Mice Can’t Chew Through Metal (Here’s Why It Repels Them)

mice and metal

If you like to use natural methods to repel unwanted critters, and want keep mice out of your belongings, you might be asking yourself, “Can mice chew through metal?” Well, let’s dive into this topic – is metal a good mouse repellent?

The truth is – yes, metal is a good repellent! Mice are known to chew through various materials, but when it comes to metals, it’s a bit more complicated for them.

Your primary concern when it comes to metal should be metal wires and thin sheet metal that might be susceptible to their destructive nibbling.

As for why mice might be attracted to these metal objects, it chiefly involves their curiosity and constant need to gnaw to maintain their sharp teeth.

Now, although metal is a great repellent in and of itself, it’s also a good idea to put some prevention methods in place to keep mice from getting to the metal in the first place!

Let’s keep talking about that below!

Key Takeaways:

  • Mice can chew through thin metal in rare circumstances.
  • They are attracted to metal objects due to curiosity and to maintain their teeth.
  • Prevention methods include protecting wiring or metal objects and maintaining a clean and sealed home.
  • Limiting access to metal and nesting materials can help repel mice.

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Can Mice Chew Through Metal?

Chewing Capabilities of Mice

Mice are notorious for their ability to gnaw through various materials. But can they really chew through metal?

Although mice have strong teeth, chewing through metals such as aluminum, steel, and copper is generally an impossible task for them. However, they can easily gnaw softer materials like cardboard, wood, and even glass if necessary!

Chewing through metal might be a tall order for mice, but it’s important to know how to prevent them from attempting such a feat. Here are a few methods:

  • Seal gaps and holes: Mice are attracted to warm and cozy places, which might lead them near metal pipes and wires. Make sure to seal any gaps that might allow them entry

  • Use steel wool: Recommend by the Center of Disease Control as a great preventative to repel mice, you can stuff steel wool into any holes or gaps to deter mice. They find it difficult to chew through and will likely look for easier access points.

Note : if you’re sold on using steel wool – make sure to check out our article about the grades of steel wool, and which works best!

But why are mice attracted to metal in the first place? Metals might simply be a barrier between them and their desired destination, or they could be using metal structures for nesting purposes.

Types of Metal Mice Can and Cannot Chew

Generally, mice cannot chew through most metal materials. They have strong teeth, but metal is simply too tough for their tiny chompers.

However, mice are persistent, and they can easily gnaw through softer metals like aluminum and thin sheet metal. From my own experience, I discovered that using harder metals like steel or iron can act as an effective barrier against them.

One natural method to prevent mice from chewing through metal is to install steel or iron mesh around your home’s vulnerable areas (such as vents and gaps). Why is this so effective? Well, mice are deterred by the hardness and rigidness of these materials! It’s hard for them to handle, so they tend to stay away.

Additionally, you should make sure to keep mice away from metal surfaces by eliminating their access points. This means sealing any gaps or cracks that might allow them entry. Trust me, one tiny gap is enough for them to squeeze through!

Why Are Mice Attracted To Metal in The First Place?

So, what attracts mice to metal in the first place? Believe it or not, mice are attracted to the warmth that metal provides.

Metal surfaces in your home, such as pipes and electrical wiring, can become warm and toasty – providing the perfect spot for mice to nestle in. To prevent this, work on insulating your pipes and wiring to minimize heat loss.

Preventing Mice from Chewing Through Metal

Garden Dormouse, Eliomys quercinus, 2 months old, in front of white background

Mouse-Proofing Methods

To get the best results, it’s essential to reinforce and protect entry points with metal materials. Some mouse-proofing steps you can implement include:

1Inspect your home for potential entry points
2Seal holes and gaps with metal materials such as steel wool or sheet metal
3Reinforce metal pipes by wrapping them with a fine mesh material
4Install metal door sweeps on all entry doors to prevent mice from entering

You can pick up some sheet metal like this 3 Pack Aluminum Metal Sheet set! Depending on how much you need, you can easily measure your space and order your desired amount!

