How To Keep Your Vehicles Safe From Rodents
A rodent infestation in a car or any motor vehicle can be catastrophic. Mice, rats, and other vermin can easily cause major electrical and mechanical faults simply through nesting under the hood – not to mention the damage they can cause if they chew through wires and pipes.
The problem is vehicles that sit in storage for even a short period are quite the popular place for rodents to crawl into. A car, truck, RV, motorbike, or any other vehicle provide an array of safe little spaces where a small rodent can set up a comfortable nest. This is especially true if the vehicle is in storage over winter in a nice, dry garage.
The Telltale Signs Of Rodent Infestations
There are a number of ways that you can tell if your vehicle has an infestation, often before you even turn the key on the ignition.
Here are the top signs to look out for:
- Rodent Droppings
The first sign you should always look for when coming back to a vehicle that’s been in storage for as little as a week is that of droppings. Rodents, like any animal, will leave their droppings in the area around where they’re living. You could easily spot their little rice-shaped droppings on the floor around the vehicle, and sometimes within the vehicle itself.
- Rips Or Chew Markings On Soft Furnishings
Rodents love to chew through anything soft. The upholstery and stuffing on your car seats, as well as the carpets on the floor, will be very attractive to any rodent setting up home in your vehicle. They will likely have ripped pieces of the soft furnishings off and taken them away to their nest to make it nice and comfortable.
- Strange Smells In The Vehicle
The smell of a rodent in the wild is pretty distinct and if one or more have nested in your vehicle, you’re likely to smell it fairly quickly. Rodents often use the air vents of a vehicle to get in and out of it, so you’ll likely get their scent coming through the vents.
- Small Nests
If a rodent is living in your vehicle, it will have made a nest somewhere. They usually go for somewhere that’s well protected and dark. If you pop the hood, you can often spot the nest quite quickly. However, they can sometimes make their nests in more obvious places within the cabin of the vehicle.
- Warning Lights On Your Dashboard
The major concern about a rodent infestation is that these little creatures like to chew things that are soft. This means they will chew through wires and pipes on a vehicle quite easily. This can lead to a series of mechanical or electrical faults in the vehicle, which should show up as warning lights on your dashboard.
Top Tips For Preventing Rodent Infestations
If you want to stop rodents from setting up their homes inside your vehicles, you can follow these steps:
1. Keep The Vehicle And Its Surrounds Food-Free
Rodents are attracted by food sources. This means that things like food wrappers, napkins and takeout containers left in your vehicle can easily attract them. Even food stored in your garage can attract rodents to nest in your car. If you park your car outside, try not to park it near things in your garden that could be a food source. This includes a vegetable garden, garbage cans, bird feeders and ponds.
2. Set Traps At Entrance Points
You may not be able to prevent rodents from getting into your garage or storage area, but you can still stop them from getting into the vehicle itself. Setting traps around the vehicle wheels will stop them from getting up and under the car. You can also put mesh wire over areas like the exhaust pipe and the engine openings when you’re storing your vehicle for longer periods.
3. Go For Regular Drives
A vehicle that stands still for a long time is an attractive one for rodents, and over time, they’ll find a way in. The best way to stop that from happening is to go for regular drives so that the rodents don’t have an opportunity to get in there. You don’t even have to really go anywhere. Simply starting up the vehicle and moving it back and fore in the storage space can be enough to deter rodents from moving in.
4. Leave The Hood Open
When you can’t take the vehicle out regularly, you can at least take away the main hiding place for rodents – under the hood. Rodents love to crawl into places that are dark and hidden. By leaving the hood up when the vehicle is in storage, you let light into so many of the nooks and crannies that rodents would usually love to use.
5. Make Use Of Rodent Repellents
You don’t need to put down lethal traps or poisons to prevent rodent infestations in your vehicle. Instead, you can use substances that simple repel them either through taste or smell. There are chemical options and there are many natural alternatives like powdered fox urine or even used cat litter. You could also use an ultrasound machine that send out ultrasonic sound waves that rodents can’t stand but are completely harmless and undetectable to humans.
Don’t Let Rodents Ruin Your Vehicles
The impact of a rodent infestation in a vehicle can be far-reaching. It’s not just about the potential for physical damage to the cabin of your vehicle. You could find it to be completely undrivable and not realize until it’s too late when you’re out on the road already.
With these simple tips, you can do your best to prevent rodents from setting up their nests and causing that kind of damage. And, if you need a helping hand or your infestation is out of control, you can call the professionals at Twin-Boro to eradicate any pests causing you a headache.