Did you know that soy wiring inside automobiles attracts mice and other rodents as a food source, potentially rendering your vehicle inoperable?
That’s a message the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) wants motorists to hear, especially in winter time when soy wiring damage caused by rodents becomes more common.
“Cars and trucks offer ideal places for refuge for rodents to spend the winter. Once inside, they are insulated from the cold and potential predators, and can easily gain access through vents, steering columns and pedal shafts,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Some automobile brands also now feature plant-based biodegradable materials like soy wiring, which is particularly appetizing to rodents looking for food.”
If you suspect rodents are taking refuge under the roof of your vehicle, there are some telling signs to look for. Visibly gnawed upholstery, insulation, and wires is one clear sign of rodent infestation, as are rodent droppings inside the engine, cab, or other part of the vehicle. Electrical problems and engine malfunctions can also point to soy wiring that has been chewed by mice or other rodents.
As cold weather drives shelter-seeking rodents into vehicles, the NPMA recommends motorists take the following measures to keep their cars from becoming the next rodent bed-and-breakfast:
- Keep the Vehicle Clean: Paper, tissues and fast food bags can quickly pile up and serve as nesting material for mice.
- Promptly Address Moisture Build Up: Water is a necessity for rodents to survive, so a leak in the heater or wet materials left in the vehicle will draw them in.
- Eliminate Entry Points: An open sunroof or cracked window is all a mouse needs to easily gain entry to a car. Make sure they remain closed when the car is unattended.
- Pay Attention to the Garage: Despite being parked in a garage, vehicles can still be at risk for rodents. Take extra measures to ensure the garage is rodent-free by keeping trash cans covered, eliminating excess debris, clearing clutter and caulking/sealing any gaps or openings where rodents can squeeze through.
- Check Under the Hood: Rodents tend to build their nests near the engine due to the warmth it generates. Routinely take a look under the hood to ensure invaders haven’t made their way in, as rodents situated here have easy access to crucial circuitry.
- Contact a Pro: Take the car to a professional automobile mechanic if a rodent infestation is suspected or found. A licensed pest control professional can assist with a rodent issue in the home.