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How to Protect Electrical Wires from Rats (5 Expert Methods)

Experts claim that rats chewing on electrical wires start one-fourth of all fires, later attributed to unknown causes.

Many rodents’ favorite pastimes are chewing wires, which need to be protected with things like insulation or rat-proofing.  This article is for you if you have a rat problem and need to protect your wires.

As an electrician with over 15 years of experience, I am confident you’ll get much value from this list of my favorite approaches.

In general, there are a few methods to protect electrical wires from rats:

  • Get rid of the rats
  • Block potential rat entrances
  • Cover and secure your wires

Follow the recommendations to prepare for rat infiltration into your home and safeguard your electrical system.

1. Get Rid of the Problem

Unsure of how to prevent rats from chewing wires? Well, pest control or getting rid of the rats is a good starting point.

Although you can take steps to preserve your home’s electrical wiring (we’ll talk more about that later), your first method of defense should be to get rid of any rodents making a mess of it.

You use many DIY rodent disposal or pest control techniques to secure your property from mice, rats, and other creatures if you have a strong stomach and aren’t reluctant to get your hands dirty. However, hiring a pro to take care of your problem is the best method to make sure they go and stay away. 

2. Block Potential Entrances

Sealing off the whole structure is one of the best ways to stop rodents from entering your home.

man peeping at the hole

Putting up barriers will stop mice, rats, and other wire-eaters from creeping back in and causing further harm. Clearing away any sections that allow easy access to your roof and sealing up any small gaps and holes with spray foam helps keep rodent damage out of your attic and prevents them from getting into your residence.

3: Cover and Secure Your Wires

plastic / steel rodent-resistant cable wrap

If rats can’t access your cables, they can’t chew anything.

If there are any exposed areas of your home’s wiring, you should install a plastic or steel rodent-resistant cable wrap or rodent-proof wire jacket to help keep rats and mice out. Recognize that while rats can squeeze through apertures with a diameter of 1/2 inch, mice can also fit into places that are 1/4 inch broad and tall.

The following are some areas you should secure:

  • Vents without hardware cloth
  • Gaps between framing and foundation or roof
  • Openings in weather stripping
  • Gaps under entry and garage doors
  • Cracks between bricks

4. Have Your System Examined

Contact a qualified electrician immediately if you believe rodents have harmed your home’s wiring. Licensed electricians are qualified and equipped to identify wire problems and make safe, code-compliant repairs. Rats may not be to blame if an electrical problem is discovered during a wire examination, but the electrician may find other dangers in your wiring.

A damaged length of chewing wire cannot simply be removed from the wall and replaced like a damaged part of a plumbing pipe can. Even if only a portion of a wireline needs to be replaced, a certified electrician often removes it. Making extra connections and inspections to keep the wires insulated and secure would be best.

electrician examining wires

A licensed expert inspects your entire home’s wiring damage caused by rats. They can reinforce sagging wires that rodents have been using for transportation. The electrician examines your home’s circuits several times after making repairs and upgrades to your electrical system to ensure that your wiring distributes the proper amount of electricity throughout your house.


What are the signs that rats are chewing my wires?

Here are several indicators that rats and mice are munching on the wires in your home:

– Electrical lines and wires with bite marks.
– Scratching noise or sound behind walls.
– Nest or rat droppings.
– Flickering microwave or home lights.
– Circuit breaker tripping.
– Damage to home appliances.

What happens when rats chew my wires?

In such a dangerous situation, the electrical damage produced by rodents must be recognized and repaired safely and rapidly. Rats, mice, and squirrels can nest around wiring and junction boxes, causing severe overheating. Among the possible effects are:

– Broken wires
– Circuit breaker tripping
– Whole-house power outages
– Fire


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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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