What Types of Animals Chew on Wires? | Critter Control Tampa

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What Types of Animals Chew on Wires?While you might not find it all that tempting to chomp down on electrical wires, a number of wild animals do enjoy gnawing on them. The most common culprits are rodents—particularly squirrels, mice, and rats when it comes to damage in the home. When you discover chewed wires in your attic or anywhere else in your home, it’s important to act quickly to address the situation.

Dangers of Chewed Wires

Obviously, damaged wires pose serious risks. The casing around the copper wiring prevents the heated conductor from coming into contact with flammable surfaces. Exposed wiring can cause fires when it rests against wood, insulation, carpeting, or other flammable materials in your home. In fact, chewed wires are responsible for many thousands of house fires every year in the US. Electrical shorts and power outages are of concern as well.

This type of damage also probably means other things in your home are being chewed on. Squirrels, for example, also really like to gnaw on wood beams, PVC water pipes, and more. Wire damage may also indicate risks of structural damage, leaks, and other issues.

Rodents and Wire Chewing

More often than not, rodents are responsible for chewed wires in and around the home. One of the defining characteristics of rodents is that their upper and lower incisors grow continuously, like our fingernails. They have to regularly chew on surfaces that are hard—but not so hard that they might cause cracks or chips—to file down their teeth and prevent them from becoming overgrown, like how cats scratch to file their claws.

Common wire-chewing rodents in Florida include:

  • Squirrels

    are very often to blame for chewed wires, especially in the attic. They are some of the most prolific chewers, and they’re not too picky about what they’ll chew on.

  • Rats

    gnaw on wires in the attic and elsewhere, too. In addition to filing their teeth, they also chew wires that are in their way when they make holes for passageways and nesting areas.

  • Mice

    also take up residence and chew in attics and walls. They may also use bits of chewed-up wire casing as décor for their nesting area.

  • Pocket gophers

    are burrowing rodents that don’t generally end up inside a home, but they may be responsible for chewed wires outside your home or underground around it.

Other Florida Animals That Could Cause Wire Damage

Raccoons—which are not rodents—don’t often chew on wires, but it’s been known to happen. If it’s not a rodent causing your wire damage, raccoons would be the next most-likely possibility.

People are sometimes inclined to blame bats or opossums for wire chewing. But these critters aren’t known to exhibit this behavior. Incidentally, lots of people also mistakenly believe that these animals are rodents (bats are often called “flying rats” of “flying mice”). Armadillos and skunks don’t chew wires, either.

Finding Chewed Wires in or Around Your Home?

At Critter Control® of Tampa, we understand that squirrels, rats, and mice are just displaced wild animals trying to survive. Our expert technicians are committed to using humane measures to address wildlife infestations. If you find chewed wires inside or outside your home, bring in professional help right away to ensure your safety and protect your property. Get a free estimate or more information regarding our CritterSafe® services by calling us today at 813-948-0870.

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