What animals chew on electric wires?

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There is quite the weird and wonderful mix of animals that are likely to chew on the wires in your home or building, and this applies to outbuildings, garages, sheds and attics, as well as the main bulk of your home.

Chewed wires can pose a danger hazard to the household, causing light switches and systems to not work as they should, flickering occasionally, or perhaps not even working altogether. The same can be said for the sockets that you plug your electricals into, or even your electrical items themselves. If you’ve ever pulled out your hair straighteners, for example, and found that they have been nibbled away, there’s a good chance a wild animal was behind it. In this case, it is more than likely going to be a rat.

Rats have teeth that are always growing, so they actually need to chew in order to keep them in check. If they didn’t chew on materials — basically every material you could think of, with the exception of strong metals — their front teeth would overgrow their heads and mouths. It would be very uncomfortable. For them, the chewing action is necessary, but that’s not the only reason they do it.

Rats and other wild animals will chew their way into a home or building, or out of it, and they will also chew through various materials to get to food, fresh water, or even fresh air. Rats can chew through drywall, meaning that it is very easy for them to get into wall cavities and deeper areas of your home, and they can also chew through plastics, wood, and most other materials with ease. If you're up against a rat, steel wire wool, hardware cloth, and strong metal flashing will be required to seal up the holes and make sure they stay out.

Bats are just as bad as rats, and they will also chew through not only electrical wires, but also the wooden and other foundations of your home, if they manage to get into the attic and stay there undetected for some length of time. Once again, you will find that your electrical systems misbehave if this is the case, and you may find that plug sockets don’t work, lights don’t work, or the system shorts out entirely. As you can probably imagine, re-wiring your home is going to be a very big job, and a very expensive one to boot. You will need to hire a professional to not only locate the source of the problem, but also fix it, and you may also need to hire a wildlife removal expert alongside an electrician if you are unable to get the wild animal invaders out alone.

Squirrels, rats, bats, mice, raccoons, skunks, opossums … these are all animals with sharp teeth and claws, and they will chew their way if the need arises. Out of these creatures, however, it is probably bats, squirrels or rats that are causing your chewing drama. We would recommend that you call in the professionals to find out, because you’ll need to know which animal you’re dealing with in order to come up with a plan to evict them.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of wildlife control prices.
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