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MintakaCat
05-25-2009, 08:22
Well, I just got back from a great trip near Glassmine Gap on the AT. As we arrived back at the car parked at the Backcountry Information Center near Standing Indian Campground, my friend unlocked his car and we started to load the hatch back with our packs. When I opened the front passenger door I noticed a small field mouse was standing there on the floor on the passenger side of the car. The mouse then ran under the passenger seat and we could not find the little fellow.

So, my friend and I and the mouse headed back toward Atlanta, but we wondered how the mouse got into the car. There were signs that he had been there all night. Maybe when we arrived I had left the passenger door opened while I was putting on my boots and unloading the pack from the back of the car.

Anybody else had this problem before?

Iím going to call my friend today to see if he got the mouse out of his car.

So, hereís some advice, try not to keep your doors of your vehicle open too long while you get ready for your hike unless you like having stowaways in your vehicle. :D

modiyooch
05-25-2009, 08:36
when did you hike last prior to the trip? was he transported to the car from the packs? or, did he jump into your pack from home because of the food? I had a mouse stuck on the frame of my pack in my kitchen prior to a trip.

Homer&Marje
05-25-2009, 08:39
Little mouse probably could have crawled in through the vents. Squirrels and mice make nests inside of engine parts all the time. Would surprise me if it jumped in while people were near the car.....could have jumped in a backpack too like said prior.

kayak karl
05-25-2009, 08:48
Little mouse probably could have crawled in through the vents. Squirrels and mice make nests inside of engine parts all the time.
and the smell lingers for years:D

garlic08
05-25-2009, 09:08
Mice love cars. There was an infamous case in Denver a few years ago, when then-Representative Pat Schroeder parked her car illegally at the airport garage and it got towed to an outlying field. Mice nested in the car for weeks and pretty much ruined the nice sedan. She sued the airport, of course. I parked in the same field once and spent days removing the mouse nests--they loved the spare roll of TP in the glove box.

Jim Adams
05-25-2009, 09:13
mice can come and go into cars pretty much at will through small openings. when I go canoeing in Canada every year, you can not leave any food of any type in the locked car. it will be eaten everytime.

geek

MintakaCat
05-25-2009, 09:37
Little mouse probably could have crawled in through the vents.

I kinda wondered if that was the case too. My friend has a Subaru Outback about 5 years old. I wondered if it got through some small opening somewhere.

TIDE-HSV
05-25-2009, 10:28
I've left my car at Newfound Gap many times without incident of any kind, but, some years back, I left it for a loop hike of several days in fairly warm weather - I was using the A/C when I parked. When I got in, turned the key, and the fan came on, I got a face-full of mouse nest. The car was a Mercedes 300D, supposedly a fairly tight car. I second the thought that they can get in anywhere they really want to...

bonnermc
05-25-2009, 10:33
After parking my car for nearly a week long hike, I was driving down the road and saw a head pop up around the windshield wipers. Cute, but now I'm thinking if I should go back and make sure he is out.

Wise Old Owl
05-25-2009, 10:33
I with Homer on this one I would check the fire wall between the cab & engine and see if one of the rubber pieces are missing.

Pony
05-25-2009, 10:49
I hiked with a guy last year who had a mouse stowaway in his pack for something like 15 miles.

Phoenixdadeadhead
05-25-2009, 11:05
I worked in an Auto/Truck shop for 8 years while living in PA, and almost every vehicle that I had to remove the dash on, had signs of mice. Newer cars have a plastic flap guarding the lowest part towards the from of the door, and then just a rubber gasket and the gap in the gasket is at the bottom as well. Add to that the air intake for your HVAC, water drain plugs in the floor boards and/or Trunk, unused holes in the firewall that have been plugged with then rubber stoppers, and areas for the Linkage (shifters, clutch, emergency brake). I also think they can get in through the trunk right under the key hole where the rubber splits.
I don't know if it is a myth or not, but I know a few people including my mother who keep mothballs in there cars (naptholene), and they swear they keep all critters out.

