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Energy CostsIN CHARLOTTEJuly 12, 2022by AndrewHow to Protect Buried Wiring Against Rodents

Do you have living creatures living somewhere in your house? Under the house? In the garage? In the yard or garden? It could be rats, mice, moles or other rodents. If so, those little pests like to chew on wiring and cords. How can you protect buried wiring from rodents in your house or around your property?

Even with having the whole world to find things to chew, rats and mice will chew wires if they can get to them, indoors or outdoors. You might think rat droppings are the worst thing to find in your house or in a garage or basement. The worst really could be a rat-caused power outage.

It’s just natural for rodents to chew everything. It can be edible or not. If one comes across wiring in or near your home, it could cause a major mess and electrical problem. It could even lead to safety or fire threats you were not expecting.

What Rats Can Do to Wiring

When rats or other tiny things with teeth chew on wiring, they can chew through safety casing, down to the bare metal in the wires. Bare wires and cables that are bundled with each other can become incredibly hot when exposed. The heat can inflame insulation and wood framework.

Electrical wiring damage and related fire risk can be hidden in wall surfaces, crawl spaces, attics and insulation. In fact, professionals estimate rodents are the culprits in about a quarter of all fires that start without known causes.

Rats likewise eat the protective covering around grounding and power-supply cords. Mice and rats eat electrical cords attached to appliances and come to be an issue when other gadgets. Circuit-breaker problems happen when chewed wires disrupt electrical currents. Risks of fire rise anywhere home appliance circuitry is frayed and damaged.

One rat or one time you see a chewed wire could mean a much larger issue. Scientists say the offspring of a solitary pair of rats can number a 500 million rats in three years. Rodents breed fast. You may assume one mouse isn’t a big deal. That’s an assumption which could be very wrong.

Cover the Wires

If rats can’t get to the wires, they can’t chew them. Setting up a plastic or metal rodent-resistant cable sleeves or rodent-proof wire covers over susceptible parts of your home or outdoor wiring will help shield it from any kind of rats or animals that may come across what otherwise would be an unprotected wire to gnaw on.

Get Your System Checked

How to Protect Buried Wiring Against Rodents
One rat or one time you see a chewed wire could mean a much larger issue.

Removing undesirable furry friends will not undo the mess they’ve made. If you had a rodent problem, then taken care of it, now you should bring in an electric expert to inspect the electrical system. A professional electrician will check the wiring and system for damage or wear, then recommend and make any fixes. If your home or property needs more rodent proofing or other installation needs, the pro can do it.

Signs of Pests

Rodents leave telltale signs of their presence. From an electric perspective, you might experience flickering lights or strange behavior from devices. For example, your microwave screen might become wonky or you might have a tripped circuit breaker out of nowhere.

Other electrical-related indications of rodent damage might include:

  • Visible fraying or chew marks on cables
  • Scratching, screeching and noises behind walls
  • Nests and debris near or on wires
  • Rodent droppings near electrical wiring runs or outlets
  • Computer system and modem outages or failing
  • Unexplained crashes

If grounding or power lines have been damaged by rats, you may see dimmed lights when compressors kick on. For instance, when your refrigerator or AC unit cycles, the light bulbs in your house flicker and dim for a moment. With time, rodent damages causes electrical surges and falls and spikes in the current in a property’s electrical wiring.  The fluctuations in electric current damage appliances and fry compressors in time.

Get Rid of Bait and Entry Points

After calling in pros and getting rid of the pests, now you’ve got to stop another infestation. Stopping rats from climbing around in your walls or attics is important before cold temperatures are back.

The most effective method of staying clear of rodent-related electrical damage is to stop entry to your residence and clean up products that are attractive to rodents. It might seem unlikely, but mice can go through a space only a ¼ inch wide. Rats can fit through a space a ½ inch wide.

An open dryer vent, a cracked window frame, vents in the attic, or a garage door not closing all the way are some of the entry ways for little critters.

Rat and mice can also enter through

  • Vents without screening
  • Spaces between the roof and framing
  • Openings in weather strips
  • Cracks between bricks

Before cold weather makes rodents want warm nesting places in your house, check everywhere around the outside of your home. Hire someone or do the job on your own to ensure that all spaces, cracks and openings into your home are safe and sound. Firmly tighten up electrical switch plates and outlet covers in and outside the home. These wall, flooring or ceiling openings allow rodents to get to tons of wiring. Get rid of areas of standing water that mice and rodents like to have near their nests. Clean up debris and pet food areas that may draw rodents.



Your best bet? Hire an expert to do the job. South End Electric has the background and understanding to ensure a safe and smooth installation. We can provide electrical safety inspections and installation, inspections and work with GFCI outlets. In addition, our professionals provide whole-house generator sales and installation to meet your needs. See everything South End Electric can do for you. Call us direct at 704-368-4694.