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#11 alano

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 04:15 PM

Marmots are a problem as well, hence  https://www.nps.gov/...sit/marmots.htm

Anyone have plans for custom tarp wraps for truck with camper?

 

Alan


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#12 AWG_Pics

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 05:40 PM

Except for Old Crow's experience, I have not known anyone who had a problem with varmints and truck wiring. Years ago at Organ Pipe I was a bit bemused to see numerous hoods up and LED lights on all night. A ranger told us the packrats were not really an issue, but lots of folks must have read the same internet wisdom. I never worry about it.


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#13 AWG_Pics

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 05:44 PM

Marmots are a problem as well, hence  https://www.nps.gov/...sit/marmots.htm

Anyone have plans for custom tarp wraps for truck with camper?

 

Alan

 

I gotta say that tarp wrapped car is pretty amusing.


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lived for several years each in Montana, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Washington, Oregon.

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#14 craig333

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 07:11 PM

Yeah, I'll take my chances before I do that. I hope I don't regret bringing a tarp.


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#15 pvstoy

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 07:50 PM

Old Crow posted a link to Mr. Pack Rat  https://mrpackrat.ne.../ratsinvehicles

 

So in that link there are many pages but on Rats in Vehicles page here are the word IF you don't want to go there.

 

Why Pack Rats Are Attracted To Vehicles

Pack rats are attracted to any area that provides opportunities for safe harborage. An ideal harborage is accessible to the pack rat, but not to its many predators including bobcats, owls, snakes and coyotes.

vehicle engine compartment is close to perfect. Additionally, the sound proofing insulation under the hood provides excellent nest-making material and engine wires are just right for the chewing necessary to maintain sharp teeth.

Many newer cars have engine covers and shrouds that provide hiding places even when the hood is open. Pack rats will alson nest above the gas tank and can even get into the air filter compartment

Best Bets To Prevent Pack Rats From Attacking Your Vehicle

If you live in an area where there are pack rats there is always a chance that pack rats may do damage to your vehicle. Pack rats even get into garages. There are many things you can do to reduce the risk, in many cases to almost zero.

Best Bets:

#1 No pack rat nests nearby! Inspect the general area for nearby pack rat nests. A single female may be responsible for as many as 20 young a year, all who need to find new homes (like your vehicle) as they mature. Removing nearby nests can significantly reduce the risk of attack. Before removing a nest, the resident rats should be trapped. A homeless rat will seek a nearby alternative shelter-most likely your car.

Also:

• A Rat-Proof Garage. A pack rat only needs an opening the size of a nickel to enter a garage. They are excellent climbers and can enter high or low. A poorly sealed garage is worse than parking outside, since rats are attracted to an area they can enter, but larger predators cannot.

• Open Space. If a rat-proof garage is not available, the vehicle should be parked in the most open area possible, ideally with at least five to ten feet of totally clear space on all four sides with no trees or other cover above the vehicle.

• No Stored Items Close By. If the vehicle must be parked in a carport, there should be no other items stored in the carport including boxes, yard tools, and trash containers. Any additional cover from stored items makes the area more attractive.

• Vegetation Trimmed. Keep all vegetation in the immediate area well trimmed to eliminate as much cover as possible. You should be able to clearly see under and behind all bushes and other plants anywhere near the vehicle. Avoid using rock borders rats can hide next to.

• Hood Open. For many vehicles, leaving the hood open takes away the sense of enclosure and protection that the rat is seeking. If you choose to leave the hood open, be sure to disconnect any internal engine compartment lights to avoid a dead battery in the morning. Also, secure the hood with some type of strap if high winds are a possibility. Leaving the hood open does not work as well on newer vehicles with engine covers and shrouds that still offer plenty of hding areas.

• Light. A utility light hanging from above with an open hood works best. Be sure to use a yellow “bug” bulb to minimize flying insects. A light under the car may help, but not as much as light from above. Lights are not effective on newer cars with engine covers and shrouds.

