Answering the original question, absolutely, a rat can and will chew through plastic.

As for dealing with mice, I've tried many things. Before the trailer got skirted, snap traps caught most inside, but some avoided them. (btw, I don't bait snap traps. Just place the paddle towards a wall, as mice run along walls, and go right over paddle) I knew where they were getting in and out, so I set up a little slide made from some aluminum flashing. It blocked mice from coming back in, but forced mice wanting to leave (for water/food) to use the slide, which led to a bucket of water.

In the work van, after having it repaired, when mice decimated the wiring harness under the floor at, and built a nest above the headliner, I installed an ultrasonic noise generator in the cab and put sticky traps above the headliner. No mice ever came back to get stuck.

The miata, tried mothballs with meh results, and they stink. I was told to try dryer sheets. This works awesome and they smell nice too!

But by far, the most effective device for around the property/pole barn, is a tipping plank that fits on the rim of a five gallon bucket. Bait the plank with a little bit of peanut butter and some water in the bucket, and these self-resetting traps do all the work. When I first set them up, I caught several dozen the first night! Too bad there isn't a market for dead mice.

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