Semperfeet
05-25-2009, 11:51
I parked on the forest road at Springer for a three day hike at Thanksgiving. When I returned, I had a mouse infestation! Three times on the drive home we saw mice. There were droppings all over the car. They had gotten into food that was left in the vehicle and gnawed on an extra sleeping bag and a seat belt. I put a whole box of DCon in the car overnight and every bit of it was gone the next morning. I had left my car in Damascus for six weeks last summer and didn't have a problem but I shudder to think what a mess it would have been if the Springer mice had moved in for six weeks. In the future, I will leave rat baits in the car when I start out. Dead mice have to be easier to clean up than live ones.

TIDE-HSV
05-25-2009, 11:54
Mice dead for six weeks wouldn't be any fun either. One hopes they crawl out to die...

Feral Bill
05-25-2009, 12:01
In bad mouse areas a person could leave a clockwork live trap in the car to empty upon return. Thankfully I have not had the problem yet.

modiyooch
05-25-2009, 12:05
aargh. this is not something that i want to hear. I already avoid the shelters for this very reason.

MintakaCat
05-25-2009, 17:01
Another friend of mine that collects old cars told me to use Bounce dryer sheets. He said to clean out the car real good and place the Bounce dryer sheets all around the inside of the car.

I don't know if it will work but I'm willing to try anything. I don't want to end up with the same problem my friend got yesterday.

Phoenixdadeadhead
05-25-2009, 17:19
I parked on the forest road at Springer for a three day hike at Thanksgiving. When I returned, I had a mouse infestation! Three times on the drive home we saw mice. There were droppings all over the car. They had gotten into food that was left in the vehicle and gnawed on an extra sleeping bag and a seat belt. I put a whole box of DCon in the car overnight and every bit of it was gone the next morning. I had left my car in Damascus for six weeks last summer and didn't have a problem but I shudder to think what a mess it would have been if the Springer mice had moved in for six weeks. In the future, I will leave rat baits in the car when I start out. Dead mice have to be easier to clean up than live ones.
Word of advice, Don't leave bait traps in your car. The poisons and traps are mixed to attract mice to them, even when you put them at your home you are advised to find places outside to put the bait so mice will leave the house not be attracted to the inside. As for detering the buggers I have no idea, but I know there are sprays to keep other critters from your yard there may be sprays you can spray on the tires and inside the wheel wells to keep them out.

Phoenixdadeadhead
05-25-2009, 17:22
Check out how these guys keep mice out of their cars
http://www.hastingsreserve.org/Mammals/MiceInCars.html

Phoenixdadeadhead
05-25-2009, 17:29
Ok I seem to be flooding this topic but here is more, I looked around the internet and what I could find was use mothballs, and if the smell of them is too much for you use peppermint oil on a cotton ball. My mother uses mothballs in her mail jeep and she swears by it. I can not testify to either, but i think I will buy some peppermint oil since I am in the middle of farm country right now lol.

Gumbi
05-26-2009, 08:33
Ok I seem to be flooding this topic but here is more, I looked around the internet and what I could find was use mothballs, and if the smell of them is too much for you use peppermint oil on a cotton ball. My mother uses mothballs in her mail jeep and she swears by it. I can not testify to either, but i think I will buy some peppermint oil since I am in the middle of farm country right now lol.
I simply place my car in my ursack. It is guaranteed to keep out the rodents.

Egads
05-26-2009, 12:27
I simply place my car in my ursack. It is guaranteed to keep out the rodents.

What a dissapointment, I just sold my Ursack :(

STEVEM
05-26-2009, 16:34
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but you might consider putting a big old black snake in you car for a few days.

TIDE-HSV
05-27-2009, 00:19
Not a bad idea. They only need to eat every few weeks, so the dead mouse smell shouldn't be a problem...