Rats! New Cars’ Soy-Coated Wires Give Rodents Plenty To Chew On – Forbes

Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017
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San Diego resident JoAnn Kozakowski-Koch uses coyote urine purchased from Home Depot to stop rats from chewing on wires the  engine compartment of her 2016 Volvo XC60.Photo Credit: T. Koch.

JoAnn Kozakowski-Koch loves her 2016 Volvo XC60.

Trouble is, so do the rats in her neighborhood.  They’re chewing through wires in her engine compartment, causing hundreds of dollars in damages.

JoAnn and her husband Tracy live in Santee, Calif., just east of San Diego. Recently retired, they enjoy the open road, exploring new places.  The first clue that something was wrong came last October. “I had just taken the car in for the 10,000-mile check at the Escondido dealership,” JoAnn said, “when I got an alert about the tires.” 

At first, they thought the tire pressure alert might have something to do with their recent road trip to the Grand Canyon. The tires were just fine, it turns out. “The guys at the dealership had a look and told me that rodents had done some wire damage.” JoAnn paid $400 for repairs and figured she’d left her Volvo in an unlucky place at the Grand Canyon National Park.

But JoAnn’s duel with rats was just starting. Several days later she got an alert that her water coolant was low. Hmmm, strange. She checked under the hood and, to her dismay,  she saw freshly chewed wires. JoAnn read on the internet that peppermint worked as a rodent repellent so she spread some on the driveway.

One afternoon, she decided to check on the wiring. Any fresh damage?  Easing the hood up, she laid eyes on a portly rat crouched on top of the engine block. She slammed the hood and ran back into the house yelling for her husband.

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