Desert Rat Under The Hood

The infamous pack rat (Desert Rat) found its way under the hood of Arvi.

We first heard it scratching around when we were getting ready for bed.

I went out and popped the hood to investigate. There it was, out of reach, looking up at me. I tried to chase it out. It’s hard to say if it scurried off or hid somewhere.

We started Arvi and went for a drive to see if that would work. Moments after pulling back into our campsite the chewing noise started up again. I guess he enjoyed the ride. What to do?

Doing some research we found that they don’t like light or smelly things. So we placed our battery operated Christmas lights on the engine and strategically placed cottonballs with smelly stuff on them in there too then went inside.

Within minutes the chewing started again. Out we went to investigate.

I popped the hood and caught a glimpse of the furry animal skitter out from behind the air cleaner and under the engine.

We saw the chewing damage on the insulation that is wrapped around the cabin air intake. Jen read that these little guys don’t like vinegar.

Chewing Damage

We sprayed vinegar in the engine compartment and around Arvi’s tires, placed the Christmas lights under Arvi to light up that area. No more chewing sounds that night. I guess the rat was as fed up with the game as I was.

The next day I discovered two pack rat middens very near to our site. We were nearly surrounded.

Large Midden

I found the camp host and told him what happened and that we want to change sites. He said take any site you want however the pack rats are everywhere. He told me to leave the hood open at night. The rats don’t go in there if the hood is open.

We went to Home Depot to buy a battery operated rope light for under Arvi (like what some of the other campers were using).

The guy in the lighting department said Ace Hardware sells light specifically to chase rats away. Off to Ace we went and bought a light. The light is a flashing strobe that flashes every couple seconds or so. Strong magnets hold it securely to a steel surface. I put it under the hood.

Now our current deterrents are:

  • Hood up
  • Strobe light In the engine compartment
  • Christmas lights under the van

We found a quarter that may have been left by the pack rat. We heard from the camp host that they bring presents.

2 thoughts on “Desert Rat Under The Hood

Add yours

  1. I would love to see a picture w the hood up and christmas lights….flashing lights. You could have had a little desert disco party. Ha ha


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