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Mouse Deterrent

My Austin Healy is stored in a barn type structure and, no surprise, I am in battle with mice. Other than finding another place, what’s your take on the best method for repelling these rodents?

Here are a couple of suggestions based on mouse psychology. Mice don’t like to cross open spaces, so clear as wide an area around the car as possible; no buckets, bins, hay bales, etc for them to hide behind. If you can’t clear the area completely, get everything at least 2 feet off the floor. Second, mice are nocturnal, so you may be able to discourage them by installing some bright lights that stay on all night long, especially illuminate the floor area around and under the car. Two or three portable spotlights on a power strip might do it. I doubt they will want to get into your car if the area under the car is brightly lit and they have to cross a lot of open space to get there.

Lots and lots of d-con.

Barns are not a good place to store cars, or boats, etc. Barns are full of hay, feed, and lots of organic materials that attract mice and other pests, such as bees and birds.

Best option is move the car. An Austin Healy (especially a 3000 MKII) is worth protecting. It is also expensive to repair mice damage. They eat wire, and hoses, seat upholstery, and seat cushions. The nest are messy and smelly too. Since mice can go where no hand can reach the damage can be in an inaccessible area and be super expensive to repair.

If you can’t afford a more suitable storage location. Lots of DeCon is a good start. Make sure there are some barn cats patroling the barn. They kill the mice and their scent is a natural mouse repellant. Keep the cats out of the car, cat pee in the interior is about as bad as mice damage.

Back to the best option, move the car out of the barn. There really is no certain, sure fire, way to keep mice and other pests from thinking your car is the perfect home.

If you have D-con and barn cats you will have dead cats. D-con will not really work in a barn-like environment because there is too much other food around, they won’t eat it or won’t eat enough. D-con will work in a home because the mouse’ natural food supply is limited and ideally you will put away the cereal boxes and whatnot before setting out the poison. Loading a barn with D-con is likely to get you dead mice (smelly), dead cats and maybe dead owls, without making much impact on the live mouse population.

Get rid of as much of the food supply as possible, and relocate what you can’t get rid of to as far away from the car as you can. If you clear a wide space around the car, a cat really will help, since the mice won’t be able to cross to the car without being in full view of the cat.

Another vote against the D Con idea. It keeps on killing as it works its way through the food chain. Other less toxic solutions, as suggested, are preferable. I’ve had some success using lights.

Have you tried a cat yet?