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6 min read

Packrat Removal and Prevention

Published on
April 10, 2024
picture of trunk infested with packrats
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The fight against packrats, mice, and small rodents in the Sonoran desert is an ongoing battle. Being the longest running auto detailer in Tucson, too often we come across the damaging presence of packrats in car engines. These rodents are known for their habit of collecting and hoarding various objects in their nests, and unfortunately, warm car engines can make a convenient and attractive home for them.

Packrats can cause a significant amount of damage to car engines in a short amount of time, by chewing on wires and other components, leading to costly repairs and potentially even rendering the vehicle inoperable. In addition to the physical damage, the droppings and urine from packrats can also contaminate the engine and make it unsanitary as well as unpleasant to smell.

If you suspect that packrats have taken up residence in your car's engine, it's important to address the issue promptly to minimize the damage.

5 steps you could use to get rid of packrats from your car's engine

1. Determine if packrats are indeed the culprit. If you hear noises coming from your car's engine or notice chew marks on wires and other components, there's a good chance that packrats are the cause. You may also be able to pop the hood of your vehicle and see pieces of nest on top of your engine.

2. Take steps to prevent packrats from entering your car's engine, undercarriage, or interior in the first place. This can include keeping your car in a garage or carport, using a cover for your car when it's parked outdoors, and using deterrents such as peppermint oil or predator urine around the perimeter of your car. Another local Tucson favorite method is to purchase a portable work light and lay it down underneath your car and leave it on at night. We've heard suggestions to pop your hood up and hang the light from the open hood at night, but we prefer not to expose the car engine to additional outside elements. A bright light underneath should be good enough.

3. If packrats/mice/small rodents are already inside your car's engine, carefully remove them using live traps or repellents. There are "no-show" covered traps that you can buy if you prefer not to see any critters. Remember, it's important to handle the situation humanely, as packrats are protected by law in some areas.

4. Once the packrats have been removed, thoroughly clean and disinfect your car to remove any droppings, urine, or other contaminants. Note, when you clean your engine, you'll want to make sure to take off the plate to clean in those deep crevices that aren't easy to get to. Be sure to wear a mask and gloves while cleaning the vehicle and surrounding areas, as these small rodents are known to sometimes carry diseases (such as the Havantavirus). Packrat odors are often very difficult to remove, so you may need the help of your favorite auto detailer ;).

5. Have your car's engine inspected and repaired by a professional to address any damage that may have been caused by the packrats. This can help to ensure that your car is safe and reliable.

In short, packrats in car engines can cause significant damage and should be dealt with immediately. By taking preventive measures and removing the packrats humanely, you can protect your car's engine and keep it running smoothly. Check out our packrat removal and prevention services in Tucson for expert assistance or feel free to contact us for more information.