While no one actually wants them, we’re all pretty used to the idea that there’s a possibility that we might get mice in our home. A lot of the time, it’s the family cat bringing in a ‘friend’ to play with, and the ‘one that got away’ happens to be pregnant. Other times, they’ll make their way in through holes in the walls and cracks in the foundations. Attracted by the warmth and the easy access to food – we don’t make it hard for them! – they stay. And breed. Why wouldn’t they? Our homes are nice! And as it happens, our cars and other vehicles are pretty nice too. Especially in winter.
Rats, mice – and, less frequently, other rodents – are more than happy to make your automobile their home. Cars provide shelter, and if you’re a snacker or have kids, they probably provide food too. The problem is that while having rodents in the home is unpleasant and can be a health hazard, in the car it’s downright dangerous. So, what do you need to know?
How are mice getting into your car?
Your vehicle may look secure, but there are many entry points for a determined mouse:
- Air vents
- Any gaps in the sealant
- Holes around cables
- Steering column
- Pedal shafts
Most of these things can’t be helped, it’s just the way that cars are designed.
What damage can rodents do to your car?
Short answer? Lots. Apart from the obvious unpleasantness and odor of having mouse pee and poop all over your upholstery, rodents can cause real damage to cars, which could lead to accidents. The problem is that their incisors never stop growing. In order to keep them at a reasonable size, which will allow them to continue to eat and survive, mice need to keep chewing… and chewing… and chewing. And the wires in your car are really good to chew on. This is why, if you think you might have a rodent onboard, you need to make regular checks.
- All wires around the engine
- Air vent gauze
While most of these issues will just be an inconvenience, if the chewed wiring doesn’t just kill your ignition straight off, you might find yourself unexpectedly accelerating or having your brakes fail.
How can you keep mice out of your car?
- Keep it clean. Mice like places to sleep, snuggle and hide. Tissues, receipts, food wrappers and every other kind of junk make them feel right at home.
- Keep it dry. If water is getting into your car, either through leaks or humidity, you are providing any unwelcome guests with a water source. They need to drink, just like you. No water makes a long stay unlikely.
- Park away from plants. Rodents like to stay undercover. If your car is parked near hedges, trees or long grass, it’s easy enough for them to gain access without being exposed. An open, uncluttered driveway is less appealing.
What can I do if I’ve got mice in my car?
You can try using traps and bait – but be careful if you have children or other vulnerable passengers. If you’re really stuck and just can’t seem to get rid of the problem, call in the experts. If you have rats, mice or other rodents in your home or car, Noosa Pest Management can help.
If you head to work one morning and find that your car suddenly won’t start, there’s a reasonable chance that rodents are to blame. Unfortunately, the problems they cause are just as expensive to fix as any other mechanical breakdown. So, look out for the signs and take action early.