How to Stop Pack Rat Damage From Destroying Your Car’s Engine

Pack rat damage is a big concern for people in Vail, Rita Ranch, and other outlying communities around Arizona.

These pests are known for gathering bean pods, plants, and just about anything they can carry, then using it to build their nest. The goal is to stay safe from predators, like owls, coyotes, bobcats and hawks. But when these nests are built in your car, the pack rats could lose their home and your engine could be toast.

Why Cars?

Cars are a common culprit of pack rat damage. That’s because they provide safe refuge from natural predators. If your car is parked in a garage, you might be at an increased risk. Garages aren’t accessible by predators, making your enclosed spaces even more enticing for a nest.

We see a lot of people come into our shop with chewed wires and brush under their hood or above their gas tank. When this happens, we know who to blame – pack rats.

Here’s how you can prevent pack rat damage from destroying your car’s engine and draining your pocketbook.

Stay Alert

Look around your yard. Do you see any large bundles of bean pods or plant debris? How about rat droppings? If you notice any signs of pack rats, or if you see a pack rat nest forming in your yard, capture the rat and get rid of the nest.

If you just get rid of the nest, you force the rat to find a new home. That new home could be your engine. Capture the rat and set it free in the many open spaces surrounding Vail. This way you’re safe from damage and the pack rat is safe to build a new home.

Rat Proof Your Garage

It doesn’t take much to let pack rats into your garage. These critters can get inside a hole as small as a nickel. Rat proof it by sealing off or securing all open spaces or holes.

If possible, avoid storing big boxes or yard items close to where you park your car. Any new nesting place you provide is another invitation for the pack rats to welcome themselves into your garage.

Maintain Your Landscaping

We’re living in the pack rat’s natural environment. The vegetation in your yard is their natural home. Keep your landscaping well-groomed so you can see under and behind the bushes or plants. This will make your yard less desireable to build a nest.

Keep the Lights On

Lights are another deterrent for pack rats. It makes it harder for these rats to be seen by predators, which makes your car a less desireable place to call home.

When Pack Rats Strike

If a pack rat struck your car, you are at an increased risk for a repeat attack. Pack rats leave their mark like dogs. When their scent is in your engine, other rats sniff out your car as a nesting spot.
When a pack rat strikes, bring your car into us. We’ll do a thorough cleaning on your engine to minimize the risk of another rat making its home in your car. We’ll also make any necessary repairs to the damage under the hood or in your car. When you drive away, you’ll have a lower risk of seeing another pack rat ruin your car’s engine.

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