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Animals are eating Devon's car

We live in rural Western Washington (yes, someplace besides Seattle/Tacoma) and mice and small rodent-like animals tend to climb into cars…my mechanic suggested WD40 sprayed on the wires…seems what the animals like is the plastic coating, but hate the WD40. Have used this trick more years than I care to admit (I have adult children) and have never had critter munching since I started using this trick over 10 years ago.

Having used urine in other areas, I do not recommend it by the car…or in the car.

WD40 may work, but it is very toxic, especially while spraying. Keep that in mind.

Devon mentioned that by the teeth marks they determined that a possum was the culprit. Possums have teeth like dogs or racoons and not like rodents, which have the sharp front teeth similar to a squirrel or rat. Possums are marsupials, animals that carry their young in a pouch, not rodents. I tend to think this is a rodent issue, rats, mice, squirels.

A live animal trap might work, if it is a aquirrel. Killing the critters will work. Rat traps would work well for the rats and mice and a cat might help…

Go to the local shelter and get the meanest, scrappiest looking feline available. Preferably male. If they don’t have one, I can send you mine. He’s the orneriest critter west of The Rockies. Nobody likes him, not even the other (domesticated) animals.
And by the way, my 95 pound labrador retriever is worthless when it comes to keeping vermin away. She’s good in the water though.

Most rodents are allergic to mint, according to a friend of mine who is an exterminator. He suggests soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil, and spreading them around a house or apartment that is infested. It might do the trick for Devon’s car. Its the peppermint oil that can be purchased at any grocery store. Replace the oil every so often, as it will lose potency over time. My father tried this with a trailer that was unused during the winter, and it worked.

As a telecommunications specialist I have lots of experience with rodents chewing through network cables and telephone lines. The PVC insulation is like candy to them. Crumbs of food might attract them initially but when the food is all gone they start in on the wires. I have also been a park ranger at several national parks where rodents would regularly chew through vehicle wiring harnesses. One solution that helps, but may not be practical in all climates, is to leave your hood open at night. Critters feel safe sitting on top of your engine when the hood is closed, but not so safe when it is open and they may be exposed to owls and other predators. Some people swear that putting a light bulb under your hood works, but I suspect that might just provide them with a warm place to sleep. If you are going to try a light bulb, use an LED bulb which doesn’t give off much heat.

Put your mothballs in an old sock and tie it under the hood of the car. This has worked well for me for several years after several attacks on the wiring under the hood. I also keep mothballs in another sock on the ground under the car where I park at home.

If they can afford it consider a prefab garage. Costs vary in each area, will likely
cost about 1500 to 2000 but significantly less than a " real" garage. Should keep the animals out, will also keep the car snow free in the winter. Just make sure to check out the quality of the prefab before buying, you want one that is built solid and tight.
If you’re really set on making use of urine , animal or human , you could always build the garage and then still surround it in urine, a double whammy.

Try dog fur.
We used to fill panty hose full of dog fur and hang them near the trunk of trees we wanted the squirrels to stay out of. Worked like a charm.

Suggest you check out www.dirtdoctor.com. This is an organic gardening web site by Howard Garrett, a Fort Worth native who has written numerous books and has both a local and national radio show. If you search the library for ?animal pest control? he lists several possible solutions, including hot pepper and predator urine. These of course are meant for dissuading animals from eating the garden or landscape plants, but it might be a simple solution for Devon?s problems.

In San Diego, possums have moved into suburbia, living at the top of palm trees.

Ammonia will get rid of them & keep them from coming back. Just put ammonia soaked rags around your property. Refresh them occasionally using a spray bottle of ammonia.

They apparently believe the mother of all possums lives there & move on to new territory. Basically, you drive them into your neighbors’ yards.

Hello, I have a solution that can only come from a New Mexican. Chiles! (Take note that they are not “peppers”…) It turns out that humans are the only animals who are insane enough to eat chiles. The active ingredient is capsaicin and it is not only used in mace and bear deterrant, it is loathed by most non-human life forms. Just coat the lines and wires with chile extract (or boil your own) and you are good to go. Squirrels ate through a wiring harness on my Dad’s car (costing $300) and when replaced I suggested he spray some bear repellent on it and he never had the problem again. Birds actually like chiles so adding chile seed to bird seed keeps the squirrels out, too.

