Unlikely Pests That Can Damage The Wiring In Your Home

The first sign of rodents and other pests in the attic is often the pitter-patter of little feet or buzzing or humming in the walls. You may not be aware that these pests pose a danger to the wiring in your home and put your family at risk of fires due to chewed and damaged wiring. If the following critters have invaded your home, you need to take quick action to avoid damage to your wiring.

Mice: Mice are a common household pest that come inside in the fall to seek shelter during the winter. These vermin multiply at an alarming rate. According to American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association (AFRMA), a pair of mice and their offspring could produce over 100,000 new mice in one year under ideal breeding conditions. That means no intervention from you to rid these annoying creatures from your home.

  • The Problem: Because mice's teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime, they need to chew or gnaw to keep their teeth worn down. What that means to you is that not only will they gnaw the structure of your home; they may chow down on your electrical wiring too. Damage to the wiring in your home poses a risk of fire and requires rewiring to restore your home to safety.
  • Solutions: To keep mice under control, get a cat and set her loose in the attic regularly or use mousetraps as soon as you detect the scurry of tiny mouse feet. But, beware! Spring traps will catch kitty too, so make sure you set them in areas your cat cannot access. Mouse bait can be used to kill off mice, but this too poses a risk to your cat. If you must use poison, follow all instructions carefully and keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Rats: Rats are similar to mice, except for their larger size. These large rodents can do quick damage to your home.

  • The Problem: Like mice, rats chew or gnaw to keep their teeth worn down, but their massive size means they can make quick work of wires when the mood strikes. If left unchecked invading rats can do major damage to the wiring in your home.
  • Solutions: Your cat won't be much use against rats, and may even be injured by them. This means using a mouser to control rats isn't a good idea. You can buy special rat traps at your local hardware store. These look similar to spring mousetraps but are larger and more powerful. Rat bait is also an option for getting rid of rats. For a severe infestation, seek the advice of a professional for ridding your home of rats.

Squirrels: Squirrels and chipmunks may enter the attic at any time of the year. Unlike rats and mice that seek out food sources, squirrels and chipmunks likely enjoy your attic because it provides them with a cozy nesting area for raising their young.

  • The Problem: Like other rodents, squirrels and chipmunk chew to keep their teeth worn down, but they also chew to make nests for raising their young. Their teeth are razor sharp and can cut through nearly any material they encounter. Squirrels and chipmunks may chomp through wiring to get to the insulation in your home.
  • Solutions: Squirrels and chipmunks can be difficult to trap and typically require small wildlife traps. These traps close when the critter enters and hold him captive until you can release him outside.

Bees & Wasps: Wasps and bees may enter your home through tiny holes or cracks. While wasps create nests, honeybees may actually start a colony, complete with honeycomb and honey.

  • The Problem: Opinions differ on whether bees and wasps actually cause damage to the wiring of your home, but most agree that their honey is likely to attract rodents who in turn damage the wiring. According to Honeybee Removal, bees pose the greatest risk to cloth sheath Romex wire that was typically used in houses built prior to the 1950's, but they can also chew the plastic sheath on modern wiring.
  • Solutions: Removing a section of the siding is often necessary to expose the bee colony or wasp nest, but this can be risky as aggressive bees and wasps can inflict painful stings. If you suspect wasps and bees in your attic or walls, call a professional to remove them.

Keeping rodents, bees and other pests out of your home saves you the aggravation and cost of exterminating them or rewiring your home when damage occurs. Eliminate food sources in your home and attic and repair holes and cracks as soon as they appear. Caging the eaves of your home and getting rid of trees that provide access to the roof or attic helps prevent rodents from gaining access to your home. 

However, if you are too late to save the wiring in your home, then contact an electrical company, such as Nicholas Electric Co, to rewire your home.