marmots in a parking lot wire cars surrounded by chicken wire

Why Are People Wrapping Their Cars With Chicken Wire?

We’ve seen vehicle owners do some interesting things to protect their vehicles from damage. However, we were baffled when we stumbled across a series of cars wrapped in chicken wire.

After doing some quick research, we discovered why these drivers were worried. So, should you be doing the same?

Today, we’ll examine why some people wrap chicken wire around their vehicles.

Let’s get going!

What is Chicken Wire?

Chicken wire is a versatile fencing material made from wire mesh. Farmers and homeowners often use it for various agricultural and household purposes.

Manufacturers create it using a series of thin wires made from galvanized steel woven and twisted together. The name comes from farmers using it to protect chickens and other smaller animals.

Because it’s constructed from galvanized steel, it can resist rust and corrosion. This results in a material perfect for various environments. The steel comes in different thicknesses and sizes. As you might expect, the thicker the material, the more durable it is.

In addition to agricultural and farming uses, it’s common in landscaping, crafting, and DIY projects. The fact that it’s cheap, flexible, and easy to use makes it a practical, multipurpose material.

Why Are People Wrapping Their Cars With Chicken Wire?

When visiting California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, you may spot vehicles wrapped in chicken wire. The owners are doing this to defend their cars against marmots while hiking or camping.

These creatures are known for gnawing through radiator hoses and car wiring. These critters can disable an automobile and leave you stranded in the blink of an eye.

Owners believe the chicken wire prevents the marmots from accessing their car’s engine compartment. However, the National Park Service no longer recommends using chicken wire. They state that marmots have learned how to get around it and that it’s no longer effective.

NPS recommends drivers take extra precautions before parking their vehicles inside these parks. Don’t worry; we’ll share tips to help you avoid a nasty encounter with these critters.

What Are Marmots?

Marmots are large rodents in the Sciuridae family. They’re joined in this family by squirrels, chipmunks, and prairie dogs. You can find them in mountainous regions in North America. They’re also common in the alpine meadows and rocky slopes of Europe and Asia.

You’ll recognize marmots by their short body and short, bushy tail. They’re herbivores who primarily eat grass, leaves, flowers, and other plants.

However, like most rodents, they’re curious creatures and aren’t afraid to munch on a vehicle’s wiring and other vital components. This is all the more common now that vehicles have moved to plant-based bioplastics for vehicle wiring.

They typically live in communities with several family members and are most active during the day. You may hear their whistles or chips, especially around their colonies and burrows. Once winter hits, they’ll hibernate to conserve their energy to withstand the harsh alpine winter conditions.

Are Marmots Friendly?

Marmots are typically very cautious and skittish when approached by humans. They’ll often do whatever they can to avoid interactions.

If you approach them, they may produce a whistling noise to alert the rest of their family members about the potential danger.

They don’t have a reputation for being aggressive creatures. Marmots will typically take any opportunity to escape or flee a dangerous situation.

However, they’ll defend themselves when necessary. Remember, they are wild animals. Avoid getting too close or cornering them. If you do, it’s possible to coexist with them in nature.

Tips to Protecting Your Vehicle from Marmots

These tiny creatures can do some severe damage to a vehicle. Luckily, you can do several things to help keep your car safe from marmots. Let’s take a look! 

Clean Your Entire Vehicle

One thing you can do to protect your vehicle is to clean it thoroughly. You want to eliminate any odorous food that could attract the rodents.

Sweep up crumbs and grab those french fries you dropped under your seat. They have a strong sense of smell and will come looking for them.

Additionally, make it a habit to remove waste from your automobile. If you leave leftovers in your vehicle, the odors can hang around for days. Eliminate food, trash, and food containers immediately.

Restrict Access to Vehicle

While NPS may not recommend using chicken wire, they do encourage the use of tarps to restrict access to your vehicle. To do this, bring a large tarp with you and drive your car onto it.

You’ll then want to use rope and other fasteners to wrap your vehicle like a present in the tarp.

While it may not look aesthetically pleasing, this is one of the most effective ways to restrict access to marmots and other rodents.

Just make sure you take your time to secure everything in place. Trying to rush the process will only waste your time and effort.

Use Non-toxic Methods

We never suggest that anyone use toxic methods for dealing with rodents. Not only could the animal curl up and die in your vehicle, but it could also be deadly to other wildlife.

For example, another animal could discover the dead rodent and decide to have it for dinner. This could have potentially fatal consequences for the innocent animal.

Instead, it’s best to use non-toxic methods like essential oils and sprays. Because rodents have a strong sense of smell, scents like peppermint, garlic, and vinegar can be highly effective.

You can mix these scents with water and spray them around the perimeter of your vehicle.

Additionally, marmots typically shy away from shiny and reflective objects. Hanging some reflective tape, aluminum strips, and wind chimes can be enough to keep these pesky creatures away.

Consider Ultrasonic Devices

Another non-toxic method is to use ultrasonic devices. These high-frequency sounds are inaudible to humans but can drive rodents like mice and marmots crazy. 

Unfortunately, these can sometimes only have short-term effectiveness as rodents can get used to the frequency. However, they can still be an effective item to keep marmots away.

Angveirt Ultrasonic Mouse Repellent Battery Operated Pest repeller Rodent Repellent Ultrasonic Mouse Deterrent for Car Engines Basement Garage Attic Warehouse Under Hood Rodent Repeller – 2 Pack
  • UNDER HOOD ANIMAL REPELLER – Produces powerful and random blasts of ultrasounds and strobe lights to keep rodents move on and leave your car alone.It repels rats, mice, rabbits, martens, sables, cats, chipmunks and other destructive rodents out of the coverage area
  • BATTERY OPERATED – Powered by 3 “AA” alkaline batteries, last 45 days for 24 hours operating

Raise the Hood

If you’ve ever seen vehicles parked with their hood raised, there’s a good chance they’re not broken down or working on their car.

They’re raising their hood to protect their engine bay from marmots. These critters may crawl inside the warm engine compartment, especially during cooler months.

This is most effective when combined with other defense measures like ultrasonic devices and other non-toxic methods. Doing so can help create a less ideal environment for them to get comfortable inside your vehicle.

Inspect and Clean Your Vehicle

When in marmot areas, make sure you inspect your vehicle regularly. Look for any evidence of activity or damage.

Some have traveled hundreds of miles with one of these rodents in their car. Bringing a marmot home is likely not the souvenir you were planning to bring.

If you discover leaks or any issues, get them repaired immediately. Attempting to drive a vehicle with damaged hoses and wires can be extremely dangerous. These issues could lead to a fire in the engine compartment as you’re traveling down the road.

Be Cautious in Marmot Areas

When in marmot areas, be mindful of where you’re parking. Generally, you want to find a well-traveled area with little vegetation. If you see marmot burrows in the area, you’ll want to think twice about parking there.

It doesn’t take long for these critters to do some extensive damage. You’ll know they’re nearby if you hear their distinctive whistles when leaving your vehicle. 

Protect Your Vehicle from Marmots

While you may not be able to guarantee marmots won’t get to your vehicle, there are some things you can do to reduce encounters.

These tiny rodents can cause costly issues for you, your car, and your bank account. However, by taking the precautions we’ve shared, you can drastically reduce the chances of experiencing one.

Have you ever seen vehicles wrapped in chicken wire?

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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