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HELP! - Country Festiva Storage and 'Critters'

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  • HELP! - Country Festiva Storage and 'Critters'

    Question: I've got an 88LX parts car with a car cover on it (rear window's busted out) that's stored in a farmer's grass field about 12 miles from my home. I've confirmed (twice) that I've got some sort of small animal living in the engine bay.

    Two weeks ago I suprised him and got a glimpse when I opened the hood (not sure if it was a rat or some kind of gopher or _______?.....all I saw was his head pop up for about a second) but he'd built a burrow made of soft, fluffy gray material right on top of the engine (the air filter's been removed) and drug in a lot of straight sticks and small ends of cedar branches. And droppings. Yeah, fun.

    Anyway, 2 weeks ago I cleared out most of the stuff he drug in and hoped he'd move elsewhere. Went back tonight and the bugger had made another burrow from the same gray material right on top of the carberatour again. And, there were more droppings, sticks, etc.

    My concern is how likely is this critter to cause serious damage to my car?????, particularly in chewing on lines, hoses, wiring, etc.

    Based on the size of the burrow and the pile of droppings 2 weeks ago and the size of the second burrow and the droppings tonight, I estimate he's probably been there about 4-6 weeks total. I planned on moving it to my home in the next 3-4 weeks anyway (thinking about turning it in to a DD for my son) but with my new 'occupant' should I get it to my house immediately? I live in a city/not as hospitable to country critters but will make sure he's gone when I get it home and set traps in the engine bay, etc.

    Anybody ever have this same problem and if so, did you end up with damage to your Festy?
    Twistiva
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Twistiva; 05-27-2013, 12:16 AM.
    88L - 'Twistiva' - 'The Fusion of Man and Machine'
    88LX - 'Laztiza' - Future Resurrection Project
    91L - 'Mistiva' - My Daughter's DD
    93L - 'Vextiva' - Airport Car

  • #2
    Just look over the entire wire harness and make sure they didn't chew threw any wires. If they did, it isn't hard at all to splice a piece of new wire in its place.

    Hoses are easily replaceable, just be sure to go over everything.
    1991 Ford Festiva BP (Full Aspire/Rio Swap) (337k Miles) (Around 95k Engine)
    2002 Chevy Cavalier LS Sport 2.2L DOHC Ecotec (Threw a Rod)
    1998 Chevy Monte Carlo LS 3.1 V6 (225k miles) Best MPG = 28

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Twistiva View Post
      Question:

      Anybody ever have this same problem and if so, did you end up with damage to your Festy?
      Yes had Rats do the same thing to my perfect 5.0 roller motor,inside my 80 Cobra.Built a nest on top of the Victor Jr intake(they chewed through my plastic bag covering). They urinated so much over the years that the humidity seized up a motor with less than 10k on it. Oh yeah they also decided to naw through various wires.
      Get yourself some xtra large glue traps,they work.
      Some people like to read fiction,I prefer to read repair manuals. Weird I know-
      Henry Ford: "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently"
      Fuseable Link Distribution Block repair link

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      • #4
        I came across an ermine (small weasel) with a grass and fur-lined nest of babies under the back seat of a field-abandoned car one time. She was some upset when I lifted the back seat. These ferocious (for their size) little critters don't take 'no' for an answer and that ball of lightning harried me constantly while I was in there. When I returned with a curious biologist colleague the following day she had moved the kits somewhere else and was long gone.
        In your case you are likely dealing with meadow voles or some sort of deermice. Try salting the car with moth balls to persuade them to move elsewhere. Do you guys get wood rats over where you are? They're kinda cute (they're not the bare-tailed rat of barns and houses) and build huge grass lined middens. Chucks and gophers tend to nest underground.
        You are receiving a real world biology lesson and hopefully won't suffer from it.

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        • #5
          I've heard spraying WD40 deters vermin. I did it to my daughter's MX5 (Miata to you) when that was stored for nearly a year. Never had anything in it.

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          • #6
            Some health advice: don't breath in any vermin dust, wear gloves, and wash your hands really well after clean up!

            http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/

            Critters can carry diseases!

            Karl
            '93GL "Prettystiva" ticking B3 and 5 speed, backup DD; full swaps in spring!
            '91L "AquaMutt" my '91L; B6 swap/5 speed & Aspire brakes, DD/work car
            '92L "Twinstiva" 5sp, salvage titled, waiting for repairs...
            '93GL "Luxstiva," '94 B6 engine & ATX; needs overhauled
            '89L "Muttstiva," now a storage bin, future trailer project

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            • #7
              Deer mice almost destroyed a jeep by a farmers field here. Wood rats along drainages make huge nests, but it is porcupines that chew expensive stuff overnight and can leave you stranded at wilderness trailheads!
              Reflex paint by Langeman...Lifted...Tow Rig

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              • #8
                Yes, they can do serious damage very quickly! My oldest brother stored his 67 Fairlane GT convertable in a friends barn for about 6 months. When we came back to get it, rats had destroyed the entire wiring harness and urinated all over the firewall insulation and carpet. It cost about $1500 to buy replacement parts. If you want to save the car, get it home ASAP!
                Brian

                93L - 5SP, FMS springs, 323 alloys, 1st gen B6, ported head & intake, FMS cam, ported exhaust manifold w/2-1/4" head pipe.
                04 Mustang GT, 5SP, CAI, TFS plenum, 70mm TB, catted X, Pypes 304SS cat-back, Hurst Billet+ shifter, SCT/Bama tuned....4.10's & cams coming soon
                62 Galaxie 2D sedan project- 428, 3x2V, 4SP, 3.89TLOC

                1 wife, 2 kids, 9 dogs, 4 cats......
                Not enough time or money for any of them

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Safety Guy View Post
                  Some health advice: don't breath in any vermin dust, wear gloves, and wash your hands really well after clean up!

                  http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/

                  Critters can carry diseases!

