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Animal/Pest Problems

I have been having ongoing problems with
animals eating wires and hoses in my cars, even
nesting in one of them. Most of the problems have
been from squirrels. In the past month a squirrel
or squirrels have been feasting on my '98 Mystique.
It or they ate the spark plug wires which had to
be replaced and several hoses. One hose wasn't in
stock because according to the dealer it is rarely
replaced. We borrowed a cage from the local animal
control and have caught one squirrel so far. Don't
think we can be lucky enough to have caught the
culprit. Have put moth balls in various recesses
in the engine compartment and will spray wires and
hoses with pepper spray. Has anyone else had
problems with animals in their cars? Any


  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    Holy cow they must be bionic squirrels.

    Have had mice chew on some stuff before and make nests, but only if the vehicle sits around for a time.

    The pepper spray sounds like a good idea, unless they are cajun squirrels.

    A friend has had problems with squirrels in his attic. Moth balls don't do the trick.

    Saw a show on tv, which recommended using after shave lotion to keep squirrels away. Haven't tried that though.

    Squirrels are creatures of habit and will return again and again. To get rid of the problem, ya gotta get rid of the culprit.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Left an old Mercury sitting in a barn for a couple of years, and upon ressurection, I found that a mouse/mice built a nest on my distrubitor with fuzz they pulled down from the inside of the hood. Well, the tranny cratered on the Mercury, and she's barn-bound again. This time, however, there are boxes of rat poision waiting on the distributor, inside on the floorboard, in the trunk, and under the car. Those little devils aren't getting my vehicle.
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    My dad used to store his "winter car", a Mazda 4WD Protege, in a garage at his hunting cabin. In this garage he also kept bags of shelled corn to feed the deer and turkeys.

    One fall when he went to take it out of storage it wouldn't run right. It would start and idle, but barely had enough power to move the car. It also sounded funny, kind of muffled.

    We couldn't figure out what the problem was, so he had to have it taken into a Mazda dealer. That was about 60 miles away, and it had to be flatbedded because it's 4WD.

    Well it turned out that mice had decided to find a storage place for some of that corn. The place they chose was the exhaust system. Not just the muffler, but the whole thing. It was ALL completely packed with corn!

    They ended up having to replace the whole exhaust system, and as I remember it cost nearly $1000 because it wasn't a very common system. There's a lot of rodent poison in that garage now.

  • spudmanspudman Posts: 32
    Thanks for your comments. The squirrel(s) continue the attack on my Mystique. Have only caught the one squirrel. I saw one squirrel chatter at the trap and get very animated for over half an hour but never actually approached it. More wires have been chewed on but nothing seriously. I read that squirrels don't like the smell of peppermint so I have added oil of peppermint to my arsenal along with moth balls and cayenne pepper. My dentist's office is across the street in a medical complex and he said I could start parking the car there for a while. Maybe a change of scenery will distrupt the squirrels' habits and confuse them.
    It's worth a shot.
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    ... but I wonder if you can scare the squirrels off by putting out a fake owl or hawk or something they fear like that. Another idea is to get a small motion sensing alarm at your home builder's warehouse store. There are some that are battery powered and maybe you could set it under your car in a way that it would make noise when the squirrels come.

    3 things I have learned about squirrels from feeding birds: they are unbelievably smart, the laws of physics do not apply to them, and they never give up.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,610
    Last summer one of our technicians had a very nasty job! A heater core in a Prelude is bad enough to do anyway. The stinking dead rat that had somehow chewed it's way into the heater box made his job REALLY fun!
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    I was surfing and ran across this unique device to keep squirrels away...
  • No new damage on any of the cars this week. Sprayed all wires and hoses with a product called Ropel. It is foul smelling and is supposed to have a nasty taste. I hope one of those sky walkers gets a taste and tells all his or her friends.
    Caught another squirrel today in a live trap. The ultrasonic repeller looks interesting though pricey. Thanks for the suggestion. It's something to consider if my present efforts prove futile.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    They like to crawl up underneath the inside and snooze. Sometimes near a moving part.

    Also they love to climb on to your paint and walk from bumper to bumper with a few little side trips. The paw prints really bother me. The scratches too.

    If you leave your windows down, then these curious creatures like to venture inside and walk around usually leaving a few hairs and oils. They also will rub their butt on the passengers head rest and other places...but many of you will never know.

    I've seriously thought about placing a mouse trap, or even a rat trap for those slow learners, on top of the car to teach them to stop.

    The best defense is to park in the garage and close the door (if you're lucky enough to have one).

    Don't take it wrong, I like cats, especially the one's that go to the Animal Pound.
  • A buddy had a Smokey and the Bandit Trans AM, I believe '79, black, restored, beautiful, with a Pontiac 400. It was stored in the garage, but Jim would start it once a week or two. Once he started it, and the rpm's went sky high. He shut it off, then turned it on. It ran fine.

    When he saw the back of the vehicle he figured it out. A rat build a nest on the carburetor. The butterflies were stuck open, thus the high revs. Until the rat got sucked through the engine, and spit out the exhaust. THAT is one powerful motor.

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Eeeyew, guiTARzan! ;->

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    Aww c'mon Guitarzan. How is a rat going to get spit out of the tailpipe as anything but smoke? A trip through the intake valve, combustion chamber, exhaust valve and then filtered by the catalytic converter and muffler.... I just don't think so. Sounds like a legend to me.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    but it IS a good story... i got a laugh out of it!
  • guitarzan,

    A TRUE RAT (427 cu in Chevy ) would chew up that 400 T/A and spit it out without even a belch! I know ... I owned a 400 Trans Am back in 1979. The only thing I recall seeing was the smoke coming off her tires and she was quite a distance ahead of me! I still cherish the memories of my T/A though. What a great car!
  • guitarzanguitarzan Posts: 632
    The 427 may have been the finest engine ever made. It was called a "rat"?

    Honestly, I cannot verify the story. Where is a certified GM engineer when you need one for good information? Anyone know one? Hey, you know, perhaps I'll submit this one to Professor Overdrive at Summit Racing!

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    rat is correct. commonly used to refer to the big block chevy v-8's. small blocks were referred to as mouses.
  • gtt1gtt1 Posts: 63
    Pour some urine (human or very large cat,ie: lion) around the parking area and under the hood. I swear this will work, not only for squirrels, but for cats, mice, and skunks.
  • trippdoggtrippdogg Posts: 19
    and it could also deter humans... have you ever smelled old urine???

    My problem is wiuth my neighbors cat, darn thing keeps setting off my car alarm and leagving it's foot prints all across the place. I usually let my dog out after it during the day if I catch him, (he wont kill the cat, just scare it) but I've been woken up a few times at night by the darn thing setting off the alarm
  • cssdixoncssdixon Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem on a 2000 Town and Country, Never had a problem with any other car at the house. Any help you get please post.
  • lanie1lanie1 Posts: 19
    Unbelievable as it seems, rodents of any sort HATE the smell of peppermint. If you sprinkle peppermint flavoring (bought in the spice section of any grocery store) around wherever the rodents are coming, they will leave and never come back.
This discussion has been closed.