When you look at mice in the pet store they can look like cute, innocent animals. The damage and frustrations they can cause, however, aren’t so cute especially if you’re the victim of the damage.
Mice like to target our personal belongings and make it their home. Such belongs may be a motorcycle. Though it’s not very often a motorcycle becomes a home for mice, it’s not unheard of and it can happen to any motorcycle owner. This is especially true for those who store their motorcycle for the winter.
So, how do you keep mice away from a motorcycle? The best way to keep mice and other rodents away from your motorcycle is blocking any open holes with steel wool that has a few drops of peppermint oil on it. You can also use a natural rodent spray that is safe for your motorcycle that will keep mice and rodents from chewing wires and other essential parts.
As a motorcycle owner myself, I have run in to many issues with mice invading my vehicles. These are the best methods I have found to work well.
How To Keep Mice Away
Often times I would ask myself “why me?” when my things are invaded by mice and no one else around me seems to have a problem. It is unsure as to why mice pick the places they do to nest, but if you make it difficult for them to nest on your motorcycle you’ll likely not have future problems.
Whether you’ve fallen victim with a mouse making their home in your motorcycle or you simply want to know how to keep them away and prevent that from happening, you’ve come to the right place.
Motorcycles are more susceptible to invading a motorcycle if you are storing your motorcycle long term. This is common during the winter, especially if you have your motorcycle stored outside. Mice do not hibernate during the winter and often find places that aren’t heavily used by humans or other animals to nest. That would make a stored motorcycle a perfect place for them.
First, let’s address if you have mice that have already invaded your motorcycle. Really the simplest way to get rid of them or make them leave is to start your motorcycle and go for a ride down the road for a few miles.
If you’re worried about the mice biting while taking it out for a ride, you can try using mouse traps. To ensure you get the mouse that’s inside your motorcycle and not attract another mouse from elsewhere, put your motorcycle in an enclosed area for a few days if it isn’t already. Set several mouse traps around and underneath the motorcycle (and make sure there are no children that can access this area).
If you wish to use a more humane way of getting rid of mice, try using this Harris Peppermint Oil Mice & Rodent Repellent Spray (link to Amazon.com). This is a substance that is safe to spray on your motorcycle and will chase away any mice that may be dwelling inside somewhere on your motorcycle.
Now let’s address how to keep mice away and prevent them from coming back. The first and best way is to use the Eco Defense Mice Repellent mentioned earlier. This will repel mice because it’s made of certain essential oils that mice hate. It’s also safe to use on your motorcycle and won’t hurt you as the rider.
The next thing you should do is put a few drops of peppermint oil on a piece of steel wool and place it in any open holes you have on the motorcycle. The most common places for mice to get in a motorcycle is through the exhaust pipes and the air intake/air box. Mice hate the feeling of steel wool and they also hate the smell of peppermint, so the two combined works well to keep mice and other rodents away.
It also helps to put a few toy snakes around your motorcycle. Mice are good at detecting their predators, but if the snake looks real enough they won’t be able to tell it’s fake.
Whether you’re storing your motorcycle long term, for the winter, or you simply want to be safe from mice between each ride, the above methods has proven to work well. Just remember to take out the steel wool before every ride and replace it when you get back. It’s also a good idea to spray your motorcycle with the mice repellent every few weeks.
Evidence That Mice Is Your Issue
Often times it can be a little tricky trying to figure out if you have mice invading the space of your motorcycle. Some signs are obvious while others can leave you scratching your head thinking if it’s mice or possibly some other culprit.
Motorcycles can be a bit tricky when trying to figure this all out, but there are a few tell-tale signs that you can look for to know if it is indeed mice that you’re dealing with.
The first major sign will be mice droppings. They’re a little bigger than rice grains and look similar to raisins. You may find these blowing out your exhaust, inside the air box, nestled on top of the engine, or on the ground around your motorcycle.
The second biggest sign that you’re dealing with mice is if there are broken seed or nut shells on or around your motorcycle. Mice will gather food and will often find sunflower seeds or other nuts from trees and bring them to their “home” (your motorcycle) and leave the shells out in an open area since they usually don’t like them in their nests.
Another sign that may be a bit unfortunate is chewed wiring. If you’ve noticed a frayed wire or the plastic cover around wiring is chipped away in an un-orderly fashion, you probably have mice chewing on them. The teeth of mice is constantly growing so they naturally have an instinct to chew on things to wear them down. Sometimes the closest thing to them is the wires.
If you’re still not sure if you have mice, a good way to find out is by laying some sort of powder on the ground around your motorcycle. This may include sand, flower, baking soda, etc. Lay it down somewhat thick so you will be able to notice any tiny mouse foot prints in the powder when they come in and out. This will work best if your motorcycle is in an enclosed area.
How To Get Rid Of What’s Left Over
Once you are successful in getting rid of the mice invading your motorcycle, there are a few things you should do to ensure the sanitation of your motorcycle.
You may notice some hair, droppings, and even a urine smell that’s left on your motorcycle. This is pretty common with mice infestations and they should be addressed promptly to keep you from getting sick.
You’ll first need to take your motorcycle in for a thorough scrub at the car wash. I recommend you use one of those self-serve car washes. Use hot water and soap and soak your motorcycle with it. Be sure to block any intake holes as you don’t want any water getting in them. Spend a good 20-30 minutes washing and rinsing your motorcycle.
If you’ve noticed a smell coming from your seat, use an upholstery treatment on it. If there are any rips or tears in your seat, mice urine may have gotten through those rips. At this point you may simply need to replace your seat.
You’ll also want to examine your air box if you have them. This is a popular place for mice to reside on motorcycles, so make sure there is no left over droppings, hair, or nesting inside. It’s a good idea to thoroughly wash your air box.
If you’re worried about any mice that have gotten inside the engine and left anything inside, usually turning the motorcycle on and taking it for a few rides will clear out anything that may have gotten inside. It’s not the cleanest stuff to have running through your engine, but it’s better than taking your engine apart and trying to clean it up.
Change your oil after you’ve gotten rid of the mice and taken the motorcycle for a few rides. By this time the oil should have gather all the mice left overs and should come out once you change your oil.
The Damages Mice Can Do To A Motorcycle
If you suspect you are having issues with mice making your motorcycle their home, it’s extremely important that you get rid of them as soon as possible. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t care and let the mice continue living there.
Mice can actually cause a bit of damage if the problem isn’t addressed quickly. As I mentioned before, they can chew through wires which can cause some major problems with your motorcycle. Worst case scenerio, you’ll have to replace your whole wiring harness.
If you’ve noticed something not working on your motorcycle and suspect a chewed wire, it’s incredibly annoying trying to look through every wire and find which one is the issue.
Mice can chew through any plastic, rubber, or leather on your motorcycle. Your seat as well as any filters, air box, handle bar grips, etc. are susceptible to mice damage and you may need to replace them.
Let’s not forget to mention the sanitation hazards mice can bring. Mice can hold diseases that can be spread to humans through contact of their droppings or urine. That is why it’s so important to promptly take care of any mice infestation on your motorcycle.
What other kind of rodents might infest a motorcycle? Some people have issues with rats infesting their motorcycle though it is not as common because rats are bigger than mice. It is also possible for other rodents such as squirrels or chipmunks to infest a motorcycle.
How do you properly store a motorcycle? To properly store your motorcycle long term, you’ll need to top off the gas and add a stabilizer, change the oil, disconnect the battery, elevate the tires, and make sure it has proper coverage. Click here to see my full article about properly storing your motorcycle.