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Rich Lafferty's Journal

(mendelicious mendelusions)

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om nom nom tasty wire
thinking, perplexed
We've got these little christmas-light style LED lights around the edge of our deck. The other day I plugged them in, and only one of two strings lit up. I started looking at bulbs in the dead string and then AAA BARE WIRE IN MY HAND AAA

The next morning I took a look, and some sort of critter has been chewing through the wire! They completely chewed off three bulbs right at the socket, leaving the socket on the ground, and nearly got a fourth chewing a few inches away from the light, which makes me think that they chewed through the strand and then chewed off the wire on the ground.

I'm not exactly thrilled with the idea of twisted wire and electrical tape splices outdoors, but we'd only use the lights when it's patio weather out and we're present, and it's always just one conductor, so I think it'll be okay.

But I'm stumped as to why critters would be chewing off light bulbs and eating the wire!

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A long time ago, when I was a lad, my friend had a pet rabbit named Ben Johnston. Ol' Ben had a thing for chewing computer wires. The solution was to wrap the wires in packing tape. HTH.

Rabbits! You helped me make it click. Of course rabbits like to chew on cords. And thus so do squirrels, or raccoons, or whatever this was.

I've got some bitter apple on there now, we'll see how that goes. It's a long set of wires to wrap in packing tape, about 50' of lights!

Rats also have a specific fondness for wires, I have heard many people with pet rats comment on this and have observed it myself. They'll give a testing nibble or so to most things -- books, erasers, whatever -- but they seem driven to gnaw right through wires.

And I bet once they get a "wire-berry" on the ground, they'll keep eating the wire, up until the part they can't eat, which will explain why they left bulbs on the ground.

They just like the texture. Good mouth feel. The ones my rats liked best were slender wires in a very thin rubber sheath, like the ones for stereo speakers.

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