When I headed to work this morning, I made the turn onto Nott St., and all the error lights in my car lit up, and the speedometer and tachometer went dead. I know exactly what the cause is, because this has happened twice before: rodents of some sort are chewing on the wiring in my car, causing things to short out and throw error messages.

These furry little bastards have hit my last nerve. This has been a week from hell, and I can not afford to lose yet another day to having my car worked on to repair rodent damage, to say nothing of the $200-ish it will cost to have it fixed.

At a minimum, I want these little fuckers to stop chewing the wires in my car. Ideally, this would be because they are dead, with their bleached skulls posted on stakes around the driveway as a warning to the next generation, but I’ll settle for “gone very far away, never to chew on vehicle wiring again.” I’m not sure what the best way to accomplish this goal is, though. So I’ll throw this out to the larger Internet: How do I get rid of the squirrels who are eating my car?

And no dog jokes, please. If I still thought there was the tiniest fucking shred of humor in this, I would make my own dog jokes. I have fucking had it with this situation, though, so any wisecracks about turning the dog loose on them will be summarily deleted.

Comments

  1. #1 Mike
    February 28, 2010

    Would an outdoor cat be an option? You may need to deal with “presents” left on the doorstep showing its hunting prowess, but might be enough to drive off the problem.

  2. #2 chezjake
    February 28, 2010

    Emmy may want to blame the squirrels, but from personal experience, it’s most likely mice. They are chewing wires because the heavy, wet snow is keeping them from finding normal food and the wires are in a dry and somewhat warm spot.

    Go to your friendly, local hardware store and get some of the mouse/rat poison that comes in small paper packets. Place the packets near where the wire chewing has been happening. This should not result in dead mice smelling up the car, since the poison makes them thirsty and they go off to seek water.

  3. #3 Benjamin
    February 28, 2010

    This situation was on Car Talk awhile back, I can’t remember how it was resolved. Sorry I can’t be more help!

  4. #4 Greg
    February 28, 2010

    Try putting fabric softener dry sheets in the places the mice might go. This is an old trick we use up in VT to winterize our tractors and such. Its always worked for me.

  5. #5 tom bloom
    February 28, 2010

    They are mice, not squirrels. You can sell your car and buy a bicycle (my choice), or put mouse traps out (no poison, please), or move to the city. We are animals living in a world of animals. Get used to it, it’s normal and natural

  6. #6 Anonymous
    February 28, 2010

    Awww – Nott Street – you made me nostalgic for my childhood.

    Now back to your regularly-scheduled squirrel massacre.

  7. #7 J
    February 28, 2010

    Don’t put poison out, please. You have a dog. The poison will eventually fall out, and your dog will think it smells tasty and tastes delicious, and then you will have a bad outcome.

    Or, if it falls out somewhere other than at your house, someone else’s dog will have a bad outcome.

  8. #8 Thony C.
    February 28, 2010

    In the area of Southern Germany where I live the culprits are usual members of the marten family. Here some people solve the problem by placing a wooden frame covered in stretched chicken wire under the motor compartment of the car when its parked. Apparently the beast don’t like to walk on the chicken wire and so don’t climb into the engine compartment.

  9. #9 sludgejudge
    February 28, 2010

    Build a box trap out of 1 X 8s or you can buy a metal one. I caught a bunch of the little tree rats a few years ago after they got into my attic. If your daughter were a little older she would get a kick out of releasing them at a remote location.

  10. #10 cfeagans
    February 28, 2010

    If you use a service to regularly spray your home for insects, they can usually provide a few outdoor boxes that are baited with poison. Just have them position one near your car. These are extremely effective and within a few days you’ll notice the mice/field rats gone. I agree with others that this is mice or field rats not squirrels.

  11. #11 cfeagans
    February 28, 2010

    Oh… the cool thing about bait boxes is that they’re not accessible to dogs, children, cats etc. And, if you look throughout the yard each day, you might find a mouse carcass that you can behead and impale on the fence as warning to others! But you have to be quick, feral cats and such will make off with them.

  12. #12 george.w
    February 28, 2010

    Get some super-hot sauce and spray it on the underside of your car. (Wear eye protection while doing this!) One of those sauces people give as gag gifts because they’re too hot to really use on food.

  13. #13 tsc
    February 28, 2010

    You should train the mice/rats/squirrels towards a more constructive purpose such as a circus.

  14. #14 Neil B
    February 28, 2010

    You could try an air rifle and take some time to wipe some out, but be careful and check legality (often more lenient than per powder-fires.) I have seen pest controllers do it. I suppose some will complain of meanness, well so be it.

    BTW I have an odd suspicion that squirrels reproduce by quantum mechanics. We never see their babies (I don’t), even fall-outs from their presumptive nests. I think, maybe their wave functions combine and a new squirrel just appears somewhere. No need to start up on that stuff again, just sayin …

  15. #15 tom bloom
    February 28, 2010

    Call in air strikes.

  16. #16 perry
    February 28, 2010

    we live in the country, I’d say its mice too, but maybe with the economy tanking the squirrels are hungry too. Dry wipes are good. Pellet gun can be useful too.

  17. #17 Hank Roberts
    February 28, 2010

    > poison
    Also kills whatever eats the dead rodents. Not good.
    > traps
    Better.

