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How to Stop Rodents Chewing Wires in Your Home (Prevention Guide)

post img One of the most frequent calls we get for electrical services in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is for electrical damage from rodents chewing wires. Rats, mice and squirrels like to munch on electrical wiring routed through attics and inside wall voids. In this blog, we’ll review what makes electrical wiring attractive to rodents, the risks of rodent activity, how to prevent it and what to do if you suspect rodents are making meals of your electrical wiring.

Why Do Rodents Like Chewing Wires?

Experiments to formulate wire insulation distasteful to rodents have been largely unsuccessful. Therefore, most experts believe it’s not because rodents like the taste of wiring, but an instinct to prevent teeth overgrowth. Rodent teeth continuously grow and if they grow too long, it makes it hard to eat. In addition, rodents often see wiring as an obstacle. The rodent tries to make its way from one area of your home to another through holes in studs or joists. Wiring is sometimes in the way. The mouse, rat, squirrel or other rodent assumes if he chews away the wiring he’ll be able to pass. Activity increases when the weather turns cold or we have several days of rain in Ohio and Kentucky. Rodents seek the warmth and shelter of your home.

Hazards of Rodents Chewing Wires in Cincinnati, OH and Northern Kentucky Homes

Whatever the reason, chewed wiring is no laughing matter. It can cause electrical outages and dangerous short circuits. It’s believed that rodent damage may be a major reason for house fires in which no other definite cause can be determined. According to a report published this year from the National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA), electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading source of U.S. house fires in 2012-2016. To reduce the likelihood you’ll need electrical services in Cincinnati to repair rodent damage to wiring, here are some suggestions to prevent it:

How to Prevent Electrical Damage and Repairs from Rodents Chewing Wires

Seal Entry and Exit Points

Seal exterior holes and crevices that allow rodents into your attic or the interior of wall spaces. Typically, they enter to escape winter cold, then breed indoors. Depending on the size of the hole, use spray foam insulation or masonry repair to fill it. For large holes in drywall, the material will need to be patched. Mice regularly squeeze through openings ¼ of an inch or larger, so don’t underestimate their ability to move through cracks.

Reduce Access from Nearby Trees

Cut back tree limbs within 10 feet of your roof or the siding of your home. Squirrels can easily jump that far and rats are adept at leaping down from higher limbs that extend above the roof.

Assert Your Claim

Sure, it sounds funny, as if you need to poke your head in there and beat your chest. But seriously, inspect and clean attics and crawl spaces on regular intervals. Your occasional presence in these often neglected areas discourages rodents from nesting. It also provides the opportunity to catch early signs of rodents before the population becomes very large. Which, frankly, happens quickly. Mice are capable of up to 20 pinkies per litter and can repeat the reproductive cycle every three weeks! That’s a lot of rodents chewing wires in your Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky home. Finally, be careful when it comes to poisons. Rodents which take poison back to the nest or die in hard-to-reach areas create an odor problem.

Request an Electrical System Evaluation

Get a wiring evaluation by a professional. A qualified electrician knows the routing of house wiring and how to access and inspect all spans to check for telltale signs of rodent damage. Also make sure to inform an electrician of any electrical problems, like unexplained outages in parts of the house or tripped circuit breakers. Don’t forget, if you’re a member of the Apollo Care Plan, you’re entitled to a complementary electrical evaluation each year. Our team of electricians and HVAC technicians are trained to look for clues rodents are present. Sometimes they find nesting material, carcasses or droppings in ventilation ductwork, which reduces your energy efficiency as well as introduces pollutants into your air.

Reduce Electrical Problems with the Apollo Care Plan

If you live in Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky, it’s wise to become a member of the Apollo Care Plan. Seasonal tune ups of your heating and cooling equipment, as well as annual evaluations of your electrical and plumbing systems, are included. These annual evaluations are a great opportunity to ask questions and to be sure your home mechanicals and systems are in good shape. Additional benefits for Apollo Care Plan members include priority scheduling, discounts and a VIP phone number.

In Conclusion: Electrical Damage Happens Quickly, Follow Through with Repairs

If you suspect rodents chewing wires in your home, don’t delay. Rodents have to chew and will search for the easiest pathway. The best way to control this electrical problem? Prevent it using our tips of sealants, vigilance and routine inspections. Book an electrical inspection today to prevent bigger and potentially more dangerous problems. Recently, Apollo Home received awards such as “Best in Cincinnati” for Home Services, Angie’s List Super Service Award, Contractors of the Year from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and an A+ Accredited Business rating from the Better Business Bureau. We serve communities around Cincinnati, Ohio, including Sharonville, Sixteen Mile Stand, Oakdale, Hyde Park, Forestville, West Chester and Blue Ash. We also provide electrical, plumbing and HVAC services in Kentucky communities like Erlanger, Taylor Mill, Villa Hills, Fort Mitchell, Fort Wright and Covington.
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