Daily Herald - Suburban Chicago's source for news This copy is for personal, non-commercial use. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution you can: 1) Use the "Reprint" button found on the top and bottom of every article, 2) Visit reprints.theygsgroup.com/dailyherald.asp for samples and additional information or 3) Order a reprint of this article now.
Article updated: 2/14/2013 6:36 PM

Squirrel damage leads to big car bills

By Eric Peterson

Has your car been "squirreled" this winter?

That's the term Schaumburg resident Julie King uses for the costly sabotage tree-dwelling rodents can inflict on vehicles not parked in a garage.

Squirrels chewing through the wires of her car have cost her a total of $700 this season from two separate incidents only 10 days apart. The repair bills diagnosed the problem as "critter damage."

But that's not as bad as a neighbor had it. A squirrel nest in her car's engine ignited while the vehicle was moving. Though she and her passenger escaped unharmed, the fire that ensued totaled the car.

"It was all new to us," King said. "It is a learning experience."

Even the Schaumburg Police Department's vehicles have been affected by squirrels drawn to both the warmth and soy-based wire coatings in engine compartments, Animal Control Officer Debbie Diamond said.

Diamond recommends residents regularly move their vehicles, check under the hoods or at least bang on them. If problems persist, residents can hire a wildlife relocation service to trap the troublesome animals.

Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.