Oh, rats!

Why? Why, with the Great Outdoors at their disposal do rodents set up housekeeping under the hood of my car and decide that electrical wiring is just the best thing they’ve ever tasted? More than $500 dollars later, we don’t call it “the car” anymore. We call it the “rat buffet.” As in, “Adrian, get in the rat buffet.”

I found no help for this problem online, so thanks to the helpful hardware man at Ace, I submit the following procedure for the general good of humankind.

How to keep rats from eating your car wiring

  1. Go to your local hardware store and purchase the following:
    A roll of twist-tie material. This is usually green, and you can find it in the gardening section.
    A box of RatMax Mini-Blocks by Enforcer.
    If you don’t have a pair of rubber gloves, get a some of those, too.
  2. Open your hood.
  3. Cut off a piece of twist-tie material, oh, say, a foot long.
  4. Put on your rubber gloves.
  5. Take a block of RatMax, and thread the twist-tie through the hole in the middle. Give the twist-tie a few turns right above the block to keep it from moving moving along the plastic-coated wire.
  6. Now, fasten it to a spot under the hood that won’t interfere with the workings of your engine. If you’re unsure about where to put it, ask a mechanically inclined friend or your mechanic.
  7. Hang two to four blocks of RatMax and monitor them regularly.
  8. When you discover that rats have nibbled one block away, replace it. The manufacturer of RatMax sys to “Maintain a constant supply of fresh bait for 10 days or until signs of rat activity cease.”

I now have rat poison hanging under my hood like Christmas tree ornaments, and the good news is that the rodents have been eating it. I typically avoiod getting into an adversarial relationship with nature, but this? This is WAR.

Having rats eat my car wiring feels frustrating and disgusting, which is how my “internal guidance system” let’s me know that I need to do something about it.

Frustrated Disgusted

Kris Wiltse’s illustrations for the “Frustrated” and “Disgusted” cards from the Mixed Emotions card deck.

3 Replies to “Oh, rats!”

  1. I just found out these fuzzy little bastards were doing a number on my beloved 2005 Mustang! They chewed up the wiring for my remote start & alarm system, luckily, we played dumb & since we are under warranty still, we simply paid our deductible to Ford & had it rewired. I plan on ripping apart the car & detailing the inside & taking your advice on stringing up some rat bait, as well as placing all sorts of traps & poisons in my parking spots. I second that “this is WAR’ notion & am going after them full steam ahead. I HATE verminy type rats & mice (to all pet rat & mice owners, I’d never seek the destruction of your pets!), but I am bummed that I risk killing off innocent squirrels & chipmunks (luckily there is a stupid town by law about there being no outdoor cats, which would actually remedy the rat problem, so no worries about taking out any of the noble felines I love so much) but I refuse to be a repeat victim to rats & having to shell out loads of money to the mechanic for constant repairs. I am glad you shared your experience & remedy, because as you’d seen for yourself, there’s very little info out on the web regarding this issue. Thanks.

    1. When you’ve got a problem right NOW and a trip to Ace would take care of it, why mail-order something that costs $33 (including shipping), takes a while to get here, and requires mixing and spraying?

      Given your avatar, I’m guessing you have a vested interest in promoting Rataway.

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