                  Karl
                  Histoplasmosis! This is a guess. I didn't open your links but have lived through the frenzy of various 'flavour of the month' wildlife diseases for 40 years now and am still alive. Concrete jungle City slickers have no immunity for anything except politics, though.

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                  • #10
                    I had a Ford Ranger stored on a farm for just 2 months and mice destroyed the computer and wiring in the engine compartment. $ 700 worth of damage.
                    Get it out of there quick before more damage is done!
                    1993 Ford Festiva L blue 170,000 miles
                    1990 Ford Festiva L Plus white 190,000 Auto, currently waiting to have another engine put in.
                    1995 Ford F150 XLT black 203,000 miles
                    2002 Honda CRV silver 180,000 miles
                    2003 Toyota Rav4 Sport black 94,000 miles
                    2008 Sym Rv250 dark grey 30,000 miles. My scooter.
                    1989 Ford Festiva LX black 233,000 miles. Sold to my better half's son.

                    Mike

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bert View Post
                      Histoplasmosis! This is a guess. I didn't open your links but have lived through the frenzy of various 'flavour of the month' wildlife diseases for 40 years now and am still alive. Concrete jungle City slickers have no immunity for anything except politics, though.
                      Concrete jungle City slickers don't understand "country", cannot communicate with us and think their "green living" is good for the environment!! We would be better off with natural wildfires and no cities.
                      Reflex paint by Langeman...Lifted...Tow Rig

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        All -

                        Hey, just a belated "thanks!" for all your helpful information regarding my question above.

                        Based on what the majority of posters said I went and moved this Festiva the very next day after I started this thread. I put a sticky trap inside the car on the back seat floor and in the engine bay after I got it home but fortuantely did not catch anything. Must have scared him off when I went to haul it home.

                        Thanks again! This was definitely a problem I did not consider beforehand.
                        88L - 'Twistiva' - 'The Fusion of Man and Machine'
                        88LX - 'Laztiza' - Future Resurrection Project
                        91L - 'Mistiva' - My Daughter's DD
                        93L - 'Vextiva' - Airport Car

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Glad to hear it worked out. Better safe than sorry. I had a family of Possums living under the old yellow parts Festiva last summer (in the back yard). Not the smartest of locations to homestead, considering the yard is fenced in by an 8' privacy fence and we have 5 big dogs. It took 2 days, but eventually my Pointer/Lab mix managed to dig them out, one by one. It was next to impossible to get him to come in the house until all the possums were gone! I still plan on parting that car out this summer some time. You got dibs on the interior if you still want it.
                          Brian

                          93L - 5SP, FMS springs, 323 alloys, 1st gen B6, ported head & intake, FMS cam, ported exhaust manifold w/2-1/4" head pipe.
                          04 Mustang GT, 5SP, CAI, TFS plenum, 70mm TB, catted X, Pypes 304SS cat-back, Hurst Billet+ shifter, SCT/Bama tuned....4.10's & cams coming soon
                          62 Galaxie 2D sedan project- 428, 3x2V, 4SP, 3.89TLOC

                          1 wife, 2 kids, 9 dogs, 4 cats......
                          Not enough time or money for any of them

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by blkfordsedan View Post
                            Glad to hear it worked out. Better safe than sorry. I had a family of Possums living under the old yellow parts Festiva last summer (in the back yard). Not the smartest of locations to homestead, considering the yard is fenced in by an 8' privacy fence and we have 5 big dogs. It took 2 days, but eventually my Pointer/Lab mix managed to dig them out, one by one. It was next to impossible to get him to come in the house until all the possums were gone! I still plan on parting that car out this summer some time. You got dibs on the interior if you still want it.
                            Brian -

                            Yeah, there's still some interior parts I want. You betcha'! Primarily the storage cubby, seat belts and door cards.

                            Dan
                            88L - 'Twistiva' - 'The Fusion of Man and Machine'
                            88LX - 'Laztiza' - Future Resurrection Project
                            91L - 'Mistiva' - My Daughter's DD
                            93L - 'Vextiva' - Airport Car

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Movin View Post
                              Concrete jungle City slickers don't understand "country", cannot communicate with us and think their "green living" is good for the environment!! We would be better off with natural wildfires and no cities.
                              Sorry I find it kind of funny that you two are bashing city dwellers on a forum dedicated to cars primarily designed for city use in mind. Also... if cities didnt exist, I doubt people living in the "country" would have developed most of the advanced technology such as the computer, cell phone, internet etc. It takes teams of people working together in centralized locations (eg cities) to accomplish this.

                              Having lived in both the country and also having been a city slicker, I have to say there are benefits to both types of life, but don't just bash people when someone is trying to let someone know to use caution in an actual situation that might cause health concerns. Also the link is Hantavirus which I can see without even opening it, which has been killing people since at least the 50's and probably longer (I can't claim to be an expert).

                              End rant.
                              Sorry may be new here but can't stand people making blanket statements in the name of "Im smarter than you because of X"
                              Oldest Festiva on the forum (so far) 3/87 LX - 225k
                              89 Tracer 13" alloys and dome light. Pioneer stereo, all else is stock.

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