    Rat urine in particular will just dissolve the plastic insulation on a lot of wires, and rats are as likely as mice.

    I don’t drive much at all except for back country trips.
    I just had to clean a rat’s nest off the top of the battery in my newer car, which I hadn’t moved since Hallowe’en. And I only opened the hood to check that the solar panel was still charging the battery. Yeah, apparently it was, and had been making it just slightly warm.

    Wash with dilute bleach to take off the ammoniacal urine, then baking soda to clean off the battery acid, then flood with water. Do it over ground, so the mess doesn’t go into the sewers, the soil microbiology’s better at cleaning that up. You knew all that.

    I dunno why the rats didn’t off themselves with chlorine, peeing on a battery, maybe they liked the whiff of nice clean smell (sigh).

    Talk to your mechanic’s boss about getting the guys to wash their hands after they eat, and not eat while working on your car, so they quit leaving cream cheese, ham, and beer flavoring all over the inside of your engine. That’ll also reduce the little fingerprint spots that mildew over time.

    Wipe clean all the spark plug wires and anything else they routinely remove and replace while doing maintenance. Consider having the engine cleaned.

  18. #18 bluefoot
    February 28, 2010

    tom bloom – moving to the city won’t necesarily solve the problem. Rats and squirrels chewing through car wiring is a depressingly common occurence here in Boston. And I’m talking the city, not the suburbs.
    No one I know has found a good solution to this. Or at least a permanent solution. Some people swear by the hot sauce+rodent repellent, but others find it has no effect. Others have tried trapping, but the sheer number of rats and squirrels here makes this not really practical. I like Thony’s idea. Though I love the visual of bleached squirrel skulls on stakes!

  19. #19 Anon
    February 28, 2010

    Spray the area where you park the car with fox or weasel urine (some gardening centers sell this), and set up squirrel feeders as far away as you can–preferably under a disliked neighbor’s car.

  20. #20 Doug
    February 28, 2010

    Three cheers for the squirrels!
    Sweet revenge for all of their kin that have be make into street pizzas by cars.

  21. #21 ZQ
    February 28, 2010

    Your comment about posting bleached skulls as a warning would actually kindof work.
    My parents were having trouble with squirrels, so they nailed two squirrel corpses they found to the trees in their backyard. After about 6-7 weeks they became less effective, but while they were relatively new my parents didn’t see a single squirrel.

    So, I don’t know if you can find any dead squirrels, but if you do just nail one up by the tail in a back corner of your yard where it’s not visible to the weak of stomach.

  22. #22 Mary
    February 28, 2010

    If it’s any consolation, you were not the only one in Niskayuna having squirrel problems yesterday!

    My husband was quite disconcerted to encounter a squirrel in our master bathroom yesterday!

    Our laundry room is in our bathroom and the squirrel had chewed its way in through the soft aluminum dryer vent!

    Our handyman is coming Tuesday to replace the damaged vent and hopefully put a squirrel proof grate in.

    He was here last month to repair the moulding they had been chewing their way through (located near the dryer vent.)

    What is it with the squirrels in Niskayuna this winter!

  23. #23 blf
    February 28, 2010

    Return to orbit and nuke the place.
    Of course the feckers having probably also been chewing/peeing on your lander/rocket, so you might find ourself returning the surface with rather less control than you might like…

  24. #24 Tony P
    February 28, 2010

    Poison them. That’s the only way you’re going to get rid of them.

  25. #25 Mike Olson
    February 28, 2010

    If you live in a rural area shoot ‘em. I had ground squirrels infest a slight hill side I had to mow. I tried to be tolerant at first. It just got worse. Ultimately, it became impossible to really mow because of their holes. I’m not a hunter nor violent, but, I like to target shoot. I got out my .22 and waited just inside the back door, and when they appeared, I picked ‘em off. After nearly twisting ankles several times and having to repeatedly jerk mower wheels out of holes. It was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had. I felt remorseful for killing the cute little critters…but I was glad they were dead.

  26. #26 becca
    February 28, 2010

    Step 1) drive squirrels to college campus
    Step 2) allow students to feed squirrels, causing them to become tame and addict to pizza
    Step 3) name each squirrel and feed them pizza by hand, lulling them into a false sense of security
    Step 4) bite off their heads, then rip out their hearts and eat them

    Poison is a wussy and lazy way out.

  27. #27 G.D.
    February 28, 2010

    Tom Bloom: “We are animals living in a world of animals. Get used to it, it’s normal and natural”

    It is indeed normal and natural. So are viral infections, polio and plagues. Your point?

  28. #28 Canadian Curmudgeon
    February 28, 2010

    Rat traps work on both rats and squirrels. We live in a 140 year old house way out in they country and have had both in the house.

    As far as we are concerned, squirrels are just rats with furry tails. However, I am told that larger squirrels are quite tasty.

  29. I’ve heard that hot sauce is the best way to approach the situation. This way there is zero impact on your household pets. Is the car parked outside or in a garage?

  30. #30 Kat Mandoo
    March 1, 2010

    1) Step one, accept that the squirrels are trying to teach you lessons in life.
    2) Step two, Recognize that the squirrels are not the problem. Your anger with the squirrels is the problem.
    3) Step three, Recognize that although you are a physicist, the squirrels right to destroy your car is equal to your right to drive the car. After all, all things happen for a reason.
    4) Step four, realize that since you are equal to the squirrels you must convert to their religion which mainly consists of worshiping nuts as well as burying nuts and forgetting where you put them.
    5) Step five, give up your home, career, family and aspirations because the squirrels have ensured, not only can you not drive your car, you can’t balance your check book, let alone a physics equation.

