Pest Control Alert: Banishing Rodents From Your Vehicle

Real Estate Blog

Mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents like to chew on wiring, including the wiring in your vehicle. Since it's expensive to replace damaged wiring and repair the engine damage that short circuits can cause, it's important to keep these varmints at bay. But keeping them away requires knowing what attracts them in the first place. You also need to know how to recognize the tell-tale signs of a rodent invasion.

Why Rodents Nest In Vehicles

Have you every wondered why mice and squirrels keep coming back to eat away at your vehicle? Rodents are attracted to the degradable, soy-based wiring insulation used in newer model vehicles even more than the plastic-covered wiring found in older models. Mice and squirrels find these soy-based materials good food. Even wild rabbits are attracted to this food source and may find their way into your vehicle. Mice can find other tasty treats, such as brake lines and radiator hoses, to munch on as well. Your vehicle's engine compartment also offers a nice, warm place for mice to nest.

Signs that rodents may be nesting in your vehicle:

  • Gnawed wires

  • Damage to the hood insulation

  • Nuts, corn, pine cones, and pine needles hoarded away near your vehicle's engine compartment

  • Dusty footprints under the hood

  • Rodent droppings

  • Nesting materials and debris from chewing

What To Do

Attaching galvanized wire mesh to the underside of your vehicle may help keep mice out by closing off small openings into the vehicle. You can also try leaving up the hood at night, but only if you keep your vehicle in a garage. Rodents like to nest in dark, warm places. Letting in the cold and some light will make your vehicle a less attractive shelter.

Even if you manage to chase the pesky critters out of your vehicle, that's not to say they won't stick around in your garage and try to find a way into your home. Since rodents can carry bacteria and viruses and transmit diseases to humans, you may want to have a professional pest control service do the job of getting rid of the mice for you and then decontaminate the area where the little pests took up residence. 

How to Keep Rodents Away

If you've had rodent problems in the past, there are steps that you can take to keep the pests from settling in your vehicle again.

  1. Avoid storing dry pet food in the garage where you park your vehicle. Dog food offers rodents a source of protein. If you prefer to keep your pet's food in the garage, put it in a tightly sealed container. The same goes for bird seed or grass seed, which rodents eat as well.

  2. Place the lids tightly on any trash cans or recycling bins that you keep in your garage. Any food scraps in your trash cans give rodents another source of food.

  3. Clean your cat's litter box often, especially if you keep it in the garage. Rodents eat animal feces for its nutritional value.

  4. Keep your vehicle clutter free. Clean out anything that a rodent can use as food or to build a nest. Don't keep snacks in your vehicle and vacuum up food crumbs that get dropped. Remove tissues, sweaters, jackets, and newspapers from the vehicle to keep them from being used for nests. Your vehicle already provides enough nesting materials, in the form of wire insulation, hood insulation, and foam padding from the seats.

For more information or help with your rodent problem, contact a professional like those at Academy Pest Control Ltd.  

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