We all know how frustrating it is when rodents get inside your house—it’s an icky feeling. Some of us want to go full Rambo and pull out the heavy stuff. Others like to go full Ghandi and release the little (sometimes really big) guys out into the forest. One thing we can all agree on—we don’t want them inside, eating our food, making babies, and chewing through our walls.
But it’s not just homes rodents terrorize with their droppings and diseases—it’s our cars as well. Rodents can cause serious damage to engines and electrical systems—and help us all if they actually find a way into the interior of your car—that can be extremely messy.
So, what do you do when you pop the hood of your car and find some half-eaten acorns and a nest next to your radiator? Or find some chewed-up wire leading to your ignition? Or find the dreaded black dropping right there on your driver’s seat?
The only thing you can do is take immediate action and follow up with prevention. Because if you don’t, you’re gonna be putting your mechanic on your payroll this year.
Prevention Before Action
It’s imperative that when you discover rodents have infiltrated your auto you first prevent any further damage. But in order to do that, you need to understand why they’re there in the first place.
Rodents are attracted to the warmth and nearly impenetrable fortress a car engine provides—especially during winter months and mating cycles. So, first start by parking strategically away from any brush or debris that rodents like to hang out in. Next, pop a couple homemade repellents in the engine compartment like cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil or mothballs soaked in ammonia or spray down non-electrical components with a spicy pepper spray. And finally, seal all entry points as best as possible. I know what you’re thinking—that seems impossible. But any minor deterrent can make a big difference. So do your best to seal gaps and openings with wire mesh or foam insulation, paying close attention to any openings near the firewall or wheel wells.
Maybe your instant deterrents worked—maybe not. Now it’s time to check under the hood to see if they’ve been back. First, knock on the hood of your car to scare any lingering rodents away and to avoid any type of contact. Next, check for fresh droppings, food remnants, and nests. Rodent feces are typically dark brown and oblong, often resembling black rice. Fresh feces will have a richer, wetter look—so be on the lookout.
Next, inspect the damage. Are your wires chewed? Are plastic compartments gnawed on? Are there any exposed wires or damage to your electrical system? Did your car stop working?! If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” it’s time to move on to the next step.
Clean and Repair
Exposed wires can lead to a whole mess of problems when it comes to your car, and debris and even decaying rodents can lead to a whole other category of even bigger problems. In order to keep the mice out and get back on with your daily commute, clean out nests and remove debris and droppings using a mask and gloves for safety.
Also, make sure to remove any food from your car that may attract rodents and cause further damage. If you have damage to wiring or other components, get them repaired immediately and make sure to explain your situation to your mechanic. After repairs, make sure you continue with regular maintenance and inspection to ensure the infestation hasn’t returned.
Your car is as good as new. The wires are all back where they belong and your car purrs like a baby tiger. But that’s not enough to keep those furry troublemakers away forever. In order to ensure your car (and pocketbook) remain safe, invest in a pest deterrent like the UltraSweep Traveler that uses a combination of ultrasonic sound waves combined with bright flashing LED lights to mimic predators and keep pests out of your vehicle, boat, or RV all year round.
Since the UltraSweep Traveler easily connects to your car battery and requires zero battery replacements or charging, you’ll have peace of mind each time you twist your key into the ignition. After all, $59.95 is markedly better than another go-round with your $200 per hour mechanic (+ parts).
There you have it—you have a clean, rodent-free car to enjoy no matter what bushy, brushy, tree-lined, mountainous, urban, freezing cold, rodent-happy area of the world you live in.
Visit the Good Life Inc. blog for all the latest pest solutions and advice.