• Be Alert. If you park outside keep your eyes open for rat droppings and pieces of cactus that show up near or under your vehicle. Lift and check under the hood often. Be extra careful when heavy rain or cold weather may cause rats in the area to look for better quarters.

If you are in our service areacontact us for a free, no obligation inspection and we can give you specific recommendations of how to reduce the risk of pack rats

 

Once Rats Have Been In Your Vehicle

You can park a vehicle outside for years without a problem, but once rats get into a vehicle, there may be constant reoccurring attacks. Pack rats naturally reuse the same nesting sites generation after generation. The rat “marks” your vehicle with a scent, the same way a dog “marks” its territory. This scent will attract other rats to your vehicle.

Steps to Take:

#1 – Catch the Rat! If a rat is currently infesting your vehicle it must be caught before any other steps are taken! A trap is best. Do not use poison. Poison is food and is designed to attract rats. Once a rat eats the poison they do not die for days and have plenty of time to do damage and leave their scent.

#2 – A Thorough Cleaning. You want to remove as much scent of the previous rat as possible

• Soak all urine stains with a 50% solution of pine oil (Pin-Sol®) and then use a high-pressure hose to clean everything off. Pay close attention to hard-to-reach areas. You may need to remove the battery to clean behind and underneath.

• Once the vehicle is clean, the hood should still be left open as a further deterrent for at least three weeks to be sure the scent is completely gone. Even better park in a well sealed garage if possible.

#3 – Prevention.

No matter how well you clean, some scent may remain and your vehicle will be at higher risk than a car that has not had rats in it before. Read and follow the recommendations in the section Best Bets To Prevent Pack Rats From Attacking Your Vehicle

Be diligent and check the car often. If you see any signs of new actvity, put out a trap immediately. Once the car has been rat free fro 30 days the risk of reinfestation will be less and you can check less often if desired.

 

What Doesn’t Work

There are many products and myths reported on ways to prevent pack rats. Many are supported with anecdotal claims such as “John Doe used this and never saw another rat.” Unfortunately there is no easy magical cure and I know of no product that has held up to true scientific testing.

Mr. Pack Rat has thousands of customers. Many have tried everything before they finally called us. Learn from their experience and ours.

• Poison Bait — Poison bait is rat food. If you want to attract birds, you put out bird food. Putting out rat poison attracts rats. They may eat the poison and die or they may collect it for their food stores. All poisons take 5-10 days to work, so even if the rat dies there is still plenty of time to do damage and “mark” your vehicle as an excellent nesting site. In most areas, there are too many rats and they breed too quickly to ever be poisoned to oblivion. See the Problems with Poison page for full details.

• Mini-strobe Lights — There are simply too many hiding places in most cars for these lights to really be effective. Also pack rats adapt quickly. A light in an enclosed area is still a safe enclosed area and the rat will just ignore the light after a short time

• Moth balls — Under NO circumstances should moth balls be used as a pack rat deterrent. They are both hazardous to human health and EPA regulated against use of this type.

• Ultrasonic devices — Rats will nest near, next to and even on top of ultrasonic devices.

• Commercial repellent sprays — Pack rats ignore them.

• Potato flakes — Pack rats will not actually eat the flakes, swell up and die.

• Ivory or Irish Spring soap — The smell does not bother pack rats and if they eat the soap it will not harm them.

• Dryer sheets — The smell does not bother pack rats.

• Predator urine — (bob cat, wolf, cougar, human or otherwise) The smell does not bother pack rats.

• Gum — Pack rats will not eat the gum, choke and die.

• Pepper/chili powder — Pack rats love chili seeds and the powder does not bother them.


Edited by pvstoy, 29 October 2021 - 07:53 PM.

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#16 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 08:11 PM

provide hiding places even when the hood is open. Pack rats will alson nest above the gas tank and can even get into the air filter compartment.”

 

I recently saw a YouTube video of a Model A that had a mouse in one of the cylinders.  The radiator cap was missing, and it went from there, to the head, through an open valve, into the cylinder.


