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Old 04-06-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
Aqua Puttana
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Default Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

I've read different posts about animals eating and damaging wiring on Sprinters. We have a bunch of squirrels in our trees and always have had since purchasing our house in 1976. We have owned many full size Dodge vans, a minivan, many various make passenger cars, and a step van over the years. This is our first diesel. I've never had any problems with squirrels getting into any of my vehicles that I know of. Up to this point I figured the Sprinters that were damaged were probably RV types that sit quite a bit.

Today as I went out my back door I saw a gray flash as one of the rats with bushy tail launched himself from the right front wheel well and scrambled up a nearby tree. I've never seen one run out from any other vehicle before this. Our Sprinter is driven most every day. This happened about noontime. It was last used 16 hours ago and sat overnight, so I believe the engine was stone cold. Does anyone have any idea why they seem to like Sprinters? I looked under the hood and everything seems OK as of now. Is there a common wire harness they seem to enjoy? I'd appreciate people listing where they have had damage so I can refine my inspections and protection if there's a particular favorite place. Maybe this will help others also. Thanks in advance. vic
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

Hello Aqua Puttana: Look for posts by "donniekay" I have 2 posts out there somewhere, one deals with the damage done by squirrels to my 2006 LTV. I live in a rural area where there are lots of squirrels who love to rip out insulation in my engine compartment to line their nests. They totally destroyed the headliner on the underside of the hood, and have taken 95% of the insulation on the firewall. I suspect that they have chewed on some wiring because I cannot turn the heat off at the console on the dash - its always hot. I suspect they may have chewed the wiring going to the water valve since it is right next to the firewall.
My solution was to put two of those howlers in the engine compartment, you know the ones that emit a high pitch squeal that humans cannot hear, but bother animals. I keep my rig plugged into power to these howlers all the time my rig is parked outside in my yard. They only draw about 2 watts on 110, and there really is no way for us humans to know if they are really working unless we run into a talking squirrel. Hope this is some help to you.......
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

Hope I never see one of those pesky critters jumping down from my Sprinter.

I do see scent markings or a liquid trail on the rims though. I'm sure it's one of the neighborhood cats or dogs. Should set up a trap and turn them into the pound.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

i wonder what squirrel tastes like probably chicken
eat them before they eat you"sprinter"
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

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Originally Posted by maxextz View Post
i wonder what squirrel tastes like probably chicken
eat them before they eat you"sprinter"
We had a friend visit from Paris, France to the Pacific NW, he was very fascinated by the squirrels here. We asked his interpreter to explain why, his answer was "we don't have any in France, they've all been eaten long ago."
Maybe someone there knows what they taste like?
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

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Originally Posted by cedarsanctum View Post
We had a friend visit from Paris, France to the Pacific NW, he was very fascinated by the squirrels here. We asked his interpreter to explain why, his answer was "we don't have any in France, they've all been eaten long ago."
Maybe someone there knows what they taste like?
I had a friend in the air force back in the 80s. His field exercises included finding whatever food was available. He said that squirrels don't have much taste, much like any other animal opportunistically harvested for survival (eg cooked w/o spices or other store-bought provisions).

If I recall correctly, termites' taste reminded him of a cross between peanuts and pistachio.


Just to stay on track, a bit, I have fence post caps upon which rodents and marsupials enjoy gnawing. A former neighbor of mine told me that we're the only mammals that will tolerate peppermint. We put it in candy and oral hygiene products. Animals we call "pests" loathe the oil. I'm not certain if he was just repeating urban lore, but he might have been on the right track; I'm too lazy to test it.

If you find something they dislike or fear, maybe you can leverage it.

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Old 04-07-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

Nothing special about Sprinters, except there is a lot of headroom in the engine compartment. I've had woodrats in my Dodge RV, Honda Civic and the lawnmower. Just mice in the Sprinter, so far.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedarsanctum View Post
We had a friend visit from Paris, France to the Pacific NW, he was very fascinated by the squirrels here. We asked his interpreter to explain why, his answer was "we don't have any in France, they've all been eaten long ago."
I think your friend was looking for his next meal.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Nothing special about Sprinters, except there is a lot of headroom in the engine compartment. I've had woodrats in my Dodge RV, Honda Civic and the lawnmower. Just mice in the Sprinter, so far.
I was thinking along the same lines that there's plenty of room in there.

Actually I've eaten squirrel before and they're not bad. Not greasy or gamy. Maxertz is right, kinda tastes like chicken. There's not much to eat off the poor little buggers. Hind legs are really about it, but there is a bit of meat there.

I've noticed that our squirrels have chewed the 10 gauge aluminum tie wires used to attach the chain link fence to our gate. 1/2 way around the 3/4" pipe, almost right through. It amazes me that they'd eat that.

I guess I'll try moth balls and spray my wire harnesses with WD-40. It doesn't seem that there's a favorite spot for chewing, just the favorite nest area over by the battery.

Thanks for all the replies and info. vic
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Critters Animal wire harness damage chewing

Human teeth grow to a fixed length and stop. I recall reading that some critters have teeth that always continue to grow and thus they chew on hard things to wear the teeth down so they don't get excessively long. Wire is perfect for this. It may not be food they are after. Anyone with knowledge about animal teeth?
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