Two Striped Field Mice (Apodemus agrarius) in sunny winter day in snow

Are Rodents Plaguing Your Vehicles this Winter?

When it comes to car problems, there are countless possible causes. However, motorists might be surprised to learn that a rodent infestation could be what’s plaguing their vehicle. Alexandria Pest Services cautions drivers to be on the lookout for a rodent problem under the car hood and take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening to them this winter. If you park your car in the garage or a carport, the problem can easily spread to inside your home!

When the temperature drops, rodents seek shelter, food, and warmth in order to survive the colder months, which is why they often move into homes this time of year. Unfortunately, cars offer the same protection and food sources for rodents that homes do. Plus, eco-friendly materials often used by car manufacturers, such as soy-based wiring, only further attract them and their palates.

Sneaking into cars is rather easy for rodents, as mice and rats can fit through holes as small as a dime and a quarter, respectively. Steering columns, vents, pedal shafts and other openings serve as the main access points into vehicles for these intruders. Upon gaining entry, rodents commonly use insulation as nesting material and wires, tubes and circuitry as meals, leading to short circuits and other electrical problems.

Aside from costly car repairs, rodents can compromise human health by spreading disease and causing respiratory issues. To mitigate this threat to both drivers and their vehicles, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following prevention tips:

  • Seal up points of entry into garages using a silicone-based caulk, steel wool or a combination of both. Common entry points include air vents, cable holes, pedal shafts and the steering column.
  • Check under the car hood for gnawed materials, droppings, nests and frayed wires. Consult with a professional automobile mechanic if signs of a rodent infestation are found, as repairs may be needed.
  • Maintain a clean car by promptly wiping up spills, and disposing of paper, fast food bags and other trash in a sealed receptacle. Mice like to hide in piles of garbage and can use them as shelter.
  • Don’t allow moisture to build up inside your vehicle. Mice thrive on water and therefore are attracted to moist areas. Moisture can be caused by any number of problems, such as a blocked pollen filter or a leak in the heater. Damp clothing can also contribute to the problem. If condensation persists night after night, have your car inspected to locate the cause of the issue.
  • Keep foliage away from your car. When leaves fall, mice have plenty of places to seek shelter from the rain. A car, however, is an even more inviting place for mice. When foliage surrounds your car, a literal pathway is formed right to your vehicle. By contrast, mice are less likely to enter your car when they can’t come anywhere near it.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are closed. If a window or sunroof does not close all the way, rodents can easily find their way into your vehicle.
  • Consider hiring a licensed pest control professional, such as those at Alexandria Pest Services, to ensure an infestation doesn’t spread from the car to the home.

Call Us to Help You Get Rid of Pests or Rodents!

If you suspect you have a rodent problem, contact Alexandria Pest Services for a free inspection. Our trained professionals will analyze your pest control needs and come up with a personalized plan for your household. Our team of expert technicians will provide a free inspection and work to create a plan to eliminate your pests. At Alexandria Pest Services, we help homeowners just like you get rid of pests in their homes all year round. If you find that you are having a problem with insects or pests, and need an exterminator, call Alexandria Pest Services at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional evaluation. We can help you get rid of these invaders in your home or office!