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Stop hungry animals from eating wiring and stuff?

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by ke2013taco, May 9, 2021.

  1. May 9, 2021 at 8:26 AM
    #1
    ke2013taco

    ke2013taco [OP] Member

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    My previous tacoma was eaten by animals about 9 years ago. I was parked for 4 days on a seasonal road in allegheny national forest while out backpacking. Upon my return I was greeted with no headlights, no tail /brake lights, many many warning idiot lights, and partially chewed brake lines. I was lucky to make it home. End result - insurance wouldn't cover cost of new harnesses so over 400 splices was the fix, and resulted in me selling the truck before electrical issues began developing.

    Since then, I have made 6 little mesh socks which hold moth balls. I hang them by each tire and put one in engine compartment and one in middle of rear axle. When not in use I just store them in an air tight container. This has seemed to work well. At least my last vehicle wasn't eaten!

    Soy based insulation and seat cushioning have always seemed like a bad idea to me. I know of at least three other vehicles (various brands/models) that have been eaten to some degree. Add in road salt in the winter and it seems like modern cars are becoming more and more like some critter's lunch!!!

    Does anyone else take precautions to prevent this from happening? If so, what are you doing?
     
    Pickeledpigsfeet likes this.
  2. May 9, 2021 at 8:35 AM
    #2
    Slick Taco

    Slick Taco Married + No Kids = More Toys For Me

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    Other that mice what other animals are you having trouble with?
     
  3. May 9, 2021 at 9:15 AM
    #3
    ke2013taco

    ke2013taco [OP] Member

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    Never really had a problem with mice - it's critters like opossums and porcupines that probably ate my wiring. It only happened to me once but that was enough. Since then I always put mothballs out and haven't had any issues. I think they are attracted to the salt. I do park in out of the way places for days at a time while backpacking. I've also seen vehicles that had wiring harness damage just from sitting in parking lots along the allegheny reservoir. When I was younger (about 30 years ago) people used to dump mothballs out on the ground when parking along the reservoir for this very reason. I just figured why not put them in those mesh sock like bird feeding tubes and keep reusing them. And, I never liked the idea of leaving mothballs behind all over the ground.

    It takes all of about 1 minute to pop open the container they are stored in and hang them... Maybe a minute to unhang them and pack them away. My last batch of mothball socks lasted about 8 years before needing replacement...

    More than likely it was a once in a lifetime experience that happened to me, but it was very costly!!! I'd rather take precautions than have it happen again.
     
    Pickeledpigsfeet likes this.
  4. May 9, 2021 at 9:26 AM
    #4
    Slick Taco

    Slick Taco Married + No Kids = More Toys For Me

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    Don't have opossums and porcupine issues here because we have dogs but the mice are an issue. Snap traps and peanut butter seems to do the trick but yeah soy based wiring is a dumb choice.
     
  5. May 10, 2021 at 12:47 PM
    #5
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    Stop using bacon fat as a dielectric grease. :D

    I dunno, that's pretty weird to have that much damage after only 4 days of being parked.

    You could probably set a trap with much more tasty treats near your truck. Or smear peanut butter on your friend's truck, so they'll go to theirs instead of yours...
     
  6. May 10, 2021 at 2:17 PM
    #6
    reg0928

    reg0928 Well-Known Member

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    moth balls will keep them away. put a box under your hood or on your front tires
     
  7. May 10, 2021 at 2:23 PM
    #7
    ke2013taco

    ke2013taco [OP] Member

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    Actually pretty normal around here to see opossum, porcupine, and raccoons around nearly every parking area. Too many IDIOTS feeding them and thinking it's cute. They've learned people/cars are a source of food - especially along the allegheny reservoir. Most parking lots also have a big "bearproof" dumpster that attracts animals. My favorite is the people that take a campsite for the day, feed every critter they can see, and then leave at dusk....

    And nowadays, with the great influx of people who never used to go outside (and have no clue), everywhere seems to have a problem with idiots feeding wildlife and/or leaving trash/food behind.... Unfortunately, I think this will be the new normal, at least for a few years....

    Opossums and porcupines are attracted to salt - I blame the salty roads used to get there! It really wasn't that much chewing either. A bite here, a bit there... it adds up quickly! I was unfortunate - they ate both the front and the back. They also could have been attracted by the heat of the engine. Who knows? I'll just do what I can to make sure it doesn't happen again.
     
    Pickeledpigsfeet likes this.
  8. May 11, 2021 at 12:30 AM
    #8
    Saguarobandit

    Saguarobandit Well-Known Member

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    If you go to the Sequoia NP website and search "marmots" you'll get better details.
    I bought a tarp to wrap my Tacoma. I have it ready to go when I go to Sequoia. This is a pic from the SNP website:

    [​IMG]
     
    Pickeledpigsfeet likes this.
  9. May 11, 2021 at 7:17 AM
    #9
    ke2013taco

    ke2013taco [OP] Member

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    WOW! That looks like a huge hassle! I'm surprised they don't just chew through the tarp. That must take quite a few minutes to take down/set up. I thought hanging moth ball socks was a pain!
     
    Pickeledpigsfeet likes this.
  10. May 11, 2021 at 2:08 PM
    #10
    stonylaroux

    stonylaroux Well-Known Member

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  11. May 11, 2021 at 2:31 PM
    #11
    tacopeter

    tacopeter Well-Known Member

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    Had the same problem with my 2021 Jeep Rubicon. All the electrical insulation was being eaten by mice due to being soy based. Used Honda Rodent Tape and no more problems.
    honda rodent tape | eBay
     
  12. Jun 13, 2021 at 7:04 AM
    #12
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    Just smear peanut butter on your neighbor's car.:D

    But seriously, I'd just put a few rodent traps near where you park.

    I'd be interested if devices like this actually work. Rats live in NY City, Vegas, everywhere... so it doesn't seam like loud noises and bright lights are a deterrent. If there's food or nesting available, they probably don't much care. According to some of the reviews it seems like it works maybe for a couple days, but they soon become accustomed to the noise and it no longer is a deterrent.
     

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