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  • Writer's pictureJustin Leach

The Common Field Mouse: An Electrical and Air Conditioning Gremlin

As an electrician and air-conditioning contractor, I guess I could say that my relationship with mice is one of mixed emotions. On one hand they can do incredible damage to the electrical components on HVAC systems and electrical services, but on the other hand they probably generate about 5% of our work for us.

Mice do not typically seek out wires to chew on, but rather chew on them out of convenience when they’re nearby. Typically it starts when a mouse is looking around for a shelter. Electrical boxes and air conditioners provide great shelters for mice because they’re designed to be weather resistant! What could be better than a waterproof metal box? Unfortunately, for the mouse and the homeowner, the mice are compulsive chewers, and when they’re inside the metal enclosure in close proximity to the wires...they can’t resist!

The solution to preventing mice from creating damage is to prevent them from entering these metal junction boxes in the first place. If you have an HVAC or electrical service provider come to do service, make sure they verify that your metal junction boxes don’t have any openings that could be appealing to mice. Additionally, as a preventative maintenance thing, there are organic natural mice repellent‘s that can be placed inside junction boxes to help ward off these persistent pests.

If you do have a mouse that is entered a junction box, step one to cleaning it out is shutting off the power! Mice tend to chew on many different wires, and if you end up attempting to clean out the mouse nest in a hot junction box, some of the wires may touch together and arc, resulting in a hazardous situation. Additionally, please make sure you wear proper respiratory protection and gloves, as mice carry certain diseases that can be lethal to humans.

If you suspect that you have a mouse problem, or would like to have an inspection done to check, we’re happy to help!

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