Rats and Other Rodents Chew on Wires
Rats and many other rodents gnaw. It's a common part of their behavior. I've read that rat teeth continually grow, at a rate of about five inches per year. In order to keep the length of the teeth in check,
the rats chew on things to wear the teeth down. It's the same reason a cat scratches, in order to wear down its claws. Rats may chew on a variety of surfaces, but they often seem to select something somewhat
soft - and wires, including electrical wires, fit the bill nicely. An unfortunate side effect of this gnawing is the potential for fire hazards. Electrical wires often lay across wooden beams in an attic, and
the exposed wire, without its insulating covering, can overheat the wood and cause it to burn. Many house fires of unknown origin are believed to be electrical fires as a result of rodent chewing. It's a simple
concept - rats love to live in attics, they love to chew wires, there's electrical wires in the attic, and voila, they get chewed upon. I very commonly spot chewed-upon electrical wires. In fact, the rats often
select the exact areas where the wires meet the wood - probably because they're already using the wood beam as a pathway, and the location is convenient. So I see real fire hazards from time to time.
If you've got rats in the attic, be aware that the problem involves more than just some annoying scratching noises at night. It involves real threats to your health, property, or safety.
You may want to click on one of these rat guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.