The thought of having rodents running wild in your home while you sleep is abhorrent to nearly everyone. They multiply quickly and spread disease through the droppings they leave everywhere they go. As is that weren’t reason enough to want to eradicate them, they also travel freely behind walls, and they seem to have a special affinity for chewing on the electrical wires that run behind those walls, doing damage that can lead to electrical shorts and worse — a house fire! Here are a few tips for preventing rodent damage to your home’s electrical wiring.
Since technology has not yet developed “rodent-proof” wiring or coatings, your first line of defense is prevention.
Seal ‘Em Out!
Rodents like mice can slip through the tiniest cracks imaginable, so the first order of business is to find out where they’re getting in. Arm yourself with a steel wool, caulk or cement and seal off any crack you find in your foundation, eaves and soffits. Stuff holes with steel wool, then top with caulk, sheet metal, or cement.
Know Their Food Sources
Mice, rats and squirrels are very resourceful and very unfussy when it comes to what they’ll eat. Grass seed stored in the bag in your garage is a tasty and long-lasting treat for rodents, as is pet food. Keep these items in heavy plastic containers with airtight lids or in metal canisters. Do the same with birdseed and any grains, nuts or cereals in your pantry or cupboards.
If you don’t have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, save scraps of food in a freezer bag in the freezer and toss it into the trash on your trash collection day. (If you just dump it into the trash, it’s like rolling out the welcome mat!)
Rodent-Proof Your Trash
Store your trash outdoors in tamper-proof garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. Replace any garbage cans with holes or cracks. (Tossing bags into cans without lids won’t cut it and will attract other animals to your garbage — even neighborhood dogs and coyotes, who have become very “suburban-savvy” in recent years.)
Examine Trees and Shrubs Near Your Home
If you’ve got trees or shrubbery with branches that reach within a few feet of your home, squirrels will use them as jungle-gyms to gain access to your attic. Trim them back to discourage giving rodents an easy way in.
Dealing with an Existing Problem
If you’ve already seen mouse droppings or heard scratching noises from inside your walls, you’ve already got a problem. Experts say that if you see one mouse, there are probably dozens more around. Considering that a female mouse goes into heat every 4 to 5 days and gives birth less than a month later, simple math makes it easy to see that she’s capable of producing a great many “pups” as they’re called, in short order. Even worse, those “pups” are fully mature and able to reproduce themselves at just 28-35 days old!
Your best course of action is to call an exterminator pronto, and then immediately take the steps listed above to keep them from moving back in and causing more rodent damage.
Now Call an Electrician!
Since rodents are notorious chewers who love to gnaw on electrical wires, it’s also a good idea to call a qualified licensed electrician to test your wiring and make repairs where necessary. (Rodents chewing through wires within the walls of homes cause 8% of house fires in the U.S. each year by gnawing off the protective coating on wiring and causing a short-circuit or excessive heat which catches nearby materials, such as insulation on fire.)
In the Las Vegas – Henderson region of Nevada, the company to call is Penny Electric for safe and dependable electrician service with a licensed, bonded and insured electrician. Contact us online or give us a call at 702-279-6040 today!