiring caused an electrical malfunction, which started the fire, according to the press release.

A typical home may have more than a dozen potential entry points for the rodents. They get through gaps as small as 15mm, often using plumbing pipes and unscreened vents or gaps in the eaves and roof edges. Homeowners in Lincolnshire are being urged to guard against a fresh invasion of rats this autumn. Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA technical manager, says residents should be doing all they can now to protect their properties. She said: “Rain washes rats out of sewers and other nesting places and, inevitably, they go looking for shelter in higher ground. “They’ll try to find some sort of dwelling and that could be lofts, garages or sheds. “Our members report the number of calls to deal with infestations often rises in the Autumn when the temperature drops often quite dramatically and we’re expecting a similar pattern this time. “So it’s important for homeowners to do as much as they can to ensure they’re not among those affected.” Bridgend County Borough Council was named top of the list for rats in 2015/16 with almost 3,000 call-outs per 1,000 residents making up 93 percent of its total number overall.

Rodrepel™, an anti-rodent additive, a C Tech Corporation product is an ideal solution for the prevention and control of rodents.

Rodrepel™ is available in the form of solid masterbatches, liquid concentrate and in lacquer form.

The product available in the form of the masterbatch can be incorporated into the polymeric applications while they are manufactured. The masterbatch can be incorporated into polymeric cables, pipes, household articles, agricultural films, irrigation pipes, etc.

The product available in the form of liquid concentrate can be mixed with paints in a pre-determined ratio and can be used on the interior and exterior of houses, offices, schools, hospitals, etc.

The product available in lacquer form can be applied directly on the surface of the applications. The lacquer can be applied on the already installed wires and cable, pipes, metallic decor, wooden furniture and kitchen trolleys, etc. The lacquer is compatible with most of the surfaces like polymer, wood, metal, ceramic, concrete etc.

Rodrepel™ is RoHS, RoHS2, REACH, APVMA, NEA compliant and FIFRA exempted. The mechanism followed by our product is repellence by attacking their olfactory senses of the rodents. Also, our products do not kill the target species. The products do not interfere with the working of the end application it is used in. They do not leach out or produce any toxic fumes and have a long shelf life.

Have a safe environment!