    Note, this will not make you any more or less than the squirrels, but will get you to accept that you must be humble in the face of such adversaries who’ve shown you, that despite your big brain, worshiping nuts makes as much sense as quantum physics.

    See ya in the nut house.

  31. #31 Christi
    March 1, 2010

    What’s worked for me are the fully-enclosed traps that you bait with peanut butter and leave near where the critters are damaging; critter goes after the peanut butter and never leaves the trap. This got rid of the mouse living in the cabinet under our sink, and apparently scared off the mice that used to eat my children’s car seats. Now if I could just get rid of the birds living in my garage… (It’s very disconcerting to go out into the garage in the evening and hear insistent peeping of newly-hatched chicks!)

    FWIW, I have a dog and a cat and neither are any good at chasing off the local rodents. In fact, I think the cat gets beat up by the local rodents about once a year, although he might’ve finally figured out that they’re meaner than him.

    Good luck!

  32. #32 Lab Lemming
    March 1, 2010

    Get a cheap 12 V to 240 V transformer, and run a wire with 240V on it alongside whichever ones they like to chew. It will get bitten once.

  33. #33 Cynic View
    March 1, 2010

    No dog jokes huh? What about Schrodinger’s mice jokes?

    Your car’s wires are both fine and chewed out simultaneously until you turn on that engine.

  34. #34 brickhead
    March 1, 2010

    I have had success with mothballs, predator urine, and COPPER mesh/wool.

    The mothballs and urine smell worse to the pests than to you (though it can be tough to believe this if it is in the passenger compartment of your car).

    If yo can identify the route of entry, covering it with copper wire mesh (or stuffing with copper wool) is effective. Rodents will chew though aluminum or steel, but copper tastes like poison (the oxides ARE poison… hence the need to tin copper cookware), so, though they will taste it, they generally don’t chew through it. Just don’t make hte mistake of using copper wool in an electrical box.

  35. #35 jr
    March 1, 2010

    gee – i don’t see physics solutions, like ray guns or evil
    genius stuff coupled to a critter detector-locator.

  36. #36 stripey_cat
    March 1, 2010

    Seconding the people who are saying not to use poison – if your dog (or anyone else’s, or local predators) eat a poisoned rodent it’ll poison them too.

    Snap traps are good against mice, but for rats and squirrels you’re better off with live-capture traps checked several times a day, and any captures humanely disposed of: killer traps for such large animals aren’t always effective. Shotguns work, too.

  37. #37 KShap
    March 2, 2010

    I also live in SW Germany, where rodents called “martens” famously cause this damage. You can buy electronic devices to repell the critters, for instance at http://www.mardersicher.de/english/e_news.htm, which contains other tips that may be relevant.

  38. #38 rob
    March 2, 2010

    leave “Apocalypse Now” showing on repeat overnight for the rodents to watch.

    then every night after that, leave “Ride of the Valkyries” playing softly on a stereo.

    they’ll get the message.

  39. #39 Uncle Al
    March 2, 2010

    KISS. Glue traps and pads. Keep the dog and human larval lifeforms out, inform the wife, avoid stepping on them yourself. Captures dissuade newbies if they are allowed to ripen for a few days.

  40. #40 Uncle Glenny
    March 3, 2010

    Careful when you bite off the heads of the culprits. Squirrel brain eating has been implicated in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

  41. #41 Skwid
    March 5, 2010

    Easy.

  42. #42 Frank
    March 8, 2010

    Take a bit of the hair of your dog, put it in some small plastic bags with little holes in them and strap the bags in the engine-compartement. It works, they hate the smell of the dog. Change the hair twice a year.

  43. #43 Jake
    March 9, 2010

    They make electric mousetraps with four AA batteries, a switching power supply, a big capacitor, and two metal plates. Unlike a glue trap, these won’t catch the kids, dog, or wife. The air rifle idea also has appeal.

  44. #44 Lou
    March 16, 2010

    I’m waiting for someone to launch a fucking class action suit against some car manufacturer. Apparently the culprit is wiring made with soy-based ingredients. Yum. Rodents love it. Check out website called tasty wiring dot com. Blew my mind, and the $400 car repair bill didn’t help.

    Customers of RATAWAY like to think it’s non-toxic, but look up the ingredient: completely deadly and meant to kill. However, they all claim it works, no more repair bills, so you be the judge…

  45. #45 Paula
    March 22, 2010

    For those of you determined that this car wire chewing is mice or rats….I opened my hood to find the SQUIRREL building her nest in my wires after having chewed them. I’ve JUST had the wiring fixed last week. I have used poison, repellent (oh haha). As we speak…I have major glue traps under the hood to see if I can eleminate even just this one! We’ve lived here 17 years & the last month is the first time we’ve had this problem…I even catch them swimming in my pool. When shewed away, they get out & look at me like “WHAT?”. Help!

