Why are People in Arizona are Putting Cotton Balls Around their Cars?
Caring for Our Vehicles
Our family isn't fancy when it comes to our cars. All of our vehicles are paid off and all of our cars boast impressively high odometer readings.
Because of this, we have to make sure our vehicles get a little extra TLC. Regularly checking the levels of the oil and transmission fluids keeps our cars working as well as possible.
Jump, Jive, and Wail
Not long ago, my daughter opened her car hood to check the oil. As she opened it up, a packrat suddenly jumped up and scurried off. Heart racing, she dropped the hood and screamed.
Mice regularly find their way into our engine compartments, especially when the weather cools down. Rodents are looking for warm, safe places to build their homes and raise their offspring. A car engine can be just the place to raise a family if you happen to be a mouse, a packrat, or other furry scurry critter.
How to Get Ahead of the Mice
As much as we try to get ahead of the problem, mice have been known to cause significant damage to the wiring in at least one of our cars. Not long after my daughter discovered the packrat in her car engine, she began to have some intermittent problems.
The mechanic traced the issue to the wiring and could clearly see the place where the wiring had been chewed by the rats and mice. This was expensive to repair.
Here are some tips to keep mice away from your car’s wiring, so this doesn't happen to you:
- Cleanliness: Keep the area around your car clean. Be sure to remove any brush, trash, or debris. The website Predator Guard shares that this makes rodents less secure. They're much less likely to turn your vehicle into a safe haven.
- Deterrents: Try using repellants like mothballs or peppermint oil. Rodents don't like the smell and won't usually nest where they can smell either of these. You can put peppermint oil on cotton balls and put them around the engine compartment, and around and under the vehicle.
- Traps: They're always building a better mouse trap, as the saying goes. You can find a variety of different types in your local hardware store. Consider placing them on the top of the front wheels. Just be sure to remove them before you move your car.
- Block entrances: Block rodents from entering your vehicle. Park in a garage or use a car cover.
- Keep your car hood up: Keeping your car hood up can help deter rodents from entering the engine compartment. They won't feel as safe and ideally, they'll move on.
- Run your vehicle regularly: Even if it's not your primary driver, be sure to turn the vehicle on and run it regularly. This can help prevent rodents from nesting in it.
An Ounce of Prevention
We learned the hard way how expensive and destructive mice can be, but you don't have to. An ounce of prevention now is worth a pound of cure.
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