Critters in your CarFall/Winter is the most common time that mice or other rodents like to set up homes for the winter--and your vehicle is a favorite target. They can cause extensive damage by gnawing away at under hood wiring or under the dash if they get in.
Mice will go after anything they can chew to keep their teeth from over growing and a wire is a perfect object for grinding their teeth against. The problem is even worse now because the car manufactures are now using wiring that is soy-based versus the petroleum-based insulation that was once used.
But in many cases, it is simply the desire to stay warm and protected, and the engine compartment or heater ducts is very attractive to them for that purpose.
They can also enter a vehicle's Heater/AC system through the fresh air duct and cause damage to the heater and air conditioner components by jamming them with nesting materials, not to mention the bad odor if they choose to make your heater their final resting place.
If you have problems with them, rather than resorting to noxious poisons or messy traps, here is some tricks and techniques to help keep the little fellas out.
Select the "recirculate" mode rather than "fresh" (when applicable to your vehicle) to block off this entrance into the interior of the vehicle when parking overnight. This closes the outside air door. Often these vents are vacuum operated so switch to the "recirculate" position before shutting off the motor. Note: driving in the recirculate mode in moist weather can cause the windows to fog up.
There are several products that can be used on wiring harnesses to keep them from chewing them and possibly will work in other areas to deter entrance. Formulas such as Stop the Rodent which use highly concentrated formulas of peppers can be effective when spraying on the wires.
We've heard of many other ways to fend them off, spraying pine sol around the car, placing dryer sheets on the tires or tying old socks up with a handful of mothballs and even toilet-bowl PDB cakes.
There is also electronic devices that can be put under the hood that give a high pitched noise that supposedly dissuades them from making their home under your hood.
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