Rats Eating Fiber Optic Cable Protections

August 22, 2021

Fiber optic cable lines are often damaged by squirrels, mice and birds, especially in mountainous areas, hills and other areas. Most of the fiber optic cables are overhead, but they are also damaged by flower squirrels, squirrels and woodpeckers. Many types of communication line failures are caused by rats bite at various degrees.

The outdoor fiber optic cable structure recommended for the rats eating fiber optic cable can be divided into non-metal armored fiber optic cable and metal armored fiber optic cable.

Non-metal Armored Protection

Among them, the non-metal armored optical cable adopts the glass fiber yarn armoring layer. And the glass yarn is evenly distributed along the circumference. The density of the glass yarn should be able to meet the tensile properties of the optical cable. Therefore, the fiber optic cable can has a certain degree of anti rats bite performance or resistant to rat bites.

How It Works

Because the fiber glass yarn is thin and brittle, the smashed glass slag will damage the oral cavity of the rodent during the rodent bite process. It causes rats to fear the fiber optic cable and achieve rodent resistance effect.

Does It Really Work

However, this kind of anti-rat bite measures is flawed in principle. First, when rodents bite the glass fiber yarn into pieces, the optical fiber may have been broken at the same time (the two materials are similar). Secondly, the fear of rats might be a wishful thinking. After being stung, there may be a sense of fear for rats, but how much is this fear? How long can it last? All these are unknown.

Moreover, rodents that have been injured will have a sense of fear, and rodents that have not been injured will still eating the fiber optic cable. The optical cable is bitten by every rat passing by, and the price is not affordable.

Many facts have also proved that the effect of glass fiber yarn against rats eating fiber optic cable is very limited. There is a certain degree of anti-rat bite performance, but the effect of “anti-rat bite” is not achieved.

Metal Armored Protection

The metal armored optical cable should use plastic-coated aluminum tape, plastic-coated steel tape, or stainless steel spiral armor as a anti-rodent reinforcement component.

Metal armor fiber optic cable has a better anti-rat biting effect than the glass fiber yarn armor. Among the three armor methods, the stainless steel spiral armor has the best effect.

Laying Methods Protection

In terms of the bending performance of the optical cable, due to the special structure of the stainless steel spiral armor, it can maintain the radial strength while not losing the axial flexibility, and the bending performance is better. The strength of stainless steel is higher, and the cable is thinner when it meets the compressive performance of the optical cable. Therefore, the bending radius is also the smallest among several armoring methods.

In aspects of grounding, the fiber optic cable itself is passive and does not generate eddy currents and induced currents. The lightning protection measures in the substation are perfect. The optical cables are mostly used for cable trench laying without the risk of lightning. Therefore, there is no requirements for metal armored optical cables.


The outdoor optical cable supporting the prefabricated optical cable is preferred to use the stainless steel spiral armored optical cable. In situations where the budget is insufficient or the rodent-proof measures are extremely complete, you can also try to use glass fiber yarn armored fiber optic cable, but it must be installed with a well-sealed slot box or steel pipe to avoid the risk of rodent biting.

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Tony Lau is technical manager and co-founder at HOC. He loves writing about content optical fiber communications, specializes in fiber optic cables, FTTH turnkey solutions, ADSS cable, and ODN networks.

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