  46. #46 Robin
    April 2, 2010

    The sarcastic a holes who have posted on this site obviously haven’t suffered a chewed up car, let alone, multiple chewed up cars. Repeatedly the little furry bastards have eaten my cars, so I bought a 22 and started picking them off. Still, I have 20 acres of woods to deal with. I got a cat, but the damn thing won’t leave the porch and do his job. I own four dogs, too, but still the fuzzy vermin survive.

    I am ready to nuke the place, because I’m going broke rewiring cars. And it is squirrels. Not rats, not mice, but since I found a dead one electrocuted under my hood, I know what species my enemy is.

    Once a nature lover, now I think they all must die.

  47. #47 Andrew
    April 13, 2010

    I live in Austria. They are Martens or as they call them Marder. The little shits are attracted by the smell of rubber. They eat winscreen seals, rubber hoses, wires and anything else they can get their teeth into. You know when they have been about. They leave dirty footprints all over your car. I tried the electric 240v cable but they didnt go for it. I have replaced to many aerials to remember but the worst was the winscreen seal. Ripped it to shreds. Kill them all I say.

  48. #48 Jay
    April 20, 2010

    I have been victimized by some rodent for the 1st time with the wire chewing.I was told to get a product called dried squirrel blood.The local store called Pyles that sold it closed down unfortunately.My years in the suburbs never brought this issue to me but living in the country is a common target for this.It is a serious,expensive,repetetive occurence so it isnt funny.Any serious suggestions would help us out more here.

  49. #49 satish
    May 15, 2010

    keep fresh tobacco under the bonnet. no rats come in.

  50. #50 Rick Suddes
    June 11, 2010

    For Squirrels & Rats: Rats chew 28.88 minutes a day on something. Their teeth grow 4 to 6 inches a years. The bite pressure in a rats jaw 24,000 psi, harder than steel. Spray down with Rataway Fragrance to protect, car engines, cables, stored food, business, homes. 25% of all attic fires are caused by rodents. Use Rataway Fragrance to remove odors and stop damage caused by rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons. No more nesting, no more chewing. Go to Rataway. com for more details. Rataway Fragrance is non-toxic & non-poisonous

  51. #51 Zach
    June 19, 2010

    Hear hear to anyone saying poison these little bastards. I’ve dealt with rodents my whole life and I’ve never found any joy in killing them… until now. At least mice or rats you can see the reasoning why they do what they do. They’re trying to find shelter or food. Squirrels are malicious little fuckers with too much time on their hands. Sweet sweet death would be too kind for them. I’ve tried every humane way to deal with them, now I’m going all out. My plan is to try the 1 part flour, 1 part sugar, 1 part baking soda poison first and progress if necessary.

  52. #52 Deb
    July 3, 2010

    Here is what you do!
    I made a meal of dog food,nuts,sunflower seed and decon.
    put it in a deep bowl wherever they feed. Up high if it’s in the open or a small cup under the hood of your car but anchor it so it doesn’t spill on the ground.

    Birds won’t go into a deep bowl and cats or dogs can’t get to it.

    Nasty rodents warrant nasty measures.
    Good luck.

  53. #53 Carlitros
    July 18, 2010

    Do what I do — get yourself a high-power RWS/Diana/Gamo Air Rifle and use them for target practice. The double benefit is that it will serve you as entertainment. It’s better with a scope, as the little bastards are tough to kill! You have to hit them in the head or chest with a clean shot.

    I also have a German Shepherd, and she likes to eat them after she finishes them when they fall off the tree.

  54. #54 Dawn
    July 28, 2010

    Thank God your dog doesn’t have any interest in them. We have hundreds of dollars in damage from our Beagle who gets squirrels cornered under the Durango. This evening it’s tail light wiring and fuel hoses under the back end..A month ago it was the wiring harness under the hood. There’s no way to keep squirrels out from under the car when they are scared and hiding from the dog..And they would do alot less damage than the Beagle. Anyone have any ideas on keeping a squirrel crazed Beagle out of the car parts?

  55. #55 Aaron
    August 16, 2010

    Went camping in Zion NP in Utah – little bastards got under the hood the minute I pulled into camp…the kids were laughing that squirrels went up under the car…I dismissed it as no big deal…well when my car did not start, I popped the hood and the little fucker jumped out like a scene out of caddy-shack…it scared the shit out of me and the damage that was done, holy shit, lets just say its no fun trying to patch wires with a multi-tool and a head-lamp by the campfire, thats scarry shit when you are 500+ miles from home and the check engine light is on, luckily I was able to fix the damage, the whole trip I was kicking these little fuckers out of my way on trails and going out of my way to be mean as hell to them, all the tourists were giving me looks like I was an asshole…lets see how they’d like it if a squirrel got into their car. These little bastards even chewed into a neigboors tent and ate all thier food/snacks that they left in there, nasty little creatures.

  56. #56 Nightslayer
    August 18, 2010

    I come back from work and my car is smelling like a rotten corpse. I pop the hood and to my shock find a lil f**** roasting in there. Apparently the squirrel had built a nest overnight.

    http://tinypic.com/r/7162xh/4
    http://tinypic.com/r/2em1mph/4

    This problem has been going on for a while but never to my car. My dads Mazda minivan $400 wiring damage… my neighbours Hyundai $1000 wiring damage… and now my other neighbour has a Lexus and he is freaked out as hell.

    I’ve had it with these little pests and now i’ll try to run over every single motherf***** I can!

