Vehicles as rodent harborage


January 23, 2017

is85159103-mouseThe National Pest Management Association recently publicized an interesting tidbit: Rodents are “wired” to infest car engines.

“Vehicles possess the ideal attributes that attract rodents in winter, including shelter and built-up warmth from commutes,” Dr. Michael Bentley, an NPMA staff entomologist, noted in a press release. “Rodents hate being out in the open where they are vulnerable to predators, so when they see a car holding freshly generated heat that also offers protection from the great outdoors, they are drawn to it for cover.”

Entering into cars is easy. A mouse, for example, can squeeze through openings as small as a dime. Once inside, any crumbs the owner leaves behind, or other chewable items, will hold rodents’ attention, and that includes wires.

“Rodents are instinctively avid chewers. About three percent of their daily activity is just gnawing on objects like wires,” says Dr. Bentley. “Unfortunately, cars have an abundance of materials that rodents enjoy chewing through.”

The NPMA speculates that a recent uptick in vehicle infestations might be because of the trend to use soy-based wiring in newer cars, which is especially appealing to a rodent’s palate.

Have you had rodent accounts where mice or rats have not only been in the garage, but under the hood? Sound off below, or send us an email at



About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at or 330-321-9754.

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