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#17 pvstoy

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 10:06 PM

On a trip to Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming many years ago we visited the Wind River mountains to do a couple of backpacking trips. We left the truck and camper at a popular trail head and went off for a 4-day trip. 

 

Upon our return I noticed a tissue on the driver’s floor mat but thought I just left it there when we departed for the trip. We packed up and headed off down the long approach road to a main road.  We stopped and I changed a flat tire on a Forest Service truck that was driven by a summer student. 

 

We continued on to Pinedale where we had showers, did laundry and food shopped. We went above town to a restaurant on a lake and splurged for dinner.  After dinner we found a convenient pull off road to spend the night.  That night we had a very spectacular thunder storm and lightning close by.

 

In the morning I opened the driver’s door and saw a mouse.  I don’t know why but when I first see them, they give startle me and I freeze for a moment.  The mouse ran under the dash.  I opened the hood and it ran back into the cab by using a small wiring hole that I had left unsealed.

 

I quickly did a search and discovered a nest under the driver’s seat.  I put on rubber gloves and duct taped shut the hole into the engine compartment.  I had my gal on the passenger side hold the cardboard sun shade to block access to that side of the cab (‘83 Toyota 4X4 truck).  I started pulling the nest out from under the seat and one by one mice started to emerge.

 

Each time I saw a mouse I grabbed it and flung it as hard as I could behind me, as I wanted to keep my eyes on the next one.  My gal was laughing as she saw mouse after mouse come flying out; she called it the “mouse circus”.

 

In all there were 5 mice.  I then removed everything from the cab.  My gal said do you really need 6 pairs of gloves and FOUR jackets?  This is when you realize that you really don’t know what you have packed away.  I removed both seats and did a thorough cleaning.  We stopped in Pinedale and bought some mouse traps and set them up in the truck cab and camper for the rest of the trip but came up empty. 

 

We had a FWC model that had a pass through into the cab and it was open the whole time we were backpacking, but we had no evidence of the mice getting into the camper.  Must have been a frightening time for them when I was sitting in the seat driving and bouncing up and down on a dirt road!

 

 

 


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Patrick

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#18 Old Crow

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Posted 30 October 2021 - 01:01 PM

Patrick's mouse story reminds me of an encounter I had with one.

 

Years ago we had a Dynavan (a Chevy 1-ton van with a fiberglass campervan top and dinette-style sleeping arrangements).  Late one Fall we camped at Spruce Knob Lake Campground in Monongahela National Forest (WV).  That night we were awakened by a mouse running across our covers, right at chest level.

 

We of course did everything we could think of to find that mouse.  We didn't find it and eventually decided we must have scared it back out of the van.

 

A few days later I was gassing up at my local gas station.  A mouse ran out from under the van... right at my feet... and ran directly out from me across the lot.  I took chase, thinking I'd scare it away from the van and into the weeds.

 

But apparently the mouse realized it was too far to the weeds.   It led me about 30 feet away from the van, then made a hard right turn, circled the gas pumps and then ran back under the van and up into it.

 

I remember looking around to see if anyone had witnessed that pea-brained little $#^&%*@ outwit me.  Fortunately, there was nobody else around.

.


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#19 AWG_Pics

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Posted 30 October 2021 - 04:03 PM

 

I remember looking around to see if anyone had witnessed that pea-brained little $#^&%*@ outwit me.  Fortunately, there was nobody else around.

.

 

For you it was an annoyance. For the mouse it was a matter of life and death (and a warm, cozy home!)


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#20 Stray Dog

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Posted 30 October 2021 - 04:39 PM

Stayed a week at Karstner Caverns SP in Arizona last January.  A really nice park with lots to do there and in the surrounding area if you're looking for a place.

 

First night I noted lots of rigs of all types with led light strings around them, hoods up and lights hanging from the hoods.  Hadn't heard of such measures before.  The place looked like it had ground level Christmas lights everywhere after dark.  I asked around and yes, placed a light under our rig...

 

Kinda reminded me of putting your lasso around your sleeping area to keep snakes away... (True Grit reference...)

 

Never saw a varmit in a week so I guess it worked.....


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