Why Rodents Chew Electrical Wires & How To Prevent It

Why Rodents Chew Electrical Wires & How To Prevent It by Petri Pest Control in South Florida

Roof rats, Norway rats, and house mice are the most common rodents to infest homes and businesses in South Florida. Rodents have coexisted with man for many centuries, so much so that some sources say the Norway rat is no longer found in the wild. When the weather turns cool in South Florida, rodents seek shelter, food, and water indoors. Your home makes an ideal spot for rodents to settle down and increase their numbers over the winter. Rodents can squeeze into tiny openings, no larger than a dime for mice and a quarter for rats so it does not take much for them to get inside. Posing health threats to humans and pets, rodents and the feasting insects they attract can cause respiratory diseases, such as Hantavirus, asthma, and allergic reactions in humans. These destructive pests can contaminate food supplies and because rodents’ teeth don’t stop growing, they need to chew constantly to keep their teeth from growing into their brains. This constant chewing sharpens their incisors until they are chisel-like, allowing rodents to chew through insulation, wood, plastic, electrical wiring, and even concrete.

Rodents sparks house fires

The National Fire Protection Association reports that annually, home fires caused by faulty or compromised electrical wiring:

  • Kill more than 420 people
  • Injure 1,370 people
  • Cause over $1.4 billion in property damage

Electrical issues caused by rodents chewing on electrical wiring

When rodents have access to electrical wiring that is exposed and not enclosed in hard plastic or sheet metal casings, their incessant chewing can result in a house fire. Loose wiring in attics, crawlspaces, and walls are all vulnerable to rodent damage. Squirrels and mice nesting around junction boxes and loose wiring can cause excessive heating leading to electrical malfunction issues, such as circuits shorting out, breakers tripping without obvious over-loading from a source, like an appliance that uses a lot of electricity, such as an electric griddle. Wiring damage that causes complete electrical outages throughout homes, seemingly without reason is not uncommon in electrical fires in homes. Unfortunately, more often than not, chewed wires go unnoticed until after they cause fires. Homeowners should check their wiring to make sure it’s in good shape. Eliminate loose wiring and protect your home’s electrical panels.

How do you check for wiring issues?

Most rodents gnaw on wiring that’s in hidden, out-of-the-way spaces in walls, wall voids, basements, and attics. So, it’s not that simple to check all of the wiring in your home. For safety’s sake and your peace of mind, enlist an electrician to check the condition of your wiring in your home. Like they say, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Well, where there are electrical malfunctions in your home, there are usually rodent droppings. If this is the case in your home, you may not have noticed any other signs of rodent activity yet. Rodent activity can be tricky to detect, as rodents are nocturnal, so they may show up in your kitchen, when everyone is asleep, even your cat. Evidence of rodent droppings in kitchens is one sign of rodent activity. Rats and mice may visit your pantry, leaving chewed bags and footprints near dry goods. Other signs of rodent activity include:

  • Scurrying noises and squeaking sounds in your attic or walls
  • Chewing and rustling sounds in your walls
  • Chewed places in your crawlspaces and attic
  • Greasy dark spots on your walls from rodents rubbing against them
  • Evidence of greasy rodent pathways on floors
  • An actual rodent sighting

A good rule of thumb

Should your home begin experiencing electrical issues, start checking for signs of rodent activity. Contact a trusted local pest control professional, such as Petri Pest Control Services, as soon as possible to schedule a free home rodent inspection. Rodents multiply at rapid rates. A certified and licensed technician will be able to identify rodent activity and develop a plan for your home and your budget. Many DIY products are available on the market, including baits, tried and true snap traps, electronic rodent deterrents, and other attempts to eliminate pesky rodents. However, not only do professional pest control technicians know the best ways to tackle your rodent issues, but they also have access to much more effective materials than untrained consumers can purchase at home improvement stores. Also, trained technicians know where to strategically place traps and baits, so they can retrieve carcasses before they start to deteriorate behind your walls and in other hard to reach places in your home.

A better solution is prevention

Reliable, professional pest control companies will tell you, pest prevention is the best way to deal with potential pest issues, instead of trying to control infestations. Proactive annual programs from Petri Pest Control Services can eliminate any pest issues you are experiencing, then create a protective barrier around your property to keep pests out of your home.

How to prevent rodents and other pests from entering your home

As a homeowner, there are several things you can do to make your home unattractive to rodents and insects.

  • Sealing or caulking holes, tiny cracks, and any crevices around your foundation, doorways, windows, and any other entryways
  • Cleaning your home thoroughly – cleaning up spills immediately, vacuuming or sweeping floors after meals and snacks, etc.
  • Thoroughly wiping down food prep and dining areas
  • Storing dry food items in metal, glass, or hard plastic containers
  • Eliminating clutter inside and outside of your home
  • Keeping your grass cut short
  • Eliminating areas of tall vegetation near your home
  • Trimming shrubs and bushes so branches don’t touch your house

Petri Pest Control Services specializes in quality pest and rodent control in Broward County and Palm Beach County. We are on a mission to create a continually expanding satisfied customer base by delivering the expertise and quality service South Floridians can count on for their homes and businesses. Keep rodents out of your home this winter.

Contact us today to schedule a free rodent inspection!

Why Rodents Chew Electrical Wires & How To Prevent It in South Florida

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