The cheapest way to rid your car of critters is letting a dog or cat chase and catch them. But what if you’re petless and need something more than a casual mousetrap when something fuzzy is having way too much fun inside your car without you? Animal damage is a real problem—an act of nature—which you can’t claim on your car’s insurance or warranty. Wires, air filters, exhaust pipes, engine covers, HVAC vents, you name it; anywhere a little mouse, rat, squirrel, or (gasp!) raccoon can squeeze into a car for shelter, it will. And you’ll be on the hook for the bill.
For advice on how to combat the problem, we spoke with John Paul, the indisputable Car Doctor for AAA Northeast. He’s a very handy man—and weekly radio host—who has decades of automotive repair experience. Ask around, and some car people may answer that environmentally friendly cars are having an unexpected consequence: They’re yummy to animals. Automakers have switched from petroleum-based foam cushions and wire insulation to plant-based material over the past 20 years, according to Paul. That might appear to suggest more animals are breaking into cars and partying on your radiator. (Cars.com claims that battery-electric cars keeping warm overnight from charging are more attractive to nesting mice than a gasoline car.) But Paul isn’t convinced animals prefer newer cars or EVs any more than they did Caprice Classics. “I’m not sure how tasty the soy wiring is,” he said. “It may be how much we are kicking critters out of their natural homes.”
Paul recommends the following non-toxic products his readers and listeners swear by to deter small wildlife (after, he says, you’ve cleaned out your car and removed anything in a closed garage, like trash and bird seed, that would attract an animal). Have a look, and, for goodness sake, renew your AAA membership.
The 7 Most Powerful Car Air Fresheners
Spearmint and peppermint make toothpaste palatable and many animals feel icky. Brush an infused oil on the attacked part, taking care to avoid dripping any onto connectors, or tie a minty tea bag near it.
Soap, particularly Irish Spring, is a deer deterrent when strung on bushes. Shave some of that fresh goodness on your car and sprinkle liberally.
Wrap your car’s wiring with clothes dryer sheets to ward off any would-be cable snatchers.
Some automakers like Honda sell electrical tape that claims to ward off critters. It’s a spicy tape, in fact. How do we know? Because someone on eBay took a little bite.
After paying $28,000 to repair rodent damage on his BMW i8, CoverSeal founder Ken Huening came up with a car cover that’s like a weighted blanket. It drapes over a vehicle and is heavy enough at the bottom to seal flat against the ground, which in theory would keep any casual critter from getting near the car.
Shake these granules like Parmesan cheese. Just be aware they’re smelly (some use fox or coyote urine, yum!)
This spray uses mint, which they claim also repels ants and roaches.
One 32-oz. bottle will cover 500 square feet, or more than enough for a couple Tahoes. Armadillos and porcupines, you’ve met your match! Hopefully.
Source: Read Full Article