How to Keep Rodents Out of Your Tesla

How to Keep Rodents Out of Your Tesla

By The Grid Guard
Posted on Feb 20, 2022

Avoiding costly hidden damage to your Tesla's wiring and air filtration systems is of paramount importance.

Rodents are notorious for nesting in car engines and your Tesla is alluring to rodents for a number of reasons. 

Imagine: You’ve just taken ownership of a gorgeous new Tesla and it drives like a dream. You enjoy feeling you’ve helped move the auto industry away from fossil fuels towards an electric future and can’t believe that your Tesla is the sleek and enviable agent of this change.

But a few weeks down the road, wait… what’s this ball of nesting material in your glove compartment? Sounds like a rodent just moved into your Tesla!

Do Teslas Attract Rats and Mice?

The fact is, rats and mice have been nesting in automobile engines for years and rodent damage to cars, including Teslas, is nothing new. But with the advent of luxury electric vehicles like Teslas the stakes are now higher. Not only are these cars expensive to buy, but electric carmakers maintain the right to exclusively repair their cars: stories abound of Tesla repairs costing orders of magnitude more than what your local mechanic might charge for doing the same fix on a conventionally powered vehicle. Ensuring rodent damage doesn’t occur in the first place is key to avoiding this costly repair scenario.

During the pandemic, rodent populations that previously foraged for food scraps in office buildings and restaurants, have followed the work force to their home offices and trash cans. Often stored beside or in the garage, these bins are very attractive to rodents, as is the relatively lightly trafficked nature of private residence garages. 

Rats and mice, attracted by the warmth generated by a Tesla’s  battery as it charges (or perhaps by some crumbs left by your kids in the back seat) will happily set up house in your new Tesla (According to one Tesla owner, nesting material is conveniently provided by Tesla in the batting just beneath the glove compartment!)

Once rodents have built a nest in your glove compartment or perhaps in your air filtration system, they will then set about grinding down their constantly growing front teeth by chewing on your Tesla’s wiring harnesses and brake cables.The damage they cause will imperil your sense of safety while driving and may require expensive and lengthy repairs at the Tesla Certified Repair shop nearest you. The CDC also warns that certain rodents, such as deer mice, can carry the hantavirus and that their urine and feces can pose a threat to car owners.

If rodents have already moved into your Tesla, you should take measures to clean up your car’s engine and air filtration components as outlined by the CDC.

Is Rodent Damage to my Tesla Covered By Insurance?

What protection are you afforded against rodent damage by your warranty or your auto insurance? Will they cover the costs associated with rodent damage to your car’s wiring? 

The answer is “no” as far as your Tesla warranty is concerned: rodent damage is not considered by Tesla nor by other major automakers to be a defect in the car’s construction. 

As for your auto insurance, the answer is “It depends:” if you carry comprehensive insurance, you might be covered, but otherwise you are unprotected.

This all sounds like a headache, so what can you do to keep rodents out of your Tesla in the first place?

The Best Way to Keep Rodents Out of Your Tesla

As you consider your options for keeping rodents out of your Tesla, determine if you prefer to exterminate or deter invading rodents.

If you prefer to deter rodents, rather than exterminate them, the most effective, humane and easy deterrence method functions much like the electric fencing used on farms. Using a mild, non-lethal shock of electricity to corral animal movement and control foraging range, electric fencing is effective, flexible, and safe. However, traditional electric fencing doesn’t work with rodents because they easily slip under electric wires as they lay down their scent trails in their search for safe nesting and reliable food sources. A ground based alternative is in order and we have the solution: The GridGuard.

The GridGuard is a system of interlocking tiles made of high-grade stainless steel and durable PVC plastic that creates an impenetrable, non-lethal shock barrier that rodents sense and avoid. Even when tempted with bait placed on the mat system, rats will avoid going near the bait. The Grid Guard system’s long-lasting, low-maintenance barrier is the ultimate rodent repellent, protecting your high-value Tesla from expensive wiring damage due to rodents and delivering peace of mind at a relatively low cost.

Cheaper, Less Effective Ways to Keep Rodents Out of Your Tesla

Other DIY deterrence methods include a wide range of oils and sprays that claim to be noxious to rodents. These “natural” deterrent methods are simple and cheap to use but are not fail-safe and require constant reapplication (and you’d better like their smell because they will be perfuming your Tesla!) 

Peppermint oil spray, cinnamon, and other strongly scented substances seem to repel rodents and interfere with the scent trails rats use, confusing and discouraging them from squatting in your Tesla. A quick google search will give you access to discussions about the best way to employ common scents in your Tesla to try and discourage rodent access and damage; keep in mind the relative success of these methods is anecdotal.

Inexpensive DIY extermination methods that Tesla owners often consider include rodent traps. Pros to traps are the low up front costs; cons include the ongoing setting and maintenance of rodent traps and bait stations, and the carcass disposal necessary when these traps are successful. 

Remember, rats are wily! They often figure out how to extract your trap bait without triggering the trap itself. They can then go “home” to your Tesla and have a good tooth-maintaining chew on your wires before curling up for a warm glove compartment nap. 

Traps can also pose problems for pets and children, when they get too curious and a tender body part is snapped in that same trap the rodents avoided. The even simpler off-the-shelf sticky traps, where a rodent steps into a sticky glue like substance and then slowly dies from lack of water, are effective but inhumane. 

Another extermination method Tesla owners might consider is employing off the shelf rodenticides. These highly toxic anticoagulant poisons are ingested by rodents and cause them to slowly sicken and die. The stench of a rotting carcass is often an unpleasant reminder of the rodenticide’s effectiveness (especially if the rodent expired in your Tesla!). 

Of greater concern, though, is the fact that rodenticides also attract and regularly sicken or kill household pets. They also pose a serious threat to higher order wild predators in the food chain that might feed on a poisoned rodent, like hawks and owls. 

If you prefer to let a professional do this unpleasant work for you, pest control companies will trap and/or exterminate rodents for a one-time or monthly fee. Many companies offer ongoing rodent control packages that are worth checking out. This route will be more expensive than DIY options, and includes the cons outlined above of trap and rodenticide threat to pets and wildlife.

The GridGuard: The Hassle-Free Way to Keep Rodents Out of Your Tesla!

The GridGuard stands heads and shoulders above other repellent methods in deterring rodents. It’s the system we recommend to all Tesla owners (and any other car makes as well!): 

  • Incredibly effective
  • Humane
  • Easy to set up and maintain
  • No ongoing application required
  • Clean
  • Safe
  • Pays for itself in two to three years compared to using a pest control company
  • Peace of mind

Protect Your Vehicle Today!