How Long Does it Take a Rat to Chew Through a Drywall?

You’re aware of it – any mouse has the capability of going through your drywall. Their sharp incisors effortlessly gnaw through the material as if it were paper.

This is one of the reasons why you hear constant scratching sounds emanating from your walls. You have a serious infestation of rodents, and you need to know how to get rid of them – fast.

Depending on how big the rat is and the thickness of your wall, rats can chew through the drywall anywhere between two hours up to two weeks.

While they may not be doing it all at once, they are certainly capable of chipping away bit by bit until they create a hole big enough to squeeze through.

This annoying behavior is one of the many reasons why a rat infestation is difficult to get rid of. Not only do they breed quickly, but they’re also very good at hiding. And once they’re in your walls, they can cause all different kinds of damage – not just to the drywall itself but also to your electrical wiring, insulation, and even pipes.

How Long Does it Take a Rat to Chew Through a Drywall

Why Do Rats Chew Drywalls?

There are several reasons why rats like to chew on drywall. For one, it provides them with a way to keep their incisors sharp. Rats’ teeth grow continuously, so they need to gnaw on something hard to keep them at a manageable length.

Drywall also happens to be an easy material for rats to get through. This is because it’s not as tough as wood, so their teeth can easily penetrate it. And since drywall is often used in homes and other buildings, it’s the perfect place for rats to nest and hide from predators.

Other Materials That Rats Can Chew Through

Don’t underestimate their size. Although they’re small, their powerful jaws can do some serious damage. Their need to gnaw also means that they can destroy a lot of different materials in your home, including:


Do you know those big sheets of wood that are often used to build furniture and cabinets? Despite being thicker than drywalls, plywood is no match for a rat’s sharp teeth. Plywood is a more durable material and is popular for being more fire-resistant, but it’s not completely safe from rats.

plywood holle

Particle Board

Particle board is similar to plywood, but it’s made of smaller pieces of wood that are glued together. This makes it weaker and more susceptible to damage from rats. So if you have particle board in your home, be on the lookout for signs of gnawing.

Soft Metals

Soft metals like aluminum foil and copper wiring are no match for a rat’s teeth. Some of you may have had the unfortunate experience of finding your food storage containers gnawed through or your electrical wiring chewed up. Either way, it’s not a fun experience. Getting these materials replaced can be costly, so it’s best to take preventive measures to keep rats away.


You might think this is impossible, but the truth is, rats can get through concrete. If you think that you’re safe from rats because your home is made of concrete, think again. While it will take them longer to get through, they will eventually be able to create a hole big enough to squeeze through.

How Long Does it Take a Rat to Chew Through a Concrete Wall?

Since concrete is way harder and more durable than standard drywall, it’ll take at least two days up to two weeks to chew the concrete off the wall, giving them enough space to pass through. Considering they’ll be working on and off, you’ll most likely hear them scratching and chewing at odd hours of the day and night.

How to Prevent Rats From Chewing Through Your Walls

What is the first thing that you need to do to prevent rats from chewing through your walls?

Since it’s been proven that rats don’t care much about the walls materials, as they can gnaw and chew their way in, regardless, the best way to prevent rats from chewing through your walls is by:

Sealing All Holes and Gaps

Even the smallest gap or hole can be an open invitation for rats. So, take a walk around your home and look for any openings that they could potentially use to get inside.

Carefully do an inspection and seal any cracks or holes that you find, no matter how small they may be.

You can use caulk to fill in smaller gaps and holes, while larger openings will need to be filled with wire mesh or hardware cloth. Just make sure that the material you’re using is strong enough to withstand a rat’s sharp teeth.

rat coming out from a hole in the wall

Trimming Trees and Bushes

You may not notice this, but if you have a garden, there are probably rats hiding beneath the large bushes and trees. These rats will use these plants as cover to get close to your home without being seen.

What does this have to do with chewing through your walls? Well, if there are rats lurking around your property, there’s a good chance that they’ll find their way into your home eventually.

So, it’s important to trim any trees or bushes that are close to your house. This will remove their hiding spots and make it more difficult for them to get inside.

Applying a Rat Repellent

As a last resort, you can always apply a rat repellent to your walls. Rats hate the smell of certain repellents, so they’ll stay away from areas that have been treated with them. Alternatively, you can also try using ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sound waves to keep rats away.

Final Thoughts

The strong and sharp teeth of rats allow them to chew through a lot of different materials, including drywall.

If you have rats in your home, they’ll eventually find their way into your walls, and the next thing you know, you’re dealing with a bigger problem even before you realize it.

What you need to do is to make sure that you don’t give them the opportunity to get inside in the first place.

Carefully check for holes, seal if you find some, and trim the trees and bushes around your house. You can also apply a rat repellent to your walls as an extra measure.

Doing all these things will help to keep rats away from your home and prevent them from making an entrance through your walls.