When you take your car in for an oil change, you expect the mechanic to ask, "Would you like us to change your cabin air filter?" However, you likely don't expect that filter to be the home of a family of mice.
"I am so glad I agreed to check my filter!" Christie Matta said. "There was no sound, there was no smell and there was no evidence of them even being in the car so just when they suggest to check your filters, at least let them check it out, make sure there's nothing living in your engine."
Matta took her 2012 Range Rover to Euro Motors in Raleigh for the routine oil change. That's where they made the stomach-turning discovery.
"We are a single-car family, and we drive often. It's not as if these mice found an abandoned engine to nest in," Matta said, "I think they said the mice were trying to get after the snacks my kids were leaving in the car."
Christie took pictures of the nest with her phone to show her husband Phil. He was in disbelief.
"No way! How did that happen? Is this a thing that happens? What did the mechanic say?" Phil said.
"Cabin filters are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get," Christie said, quoting Forrest Gump.
Mice can chew through the wiring of your car, and an infestation could be bad for your health. According to tips from Rochelle Frank on the car blog Axle Addict, there are ways to keep rats and mice out of your vehicle. Here are the top ten she recommends:
- Clear away potential hiding places
- Eliminate food sources
- Use bright lighting to discourage nesting
- Use repellent fragrances/odors (like peppermint oil or cayenne powder)
- Block points of entry
- Use electronic deterrents
- Don't let your vehicle sit idle for long periods of time
- Use biological deterrents (like cat hair, human hair, or fox urine powder)
- Use traps
- Use poison (moth balls or rat poison)