Rodent Awareness Week is upon us! Each year, this week serves as our annual reminder that rodents can cause significant damage and pose a risk to our health. Although rodents are on the smaller side, the amount of damage they can cause is enormous. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most pressing rodent-related dangers below.
Fires Caused by Rodents
As the seasons turn cooler this year, it is prime time for rodents like mice and rats to move into your home. Rodents invade approximately 21 million U.S. homes each winter.
Mice can slip through holes as small as ¼ inch and jump up to 12 inches to reach their destination. If the mouse decides that it likes the warmer temperatures and more readily available food stores in your home, then you may have a problem with your hands.
Unfortunately, these weather changes also coincide with a peak in home fires. December and January are the peak months of home fires, which are most likely to occur between 6:00 PM and 7 PM on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Based on a 2012 issue of Pest World, rodents and home fires may be related in some cases. Current estimates attribute that rodents are responsible for 20% to 25% of fires with unknown causes. That’s because rodents are well known for their inclination to chew on critical infrastructure points such as electrical wires and gas lines.
Frayed Wires Caused by Rodents
Critter Control has been the leading wildlife removal and rodent control company for decades.
My fire department had a house fire today. Started in the wall in the laundry room. Fire Marshall investigated found wires chewed in the wall with this guy beside them. Can't tell if it's a red squirrel, rat, etc. but that’s your cause of the fire. – Bryan Fichter, Critter Control of NW Pittsburgh
Just this morning we found frayed wires under a gas range. – Tracy Sullivan, Critter Control of Hamilton County
We find frayed wires regularly during rodent inspections. We work with a reliable electrician to immediately fix the problem. – Ed Shearer, Critter Control of Kaw Valley
Most of our attic remediations with gray squirrels and raccoons typically show signs of electrical wire damage. – Jesse Fraser, Critter Control of New Hampshire
I find frayed wires fairly often during a rodent inspection. I always take pictures for the homeowners and share the statistics about rodents causing house fires. Speaking with the local code inspectors, they also view rodents as dangerous to the home. – Zane Neher, Critter Control of Columbia
I spent 10 years in the Fire Service. Occasionally, the origin and cause go undetermined. My first thought in these cases is always critters. We do find frayed/chewed wires during inspections, and homeowners find it quite alarming. Todd Topham, Critter Control of SW Michigan
The idea that rodents, such as mice and rats, could cause a fire in a home is unsettling. But it is an unfortunate possibility. And with that, it becomes even more critical to safeguard your home against rodent infestations throughout the year.
Other Rodent Dangers
In addition to frayed wires, rodents can damage your house in other ways. Destroyed insulation, structural damage caused by gnawing, and accumulation of droppings all have negative impacts on your home.
In addition to physical damage that could lead to an increased fire risk, rodents are associated with a wide range of health risks. According to our survey, frayed wires and spread of diseases are the most dangerous things rodents do. The small critters can host several parasites and an array of diseases.
Rodents are capable of spreading diseases like:
- hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
- hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome
- Lassa fever
- rat-bite fever
Plus, the parasites associated with rodents can spread several diseases, including:
- Lyme disease
- murine typhus
- Colorado tick fever
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- West Nile virus
Have A Rodent Problem? Call A Professional
Rodents can be the source of a slew of health and safety issues. But how can you determine whether or not you have a rodent infestation on your hands? A surefire way to tell if you have rodents in your home is if you find any droppings.
Although you may not see any rodents, their droppings are a telltale sign. Luckily, it is possible to remove rodents efficiently and humanely with the help of a professional. If you need a helping hand, contact Critter Control for assistance.