    P.S i live in Toronto

  57. #57 Mike
    September 25, 2010

    These squirrels are not really squirrels, they are Aliens from another planet who are tryin to take over the world by disabling our cars so we cant get away when the Giant squirrel starts stomping our brains out. It is a conspiracy theory! Put some plastic explasives under your car and when the squirrels eat it they will blow up

  58. #58 James in Albuquerque
    October 25, 2010

    I just bought a new Hyundai Sonata and they ate some of the wiring and wire wrap the next day. Now I’m going after glue pads, fabric softneer sheets and mothballs to see that helps. I heard that Castor Oil and fish oil also work.

  59. #59 Exsierra
    October 30, 2010

    I have a squirrel that has been living in my engine compartment for a while, maybe even a couple years. Well, I caught a visual of the little rodent today. So far I do not have any damaged wires – I think. I cleaned out the nest materials, sprayed the engine compartment with a high power hose (which did not seem to deter him, he is still in there). So, I am going to begin parking outside in the cold and see if he leaves.

  60. #60 Sue in Florida
    January 4, 2011

    Mom’s car is going in for the 2nd time for repairs due to something eaing through different parts of her Mazda. This time, the estimate is $250 to cabling to brakes, power steering and fan belts. She couldn’t drive home after New Year’s Dinner because it wouldn’t steer. And the weather was very nice.

    The last time in the shop, we were told the squirrels go up in there for warmth. So that’s not the reason.

    And we can definitely say it was a squirrel, because the mechanic called and said one was dead, and splatted against the engine. Perhaps they’ve figured out our cars are the major cause of squirrel road-kill and they’re just involved in pay-backs. There’s a horror movie in there somewhere.

  61. #61 Angela
    February 10, 2011

    OK- I just got handed a bill for $550 because of “Rodent Damage” to my Honda Accord’s wiring. WTF! I have never spent than much on a meal for myself, and I would prefer not to keep feeding the wildlife. So here is what my Service Manager suggested to keep the little pests away. GREEN Zest soap shavings! Yep, grind up a bar of GREEN ZEST soap and sprinkle the shavings all around the engine. He may be laughing, but for $3.00 and change it’s worth a shot. Skip the poison. You don’t want them dying inside your car. The smell of the soap acts as a repelent

  62. #62 Linda
    February 16, 2011

    Yeah, I have just suffered this problem for the third time. The first occurred when a mouse popped out of my air vent while I was driving on the freeway! I later discovered several very newborn mice in my trunk. A few years later my mechanics discovered bird seed inside the hose leading to my air filter. The seed had clogged the intake and caused all of the idiot lights to go on. Fortunately, the problem was caught before any serious damage was done. The latest incident was yesterday. My brand new car started in the morning with a frightening, very loud grinding sound. I thought my engine was being ground up…a cylinder not working….no oil….etc. I had to have the car towed 35 miles to the nearest authorized dealership/service and thought it was a manufacturer’s problem (i.e. warranty issue). It wasn’t. It was a rodent-chewing-on-wiring-and-the-fuel-injection-hosing problem to the tune of $500. I have tried moth balls scattered around the garage in the past, but that obviously isn’t the solution. I am willing to try ANYTHING that has been tried and proven. Help if you can. The little shits are far too costly, and although I’m normally an animal lover, I cannot tolerate this any longer.

  63. #63 Sue
    April 7, 2011

    We have been feeding squirrels for over 22 years without incident until just recently, for unknown reasons, one of them decided he/she/it liked my Volvo wires. The first time this happened, about 3 weeks ago, the cost was $120.00 to repair it. Today, when I tried to start the car, and it wouldn’t turn over, my husband and I checked under the hood to find an empty half of a walnut shell left next to frayed wiring to some gizmo that stopped the engine flat. For those who hate these critters, let me say that we have consistently left our cars outside the garage for at least the past 8 years, and nothing on four legs was interested in it. Having watched these animals and their habits, it is likely that a single squirrel is causing the havoc. I say this because despite our best efforts to stop her, we’ve watched a female squirrel eating the composite handle bar on our Weber grill to the point where it is almost totally chewed through at several points. All of the plastic knobs and the plastic rollers are also chewed through. It was odd as we never saw any of the male squirrels attrated to the grill. We are forced to buy a new all stainless grill in the hopes they don’t like metal, but that’s probably not true or else they wouldn’t be chewing on wires.

    We also tried scattering the moth crystals under the car which was evidently useless.

    In our case, even if we stopped feeding them, it would not matter as there are 50 foot tall oak trees every forty feet or so along both sides of our streets, and although we are in a suburban development, we are also considered “rural” by the local Post Office. We are also surrounded by a local County park which contains deer, raccoons, foxes, and you name it. And, neighbors have installed in-ground ponds with and without waterfalls that are attractants in themselves. Even neighbors with large barking dogs on site don’t seem to phase these critters. However, we have hawks which have swooped down on a few squirrels, and that is something the squirrels seem to be afraid of as they start their “screaming” warning sounds whenever a hawk is in the area.

    I have no idea how much this new chew will cost me, but I think that parking the car inside the garage will be the only answer. For those of you who have a garage, perhaps that will help, unless you believe that mice are the guilty culprits and they can easily squeeze into a garage, so that’s not a solution.

    I suspect that like cockroaches, squirrels must have also survived the last “Big One” as no one can get rid of them. They will likely survive all of us.

