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Rodents might look cute, but you DEFINITELY don’t want them in your home. Not only can they carry disease, but their constant need to chew can wreak havoc on your electrical system, opening up your home to unforeseen fire danger.

But how do they cause electrical problems, and what can you do to stop them? Let’s take a look!

Why do Mice and Rats chew on wires?

Contrary to how it might seem, Rats and Mice aren’t always on the lookout for wires to chew. Really, they’re looking for just about anything to chew, because their teeth never stop growing!

While our own teeth are rooted into our jawbone, a rodent’s incisors don’t have any roots. So they aren’t constantly chewing things to be a pain — they are constantly chewing to grind down their teeth and prevent them from growing into their brains.

They often go for wires simply because they’re there, and they’re hidden where the rodent is also hidden (like between walls).

Unfortunately, when rodents chew on wires, it opens up your home to a greater chance of an electrical fire. This can be caused by frayed wires or a short circuit.

Dangers of electrical fires

Electrical failures or malfunctions cause 13% of home fires in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association. They are the second leading cause of home fires.

Unfortunately, the risk of an electrical fire increases when rodents come into contact with loose wiring, electrical panels, and more. That’s why it’s important to prevent rodents from entering the home as much as possible, and to recognize the common signs of electrical problems.

Signs of electrical problems

Rats and Mice are nocturnal creatures, meaning that the majority of the time, you probably won’t notice them in your home right away. Because Rats or Mice usually choose to chew on wires that are hidden away, it’s likely you won’t even know they are chewing on the wiring until your home starts showing signs of electrical problems.

If you notice signs of any of these electrical problems, look around your home for signs of rodents.

  • Flickering lights
  • Bite marks on wiring you can see, or frayed wires
  • “Blinking” appliances or computers
  • Acrid burning odor 
  • Droppings near outlets or wiring runs 
  • Power failures

Regardless of these signs, it’s a good idea to regularly check the electrical wiring in your home to ensure it’s functioning properly and safely. Many electricians recommend scheduling an inspection every 3-5 years or so.

Tips to keep Mice and Rats out of your home

Tip #1 – Seal holes, cracks, and gaps in your house

Did you know Rats and Mice can fit through openings less than ½” in diameter? This creates a lot of opportunity for them to make a home in your home. Common places to check for holes include:

  • Near doors
  • Inside closets (near the corners)
  • In, around, or under kitchen cabinets
  • Around pipes under the sink
  • Inside the attic, basement, or crawl space
  • Adjacent to windows

 

Tip #2 – Clean up and properly store food

We all love food, but so do rodents. Make sure you properly store food both inside and outside of the home. You can do this by:

  • Store your food in containers with tight lids
  • Wipe up any spills and keeping kitchen surfaces clear of food debris (including dirty dishes)
  • Keep all cooking areas — including outside patios and grills — clean at all times
  • Cover garbage cans with a tight lid
  • Don’t leave pet food outside overnight and keep bird feeders away from your house
  • Store pet food in a sealed container
  • Pick produce from your garden or backyard before it goes bad
  • Keep compost at least 100 feet away from your house

 

Tip #3 – Don’t give them a place to call home

We know you won’t always be able to control this, but here are a few simple things you can do to eliminate living spaces for rodents in or around your home:

  • Move wood piles at least 100 feet away from the house
  • Keep your grass and shrubbery cut short
  • Trim tree branches at least 4 feet away from your home
  • Remove old cars, trucks, or tires that you aren’t using — these make great homes for rodents

 

Tip #4 – Call the professionals at EcoCare

One of the best ways to prevent rodents from infesting your home and causing electrical problems is to work with professionals, like the skilled team at EcoCare. We’ll help you set up regular inspections and recommend a maintenance plan.
 

Inspection

First, our exterminators will visit your home and conduct a detailed inspection of the property. They’ll inspect the inside of your property, including the attic or crawlspace, and search for signs of nests, infestations, or electrical damage. Additionally, they’ll scour the foundation and outside of your home for holes or small cracks that might allow a rodent in.

Depending on what our exterminators find, they’ll recommend a customized treatment plan to best suit you and your home.
 

Exclusion

With so many opportunities for rodents to invite themselves in, “Rat proofing”  your home can be a daunting task. But not for us! Our exterminators will thoroughly examine holes and cracks in your home. Then, they’ll seal off any questionable openings, like those found around pipes, vents, wires, and more. This is an important step in preventing future infestations.
 

Eco-friendly extermination

We are dedicated not only to ridding your home of pests, but to doing it in a safe and non-toxic way. With that in mind, our exterminators will only use rat poison inside of your home as a last resort. The use of poison inside your home might lead the rodent to die inside your walls, causing even more problems. Instead, we’ll use rat traps to humanely capture the rodents inside your home without posing any risk to your children or pets.
 

Rodent maintenance program

Keeping rodents out of your home takes a lot of work and effort. This is especially true for homes in areas with: compost piles, feeding stations for chickens, birds, or squirrels, homes on a greenbelt, and homes in a neighborhood with a Rat problem. Luckily, there’s a rodent maintenance program for that!

Rodent maintenance with EcoCare looks like:

  • Setting up bait traps outside your home at common entry points to capture rodents before they enter your home
  • Regularly coming to inspect your home and remove any rodents based on a schedule that’s convenient to you

Schedule an appointment with EcoCare today!

Preventing rodents from infesting your home and damaging your electrical system is both an important and never-ending task. We can help!

Learn more about our eco-friendly rodent control options and how we can help by contacting us today.