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Old 03-12-2019, 08:41 AM   #1
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Location: Louisville, KY
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Desert Rats?

We stayed an an RV park outside Tucson a couple years ago. I noticed some folks kept their hoods partway open esp at night and they also had Christmas lights laying on the ground under the engine.
I asked a guy and he said it was to discourage the desert rats from chewing up the wiring!

We were there 10 days and I found some displaced insulation (fiber glass) under my hood when we got home. I have no idea if it was rats or maybe a mechanic at some earlier time.

We're going back next year and I have a new truck so I guess I'll be getting a string of white lights and a short stick to prop the hood open a tad.

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Old 03-12-2019, 11:24 AM   #2
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Sounds like a good idea. I have read about newer vehicles having rodent problems because of newer wire coatings and plastics being more eco friendly and the rodents think they are delicious.

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Old 03-13-2019, 11:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
I found some displaced insulation (fiber glass) under my hood when we got home. I have no idea if it was rats or maybe a mechanic at some earlier time.
Likely it was pack rats. We live year-round in Arizona and pack rats are fond of insulation as well as wiring. We've had two different vehicles with insulation damage, and have seen several vehicles in our park with major damage. Two vehicle repairs that we know for sure had $4500+ worth of damage and the other $3500+. So taking action ahead of time is advised.

A couple of years ago, we started using "rat" traps - not mouse traps and were able to eliminate 9 of them in a short period of time. We now set them all the time (have to remember to remove them before driving).

Prior to the traps we tried lights, chemicals, and a host of other ideas but in the end it was the traps that prevented anymore damage. Of course we were already having the infestation before trying any of the aforementioned methods, so lights may work for you.

Welcome to Arizona (winter or year round), we love it here in spite of this minor inconvenience. Safe travels...

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Old 03-13-2019, 03:18 PM   #4
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These are Roof Rats and love all the fruit trees and travel around from roof to roof.

I have lived in Arizona since 2004 and the only places that have them are the older homes with lots of fruit trees and have trees close to the house and that is how they travel from house to house.

So far in west Phoenix we have not had this problem but I do know the older Sun City locations do.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:31 PM   #5
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In Colorado, the rabbits, squirrels, and porcupines do the same thing to long-term parked vehicles. Evidently that insulation is just an animal magnet. Manufacturers get kudos from the environmentalists for being eco-conscious and we get the bill for it!

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