View Full Version : Rodents in house

David Ragan
09-13-2017, 1:49 PM
We have/had mice or rats.

Brought on by feeding/watering the birds. Who knew?

To make a long story short, over many weeks/months we have blocked many tunnels, cut down a few trees, trimmed branches, blocked holes around roof (reinforced w sheet metal), etc etc.....and stopped feeding the birds.

(At this point, I am fairly confident that we have secured most every place of entrance.)

Well, the fellow doing the work saw where the critters had chewed some electrical wires in the attic.

Obviously all the wires up there need to be tracked down, and replaced if compromised.

Now, in the background, I would like to have an insurance policy for rodent/squirrel damage (is a squirrel a rodent?). This critter coverage (hopefully) would include fires due to chewed through wires. I suppose it is asking too much that our homeowners policy would cover that.....

So, my question is-any advise as to what further work to have done before contacting Orkin/Terminix, etc.

In the event that we can find a formal critter coverage carrier/insurance---a certified electrician will be required to sign off on the attic being secured, I'm sure.

Of course, all wires in walls cannot be inspected.

Anyone here tried to get this type of insurance w a history of pre-existing problem?

Anything you can tell me--definitely do or not do?

Thanks a bunch

John K Jordan
09-13-2017, 2:32 PM
Yikes, if confined to the attic the inspection might be done visually than if inside the walls. But how can you know unless you heard them in certain walls.

I had a computer/video studio in my basement in an earlier house and one day heard rodent scurries in the ceiling. Then I heard crunch, crunch, crunches. Each time I would bang on the ceiling and it would quit for a while. One day, BANG, the power to my equipment went out. I cut a hole in the sheetrock in the ceiling and found a mouse had been enlarging a through-hole in a joist and chewed through the insulation on a Romex cable. The power blew that little guy into wet pieces. If I hadn't heard where he was working it might have been a major demolition and renovation project to track it down.

There has been research on using time domain reflectometry to identify spots of damage to the copper wires themselves and even insulation that appeared promising, but I have no idea if any practical or commercial came from it. Maybe an electrician would know what inspection methods are available.

I would check with my insurance agent - damage like this might already be covered. The insurance agent might even be able to direct you to someone who is experience in this type of inspection. I suspect they (and you, of course) would want to avoid a fire claim. I don't remember a rodent damage exclusion in my own homeowners policy. I'm sure this isn't the first house that had this problem - rodents of all kinds are so destructive - from a friend's experience it probably can't get any worse than a squirrel trapped in the house while he was on vacation, unless maybe it was a raccoon.


Paul F Franklin
09-13-2017, 10:11 PM
You could consider installing AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupters) breakers, as they are intended to detect arcing of the type that could result from rodent damage. The breakers are expensive, but cheaper than a fire. The early versions had problems with false tripping, especially on things like brushed motors, but the newer ones are pretty good. They are required by code now on most circuits and are available for most brands of breaker panels.