17 Things Mice Can & Can’t Chew Through – Comprehensive List

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Mice are determined, little creatures! Once they find their way into your home, it can be difficult to get them out and keep them out. What materials can they chew through to gain access to your house? What materials will keep them out? Read on to find out!

About Mice

Mice are rodents with long front teeth called incisors. Their incisors continue to grow throughout their lives. They need to chew in order to wear down those teeth. They also chew in order to gain access to food and shelter.

Mice’s teeth are strong and durable. The incisors curve inward, which makes it difficult for them to chew on hard, flat surfaces. These tough, little rodent teeth can do a lot of damage to a home!

Mice can also squeeze through tiny openings of the size of a dime. They will view any small opening in your home as an invitation to enter.

What Can Mice Chew Through?


Mice do not gnaw on wood to gain nutrients, but to gain access to shelter or food. Sometimes they will use the chewed wood fibers to build their nests.


Mice can chew through plastic. Thin plastic is no match for mice teeth, especially if there is food inside! While some heavy-duty totes may be more mouse-resistant, a mouse on a mission can eventually chew its way inside.


Mice can make their way through vinyl, such as vinyl siding. Once they are through the siding, they will then make a tiny opening to allow them into your home. If you have mice in your home, and cannot figure out how they are making their way in, check your vinyl siding for bite marks.


Yes, mice can even chew through rubber! Some people may use rubber sheeting to seal mouse holes, but even rubber is not a match for those sharp, little mouse teeth.


Fiberglass, like the material in insulation, or in some screens, can also be chewed to shreds by invading mice. Mice may even use fiberglass insulation as nesting material.

Low Gauge Aluminum

Mice can chew through aluminum. Some pest control specialists suggest using wads of aluminum foil as a mouse deterrent. You can try to stuff mouse holes with wadded-up aluminum foil. While it is true that the foil may deter mice due to its sharp edges, there are better materials to use to block mouse holes.


Insulating foam may be a great way to keep water and air from seeping through cracks, but it will not keep the mice out! Mice can chew through insulating foam easily.


For some reason, wires are especially tempting to mice. It seems that mice are attracted to the shiny appearance of wires. Unfortunately, chewed wires can cause horrific damage to your home. Damaged wiring can cause power outages and even start a fire.

If you have wires that have been chewed on by mice, it is important that you contact an electrician to repair the wires immediately. Wire damage is a safety hazard.


Mice use fabric as nest material. It is easy for them to chew and shred. A fabric barrier will not keep mice out.

Water Pipes

Mice can gnaw on water pipes which may cause leaks and damage in your home.

What Can’t Mice Chew Through?


Concrete that has been properly cured is mouse-proof! However, old or brittle concrete could be broken down by a determined mouse. Concrete is a great material for patching large cracks or openings near the ground.

Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is another great, mouse-proof way to patch up large openings.


Mice cannot chew through bricks. Bricks are a great way to block off openings near the foundation of your home. Bricks are too heavy for mice to move as well.


Copper gauze can be used to stuff into small openings. Mice will not be able to chew through the copper, but they may be able to pull it out of the opening. Copper can be expensive.

Steel Wool

Mice will not chew on steel wool! Steel wool is inexpensive and can be used to block small cracks and openings. You may need to seal or adhere the steel wool to the edges of the opening so that the mice cannot pull it out.


Mice do not chew on rocks. Large rocks may be a good way to block entry to your home.


Glass is also mouse-proof. Keep mice out of food by storing anything tasty in glass food storage containers. Mice are always on the lookout for food. Food stored in plastic or cardboard packaging is fair game.

Mouse Proofing Tips!

Mouse Traps

If you have mice in your house, the best way to catch them is with a mouse trap like this. Bait traps with peanut butter, raisins, or seeds. Place them near any known openings, or where you have seen mouse activity.

Clean Everything!

Mice are attracted to the scent of food! Thoroughly clean your kitchen and eating areas. Keep counters, floors, and food prep areas clear of crumbs and spills. Limit all food activities to the kitchen. Store food in glass containers.

Seal It Up!

Search your home for all potential mouse entry points. If you find an opening, seal it with steel wool, copper gauze, concrete, or one of the other mouse-proof materials listed above. Try a mouse-proof sealant.

Mice are also drawn to sources of water. Check your home for leaky pipes. Seal all leaks thoroughly.

Install Gutter Guards

Open gutters provide mice with a convenient path straight to your home. Gutter guards not only keep leaf build-up out of gutters, but they may also keep mice out of your attic!

Trim Back Plants

Bushes and shrubs next to your house may look nice, but they give mice a convenient hiding place right next to your home. Trim or remove any bushes next to the house.

