Rodent pests are a real danger to home electrical systems. The damage often goes undetected until unexpected electrical problems develop seemingly out of nowhere, and eventually you have fatally electrocuted critters to clean up after.
Nobody really knows what attracts mice, rats, squirrels and raccoons to electrical wiring, but the result is never pretty. Orange County has its share of rodent pests, and your home could be targeted by any of these animals.
Rodent Pest Prevention Comes First
If you can prevent rodents from infiltrating your home, you will never have to worry about them chewing on your wiring. Take the initiative by sealing up any holes or cracks in your walls using caulk. Polyurethane spray foam also works well and is widely available at hardware stores throughout the area.
Sealing your home may not be enough, however. Rats, in particular, can be very persistent and even chew their way through concrete walls. You might consider getting a pet cat to curb the chances of infestation, but make sure your cat doesn't also become a wire-chewer. You may also consider setting up traps in and around your home. Most hardware stores carry both fatal and humane pest control traps.
How to Identify Rodent Damage
Since rodent damage takes place inside your walls, it can often be very hard to detect. Be on the look out for unexplained electrical issues:
- Does the power in a certain room not work, and recently replaced circuit breakers keep tripping?
- Do certain appliances seem to draw power inconsistently?
- Are the lights in a certain room unreliable, even though the rest of the room seems to be fully powered?
If you notice anything like this happening, you should schedule a wiring inspection. You may be surprised to find that sections of wire have been exposed – perhaps by tiny gnawing teeth.
It can be difficult to assess the damage without opening up your home's walls, but if you suspect a rodent infestation you should definitely try to resolve it as soon as possible. Remember that should the rodent electrocute itself in the interior of your home's walls, you will have to open up the wall to remove it anyway.
In either case, the services of a professional electrician can get your wires in good shape again. You may also wish to hire an exterminator to ensure that the problem does not repeat itself – one unwelcome guest is enough for any house. A pest control specialist can help you secure your home from further intrusion.