Battling spring's unwanted guests: keeping mice out of trucks

Battling spring’s unwanted guests: keeping mice out of trucks

Mice find hidden areas inside trucks to call home, but these pests can cause untold damage during their stay. How can you keep them out?

With the warmer days, the winter clothing layers begin their journey back into the closet for hibernation. Spring cleaning for the fleet and shop ensures that equipment is in good working order for the challenges summer brings. Maybe a building project, held off over the winter, starts to take shape. Of course, we are not the only creatures to joyfully get motivated in the spring.

The return of unwanted visitors

An initial indicator that our furry little four-legged friends are on the move again could happen upon entering the kitchen and turning on the light to make way to the coffee maker. As the kitchen light pops on, a flash occurs across the countertop from the toaster: a mouse!

It usually does not take long for an all-out effort to commence to rid one’s home of this little menace and its family and friends. Heading off to work after commencing the scorched-earth battle to eradicate the mice population from one’s home, it is easy to relax and forget these little critters love another area as much as if not more than a house.

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Luxurious homesteading in vehicles

Mice must seem to find the hidden but accessible areas in a vehicle to be one of the most luxurious homesteading locations on the planet. Perhaps the dark quiet under the hood is appealing, or maybe it’s the lingering warmth from the engine.

Of course, there is also a massive amount of material that can be used to build a happy nesting place. The pieces of body insulation surely make a pretty cozy bed. Then, as most techs have experienced, mice find wiring insulation and other plastic parts virtually irresistible. There is nothing quite as enjoyable as having a DTC code or a no-start condition be the consequence of a half-gnawed wire harness.

Mice also enjoy the comfort found in the AC/heater housing assembly. The ducting and heater core clearly provide a next-level living environment that is difficult to resist. A cabin air filter also makes for a fantastic family size bed.

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Pest prevention practices

There is little question that these little vermin can cause an untold amount of damage to a vehicle. Thus, it makes good sense to try and keep the mice from setting up shop in the first place. A quick internet search will reveal dozens of remedies to keep mice at bay. Some likely work to a degree and others may not work at all or even attract more critters. In other words, the battle will continue for the foreseeable future.

What else can be done to mitigate this reign of terror?

  • Keep the vehicle interior and under-hood areas clean. This will cut down on potential food and nesting sources. Cleanliness also makes it easier to spot the traces of a rodent infestation.
  • If the vehicle is stored indoors, set up mice control in the building. This is also true for the shop. No one wants shop mice invading vehicles in for service.
  • Try some of the chemicals made for rodent control.

Enjoy spring and encourage mice to enjoy theirs elsewhere! 

Jack Schell is an editorial consultant with Mitchell 1’s Commercial Vehicle Group.

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