It's been a warm start to September in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but don't be fooled. The seasons will be changing abruptly later this week with cooler temperatures returning. Fall is just around the corner, and now is a really good time to protect your belongings from devasting little pests.
As temperatures start to cool, rodents especially start making their way into warmer, sheltered places. Fall is when you typically start seeing mice in your home (especially if you don't have cats). They also like to seek shelter in garages, but it can get even worse than that.
One place you need to look out for is mice in your car. They can cause thousands and thousands of dollars of damage. If they have access to bird seed, nuts, dog food, or any other small food source, they can pack away a ton of stuff in hard-to-reach places. Local automotive shops have already started seeing mice damage in cars, which is typical for this time of year.
Mice will also chew through wiring in your car to get to the insulation used on them. They then make nests out of it. Obviously, this is something you'll need to be repaired.
So how do you prevent it?
There is no 100% guaranteed way to prevent mice damage. I've had people tell me to use dryer sheets before. I've tried it, but I've also found mouse droppings on dryer sheets, so it obviously isn't 100%.
Another option is to use Irish Spring soap shavings in your engine compartment and around your vehicle. Or, you could use moth balls, but those smell pretty unpleasant even to humans.
Set traps before it becomes a problem.
I bought a 6 pack of mouse traps the other day. I set up 3 of them in my garage. Even with the record-breaking heat we saw this Labor Day, I returned home to find two of them with dead mice. If you can catch them in a trap, hopefully, you'll prevent them from making a nest in your garage or near your car.
Or, if you have a massive mice problem, check out some of these homemade do-it-yourself things that will give you nightmares.