  64. #64 Martha Roberts
    May 9, 2011

    I too have had the squirrel chewed wires. We live in a oak grove and have NEVER had a problem. Today on the way to get my truck serviced and oil changed – it started missing. So the mechanic did the service then started checking on the missing engine thing. Well he found a chewed wire – two places about 3 inches apart then a pile of acorns. Later a chewed wire so close to a grommet pulg that it couldnt be spliced. So tomorrow I am to get the wireing fixed since they got a replacement wire with grommet from the junk yard. How to keep them out. I plan to give the engine compartment a liberal dose of cayenn pepper. And I will put it on the ground around the truck and along the house by the bird feeder ( doesnt effect the birds). I have used it to deter ground hogs and other rodent beasties. Its the major ingredient in most repellants and far cheaper to just get the big container from the grocery or the big box store.
    It works along with bounce dryer sheets. Damn things have never messed before but now its WAR ! Im like you – time to declare war on the bastards!!! Give cayenne pepper a try – its cheap and works well. Just imagine those little fuckers licking those little paws and doing an hoochie coochie – they will remember that engine place. Good luck. Oh dont forget to remind the mechanics what you use when you get your car services so they dont get that burning experience too.

  65. #65 mike
    June 22, 2011

    for the people insisting it must be mice.. Most rodents will chew wires if they have a chance. i have seen mice, rats, rabbits, and squirrels chew on car wiring in the past. I don’t know how to get rid of them but I’m pretty sure the guy knows what is eating his car better than the speculators do.

  66. #66 Patrick
    July 25, 2011

    After two wiring harness repairs to my Toyota pickup totaling over $1,000 and finding a nest under the hood of my Camry, I went to Walmart and got mothballs and deer & rabbit repellant and a friend gave us a good air rifle with scope. Put the mothballs in styrofoam cups with slits cut in the sides and tied them with string to the carport uprights. Also put mothballs in old nylon socks and tied them under hood in both vehicles, then sprayed both engine compartments with the deer & rabbit repellant. Also sprayed the ground around both vehicles and the perimeter of the carport. Made both vehicles and the carport smell like shit but we thought it was worth it if effective.

    This morning when I got up my wife said she saw 3 squirrels under the truck and when she went out they just looked at her.

    The air rifle is a single shot and by the time you load, position and aim they are gone. Still looking for an effective remedy and will try wrapping the wires in steel wool, topped off with cayenne pepper and Irish Spring soap shavings and a few fabric softener sheets for good measure.

    We have lived here over 30 years and never had this problem until now.

    Oh yeah, they also got ALL of my sweet corn from my spring garden, and decapitated ALL of my sunflower heads. This is WAR! I am a peacenik from the 60s and like to live and let live, but this has got to stop!

    Any ideas?

  67. #67 Capt. K. Zink
    July 25, 2011

    We have ground squirels eating our wiring on our firetrucks . We have seen the culprits run off. They sell Coyote urine which seems to work to repel the critters.

  68. #68 Lance
    July 30, 2011

    In my neighborhood alone, the SQUIRRELS have been blowing transformers, service drops and vehicle wiring.

    There are dead, smoking SQUIRRELS (Their dead bodies are emitting smoke from having been recently on fire, as opposed to their suddenly adopting addictive and cancerous habits…) at the scenes of these crimes. I do NOT believe that the mice, or martins, or rats, and setting them up, and “Making it look like an accident”, even if this IS in New Jersey.

    Relocation doesn’t work, the ones in the woods simply march over to fill the vacancies.

    This goes for shooting them, poisoning them, etc…too many waves of new replacements.

    The pepper sprays, including the ones ADVERTISED in many post on this subject – which PRETEND to be a fellow sufferer who found a solution, but who gives you the link, some bite pressure info, etc…sheesh…….don’t work.

    The ultrasonics don’t work.

    Moth balls don’t work.

    They are not there because you or someone you sleep with has a bird feeder.

    They are there because they are squirrels, and they are opportunistic little terrorists.

    The only thing that works is building a box they can’t get into, and parking your rig IN IT.

    Period.

    My truck doesn’t fit in my garage….and I don’t have the zoning/$ to make a new big enough enclosure.

    If someone ever finds something that WORKS, great, in the mean time, I count this like hitting a deer.

  69. #69 J Taylor
    October 2, 2011

    The ONLY thing that works is sliced lemons and limes under, in any flat spot on the car, van or truck. No poisons to hurt other animals. Squirrels hate that smell of citrus and will not go near it. I had spent over $400 having repairs done. My mechanic told me about this and it DOES work.

  70. #70 J Taylor
    October 2, 2011

    In the post above, I meant to say, replace every two to three months. Once the smell is about the vehicle, they will leave it alone.

  71. #71 ervin
    October 16, 2011

    i live in toronto and paid 3,400 just 2 weeks ago because car took fire as result of squirrels chewing wires.
    2 weeks later and lights on dashboard are on again…i’m desperate, very desperate

  72. #72 debbo
    November 22, 2011

    My dogs are chewing both of my cars, they are after the squirrels. So the dogs are actually causing more damage than the dang squirrels. I am putting moth balls under the hood and in the wheel wells, guess i’ll use duct tape and i’ll let yah know how it works.ps the dogs are pissing me off and the squirrels should die. My turn signals have been chewed of my acura integra and fender liner has been removed for a jeep cherokee 4×4, they are not picky.