Ultrasonic Pest Deterrent

These convenient ultrasonic pest repellers emit a high-frequency noise that will deter mice. The noise will not bother humans or most pets. This is a safe, chemical-free way to keep mice away from your home.

A Word of Warning About Mice

Mice may be small, but they are far from harmless. Mice can carry parasites and diseases, like hantavirus, Salmonella, and Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV). These diseases can be very dangerous! Always follow safe practices when handling or disposing of mice or mouse waste.

Avoid inhalation of dust from mouse feces or nests by wearing a mask with a filter while cleaning or handling mouse waste. Protect yourself with rubber gloves. Clean all areas that have been affected by mice with a disinfecting cleaner.

Dispose of any food that may have come into contact with mice. Mice can track salmonella and other bacteria from their nests into your food.

Final Thoughts

If you are an unfortunate host to a group of mice, don’t give up! There are materials you can use to keep those mice out! Make sure you seal all the openings thoroughly with one of the mouse-proof materials listed above. Take back your home from a rodent invasion!

15 thoughts on “17 Things Mice Can & Can’t Chew Through – Comprehensive List”

  1. TKU this is very helpful.I live in a private apartment complex….We have had over 150 mice in a year and a half… Maintenance has closed up the holes mice find other places to chew through….now I’ll try myself to do something…at 76 y/o this is very upsetting and has me crying anxiety…..Sorry I just want them gone Have a nice day.

    • That’s an insane number of mice! I hope you find something that stops them. Usually only a few make it into my place each winter but that’s plenty to know the anxiety those scurrying little hairballs cause.

      You might need to consider becoming the local crazy cat lady. Cats are born to combat mice.

    • I’m so sorry you are dealing with this, have just moved into what was meant to be my dream home (traditional sandstone) to discover there is an infestation. I understand the distress and upset you are feeling, Steel wool has worked quite well but my ultimate trick for finding them thus far has been sprinkling baking soda (it’s also toxic to mice when ingested- not the most humane but needs must when they are making your life a misery) I’ve found the areas of action as there are footprints left in the baking soda, this seems to deter them and of course allows me to pinpoint their movements. Peppermint oil or any strong scent will put them off for a while but sooner you can find and seal the main entrance points with steel wool and some caulk/filler it does give peace of mind, stay strong I know how exhausting the process is – the above advice is wonderful, with some perseverance and diy determination you’ll take your home back. Best wishes, hope you are able to rest pest free sooner than later – a fellow victim of those who shall not be named!

    • I discovered signs of a mouse this week. It chewed through the a/c condensation pipe, the hot water heater overflow pipe which flooded part of my living room and foyer and destroyed two pieces of luggage in the same closet. We stuffed the hole outside for wires to the condenser and hole in the closet ceiling where same wires came through with steel wool. Exterminator put out to traps and we put out two traps in the closet. Mouse pushed through the steel wool. One small trap was sprung but no mouse. One larger one appeared to have nesting material in it but not sprung. Exterminator returning today.

    • I’ve lost over 800 dollars because mice chew threw my dishwasher plastic drain hose for water plus flood the basement and kitchen. Ultrasonic sound seems to work the best. I forgot to replace one and they came right back.

  2. My opinion on the #1 way of getting rid of mice is, get a cat….especially an outside cat. My cat loves the outside, and will come in to eat, and cuddle with me, but since we’ve been staying at a friend’s, he hasn’t seen one single mouse….this is after seeing them daily!

  3. So far, I’ve used steel wool, expanding foam, silicone and even duct tape. Yep, duct tape. It seems they don’t like the stickiness and won’t touch it. I’ve trapped with TomCat traps and those are the most effective for me. Still working on sealing the rest of the house with silicone. Mice are just gross. Also, as a repellant I did pour ammonia around the perimeter of the house. Hope that helps keep them out. Good luck all dealing with this!

  4. I know it says that they can chew aluminium foil but I made a foil sausage and put it in front of my door and they have never bothered me since.

  5. Mice can chew through copper gauze. I used it to stuff under the baseboard and sealed it with silicone. They chewed right through it.

    • Thank you very much for this information . I was about to these 2 products. Now I will poison these 3 nasty mice I have ran out of solutions poisoning them is my last solution I’m going to put antifreeze to poison the mice

      • Thank you for telling me about the 2 things that will not keep mice out. I now will buy a chemical put in the mice hole entrances and seal with copper mesh and caulk on top.

  6. I’ve never had mice before and it’s irritating! I really don’t want to do chemicals but, I got to get rid of them. Sites like yours have been very helpful! Thank you!


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