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Help! My Car Has Been Invaded by Rodents!

Car-loving rodents
Photo: iStock

Brrr .. it's a wet, snowy day out there. I just want to curl up someplace warm and dry where it's dark and quiet and I'll be relatively undisturbed. Maybe with some tasty snacks nearby for when I get peckish.

Sound like a nice afternoon cozied up by the fireplace? Nope. This is what mice and rats think about your warm car engine!

Mice, squirrels and other rodents have been the source of expensive and sometimes dangerous damage to car engines. Mice like to gnaw the wires to help sharpen their teeth plus they are attracted to the chemicals in the wiring. Squirrels have been known to store a cache of nuts in a car's air filter. And aside from the damage they cause to the car, deer mice are also carriers of the hantavirus which can be fatal to humans.

So how can you keep those pests out of your car?

  • If you're parking outside, try not to park near shrubs, wood piles or anything that has a food source (e.g. bird feeders or compost piles) that rodents might enjoy.

  • If you're parking inside, leave your hood open and a light on; the less dark and cozy you can make it, the better.

  • If you're storing your vehicle for a long time, put cedar balls or moth balls under the dash or on the engine; mice don't like the smell. Just make sure to remove them before starting your car up again.

  • Talk to your mechanic about installing fine mesh over the air intakes to prevent rodents from coming in.

If you do find evidence of mice or other rodents spending time in your vehicle, exercise caution when cleaning up after them. Rodents can carry disease, particularly deer mice who carry the banta virus. For more information about preventing and getting rid of rodents, HealthLinkBC provides some good tips and detailed information.

Have you ever found mice or squirrels nesting in your car?

- Rose R.



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I had a Bushy Tailed Wood Rat (native to North America, but still a rat) trash the hood liner in my truck. I tossed it and installed an aluminum covered adhesive foam liner. So far, so good.

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