Predator pee works well to keep most prey species & deer at bay… that includes humans if they eat meat regularly. It has to reapplied quite regularly. A dog or a colony of “barn cats” would help. cats have the plus of also hunting the buggers. I also used to live in NM and fully support the chile idea. Rodents hate the stuff. (Dogs, BTW love them!) For under the hood you can do what a friend did and put a low wattage light bar (LED or fluorescent)under the hood at night. Worked like a charm. To keep them out of your air system be sure to always leave the AC on “recirculating” which will block the intake opening enough to keep them out.

My clock radio went off this afternoon, awaking me to the dulcet strains of Tom and Ray, who soon began discussing with Devon her critter problem and the opossum was named as the prime suspect. I blearily turned my head to look at my pet opossum sleeping peacefully beside me. Opossums really aren’t chewers(despite having 50 teeth - the most of any land mammal), and Princess Rosalie Rue is in fact less destructive than my fairly well behaved dogs and my Evil (but not particularly destructive)cats. Plus she gives smoochies and sleeps under the covers and uses a litter box (the litter box is not under the covers).

But I digress! The culprits are most like likely rodents of some type, or maybe a porcupine if those are in your area. Predator urine and dog hair in pantyhose are both good at keeping away the varmints, although they both do have to be “refreshed” periodically.

Anyway, congrats on the new baby and good luck. And the Princess graciously forgives you for maligning her species.

I have a place in the mountains and we have had trouble with chipmunks chewing wires and pack rats making nests in the engine compartment of our cars for the last few years. Last year we put trouble lights in there over night. That worked fairly well although packrats did bring grass in while the light was on. So I asked someone in town. They said to use cayenne pepper.

So when I got here this year, I sprinkled everything in the engine compartment with cayenne pepper. The pepper does not blow off when you go on the highway. It stays right there and I have had no problems with critters at all and there are plenty around. After driving up the mountain, my engine smells like baked cayenne. And when I take my car in for service, I have to remember to remind the technicians that they might want to wash the cayenne off before working on the car.

I have never had Devon’s problem but a friend of mine had a problem with packrats getting into his RV and while he was away from home they would also get into his boat and a car in the garage. They would chew the wiring and other things to haul away for nesting material. His solution was an electrical device available on the market that you put in the vehicle. When charged it emits a high pitched sound inaudible to humans but obviously drives the animals nuts. If it were me I would buy a good quality extension cord, bury it under the soil so animals could not chew on it (preferably in PVC pipe to protect it further) and place a couple of these sound emitters in the vehicle. I don’t specifically know where you could buy these devices but I would check on the internet, RV parts stores, auto parts stores, maybe farm supply stores. If you don’t have any luck running these things down get back to me and I will check with my friend. Good Luck, Gale L. Love

We have mint growing that is an unstoppable as any weed, maybe planting the car parking area with it would work? I think it is spearmint but not sure.

First, about the alleged opossum: Opossums are marsupials, not rodents, and an adult will grow to be 10 or 12 pounds ? never 20 pounds. Opossums are pacifists, and, while they probably won’t win a beauty contest, they will never attack. They just want to be left alone. Also, it’s highly unlikely that one would chew on wiring in a car. It was most likely a rodent ? a rat or mouse ? which are notorious for this kind of behavior. How to rid your car of rodents? Try a small, humane trap, baited with a cracker and peanut butter. Then, when you trap him, take him for a long ride. If you get desperate, an ammonia-soaked towel will send most wildlife scurrying.

I live in the woods, park outside, and mice/rats get under the hood, eat wires and build nests…
A simple fix I found is to simply raise the hood when coming home…
The lack of top cover seems to keep rodents from hanging around there…
Also had trouble with same culprets getting INSIDE my vehicles…
(older Mazda pickup AND newer Toyota Yaris)…
I found both vehicles had easy open passages thru ventilation vents from outside.
The truck’s openings were just behind the headlights,
and the Yaris openings were under the hood on both sides between fenders and where the windshield wiper linkage is (not obvious). I caulked in some “expanded metal” lath mesh at these openings and that solved the problem. Why the car manufacturers do not screen off these openings just shows they don’t test their new designs in a country/rural environment…

Please do not EVER buy or recommend bobcat or fox urine; the methods of collecting these for sale are extremely inhumane (and deadly)! There are plenty of synthetics available on the market, or find a wildlife rescue/rehab group online; they know all the tricks. All the HUMANE tricks! Don’t contribute to the brutal market for animal products that don’t work anyway.