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Old 09-17-2007, 10:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Problems With Mice/Rats

I have a 2000 Subaru Outback I bought new in '99. I live in a wooded area and this is the first year that I have had a problem with mice/rats getting into the engine compartment. They have chewed wires, which I had fixed. They have eaten out the insulation in the hood and the insulation under the engine. Whenever this started, I put D-con, mouse and rat traps & rat bars but it doesn't seem to deter them. My engine light came on the other day and I took it down to have it looked at locally, and when I was there the technician told me that the insulation that is used for the wiring was made up of wheat and corn parts, in part, and that is what is attracting the rodents. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what did you do about it? Just to let you all know, we have 3 other vehicles, American made, but they do not bother them. H E L P!
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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We had something chew through the O2 sensor wire on my wife's Hyundai a while after we moved into our house. Haven't had it happen since, on any of our vehicles.

My grandmother has had rodents eat through almost everything non-metallic under the hood of her '88 Ford motorhome. They love the coolant flavor IIRC.

Not sure what to tell you as far as keeping them away, other than eliminating the critters altogether.
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I did a little research and came up with some common remedies (not sure about how well they work though). Mothballs in a stocking under the bonnet (of course they may stink up your car), poison, which when left outside, rat/mice will eat and die BUT eagles, falcons, hawks, and other predators will eat the contaminated critters and then die themselves. A woman near where I live put out a bunch of poison for rats, the rats ate the poison and died but then a family of Bald Eagles ate the rats and died. The woman almost went to jail but got off and was only fined several thousand dollars. Personally I though she deserved to go to jail for being so dumb. Another remedy I read about was creating a chili pepper mixture that you can spray into the engine area. The person who suggested this has only tried it on wires inside his house which his cats were chewing on though. Speaking of cats if you don't have one and you aren't allergic to them they you might want to think about getting one or two and keep them as outside cats. One person also suggested in collecting a back of cat hair and keeping it under your seats to scare away the critters. You will have to replace the hair once in a while.

The most sensible things I read were to clean the car VERY well making sure you get any possible food crumb from crevices and under the seats, placing traps under the hood, inside the car, under the car and around the wheels (where they might be getting in), and getting a cat or two. Critters like warm places so you also might consider leaving your bonnet open to expose your engine (and the critters).

BTW the real reason rats and mice chew on electrical cords and such is because their teeth are constantly growing and they need to keep them trim and sharp and electrical cord insulation is perfect for this job.

Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Actually you dont need to get a cat or two. Usually just set out some kat food by the car and they will come.

For a car thats used regulalry there isnt much to be done. For a car that is stored there are a couple things that can be done. If they keep attacking specific wires you can put the wire in some kind of arnour coating.



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Old 09-17-2007, 01:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, I've heard rats and mice do not like moth balls either. Also they supposedly hate dryer fabric softener sheets. I've found with the pellet type poison, it disappears quickly but then I find places where the mice just stockpile it.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Subhuman

The most sensible things I read were to clean the car VERY well making sure you get any possible food crumb from crevices and under the seats,
The critters bring their own food and store it in the car. One of my old Volvos was running poorly, and I found the air cleaner box full of feed corn. Some critter thought it would be a good food warehouse.

Another time, a critter got into my garage. It moved a large quantity of bird seed from the bag it came in to the exhaust port of my shop vac. When I turned the vac on, bird seed went everywhere!
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ron917
Another time, a critter got into my garage. It moved a large quantity of bird seed from the bag it came in to the exhaust port of my shop vac. When I turned the vac on, bird seed went everywhere!
A rodent with a sense of humour!
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've heard borax is poisonous to mice, I don't know if they eat it or not...

Last year some mice were taking orange peels out of the garbage and storing them under the kitchen sink. When I set a trap under the sink, I caught eight mice in the same trap, each about 30 minutes apart .
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Make sure that the grass is cut around where you park your car. This means keeping it mowed around the garage and sides of the driveway.

Also, most rodents are atracted to water. Make sure that there is no open source of water in your garage or where you park your car. Any leaks should be fixed around where you keep your car.

Other than that good luck. Them buggers are persistant.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the suggestions to get rid of the mice. I put some dryer sheets in the engine area, as someone suggested, and it has seemed to help. Thanks again.
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