No one wants to have to deal with a rodent infestation. They are nasty pests that damage furniture, leave droppings everywhere, and even spread disease. But there is another way rodents can cause harm to your household that you may not know about—by chewing on your electrical wires. Rats and mice have sharp teeth that constantly keep growing. This is why they need to find things to gnaw on, to help sand their teeth down. While rodents love to gnaw on wood and other furniture, the plastic sheathing around your electrical wires is also perfect for helping them manage their pointy chompers. If enough rodents infest your home, they can cause severe damage to your wiring, and even put your household at risk for electrical fires. Keep reading to learn the top signs there are rodents chewing on your electrical wires, and remember to call Lightning Bug Electric for all the residential electrical services you need.
The Top 5 Signs Rodents Are Gnawing on Your Wires
- Flickering Lights: Flickering lights are one of the most common symptoms of a loose connection or bad wiring. If you find that your lights flicker often, and everything is working correctly with your panel and the rest of your electrical system, it is possible that your wiring problems are being caused by rodents.
- Singed Outlets: When wires get old and wear down, and connections start to loosen, your system may experience an electrical “arc.” Arcing occurs because of a sudden flow of energy from your wires to the nearest electrical receptacle. When rodents eat away at your wiring, it may cause an unexpected flow of power to your outlets, resulting in singing around the receptacle. This is an extremely serious issue, as it can cause electrical fires to occur. Speaking of which…
- Burning Smells: Unexplained burning smells coming from your electrical system are never a good thing. It is a smart idea to hire an electrician if you detect the odor of burning plastic in your home, to see if there is a problem with your electrical equipment. If there does not appear to be an issue with any of the equipment itself, it is possible this burning is being caused by a rat or mouse chewing on your wires.
- Mysterious Odors: That burning smell isn’t the only odor to watch out for around your electrical system. If a rat or mouse bites down hard enough on an electrical wire, it may shock itself to death. When this occurs, you may start to notice the nasty smell of a decaying rodent carcass in your walls. Also, the odor of rat and mice droppings is very distinct. Some kinds of mice even use their urine to communicate. If you detect this strong, ammonia-like smell in your house, and/or have spotted any small black pellets, call for pest control, because what you are smelling and seeing are almost certainly rodent droppings.
- Scratching Noises: Another common indicator of a rodent infestation is scratching noises coming from the walls or attic. You will most commonly hear these scurrying sounds at night, as mice and rats are largely nocturnal. Again, if you spot a rat or mouse, or notice any of the other signs on this list in your home, call a pest control professional ASAP. And if rats or mice have damaged your electrical wires, just know you can call our skilled and experienced electricians at Lightning Bug Electric for top-notch wiring and rewiring services.