Rick Null of PEST UK has a pest control contract at a large garage in Newbury, Berkshire. A customer bought their Honda car in for repair. Mice had got into the car and chewed the wiring causing an incredible £8000.00 of damage. The car had been stored in a shed. The owners of the car fed birds in a fairly large way and as the picture shows, mice had been collecting bird feed from the garden and hoarding it in the car. Apart from again stressing the damage bird feeding can do to other wildlife (rats and mice will also eat food for other animals such as insects, worms, slugs, plants and seeds) bird feeding in this instance resulted in £8000.00 of rodent damage to a nearly new car.
Rat damage to cars and vans is not a common but regular occurrence. I had to deal with a complaint in Slough from a housing association where one of the tenants of a maisonette had rat damage to her car that was parked outside on the shared driveway. The block had a large communal bin in the driveway. This bin had the drain plug missing which meant that rats could enter the bin via the hole that the missing drain plug left. At night the rats were coming from the neighbouring waste ground into the cars engine bay then on to feed in the bin. To solve this problem the first thing was to get a new drain plug in the bin and then we moved the location of the bin away from the car, followed by a baiting treatment in the area. This situation was unusual as a car being used is not normally static long enough for rats to feel comfortable to enter a car or van but in this case every time the rats came across the car (they were only feeding at night) it was in the same place and as they are fearful of crossing open spaces the car made good cover. The measures we carried out solved the problem.