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Rzrbrn 12-24-2016 10:04 AM

Rubber hose chewed off
 
A curious thing happened last camping season. We were out west, probably in Arizona, or New Mexico, at a primitive campground, when I noticed the drain hose on my Honda generator had been chewed off. The gen sits on a OMW Over tank platform on the front of the Casita. The drain hose is located about 5' off the ground. The hose was completely chewed off, right where it goes into the metal of the unit.

I got into a bit of trouble that morning when I suggested to my wife she may have been the culprit...she muttered something or other....I asked if I could compare her front teeth to the marks on the rubber...Her response was, curiously, and rather loudly, negative. I mean really, we were the only campers in the campground. No other suspects around. I told her I had to check, just to rule her out of my list of suspects (got that from watching TV cop shows). She became even more negative...not to mention verbal...

At any rate, some time later, a fellow camper suggested it was pack rats. He also suggested I keep the hood of my truck open, as this would discourage the critters from eating the rubber hoses in the engine compartment as apparently they don't like light.

I strongly suspect this fellow was from the same gang of older boys at my elementary school that convinced me that lollipops grew on trees, and resulted in a couple of recesses being wasted, as I carefully searched through the trees at school.

Has anyone encountered a similar issue with whatever it was that bit the rubber hose off? What preemptive strategy should be used to thwart such shenanigans? How does one tactfully tell one's wife that she may have an issue with chewing on things while sleep walking? Do you keep the hood of your TV up when parked at a campsite?

Mike Magee 12-24-2016 10:24 AM

Never leave the hood up while camping, it's an open invitation for wives to pull dipsticks and check fluid levels. The simple solution is to never camp where there might be pack rats, rats, mice, squirrels, or other toothy critters running loose.

:laugh

steve dunham 12-24-2016 10:25 AM

We have had mice / chipmunks chew up the wiring on our car on two occasions . I have a friend who has had mice / chipmunks chew up the wiring and fuel lines on his generator.
They have also chewed up the wiring and hoses on our lawn mower. It has happened in summer and winter .
I would suspect the damage was caused by rodents and your wife is totally innocent.

alan H 12-24-2016 10:28 AM

I used to live in upstate ny
Porcupines used to eat up all the pvc plumbing under summer cabins
Our family hardware store would be crazy busy in the spring when folks returned to the lakes to open up their cottages
for the summer


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV

Steve Outlaw 12-24-2016 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rzrbrn (Post 620906)
...Do you keep the hood of your TV up when parked at a campsite?...

If you are camped in the far Southwestern desert, absolutely. Some folks keep a light on the ground to discourage critters and presumably wives from crawling around under there!

David B. 12-24-2016 12:01 PM

We live in Arizona and have a very large population of various species of rodents that love to eat wires and hoses. We use a product called Rid-A-Rat, that is a magnetic mounted LED strobe light that you connect to your vehicles battery via alligator clips.....very little drain to the battery and you don't have to raise the hood of the vehicle. Some try moth balls scattered around and under the vehicle to discourage the critters, others peppermint oil on cotton balls. The Rid-A-Rat can be ordered online or purchased at ACE Hardware.
Dave & Paula

jerrybob 12-24-2016 12:34 PM

I just spread cheese around my neighbors campground at night.......seems to keep the rats away. LOL!

Casita Greg 12-24-2016 12:57 PM

Since they are just rodents, like squirrels sans the bushy tails, we cured the problem with "heat." My wife has several bird feeders around the house, and she spends a small fortune on bird food. We store the bird seed in one of those Rubbermaid deck boxes. Well, the squirrels, (aka tree rats,) also seem to like the bird seed as well, and they chewed the livin' $#!+ out of the Rubbermaid box in their attempts to get at it. We bought some of that hot pepper spray in the rodent control department of the local garden store and sprayed it on the box. They tried it out as we expected that they would, and they haven't been back since. Lit them little tree rats up with several hundred thousand Scoville Units of mouth burning heat. You might try it on different things to keep them from chewing on stuff they don't need to be chewing on. It doesn't hurt rubber and plastic either, like belts, hoses and wire insulation. Just remember to wear gloves when working on something you sprayed. Don't rub your face either...:loltu

Raz 12-24-2016 01:05 PM

Got a radio? Find a classic rap station. Drives the little critters crazy. Disco works too but nobody seems to play that anymore. Unfortunate. Staying alive staying alive. :D

Casita Greg 12-24-2016 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raz (Post 620941)
Got a radio? Find a classic rap station. Drives the little critters crazy. Disco works too but nobody seems to play that anymore. Unfortunate. Staying alive staying alive. :D

Hell, I'd eat the pepper spray myself, rather than listen to rap music...

steve dunham 12-24-2016 03:52 PM

We have a pellet rifle and found it to be quite affective in the war against squirrels and chipmunks . A 308 works well also but one needs to be cautious plus it is a shade on the overkill side .
I will admit there is a couple bullet holes in the bird feeder but nothing duck tape couldn't fix.

Casita Greg 12-24-2016 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steve dunham (Post 620956)
We have a pellet rifle and found it to be quite affective in the war against squirrels and chipmunks . A 308 works well also but one needs to be cautious plus it is a shade on the overkill side .
I will admit there is a couple bullet holes in the bird feeder but nothing duck tape couldn't fix.

I totally agree Steve. I also have a nice pellet rifle that I keep next to the sliding door to the back deck. Whenever I see a squirrel, he is fair game. (Since I live "in town", I can't use one of my real guns for obvious reasons.) But, my pellet gun has definitely impacted the squirrel population base considerably.

