Your car is your reliable friend, roaring, humming or spluttering to life every day and taking you from place to place. However, did you know it could also be a friend to rodents? These creatures might take shelter under the hood of your engine, especially during the chilly winter and spring days. Car engines are usually warm, dry and undisturbed, providing an ideal shelter for feeding, resting or breeding rodents. And once in there, the rodents can cause considerable damage to the car, damage that could end up costing you a significant amount of money. So you certainly don’t want these pesky creatures in the driving seat.
Engine wires are particularly vulnerable to rodent damage. If rodents chew away the insulation covering the wires, this can cause short circuits, resulting in expensive damage to the engine. And when you replace the wires, the insulation on your new wires might simply be chewed away again!
As well as providing tasty morsels for rodents, your car engine could provide a tempting nest. Rodents might use the insulating fabric in the engine as bedding for nests. The engine also has many nooks and crannies that could function as safe shelters for baby rodents.
A third risk occurs when rodents use engines as a storeroom for food. This food could end up scattered around the engine or car interior, causing accident risks. For example, discarded food could interfere with pedal mechanisms, causing accidents. Rodents may be startled when the engine kicks into life. The resulting panicked scurrying can lead to debris scattering all over the engine. As the engine heats up, the rodent debris in the car could catch fire, causing further serious risk.
Rodents can also interfere with the aesthetic appeal for the car. Moulding food, droppings and decomposing creatures can, over time, lead to unpleasant smells in the car. Also, the scratching and tears caused by the rodents can ruin the interior fabrics and surfaces.
Preventing rodents in engines
You can’t eliminate every rodent in your area, but you can take some practical steps to reduce the risks of unwanted passengers in your car:
- Remove any food from the surrounding area. Clear away any pet food, and ensure bird seed is out of reach from the rodents.
- Watch for rodent activity near the car. Keep an eye out for tell-tale signs such as droppings, nibbled paper and disturbed rubbish.
- Reduce rodent hiding spaces. Are there bushes near your car? Prune these back so that they don’t provide cover for rodents. Keep garages and surrounding areas tidy. And seal off any possible entry points where rodents could gain access to your yard.
- Open the hood.An open hood makes the engine a much less inviting shelter for the rodents. However, remember to close the hood during inclement weather.
- Check the engine entrances. Make it difficult for rodents to gain access to the engine. You might use wire screen to close up any openings. Or you could put mouse traps on the wheels or around the car.
- Disturb the rodents’ peace.Ultrasound alarms and strobe lights can disturb rodents, making it unlikely that they’ll nest in your engines. Also, you can spray deterrent smells around the engine. You can use peppermint oil, cat litter, or pet hair to create an unpleasant environment for rodents.
- Eliminate the rodents.Even with all these prevention techniques in place, some rodents might still make it through to your engine. If you suspect that rodents have gained access to your car, set suitable traps to catch and eliminate them. Be careful when using toxic traps, however; they could harm other creature, such as pets, too.
Read more: Tips to get rid of rats and mice
When you are aware of the risks rodents pose to your car, you are more likely to take the necessary preventative measures to protect it. And you have to be proactive when you see any signs of rodent activity in the car.
If you have any concerns about the rodent risks to your car, contact us.