Can Squirrels Really Cause House Fires?


squirrels house fires

Thousands of houses catch on fire each year due to a common household pest: squirrels. However, most of these fires can’t be directly traced back to squirrels, and squirrels are merely suspects––but sometimes there’s ample evidence. 

If you have squirrels living in your attic or around your home, you could be putting you and your family at risk for a house fire––here’s how. 

Squirrels Chew Through Wire

Squirrels have giant front incisors, which makes them prone to chewing. Since their teeth are ever-growing, they will likely chew on anything and everything––including wires. One of the most common causes of house fires is squirrels chewing through wiring within the house. 

If a squirrel builds a nest in your attic, it will be spending a lot of time up there, which means a lot of time chewing and destroying wires, rafters, plastic, and air ducts! Sometimes squirrels will even chew on live wire––which results in electrocution and immediate death. 

Overheating Appliances

Squirrels usually build nests in a dark, warm environment, away from predators. If you have squirrels living in your attic, you might find a squirrel nest nestled somewhere warm like inside a vent or next to an electrical appliance. They often pack their nests tight to preserve warmth. If this happens inside of an electrical appliance, it can mean overheating and may cause a fire. 

Outdoor Wire Damage

Even if you don’t have squirrels inside of your home, they can still cause damage. In one case, a squirrel ran along a power line and touched the pole, creating an electrical arch. This reaction caused the power line to detach from the pole and drop on the telephone pole. From there, the current reached the water heater inside the house and started a fire. 

Although this scenario is extremely unlikely, it does add to the statistics of house fires caused by squirrels. 

Another way squirrels can cause damage is by building a nest inside of a live transformer. This type of destruction can leave an entire neighborhood without power.  

Call Experts If You Have a Squirrel Problem

If you have squirrels scurrying on your roof, they might be living in your attic. Don’t hesitate to call Vulcan Termite & Pest Control––we’ll keep your home pest free.