Are you harboring unwanted guests in your home? Rats, mice, squirrels and even raccoons are notorious for taking up residence in people's homes without asking. In addition to being a health hazard to your family, rodents love to chew, and seem to have a particular penchant for the insulation on your electrical work, which can damage your home systems and even cause a fire. Read on for tips on how to prevent these furry pests.
Watch Out for the Telltale Signs of Rats
How do you know if you have rodents sharing your home? Try these tips to track them down:
- Keep your eyes and ears peeled: Rodents in your home are not usually shy about hiding their presence. Listen for telltale scurrying, scratching or chewing in your walls, and look out for droppings or nesting material, especially in enclosed spaces.
- Inspect your wiring: It's not a bad idea to inspect your wiring periodically to make sure the insulation is intact and nothing has been chewing on it. Unfortunately, this isn't always an option for wiring hidden behind the walls, but you should make sure to check if you are performing a renovation or repair and have access to them.
- Watch out for unexplained electrical problems: If you notice the power in a certain room or circuit isn't reliable, or one of your breakers keeps tripping for no apparent reason, rodent damage to your electrical work could be the culprit.
Mice, Rats and Squirrels All Have to Go
When you do discover a rodent infiltration, you need to act right away to get rid of them before they can wreak havoc on your electrical work:
- Take the Offensive: Your local hardware store can supply you with a variety of tools to combat the rodents, from spring traps and poison to more humane solutions like live traps. Remember, however, that even if you remove one rodent, more are likely to arrive unless you address how they got in your home in the first place.
- Bring in a Professional: If you aren't up to handling your pest problem on your own, a professional exterminator can take care of them for you and advise you on what steps you need to take to secure your home.
- Seal up Your Home: The best way to prevent rodent damage is to keep them out of your home entirely. Inspect your home and seal up cracks or holes with caulk, foam spray or other barriers to entry. Unfortunately, rodents can be persistent, finding tiny cracks to squeeze through and even chewing their own way in.
- Conscript your Cat for Help: Cats can help discourage rodents from setting up shop in the first place, and make great hunters when mice and rats do get in.
Don't Neglect to Repair the Damage
If you suspect rodents have been chewing on your electrical work, get in touch with an expert electrician immediately to assess the damage and perform any necessary repairs.