You may have noticed when the weather starts to get cold, you see an influx of little invaders from outside coming into your home to escape the cold. Flies, beetles, spiders, and maybe a few millipedes.
If you’re lucky.
But if you’re not, it can also be rodents. And they will make themselves at home if you leave anything around for them to munch on that they find inviting.
Out in your garage, without proper precaution, you’ll find a similar scenario unfolding underneath the hood of your car. Only there, along with the mice and rats, you might have squirrels, raccoons, stray cats. Who knows?
In fact, right at the very moment you are reading this, some furry creature may be building its own winter fortress in your vehicle, protected from the elements and predators. It is warm and dry, and if you store bags of pet food or bird seed nearby, they’ve got no reason to leave. They literally build a nest under the hood of your vehicle out of scraps of garbage, newspaper, hair and leaves, and way more than you’d ever want to know about. And it can cause a lot of problems.
More importantly, it can cause damage that is not covered by your insurance:
- Rodents can chew through the wiring in an area of your car that is very difficult to fix.
- The disease and bacteria they carry and accumulate in their nests can get into the air filter in your car, putting your family’s health at risk.
Rodent damage in vehicles is usually considered by insurance companies to result from lack of upkeep, a responsibility which falls squarely on the shoulders of you, the vehicle owner. But if you have comprehensive coverage (which generally covers non-collision damages to your vehicle but is not required by law, so you’d better check if you have it!) rodent mischief could be covered.
But there are ways to make your car a less appealing option for these little stowaways.
- As mentioned above, keep pet food sealed in a smell-proof container, and far away from your vehicle.
- Seal up your garage in the first place, making it a fortress from rodents before it becomes a fortress for them.
- If your garage is surrounded by trees, bushes, hedges and other plants, this may easily attract rodents which, if given the chance, will naturally tend to head to the garage from there when the temperature drops. If you can’t properly seal your garage, at least keep the rodents from setting up shop in the area around it.
- You can set up traps or simply rodent deterrents (Example: They dislike the smell of peppermint).
- Wrapping your car’s wiring in a tape that is resistant to being gnawed through.
- Leave the hood up. I know it sounds counter to the goal of keeping things out of there, but if the vehicle is in the garage, then leaving the hood up will not expose it to the elements but at the same time will keep it from becoming that warm and safe spot the pests are looking for.
Enjoy the fall while it’s here, everyone. If we can help you in any way to make the coming winter a little more care-free, please give us a call at your nearest Horihan Insurance location.