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Rats! They ate my cables again!Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was conducted to evaluate what type of wires rats prefer to chew. The testing was done using a telephone wire coaxial wire, red PVC wire, black PVC wire, 3 core wire and speaker wire.

Hypothesis

Rats prefer to chew on telephone and PVC wires.

Scientific Terms

Electrical wiring, appliance wiring, stainless steel conduits, plastic conduits, coaxial cables, 3 core wires

Background

Rat nuisance

Rats can be a nuisance in many ways. They enter homes in search of food and shelter and in the process, damage our food and furniture. However, one of the biggest problem caused by rats is when they chew out the electrical wiring in our homes. The damages caused by the rats can be very expensive and sometimes lead to fires and a loss of lives!.

Rats have very sharp teeth that grow continuously. This teeth can even cut through soft metals. This is the reason why it is better to use stainless steel conduits instead of plastic conduits for our wires and cables. Rats also cause problems by biting the electrical wiring in cars, trucks and trailers. The damage can sometimes be very difficult to locate, resulting in large repair bills!.

Among the things we can do to prevent rats from entering our homes, are to cover any holes larger that 10mm. We should also clear away things that attract them to our homes such as stacked wood or thick foliage. Leaving food outdoors will attract rats and should be avoided.

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
50
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 2 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Live electrical wires  gnawed by  rats can become exposed and cause short circuits or electrocution. Ensure that no flammable materials or gasses are within reach, and perform this experiment in a well ventilated laboratory under the care of a qualified adult. Disconnect ALL  electrical connections before handling the cables. Ensure that protective gear (insulating gloves)/goggles are used. Rats should be handled with care as they bite!