Are mice chewing on your wires? The presence of small, rodent-sized holes in the wires indicates that they may be. However, there are a few other things you can check before you start crying over your computer’s disarray.
If you have seen a hole in your wires and a mouse is gone, there are a few things to check before assuming the worst.
Here are a few tips to help you decide if it’s time to contact an exterminator:
- Bite Marks On Wires and Cables
- Mice Droppings Near Cords
- Sounds of Electrocution In Your Home
- Frequent Electric Fluctuation
- Breakers Tripping and Power Outages
- Sudden Electric Fire
- Appliance Failure
- Signs of Mice Nests
- Burning Smells
- Bad Odors
- Scratching and Skittering Noises
11 Signs of Rats Chewing Wires
Here are some signs of rats chewing on electrical wires thereby causing electrocution in your home:
1. Bite Marks On Wires and Cables
There may be multiple bite-marks on the wires or cables and each one will tend to be part of a somewhat circular brushing pattern.
The spots would clearly not look like bites that were made by human hands but more like those from rodents like rats and squirrels – it is easy enough to imagine mice nibbling up through insulation while they are chewing away at windows, table legs, baseboards, etc as well because their teeth can easily cut right into all these materials.
2. Rodent Droppings Near Electric Cords
You may see pieces of paper, cloth, or other soft material and that would be evidence of mouse droppings on the wires which they had chewed up while concealing themselves in order to get indoors. You may see some inside your home if these are anywhere near electric cords (e.g., a patch cord along with its sheath)
3. Sounds Of Electrocution In Your Home
Once mice have started chewing into electrical wires it is pretty common for them to chew right through the insulation down to bare copper and then begin chewing on that.
It would generate a nice sharp sound when they are pulling away at wires which calls attention immediately upon hearing. Something similar happens when rats dig deep into electric baseboard heaters or other electrical outlets in walls and floors.
4. Frequent Electric Fluctuation
Homeowners would probably notice that their lights, computer, or other electronic devices are flickering when the wires get chewed up.
This is because a certain area of the cord has some sort of insulation intact such as electrical tape and thus conducts electricity but no longer protects it against high voltage mishaps which may be causing this phenomenon.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for mice to chew through wires in your home and cause it to become an electric hazard. The question is what can you do about it?
5. Breakers Tripping and Power Outages
While wires get chewed through, a power surge can also generate arcing or sparking on the electrical connections which create the noise of breaking steel circuitry (which is often heard).
In addition to destroying your appliances and circuit breakers, it may be that rat stench residue – mixed with acidic urine collected along with other stuff inside wall cavities – were probably responsible for tripping breaker switches in more cases than actual rats.
6. Sudden Electrical Fires
Perhaps the most common causes of a house fire resulting from rat infestation would be licking and gnawing on plastic or rubber wires.
While you’re thinking that this is certainly no indicator your home has rats, it can actually happen in any such space where high voltage wiring may have made its way into wall cavities via hollow plastic walls for a wide variety of purposes like ventilation ducts, insulation between floors (e.g., if exposed to water, salt, or heat ), attic ducts, a line to a ceiling fan cabinet and other mechanical devices.
According to reports from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), over 420 people are killed every year by fires caused by home electrical failure or malfunction. There are 1,370 injuries linked with such fires on average every year.
7. Appliance Failure
Home appliances may fail to operate properly in case of gnawing on cords and visible damage to wires. For example, refrigerators with an ice dispenser may not work (which may indicate uncontrolled electrical heat leakage inside walls), washing machines might no longer provide laundry assistance due to flow obstructions from rats’ nests behind the door panels, or even microwaves that can broil your food but stop working all of the sudden without fail.
In this case, request an electrical system evaluation from a trusted vendor.
8. Signs of Mice Nests
In case of electric wires or discarded appliances causing a house fire, don’t forget to inspect the walls and nearby locations carefully while looking out for rodent infestation around electrical boxes. Somehow gnawing on these lines in wall cavities may have resulted in sparking that causes fire.
Hence, it is essential to check for electrical damage, as well as signs of gnawing and chewing. For example, if you find wires hanging loose in walls or along with ceilings in areas where they shouldn’t be, then it’s likely that rodents have been there before you arrived.
9. Burning Smells
If mice are chewing on electrical wiring, they’re trying to feed on insulation. This means they’ll chew away at the wire itself, causing a burning odor that’s particularly noticeable with frayed wires and plastic covers exposed when rodents gnaw them off. Take the assistance of a professional electrician to find the exact cause of the odor.
Rats and mice will gnaw on wires exposed through broken plastic on electrical fixtures that they are drawn to due to the smell of burning insulation. When this happens, there is a terrible smell emitted which quickly becomes overpowering.
10. Bad Odors
While rodents may still smell good even with their grave “afterlife”, they emit elevated levels of dangerous smelly chemicals into the atmosphere.
It would be a life hazard for humans if you live in such an environment, so don’t forget to call your local pest control experts and tell them about any smells you’re inhaling that came from rodent infestations or gnawing behind electrical systems around appliances.
11. Scratching and Skittering Noises
If a rodent were entangled in power cords or wires inside the walls, then you’ll hear the rubbing noises coming from their body against electrical insulators. Even worse are typical drywall sounds of boring around through plaster and paper tape behind studs to gnaw at the wiring that’s exposed after insulation fell off.
Also, you’ll often hear scratching sounds if rats are under your house or inside in drywall.
I hope you will be able to find the regular villains responsible for electrical issues and malfunctions at your house.