  73. #73 Donna
    November 23, 2011

    I do volunteer wildlife rehab..squirrels love oranges, so saying that citrus is a deterent is not correct.

  74. #74 Suave
    November 28, 2011

    I too have been struck by squirrels on my Honda accord a week ago but lucky just over a hundred dollars in damage so after repairs I used repellent but it only work for 4 days if that so once again they got me so this time I used pine sol and water and pour around the engine and it seems to be working

  75. #75 erick
    January 9, 2012

    I heard if you stick your finger up your butt, the squirrels laugh so hard they forget all about your car.

  76. #76 Barb
    February 18, 2012

    We have had this problem in the past. It is not only costly in repairs but very frustrating. I have been told that rodents love the wiring on newer vehicles because they were made out of soy!! So much for going green America. Save a penny & spend $200 dollars in repair.
    Our Tom cat has been gone for a week now & I have seen a grey squirrel exit my husbands truck twice. I pray Tom finishes his excursion & returns soon. (As much as I hate it when he sprays everything in site including my car windows) It seemed to help keep the snakes,mice & squirrels away.
    Think I’ll go mix up a bottle of Louisiana Habanero sauce, liquid Irish Spring soap & water & spray around . Seems to work to deter the deer. Good luck All.

  77. #77 Barb
    February 18, 2012

    Look up rodent proof tape made by Honda. May be a solution ??

    Would be nice to get the soy based coating on wiring eliminated from our vehicles!! Evidently the Auto Manufacturers know about it.

  78. #78 kedwa30
    February 24, 2012

    For the cost of the repairs you could have built a wire cage to park your car in. Unless you drive them to extinction, they will keep coming back, and you will have a constant expense of repellent, poison, and your time spent killing them. It would make more sense to me to seal the underside and any openings with wire mesh. Any good handyman can get the job done. A one time cost and the car is safe.
    Homes also are not designed well enough to keep the critters out. It would just take doing it right in the first place to avoid a slew of headaches. Wire mesh. Coat it in copper if you like. Makes sense to me, and should be prettier.

  79. #79 Rose
    March 7, 2012

    all the people commenting on this site are HILARIOUS!! Enjoyed all the posts!!

  80. #80 ashley
    March 9, 2012

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU YOU HILLBILLY? YOU’RE PROBABLY A FREAK WHO LIVES AT HOME WITH YOUR MOM AND DOESN’T GET ANY

  81. #81 Rhonda
    March 17, 2012

    Cat litter saturated in cat urine under the hood (in open baggies that I guess you remove when driving). I don’t know if it works but I’m gonna try it tomorrow…damn squirrel made a nest in my engine and had 4 babies in it…this is CRAZY

  82. #82 Sheryl G
    March 23, 2012

    Well I hate to tell some of you this, but Cayenne pepper does NOT work!! Moth balls do NOT work!!!! AND IT IS INDEED A SQUIRREL IN MY CASE AS I WATCHED THE MFer CLIMB IN AND OUT OF MY OPEN HOOD AFTER THE SECOND TIME IT HAPPENED!!! SO I got to thinking: Pine Sol not only disinfects but it also deodorizes!!!! So I had a big soft bottle of it and when it saw it at my car, I chased it up a tree!! But when he thought I would going to the right, he moved left and my outstretched left arm squirted him good with pine sol!!!! Then I took it and squirted it all over the inside of my car!!!!! It worked for about 2-3 days!! The following day, I watched this damn thing crawl into my engine, but got confused because the pine sol evidently covered it’s own urine scent!! I then watched him climb out, and go into 6 other different cars looking for the one he built his nest in!!! He couldn’t find it!!!! After about a week or so, I saw something hanging under my car and thought they chewed through more wires!! Went to look: the nest was even bigger this time!!!!! Furthermore, I had been in the apartment management office and a guy had come in for something and heard me say something about animals!!! A squirrel got into his gf’s car and chewed through everything!! To the tune of $2400!!!!!!! So at this point, I am going with rat poison in a peanut butter sandwich!!!! I cannot keep fixing this car!!! It is covered under Comprehensive Insurance if you carry it on your auto policy!!! And because it is ‘no fault’ as an act of nature…hahahaha….. they cover it minus your deductible!! Thank God ours ded is only $250 because we are struggling as it is!!! I have heard of ‘other urine’ to keep them away but at this point, with pine sol, cayenne pepper and moth balls in my engine, I am just going to set my alarm for about 4:30 am and go drive to some parking lot and sleep a few more hours!!! This seems to be happening very early morning and up to about noonish, give or take!!! But then I can park my car right in front of my sliders and watch it all day!!! This is nuts!!! Town Animal Warden says there is nothing they can do and that it is illegal to trap them or move them; but they were willing to give me the number for a private company that deals with pest control!!! BUT not only can I not afford to do that, this apartment complex is private property!! I am not authorized to make decisions about the property!!! Needless to say that the management office is doing NOTHING to help with this issue!!!! When I first asked them for help, they said there was ‘nothing they can do and I am the only one having a problem’!!! Good excuse right!!! VERY irresponsible as far as I am concerned!!! BUT then when the other guy said something, they still did NOTHING!!!!! It’s insane!!!! If I owned my own home, then I could see calling pest control!! BUT I don’t!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrr I am going to see if I can move to another complex somewhere away from here!!! I am convinced it is because they are becoming too tame because of the birdfeeders around here!!! ughhhhhhh