As an aside, I have two large black house cats who love "hunting" with me. They are both born hunters, and when they see me grab the pellet gun, they come out of nowhere and are "on point." One on each side of me watching. When I nail a squirrel, they are already running down through the brush and are usually on it before it hits the ground. Don't get me wrong, I like animals, but I don't like destructive rodents, so I don't lose any sleep over sending them to the great oak tree in the sky. I swear, my cats were probably hunting retrievers in a former life. It's as much fun to watch them as it is to eradicate destructive squirrels. Now, if I could just teach them to use the pellet gun, they could entertain themselves all day long. :ask

Raz 12-25-2016 05:02 AM

1 Attachment(s)
The hot pepper approach is most likely the best. Honda developed a rodent proofing tape that would be perfect for protecting hoses and wires except for the price. $30 / roll :(
How to Protect Your Car From Rodents | Rodent Tape - Consumer Reports News

Raz 12-25-2016 07:26 AM

2 Attachment(s)
For those looking for a more humane approach to feeding the birds without feeding squirrels, we've used a squirrel proof feeder for years. It's spring loaded so the weight of the squirrel closes the feeder. Works well. This one was is made by a company called Brome.

steve dunham 12-25-2016 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raz (Post 620997)
For those looking for a more humane approach to feeding the birds without feeding squirrels, we've used a squirrel proof feeder for years. It's spring loaded so the weight of the squirrel closes the feeder. Works well. This one was is made by a company called Brome.

I put up two posts 10' apart and strung a cable between them .
I enclosed the cable in short lengths of PVC pipe that spin on the cable. I then attached a squirrel proof bird feeder to the middle of the cable . Kept the squirrels out of the bird feeder for about 3 days until they figured out how to beat the system. Gave up on the passive system and went back to the proactive. My neighbor got chipmunks / squirrels in his attic and after sustaining several thousands of dollars damage tried the humane system of catch and release . He now live traps the chipmunks / squirrels and then takes them out for swimming lessons . Problem Solved

Raz 12-25-2016 08:43 AM

Used the feeder for years. Rope between two trees. Pulley in the middle. Squirrel gets on the feeder. In a few minutes it gets frustrated and jumps off. After that they stop trying. Feeder stays up year round. We did lose one feeder a few years ago. They aren't bear proof.:) We go through 150 lbs black oil seeds per year. Red squirrels and gray squirrels. Fun to watch. They do get the dropped seed. Once in a while an owl shows up. Then they hide.:)

steve dunham 12-25-2016 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raz (Post 621008)
Used the feeder for years. Rope between two trees. Pulley in the middle. Squirrel gets on the feeder. In a few minutes it gets frustrated and jumps off. After that they stop trying. Feeder stays up year round. We did lose one feeder a few years ago. They aren't bear proof.:) We go through 150 lbs black oil seeds per year. Red squirrels and gray squirrels. Fun to watch. They do get the dropped seed. Once in a while an owl shows up. Then they hide.:)

We have mainly black squirrels and chipmunks , occasionally red or gray squirrel . We do get bears up on our deck and then the bird feeder is history. We like watching woodpeckers feed on suet in the winter .
Recently we are seeing a lot of hawks and Eagles so the number of squirrels , rabbits and mice has greatly decreased along with a couple of baby loons

DuaneQ 12-25-2016 10:47 AM

Tasty wiring etc.
 
I guess this is just one more reason for driving my old OBDI vehicle. :loltu

Incredible Edible Car

Casita Greg 12-25-2016 11:03 AM

I don't know how this thread got twisted around to bird feeders. I don't have a problem with tree rats getting into the bird feeders. They are all "squirrel-proofed" well enough. It's keeping them from getting into, and destroying, the extra feed storage locker that is the problem. That is why I "humanely" dispatch them on sight. Like the old Marine Corps sniper school motto: "One shot-one kill." They never hear the one that gets them. No suffering. It's over before they know what happened.

Rzrbrn 12-25-2016 01:30 PM

Nothing seems to be 100% effective. I just went to Amazon and checked out Rid-A-Rat, Honda Tape, and sprays. Looked at the reviews. This is a quote and pretty much sums up the negative comments:

"I bought two of these (Rid a Rat), one for each of my vehicles. The rats seemed to enjoy the strobe light. Iím guessing this because in both vehicles, this is where the vermin liked to nest, right next to the light. Popping the hood and hanging a 100 watt light fixture has been 100% more effective at a fraction of the cost. Cost for repairs after trusting the Rid a Rat: over $1,000 for both vehicles.
I live in Tucson, AZ. I have five acres in a neighborhood of 10 houses. Another neighbor tried the Rid a Rat and is back to the tried and true of popping the hood and hanging a light after rats continued to nest next to his Rid a Rat contraption.
"

so a 100 watt light seems reasonable when at a campground with electricity, but not so much for boondocking.

Another fellow sprayed bleach and water on his wires, with good results.

I also think the pepper spray on the wiring seems like a good idea. I am going to test on some wiring. If it does not corrode the wires, rubber and contacts, this will be something I will also use.

Also came across this:

Motorists have had success with peppermint oil, powdered fox urine, used cat litter, cat hair, dog hair, Pine-Sol, Irish Spring soap, red pepper, and laundry dryer sheets. The people who make "Rataway" tell you to spray it on all the wires in the engine.


So nothing seems work for every one, including the Honda Tape.

I wonder if a battery operated LED motion detector might work? I may try to buy or build one. Will update if I do this.

I really did not think the issue is as widespread and troublesome as it seems to be. Thanks for the responses.


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