Horrible Winter Tenants | Langdale

Abstract: Sunshine Coast Home Inspector notes on an acreage property where pests were present in the garage. Unfortunately for the seller, serious damage was done to the engine compartment.

Photo: Mouse chew marks on radiator house. Unfortunately this was just the tip of the iceberg. On closer inspection the firewall, vacuum hoses and electrical wiring were all considered edible by the resident rodent.

Winter Drives Pest Into Garages

The Sunshine Coast has many acreages and properties in the regional district which encompasses  rural properties, rather than the urban setting found within town and city boundaries. This past winter has been unusually cold and snowy, at least by coastal standards. As a result, many property owners have found unwelcome guests in their shops, garages and vehicles left parked outside for extended periods of time… rodents.

Engine Compartment 1st Choice

The perfect dwelling place for mice and rats seems to be the engine compartment of a vehicle. They chew on rubber lines, hard plastic, wiring insulation, tubing and hoses, heat shields. On a recent acreage inspection, there were rodent signs (droppings) throughout the garage area.

Inspector Alerts Seller

Our inspection report noted concerns about rodent infestation and the potential for health issues and physical damage to building components. We also left a note for the homeowner to check his garage-parked vehicle for rodent damage. Sure enough, the sellers called back to thank me for the heads-up and told me the damage in the engine compartment was so extensive that the car had to be towed away and was going to be repaired under an insurance claim.

What To Do About It

A call to the local Ford dealer’s service department revealed that they also were at an all-time high in repairing rodent damage to their clients’ vehicles. Their recommendation was to use mint oil diluted in water, sprayed over the entire engine compartment.

Our local mechanic had another product for sale at his shop, a white and red flashing LED, installed in the engine compartment. We have installed this product in all of our vehicles. Look for a vehicle mounted rat repellent on-line.

We would rather take preventative measures rather than just hope that our vehicles do not get attacked. Regardless of whether you have pest deterrents installed or not, it’s important to frequently check garages and under-the-hood of vehicles parked inside.