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Rodents, vehicles and costly headaches
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What is 2 inches long and an inch high, and has the ability to stop a car in its tracks?

If you have been one of the unfortunate ones in the county to experience this awesome wonder, you know it is a mouse or a vole under the hood of your car calling it home.

As the weather changes, I have gotten a few calls about rodents in the engine compartment of people’s cars and trucks eating away at hoses, wiring insulation and anything else worth chewing.

The damage mice can cause to a vehicle is remarkable, and the inconvenience and money spent on repairing the damage can be astonishing.

Another problem seen with rodents is the nests they create, which can cause fires under the hood while going down the road.

I know this is something that will be hit or miss with many people. But if you have an extra vehicle at the house, be sure to inspect it for infestations before getting out on the road. Many times the damage can be fairly minor at first, but then leave you stranded due to a short in the wiring.

If you suspect rodents around your property and in your vehicles, be sure to keep grass mowed short and debris piles to a minimum. Basically, you want to keep potential sites for shelter down so it will be less likely for mice or voles to take up house on your property.

Another avenue to look at is to use rodent baits or traps to kill the local population.

If you use bait, make sure you read the label and use the bait in a correct manner. Keep your pets and children away from the area where you have set out the bait.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call at the office.

Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293. His column appears weekly and on

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