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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: 19,826
    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: 583
    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.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    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 OhioPosts: 764
    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.
  • fkdcrxfkdcrx Posts: 6
    Have any of you tried a pellet gun?.......
    A few animals that eat made products should not be allowed to breed. Soon well have sillicon injesting squirrels plauging our city streets! and cats who can withstand a trip around the accessory belts!
  • skeezixskeezix Posts: 45
    Pack Rats are ruining my car. The rats build their nest under the hood, crap and piss all over the engine, and they are relentless. I cannot put this car in the garage. I am presently trying to use Gopher Bait, which is several years old. I'm wondering if the Gopher Bait has a shelflife, as the rats don't seem to be dying now, as they've done in the past. The last 5 mornings, there has been a new nest and the bait is knocked all over the engine. I vacuum everything off the engine, put out new Gopher Bait, then the next morning, the same thing all over again. I tried to use a Rat Trap, but I killed a chipmunk, so no more of that. Mr. Shiftright, what can I do? Have you ever had a problem like this?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,826
    To rid your place of rats. If they aren't around, they won't be able to get to your car.

    For some reason, we have been getting quite a few cars with rat chewed wiring under the hood. They can cause a lot of trouble and expense.

    A buddy had his intake system stuffed full of dry dog food recently.
  • mayfly1mayfly1 Posts: 1
    Ever since a guy smacked into my 2002 Kia Sedona van, and the dealer left it sit next to an open field for a month until the parts came, we've had mice working their way through the car. They got inside the ductwork and clogged the vents, burning out the blower motor. Dealer cleaned it out, replaced the blower motor. Within three months, same thing. Did it again. Less than a month later, same thing.

    We've lived at this house since 1967, in the middle of oak woods. The usual advice about removing food sources doesn't work very well (ever try to rid an oak woods of acorns and other food for mice?) We set traps and poison and everything else.

    We've had more than 2 dozen cars, and none of them has ever had this problem. The dealer says there's no way to prevent the mice from getting inside the HVAC ductwork again. I find it hard to believe there isn't someone else who has had this problem, and figured out a way to deal with it, beyond blaming the victim.

    I can't keep going through this drill. Somebody somewhere knows what to do.

    Any advice, short of selling the car to someone in the city?
  • We have a 2004 Sedona. Last winter at our Florida home, we had the same problem with rats. I tried various cures, but the only thing that seemed to work was one of those battery operated air fresheners sitting on the engine every nite. Kind of a pain to do, but I got tired of taking down the havc fan and cleaning the crap out. Next month we go back down to Florida and we will see if the problem returns. Jim
  • durango3durango3 Posts: 1
    I can relate!!!! This past summer, I had to have a wiring harnes replaced thanks to squirrels. I have on countless ocassions tried the professional repellents, mothballs and even vinegar. I had to have my 2003 durango towed to the dealer today because the darn pest chewed away at wiring on the passenger side after I cleaned the engine compartment 4 times yesterday.

    I can't afford the repairs not can I aford to get rid of the truck and it seems like others in the neighborhood are having the same problem.

    If I find a solution, I'll be sure to let you know

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  • asa805asa805 Posts: 29
    I had this problem with my 2002 Accord (that was on lease). Thankfully the squirrel didnt do any major damage. I parked my car in a lot with about 20 other cars. She nested in two cars. The other was also an Accord (damn squirrels have good taste). Anyway every morning i would check under the hood and that damned squirrel would scare the bejesus out of me and run off leaving behind a disgusting nest consisting of garbage, grass, leaves, branches and the insulation from under the hood (which she absolutely destroyed). I would have to clean it all up just so she can do it again the next morning.

    One time i actually drove her to work and back. Didnt realize she was in the car till i got home. She had a couple babies in their with her. Dont have any clue how they survive teh 30 mile trip. (we just left the babies in the grass and she mustve gathered them up at some point because they were gone when we checked back).

    We sprayed with pepper spray and that seemed to solve the problem. What also helped was that we found a dead squirrel in teh street, hit by a car. We think it was her.

    I did a bit of research. Apparetnly the squirrels lay claim to certain trees. They only have one or two nests in each tree. We think this squirrel was an outcast. Perhaps was alittle insane (hence getting hit by a car). Since she didnt have a nest to go to in the trees (and all the garages were squirrel proofed) she became very resourceful and found shelter in two Honda Accords.

    True story.
  • Land Rover has had my 2006 Range Rover Sport for 17 days now after the vehicle reported multiple failures and warnings and would not shift out of first gear. I had it towed to the dealership and awaited the diagnosis. A couple of days later, the verdict - some sort of rodent had turned my undercarriage and all the wiring into a buffet. At first I was told only one major harness was ruined, but after trying to repair that one, things went downhill and more damage was found. They've tried hooking up a new CPU to the car and it still reports other failures. The service department called Land Rover in the UK and was told to explore into the dashboard for more damage. After this recommendation the service department then informed me to make an insurance claim because the warranty wasn't going to cover the damage anyway and diving into the dash was going to be expensive. I filed a claim and my agent went to inspect the service department's rodent damage claim and obviously they were right because my agent told them to procede and that my comprehensive coverage would cover the damage. I've heard a few stories of insurance companies totalling a vehicle once repair damages get out of hand. I am still at the mercy of my service department and what they find in the dash and report to my insurance agent.
  • ewe2ewe2 Posts: 20
    This might seem odd to some of you but it's a problem. We have a 2006 Camry CE. We live in upstate NY. I decided to replace the cabin filter behind the glove box yesterday and when I pulled the filter out. All this chewed up stuff came out. It's a mouse nest. What I was wondering was, does anyone know how the mice get in there and what can we do to stop them from doing so? I've had traps set with peanut butter ( clever little devils, they eat the PB off the traps without tripping them ) and we've thrown moth balls every where.
    Any suggestions?

  • Whenever we are at our place in Florida we have a problem with rats getting into the engines. The only thing I found that keeps them out is one of those air fresheners with the little battery operated fan. Every night I lift the hood of the vehicle that's not being driven every day and switch it on. You can find these at Walmart. Jim Richardson
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