  83. #83 Sheryl G
    March 23, 2012

    p.s. yes, they chewed through wires in my car too! First it was the wire to the alternator, second, same wire, different place and this third time was opposite kitty corner between the battery and headlight!!!! Also, after we splice the alternator wire together with wire screw and then with electrical tape, I put pine sol and cayenne pepper on it and they did not touch it, but went to the other wires!!!! Car went into shop on Monday evening and hopefully, I will get it back tomorrow!!! Then I have the grand total of all damage/repairs. God only knows what else they chewed!!! ughhhh

  84. #84 Christy G
    April 17, 2012

    This has happened to me 3 times. Twice with a Passat and just the other day with our Ford F150. I am from Pennsylvania…THEY ARE SQUIRRELS NOT MICE. Mice are not capable of carrying the load (twigs 1/2″ diameter or more and at least a foot long not to mention all the other crap)that these rotten tree rats bring under the hood. I hate that when someone argues it is mice when we all know damn well what it is. I hate the destructive little bastards, and the thought of their heads on stakes actually made my day. For this, I will tell you that what I have found to work is indeed moth balls. We packed down our car and truck in them last night upon receiving our truck back after the $300 in repairs. There is a brand called ENOZ that makes lavender scented moth balls that are invidually wrapped in parchment paper. Invest in some electical tape and tape the packets to your wiring and generally all over the place in your car. The mothballs disintegrate over time and you just remove and replace them with new. Throw some on the ground too under your car. I have 2 dogs that regularly chase the little bastards but they just keep coming back with avengence regardless. If you are in an area where you can have a little .22 start blipping them and thin out the herd. I don’t like the thoughts of killing anything and I am not a hunter, but they are so destructive and costly their quest for survival goes beyond my good nature. Good luck.

  85. #85 DLPDLP
    April 23, 2012

    Squills have not chewed the fuel pump wire and fuel gauge wires twice on my 4runner. $500 the first time and $156 last week. SO I plan to stuff the undercarriage with bird block netting. (they hate that stuff…. we use it on out outside Orchid tables) I also found a “squirrel away” product on a gardening site. It’s a spray said to deter the furry little devils. Between the two we’ll see.

  86. #86 DLPDLP
    April 23, 2012

    http://www.messinawildlife.com/domestic-animal-control/squirrel-stopper-32oz-trigger-bottle

    Gonna spray until my fingers bleed! I also shoot all squirrels who come close to the house, cars, but

  87. #87 DLPDLP
    April 26, 2012

    Update: I bought a 14×14 foot net of bird block at Home Depot. I removed my 4runner spare tire to get better access. I found an additional chewed wire I repaired and then went about carefully placing the netting into spaces on gas tank. One on each side. Then I took the rest of the netting folded it over to determine best coverage and I zip tied it all around the underside where the rear wiring harness and other wires are located, cut a hole for the tire hanger to slide through. Then once all the netting was zip tied in place I raised the tire back up and it also serves to hold the netting and the area on top of the tire is now covered with the bird block netting. Seems to have made the squirrel not want to be under the truck anymore. It’s only been a couple days but I know there is no way a little squill devil can get back where they had been plus the squirrel in question was up by my house looking for things to damage. So may he rest in peace for he is now dead. And now I’m already reasting easier at night and early mornings knowing the access points under the truck are blocked with netting. It took me and a buddy about an hour to do it right but well worth it. I highly recommend this procedure to all, regardless of your type of car/truck. I’m telling you the squill devils hate that netting. It clings to their paws and fur and whiskers and I also think it is hard for them to see so that makes it even better. It is now protecting my truck and all our orchids very well. I decided not to order the squill-away spray…… but order it too if you need it. Link is posted above. Good luck everyone. You will get a good laugh too knowing your little squill devil is going to be really pissed to find you have netted your car. I did anyway. Squill devils be gone!

  88. #88 DLPDLP
    April 30, 2012

    Squill Devil Incarnate. Although I eliminated the squill who lived in my gas tank/roof top condo, it seems he invited his girlfriend to dwell in my engine condo…. which is not yet bird block netted. The first time I saw her run out I was caught off guard, unarmed, and to be honest shocked.

    Yesterday, I scared her out and as she ran for the woods I fed her a load of #4 shot from my .410. I did not see her this morning, or at all last night but I will keep a vigilant eye out. I hope she dies quickly from multiple shot wounds.

    Mornings about 7:30 seem to be the best time to find them in the condo. SO what is my point? I guess it is just when you think you have solved the problem, the squill attack from another angle. Like VC. The Squill Cong are a nasty and tough army.

    So net your engine too when you do the rear just for good measure. And shoot to kill when needed.

  89. #89 Boatsndogs
    May 10, 2012

    Great posts! Our problem is the little furry F’s are chewing though the fuel line of our toyota truck. First go-around cost big $$$ to replace the fuel line and gas tank; today we noticed the fuel draining out with, yep, another chewed hole in the fuel line. Mice, my a…! I invested in a scoped high power pellet gun which will give me the personal satisfaction of killing the beasts. Don’t they know that swallowing gas can kill you? Evidently they thrive on octane.

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