Mice are notorious for eating their way through almost anything. Their chewing is usually a response to smell, as mice are attracted to potential sources of food, although the pests may also gnaw to get through obstacles. If mice are chewing on a gas line, such as the fuel hose to a vehicle, chances are the car or truck is not used frequently. Because the engine is not running or heated and the vehicle is stationary, mice may invade to nest. A simple technique keeps the rodents away without killing them.
Shut off the engine on a vehicle or close the lever on a natural gas line, such as the flexible outdoor pipe connected to a barbecue grill. Inspect the line for damage and replace, if necessary, before using the equipment again. A leaking gas line is a potentially lethal hazard.
Clean up the area where mice congregate. Remove junk, piles of debris, unused lumber and any items where mice could find refuge for hiding.
Pour mothballs into mesh bags and place along the ground on both sides of an outdoor gas line, or spread beneath a parked vehicle, concentrating on the area below the engine and the gas tank at the rear of the vehicle.
Move the vehicle at least once a week during treatment to warm the engine and discourage nesting. If treating an outdoor gas line, ignite the connected appliance, such as a grill or fire pit, and use normally at least once a week. Operating the appliance regularly, as well as the activity around the appliance, discourages mice from nesting.
Add fresh mothballs to the bags as necessary until there is no longer evidence of mice, such as droppings, nesting material or a foul odour. Mothballs gradually evaporate on contact with air.
Mothballs are made from the chemical naphthalene, which emits a noxious odour that drives away mice but does not kill them. This technique is preferable to poisoning, which presents risks to pets and children. Additionally, poisoned mice may crawl into confined spaces within your house to die, creating a stench that may last for weeks.