Rodents are a dangerous pest to have in your home for many reasons. Most people probably think of the diseases rodents spread, and while those diseases are definitely a risk, rodents bring other dangers as well. One of these is that rodents often damage electrical wiring, causing it to malfunction.
It’s frustrating to know that rodents will likely end up in your home at some point. But there’s a lot you can do to prevent them and protect your home, from maintenance to calling an exterminator. You can keep rodents from invading and damaging your home with just a little effort.
Why Do I Need to Protect My Electrical Wiring from Rodents?
You’ve probably heard of rodents chewing on people’s electrical wiring, but you might still wonder how much of a problem it really is. After all, there are plenty of things rodents probably prefer chewing on, and lots of things that are less likely to kill them if they do chew on them. So, sure, it happens, but does it really happen a lot? Is it worth going to the extra effort of protecting electrical wiring?
The answers to those questions are yes, rodents do gnaw on electrical wiring a lot, and yes, it is worth the effort to protect your electrical wiring.
Rodents have teeth that never stop growing, so they gnaw on things to wear their teeth down and keep them to a reasonable length. Because they need to chew on things a lot, they end up chewing on all sorts of things, like wood, plastic, and electrical wiring. Not much is safe from their little teeth.
So if you don’t want the electrical wiring in your house becoming a rodent chew toy, you do need to protect the wiring. There are several ways to do so, so let’s take a look at some of the best ways.
5 Ways to Protect Electrical Wiring from Rodents
If you aren’t an electrician or an exterminator, you might be feeling a little lost about how to protect electrical wiring in your home. Especially because a lot of it is built into your walls, so you can’t even see it. Honestly, that can be a problem. There are things you personally can do to help protect electrical wiring, but hiring a professional may be necessary for some of the problems as well.
- Be Aware of Rodent Activity
The first thing you can do is be alert to any rodent activity in your home. You’ll also want to be aware of potential problem areas for rodents in your home. Where might they come in? Where might they live? Pay attention to those areas in case rodents do show up.
The sooner you can catch rodent activity in your home, the better. They can’t do a ton of damage to anything if you have an exterminator get rid of them quickly. And if they do damage wiring in the problem areas of your home, you’ll quickly know where to direct an electrician to fix the wiring. But again, if you pay attention and catch them quickly, the damage should be minimal if it happens at all. Awareness can be one of your best tools.
- Cover Wires
If rodents can’t access wiring, they can’t chew on it. Simple as that. While you may not be able to access all of the electrical wiring in your home, you can access some of it. Cover the wiring with hard plastic or steel tubes if you can so if the rodents chew on it, they can’t get through to the actual wiring.
Another option is to wrap the wires in rodent electrical tape. This tape can help repair chewed wires and prevents more damage from rodent gnawing because it tastes like hot peppers. Apparently, rodents don’t like the taste of those peppers, so they won’t chew on the tape much before the pepper taste sends them scurrying away.
If you’re building a structure, you can try burying the wires in concrete or make sure that the wires are away from pathways the rodents might take. If the mice don’t come across the wiring, they can’t ruin it.
- Block Entry to Your Home
Another important way to protect your electrical wiring is to prevent the rodents from coming inside and finding it in the first place. First, you’ll want to close off all gaps and cracks in your home that could be letting rodents inside. Most rodents can fit through gaps between a ½ inch to a ¼ inch. But blocking even the smaller cracks is still a good idea for preventing other pests as well.
If you’re really worried about rodents coming into your home, you can set out traps or poison to minimize the problem. Just make sure to check them often and keep them away from kids and pets. Exterminators might have treatment options for preventing rodents as well so you might not have to keep traps or poison around your home.
- Keep Wires Maintained
Every so often, it’s a good idea to check the electrical wiring in your home. This includes the wiring on your appliances as well as the wiring built into your home. Damaged wiring can be a fire hazard, so checking the wiring regularly can help prevent that danger. Look for any wiring with chew marks or exposed wires and fix any damage quickly.
You’ll also want to make sure the wiring is stored well. If it’s in a messy clump or laying out on the floor, take some time to position it better. Secure it under cabinets, along walls, etc. to make sure it is out of the way as much as possible. Check that it is still in a good place every so often.
You may want to call an electrician to check your electrical wiring at times. This is especially important if the wiring might be old or if you know you’ve had rodents in your home recently.
- Call an Exterminator
If you find rodents in your home, don’t hesitate to call an exterminator. The exterminator will be able to get rid of the rodents, check for potential damage, and let you know where you might have problem areas in your home so that you can better prevent more rodents from coming inside. It’s worth trusting a professional because their experience will make rodent removal much smoother.