Home Materials Vulnerable to Mice Chewing

Although metal is a great way to repel mice, it’s important to know which home materials mice can get through, to make sure to pinpoint which spots you need to protect!

Wooden Structures

Wooden structures are a mouse’s paradise! These little creatures find it easy to chew through wood and create their tiny hideouts. You’d be wise to keep a close eye on wooden parts of your house, like baseboards, furniture, and door frames.

Why do mice love wood, you ask? After thorough research, I found out that wood materials are soft enough for a rodent’s sharp teeth to gnaw through, which not only serves their instinct to keep their teeth trimmed but also makes for a cozy habitat.

Concrete and Brickwork

Now, let’s talk about concrete and brickwork! While these materials are generally too hard for our little furry friends to chew through, mice are known to be determined opportunists. They won’t usually gnaw through concrete or bricks, but can easily slip into tiny cracks or holes. If they can find a small opening, they will make use of it, turning your home into their personal playground.

Remember this neat fact: a mouse can fit through a gap as small as a dime! To keep mice out, regularly inspect concrete and brick surfaces, and fill in even the tiniest of gaps! Knowledge is power, my friends!

Siding Materials

Lastly, let’s discuss siding materials such as vinyl and aluminum. It’s true that mice are unlikely to chew through metal like aluminum, primarily because it’s too tough and doesn’t serve any purpose for them. Phew, that’s a relief, right? But remember, mice are sneaky, and they will always look for other ways in.

To prevent mice from invading your home, follow some natural prevention methods:

  • Seal entry points: patch up any holes or gaps with sturdy material like metal mesh, steel wool, or metal sheeting
  • Keep a clean yard: remove food and water sources, and avoid clutter that may provide shelter
  • Introduce natural predators: if you have a resident cat or dog, they can help deter mice simply by being around

These effective prevention methods will help keep your home rodent-free! And just for laughs: why did the mouse move to the metal house? To get a taste of the high life!

Other Damage Caused by Mice Chewing

mouse chewing electrical wires

In this section, I’ll discuss the issues mice can cause by chewing on various household materials.

Electrical Wires

Oh, rats! Have you ever found yourself clueless about why your electrical system is malfunctioning? Mice can gnaw on your electrical wires, which might lead to short circuits or even fires. This can be a serious problem, as chewed wiring may require costly repairs. To deter mice from chewing on wires:

  • Keep clutter to a minimum.
  • Seal any gaps or cracks that might allow mice entry.
  • Place mouse repellents near at-risk areas.

Mice are attracted to metal because the heat released by electrical devices.


Did you know that mice love to nest in home insulation? Their gnawing and nesting cause it to lose its effectiveness, leaving you with unwelcome drafts and increased energy bills. You might not even notice the insulation damage until your heating or cooling costs skyrocket!

To protect your insulation:

  1. Perform periodic inspections.
  2. Seal any entry points.
  3. Maintain clean surroundings.

Pro tip: Natural rodent repellents, such as peppermint oil, (like this awesome 100% Peppermint Oil by Majestic Pure) can help keep mice away from insulation.

Plumbing Pipes

Mice might not be able to chew through metal pipes, but they can still damage them. They have been known to gnaw on plastic and PVC pipes, leading to leaks and, ultimately, costly water damage.

Mice are attracted to these pipes because they mistake the sound of flowing water for potential nest areas or sources of food. Here’s what you can do to keep mice away from your plumbing pipes:

  • Insulate pipes properly.
  • Regularly check for any signs of a mice infestation.
  • Address any leaks promptly.

Mouse-Proofing Your Home

metal texture background aluminum brushed silver stainless

There’s a few must-dos to ensure your house is thoroughly mouse proof, plus a bunch more household items that will work great as well!

