We got a call from a homeowner that had just purchased a home and found a big rat infestation in the attic. Look closely……..the entire yellow jacket of the electrical wire has been chewed off, they even started chewing on the inner insulation exposing the copper wire inside. These rats must have been super hungry because plastic wire insulation has got to taste terrible! In this case the wires had not shorted out yet, but this was a very real danger, and the exposed electrical wires are a real danger for electrical arcing fires when in contact with insulation and wood products in the attic.
If you’ve got rodents don’t wait to call an exterminator. The damage to your homes electrical wires could cost much more than pest control. Do you suspect rats in the attic? To protect yourself you can install arc fault breakers that can sense electrical arcs caused by rat damage and shut off the power before a fire can occur. This is actually the new NEC code rule for homes built today, but older homes can very easily and cost effectively be retrofitted with these kind of breakers providing a huge measure of extra safety.