Squirrels do a lot of goofy things: gravity-defying acrobatics to get food out of a “squirrel-proof” bird feeder, teasing the dog from a just high enough branch, and breaking into your attic.

The thought of having a good sized rodent nesting in the attic is bad enough, but they can also cause serious problems with your home’s wiring, as our electrician Scott recently discovered while troubleshooting a homeowner’s power outage. Or as we recently posted on our Facebook page about the chewed wires that shut down the Hadron Super Collider.

Squirrels like to gnaw – on anything – including phone wire, coaxial cable, and electrical wire. They will chew on the insulation until the bare wire is exposed, then move on to another spot and nibble some more. Next thing you know, you have sections of energized wire all over the attic that can come in direct contact with wood, the paper backing on insulation, or other combustibles.

Compromised wiring can also result in flickering lights and intermittent or localized power outages in your home. If coaxial cable or cat 5 wires are damaged, you can experience poor or no television reception or the inability to maintain a good internet connection.

Lest we let mice off the hook, they can cause the same kind of damage to the wiring and cable in your walls!

While our electricians can’t help you move the squirrels, the good news is, that once the critters are evicted and further access denied, the wiring can be repaired or replaced, depending on the extent of the damage. Need some tips on dealing with nuisance squirrels? Here’s some help from the Humane Society of the United States.

Do you think squirrels or mice have damaged wiring in your home or business? Contact us and we’ll schedule an electrician to come out to take a look.