Sealing Gaps and Holes

Firstly, it’s crucial to seal gaps and holes in your house to prevent rodents like mice from entering. Mice can sneak through holes as small as the size of a dime, so it’s essential to cover any opening that might invite them. Remember, mice are attracted to warm, cozy spaces, and they are expert gnawers!

To seal small holes, consider using steel wool or copper gauze, which are effective deterrents. Caulk can be applied around the steel wool or copper gauze to keep them in place. For larger holes, hardware cloth or metal sheeting can be used. Don’t forget to inspect around your foundation, window screens, and chimneys as well!

Additionally, an expanding foam or shape block around utility entry points can prove useful. Such sealants not only block access but also help reduce the amount of heat and air that escapes. Be sure to choose a sturdy, medium-grade caulk like Orkin for lasting results.

Using Metal Barriers

Preventing mice from gnawing through metal is important. Fortunately, mice cannot chew through all metals. It’s recommended to employ stainless steel mesh or wire mesh as barriers around your home. These materials can resist wear and tear from mouse activity and are effective in repelling mice over time.

To be most effective, wire mesh and stainless steel mesh should be at least 19-gauge. This thickness will be tough enough to withstand mice’s persistent gnawing, and provide an unyielding barrier that denies access.

Organizing your attic and garage as storage areas will also help deter rodents. A well-organized space leaves little room for mice to hide, ultimately keeping them away.

Moreover, consider installing window screens made of copper gauze, which are mouse-resistant. This will help prevent rodents from entering your home through open windows.

Other Household Items That Repel Mice

ItemHow it repels mice
CaulkSeals small gaps and holes where mice may enter, preventing them from accessing your home.
Steel wool or Brillo PadsThe rough texture of the steel wool or Brillo Pads can deter mice from entering. Mice do not like the feel of the steel wool on their paws and will avoid it.
Aluminum foilThe sound and texture of aluminum foil can be unpleasant for mice, causing them to avoid areas where it is present.
Spray foamExpands to fill gaps and holes, creating a barrier that mice cannot chew through or penetrate.
Door sweepsPrevents mice from entering through the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.
Sealed containersPrevents mice from accessing food sources, which can attract them to your home.
Copper meshMice cannot chew through copper mesh, making it an effective barrier for preventing entry through gaps and holes.
Bright lightsMice prefer dark, quiet areas and will avoid areas with bright lights.
Food storagePrevents mice from accessing food sources, which can attract them to your home. By storing food in sealed containers, you can help prevent mice from entering your home.

These items can be effective in repelling mice, but it’s important to note that they may not work for every situation. It’s also important to take other preventative measures, such as sealing holes and gaps and using traps, to ensure that mice cannot enter your home.


Mice and Metal: I too was worried about mice chewing through metal. The science behind it is that mice have very strong teeth and can chew through various materials like wood, plastic, and even some metals. However, they can’t chew through thicker metals or those with high hardness levels.

  • Preventive Measures: Some effective ways to prevent mice from chewing through metal include:
    1. Using thicker metal barriers that are difficult for mice to penetrate.
    2. Regularly checking and maintaining any metal openings around your property.
    3. Utilize deterrents like peppermint oil, which is known to repel mice.

Why it works: These prevention methods are successful in repelling mice because they address the physical and sensory abilities of mice. Mice have an incredible sense of smell and do not like the strong scent of peppermint oil. Installing thicker metal barriers provides a physical barrier that the mice cannot chew through due to their teeth limitations.

Keeping Mice Away: To keep mice away from metal surfaces, it’s important to maintain a clean and clutter-free environment. Mice are attracted to areas where they can find food and shelter. Eliminating potential nesting sites and food sources will discourage mice from attempting to chew through metal barriers.

The Lure of Metal: But why are mice attracted to metal in the first place? Mice are not specifically attracted to metal, but rather they are attracted to the warmth and shelter that objects made from metal can provide. Pipes, wires, and other metal structures can offer protection and hiding spots for mice.

How to pest proof your home in under a day e-book by Zack DeAngelis

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