Now that the warm weather is beginning to cool and the leaves are starting to change colour, it’s the start of the season where we spend more time indoors. And we’re not the only ones. This is also the season where rodents like rats and mice start to look for a cozy place to nest for the winter, too, wreaking havoc on electrical systems.
We certainly get a lot more rodent related calls in the fall and winter! And we are happy to help fix the problems, but there are some things you can do to prevent the issue in the first place.
Unwanted house guests
Rats and mice are poor houseguests for several reasons. They are unbelievably skilled at getting into small spaces, chewing through almost anything for food and nesting supplies, contaminating the food in your cupboards, and potentially spreading disease through their droppings.
They also seem to have a real penchant for chewing on electrical wiring which has the potential to cause severe electrical damage and even house fires.
There are some telltale signs that mice and rats have taken up residence in your home.
Sounds in the walls – if you hear scratching, chewing or scurrying in the walls or coming from hidden corners around the house, you are probably not imagining this.
Rodent trails – mice and rats will leave droppings, usually along the floorboards or in the cupboards they have gotten into. Also, look for things like shredded tissue and toilet paper or foam that’s been chewed through.
Weird electrical activity – rodents are drawn to wiring so if you find that lights are flickering or outlets or appliances are sparking when you go to use them, take a moment to examine the wiring more carefully. Even if you suspect that your electrical wiring has been compromised, call an electrician right away. It’s simply not worth the risk.
If you find evidence of rats and mice in your home, it’s imperative to get rid of them as soon as possible. Here are a few suggestions on how.
Seal up your home. Look for even the tiniest holes and cracks in floorboards and take action. Stuff them with steel wool or wire mesh and fill in the gaps with special preventative caulking.
Set deterrents. There is a range of traps and preventative measures that you can find at your local hardware store, from classic snap traps to high pitch devices that keep rodents away through sound.
Summon a professional. Rodents can be incredibly resourceful so if you keep finding evidence after your attempts, call in the pros to help you deal with the problem.
Once you have eradicated the problem, you may have to go back and fix the damage that’s already been done, especially to your electrical system. Again, damage to your electrical system can present serious problems that might result in fires and electrical shortages. We have gone into many homes and seen the extensive damage that the little critters can do.
If you need an experienced electrician to repair damage to your wiring and electrical system from rodents, BPM is a great place to call.