Does Your Vehicle Have Unexpected Passengers?
You may have read the recent headlines in tabloid newspapers stating that rodents ‘big enough to put a saddle on’ are moving into a town near you, and while the size may be an exaggeration, rodent behaviour has certainly changed during lockdown.
A British Pest Control Association (BPCA) poll of pest professionals resulted in 51% reporting that they had seen an increase in rat activity and 41% had seen an increase in mice activity during lockdown. Dr Matthew Davies, Head of the Technical Department at Killgerm, said that the increased activity could be a result of the changes that we have all had to make to our daily lives.
A crime of opportunity
As the government continues to lift the restrictions placed on non-essential business and services, and people start to venture out again, it is critical that we ensure that vehicles and premises that may have been left unattended for some time, are free from rodents.
The prolonged closure of cafes, restaurants and other food outlets has resulted in a dramatic decrease in food waste available for rodents to feast on. This has meant that they have to go further afield to search for food and cars can be one source of shelter.
Some car manufacturers use soy-coated wiring in their vehicles, which is reported to be attractive to rodents.
Not only do stationary vehicles provide a food source for rodents, but they are also an ideal harbourage – rodents can stay in a spot that is dark, protected from predators and a good place to stay warm. As well as bringing their own nesting materials into your vehicle, upholstery and seat cushions can provide additional materials to make their time there even more comfortable.
What can happen if rodents set up home in your vehicle?
After a rodent has climbed up into the wheel well of your stationary vehicle, made its way over the brakes and into the engine bay, it could take harbourage, use parts of your engine bay for some DIY dentistry, make a meal from your wiring harness, or all of these!
Not only can the damage cause you a financial headache, potentially running into thousands of pounds, but materials used for nesting can be a fire risk.
Is there a solution?
Traditional rodent control measures could be ineffective if your soy-coated car wires prove to be more attractive for the rodent intruders, or the area is not suitable for traps due to the presence of pets.
There is another non-toxic solution in the form of RatMat tiles. Using the principles of an electric fence by omitting a low energy pulse to deter rodents, the RatMat can be used as a long term solution to prevent rats and mice causing extensive damage to property.
RatMat can be used indoors and outdoors on a hard surface. Concrete is ideal. Do not lay on a carpet, earth, underlay or gravel. RatMat doubles as a hard-wearing floor surface and can be swept, vacuumed and pressure washed (always ensure that RatMat is turned off first!).
RatMat can be used as a barrier on the entrance of garages, where vehicles can be driven over the mat. If you are driving vehicles onto the mat regularly, it can be screwed down to prevent slippage/damage.