BDN interviews Dill for article about keeping rodents out of vehicles

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Griffin Dill, an integrated pest management professional with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for the article, “How to keep rodents from trashing your vehicle.” Vehicle owners who may not be using a certain vehicle for extended periods of time during the winter should take precautions to prevent rodents from nesting in the numerous small spaces within, where they can create problems. “They certainly tend to enter a car looking for shelter from snow and rain,” said Dill. “They like to nest in the winter, and cars and other vehicles offer ideal shelter for mice and small mammals because they have small spaces that provide shelter from the wind and protection from predators.” And if the car has recently been driven, rodents will be more attracted to its warmth. But they can chew through wires, clog air filters by building nests or storing food, and even chew through the hoses that distribute coolant and other liquids, the BDN reported. To prevent the mess and smell created by nesting rodents, Dill recommends parking vehicles “in a secure, mouse-proof garage” if possible, since parking them outside in the grass encourages visitors. “Once you place it in or near their natural habitat it becomes quite inviting,” he said. If rodents have already invaded, traps or toxic bait can be used to eradicate them, and vehicles — including boats, lawn mowers, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles — should be checked regularly, Dill told the BDN.