When it comes to pest problems, most people worry about their homes. But what about your car: can pests damage your car?
The answer is yes! Pests can infest and damage cars—and it happens far more often than you’d think. Keep reading to learn how your car might get a pest problem, what kind of damage can happen, and how to keep your vehicle pest-free.
How Do Pests Get into Cars?
Pests—both insects and rodents—can enter your car the same way they’d enter your home. They are attracted to your car because it offers shelter and warmth.
Some pests—like spiders, rodents, roaches, and carpet beetles—can squeeze through cracks and crevices to get inside your car. Other pests, like bed bugs, you might bring into your car unwittingly on your shoes, clothes, or other belongings.
Once inside, pests can make your car their new home.
How Can Pests Damage Your Car?
Pests in a car can cause problems in a number of ways.
Some pests are harmless to you but cause minor damage to your car. Carpet beetles, for example, can chew through your car’s fabric or leather interior.
Other pests—like rodents—are a big problem in cars. They not only cause property damage, but are a health and safety issue as well.
Rodents can chew through everything, from the seating and interior to the car’s wiring. (Rodents have an incessant need to chew.) They might chew through power steering lines or brake lines, fill the engine intake with acorns, or plug up the air-conditioning ducts with their nests. The damage from rodents can cause your car to break down and cost thousands of dollars to repair. In some cases, the damage can even make it unsafe to drive your car!
In addition to damaging your car, rodents carry diseases (like hantavirus) that can make you and your passengers sick.
Still other pests are less damaging, but still a nuisance. A spider problem in a car is downright creepy: no one wants a spider crawling up their arm while they’re driving. Bed bugs can be spread from your car to your home.
How to Avoid Attracting Pests
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To avoid a pest problem in your car in the first place, we recommend a few things:
- Make it harder for pests to get in. Make sure weather seals are in good condition and close the car windows and doors. Close up gaps, like those caused by accident damage or a badly reinstalled body component.
- Park smart. Park in a sealed garage, if possible, with the garage door closed. If you can’t park in a garage, try to park in direct sunlight.
- Keep your car clean. Having trash, clutter, leftover food, and food wrappers sitting in your car is like a beacon for insects and rodents. Make sure to clean out trash daily and vacuum the interior of dirt and crumbs regularly.
- Move your car. Moving your car regularly helps discourage rodents from setting up camp in your vehicle.
- Secure your garage. If you park in a garage, make sure it’s free of food and nest materials that rodents like, including newspapers, straw, rags, patio furniture cushions, etc. Don’t store trash cans for food in the garage. Finally, close up cracks and crevices that let pests into the garage.
What Are the Signs Your Car Has a Pest Problem?
It’s a good idea to periodically check your car for signs of pests. You don’t want to let an infestation go unchecked, or you risk even more damage to your car.
Here are some clear signs that your car has a pest problem:
- Live pests in your car
- Pest droppings or the smell of urine
- Strange sounds, especially the heater or fan making a vibrating noise (indicative of a rodent nest near the heater blower motor)
- Chewed interiors and other damage to the seat coverings
- Unexplained damage to your car’s wiring
- Rodent food sources (like acorns, pet food, bird seed, and leftovers) in your car
If you see any signs of unusual pest activity in your car, it’s time for pest control.
How to Get Rid of Pests from Your Car
It’s important to get rid of pests fast—before they can damage your car. That said, we don’t recommend doing ineffective or hazardous DIYs.
Instead, if you notice signs of a pest problem in your car, we recommend calling a pest control service and even a mechanic (if the signs include things like chewed wiring).
A qualified pest control service will help you ensure that your car is pest-free—quickly, easily, and discretely. If you need help with a pest problem, we’re here for you.
Call Us Today
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.