Over the years, Sant Automotive has encountered all variety of incidents of animals in vehicles. We captured an un-injured boa constrictor in an engine compartment; we removed a cat from a water pump; and we have run across damage caused by mice, rats, and squirrels. Frequently, we encounter signs that animals have been present. Most often, we find and repair rodent damage. Since we haven’t given much thought to preventing encounters with snakes and cats, we’ll concentrate on the rodents.
The prevalence of rodent damage has increased with focus on including more plant based (usually soy) products in vehicles. Unfortunately, destructive critters find these materials to be tasty. To prevent, or at least minimize damage, here are a few suggestions.
Clean out your garage, and keep your car in the garage. If you see signs of rodents, use poison. If you don’t like poison, try an electric deterrent. If this is not possible try to park in areas away from those which rodents more often frequent, for example near trash cans, fruit trees, creeks, etc,
Start your car frequently. A vehicle should be brought up to operating temperature at least monthly to help remove moisture from motor oil and to keep the battery charged. Guess what! If you have a family of possums living under your hood, they will be more apt to leave if you start the vehicle from time to time.
Starting a vehicle frequently and keeping and parking in a rodent free area are not always possible. Luckily, there are some other steps that you can take. One of the most simple steps to prevent rodent damage is to place a can of mothballs underneath your car. Sprays like “Stop the Rodent” might work, but it would have to be re-applied after wet weather. Also, Honda makes a capsaicin impregnated tape that will discourage chewing. It is part #4019-2317. We don’t know if it will work, but it sounds like it should.
The key is to eliminate the critters or at least keep them uncomfortable. Just because damage is repaired doesn’t mean that the rodents are gone. If none of this works, call our friend, Jeff Holper at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions.