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Rodent Damage in Vehicles

Posted in Pest Advice on June 15, 2017

Rodents in Cars 

Rats and mice have incisor teeth (front two teeth of each jaw) that are large and continually growing. The teeth have hard enamel on the front surface and softer dentine behind. As rats and mice gnaw they wear the teeth down and sharpen them into chisel-like implements through uneven wearing. Rats and mice gnaw things other than food to keep their teeth worn down and sharp. Unfortunately for us they often choose to gnaw wiring, plumbing, joists and items stored where they are.

Kiwicare was contacted recently by a lady in a store about cars in a garage that would not start when she returned after a couple of weeks away from home. When the bonnets of the cars were opened it was found that rats had made 'minced meat' of the wiring and plastic cover of the engine. A full inspection of the house it was found that the rats had also gained entry to the home via the integral garage and had destroyed the pump for the spa bath.

On hearing this, another lady returned to the aisle and bought three times as much NO Rats & Mice bait saying “my husband has two vintage cars in the garage. If he thinks his 'babies' could be damaged he’ll want to put bait everywhere.”

Some car manufacturers have changed to using soy-based coating on cables and wiring in vehicles. There is some concern that this might increase the likelihood of rodents gnawing on the cables with potentially serious consequences.

Rodents gnaw not just food but also objects that bar their way such as joists, beams, walls and doors and they also gnaw things that seem to give them ‘pleasure’ in gnawing, including plastics such as cables, with consequences of electrical failure and shorting, and pipes with consequences of flooding and water damage.

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