Mice can squeeze through openings the size of a dime so they can easily get into your car.
Mice also can chew through wires, seat foam and nest under your hood.
“The damage we’ve seen has ranged from fairly minor, but still $200, to more than $1,500,” said Douglas McAllister, owner of Douglas Automotive. “That’s a large price for something as small as a mouse.”
“On the minor side, we typically find a nest under the hood and some wiring to one of the sensors on the engine chewed through,” he said. “After we clean out the nest material and repair the wiring, the vehicle is usually good to go.”
McAllister’s team always checks the air filter box and the cabin air filter because the rodents can get in there as well.
One owner had stored his Mustang over the winter while he went out of state. In the meantime, mice made it their new home and they urinate constantly and are capable of dropping 25,000 fecal pellets each year.
“The damage under the hood was minor compared to what was done to the inside of the car,” McAllister said. “Mice had burrowed into the backseat foam and the carpet was loaded with droppings and urine, leaving a horrendous smell.”
The interior had to be removed and treated, the foam had to be chemically treated and the carpet had to be cleaned since replacement was no longer available.
“It turned out well, but it sure was a nasty mess when we started,” McAllister said.
To keep mice out, you can keep your garage sealed and vehicle clear of food. A sock full of mothballs near the engine and dryer sheets in the inside of the vehicle are some recommendations. Some people swear by using Irish spring soap. Having a cat, using traps and special sprays are other possibilities.
Crystal Lake – 123 E. Virginia, (815) 356-0440
Barrington – 417 W. Main Street, (847) 381-0454
Fox River Grove – 416 Northwest Highway, (847) 639-4552
Visit www.douglasautomotive.com for more info.