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Is this a sign of rodent activity?

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Hi everyone - when doing my head unit / speaker delete I noticed this clump of random junk behind the head unit / passenger airbag area.
Looks like maybe some varmint shredded some stuff and started building a nest? Pretty sure this is not OEM :)
I do not get any sounds or smells, and everything in the car seems fine. A/C doesn't last very long until it heat soaks, but that sounds pretty normal.
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2006 Lotus Elise BRG
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Hi everyone - when doing my head unit / speaker delete I noticed this clump of random junk behind the head unit / passenger airbag area.
Looks like maybe some varmint shredded some stuff and started building a nest? Pretty sure this is not OEM :)
I do not get any sounds or smells, and everything in the car seems fine. A/C doesn't last very long until it heat soaks, but that sounds pretty normal. View attachment 1328480
Time to take the dash apart. It's pretty easy. I found the same thing when I bought my Elise. Thankfully no permanent damage or smell.
It would be one hell of a surprise for the passenger if the airbag went off!
 
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2005 Ardent Red Elise, Touring Pack
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Time to take the dash apart. It's pretty easy. I found the same thing when I bought my Elise. Thankfully no permanent damage or smell.
It would be one hell of a surprise for the passenger if the airbag went off!
Darn! Ok, will start looking into how to take the dash off - thanks
 

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2008 Lotus Elise SC
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Having dealt with dozens of rodents in cars, I can say that you're lucky that no wiring was harmed, there appears to be little to no feces, and nothing died in your dash/vents.
 

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07 Exige S
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The stuff of actual nightmares...I have fought some wars in the past. I have been fortunate with no wire damage,but I even had one build a nest out of my hood insulation on top of A v12 dual throttle body capstain like a throne... Like a big FU. I have seen them run under a seat in my Exige. It freaks me out. But seems my new homes knock on wood are not rodent havens...
 

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Yeah, we've had to clean this mess up on 3 different cars this year alone. The rodents gain entry through the chassis rails - most likely near the rear wheel where the chassis rails are somewhat open. Often times they will enter the HVAC unit as well.
 

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2005 Ardent Red Elise, Touring Pack
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually I think my horn is out (can hear the relay clicking though), so I likely will have to pull the dash to inspect to make sure there really is no wiring damage. I was almost hoping to just ignore it… with no sounds or smells I was going to convince myself that it was abandoned and not worth getting in there to clean out.

Shinoo, any recommended way to try to block off the common access points?
 

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Actually I think my horn is out (can hear the relay clicking though), so I likely will have to pull the dash to inspect to make sure there really is no wiring damage. I was almost hoping to just ignore it… with no sounds or smells I was going to convince myself that it was abandoned and not worth getting in there to clean out.

Shinoo, any recommended way to try to block off the common access points?
I have had the same issue. Good news is that taking the dash apart is super easy. Hopefully they avoided the wires back there. Definitely get some gloves and consider a mask as there can be some nasty stuff in the feces…

What I did to prevent them from coming back is put several bounce dryer sheets in the dash.
 

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If you want to prevent rodents, you’ll want to use a metal backed tape. Along with some steelwool shoved in that area, but with aluminum you may want to shove that steel wool in a sealed sandwich bag and stuff that into the entry point(s).

Be aware that rodents can also enter through the hvac box in the front end, under the front clam.
 

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Yeah.

I live in the woods. Rodents are a serious problem. I have killed 205 in the GWoS (Global War on Squirrels.) I leave rat poison out all over the garages and it has helped tremendously. My theory is that if the mice/rats come into the garage and find some nice tasting poison at the perimeter, they will eat it or take it back home and die before establishing a home in a car. There is a "good" kind of rat poison available at Tractor Supply or online. The red stuff, not the green stuff. If TSC is OOS (usually,) you can get it here:

I went through buckets of the green stuff. One bucket of the red about did them in.
 

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I leave rat poison out all over the garages and it has helped tremendously. My theory is that if the mice/rats come into the garage and find some nice tasting poison at the perimeter, they will eat it or take it back home and die before establishing a home in a car. There is a "good" kind of rat poison available at Tractor Supply or online. The red stuff, not the green stuff. If TSC is OOS (usually,) you can get it here:

I went through buckets of the green stuff. One bucket of the red about did them in.
Careful with poisons if you have cats or dogs that like to play with dead things. Some stop their(rodent) blood from coagulating and can do the same to the larger animal.
 

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2005 Ardent Red Elise, Touring Pack
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah.

I live in the woods. Rodents are a serious problem. I have killed 205 in the GWoS (Global War on Squirrels.) I leave rat poison out all over the garages and it has helped tremendously. My theory is that if the mice/rats come into the garage and find some nice tasting poison at the perimeter, they will eat it or take it back home and die before establishing a home in a car. There is a "good" kind of rat poison available at Tractor Supply or online. The red stuff, not the green stuff. If TSC is OOS (usually,) you can get it here:

I went through buckets of the green stuff. One bucket of the red about did them in.
Thanks, but yeah poison is not really an option. I have an open carport with some traffic from neighborhood cats
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you want to prevent rodents, you’ll want to use a metal backed tape. Along with some steelwool shoved in that area, but with aluminum you may want to shove that steel wool in a sealed sandwich bag and stuff that into the entry point(s).

Be aware that rodents can also enter through the hvac box in the front end, under the front clam.
Are you taking about trying to seal up the sills in the rear by the rear wheels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Anyone know of a good way to block off the HVAC system access point? Hoping to address this without clam removal if I can
 

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Anyone know of a good way to block off the HVAC system access point? Hoping to address this without clam removal if I can
To truly block it off, you’ll need to remove the clam or try to weasel your hands around in the spaces you can get to with the access panels off.

Re: “sealing it up”, under the interior black side sills you will see one potential entry point per side. The other entry point is where your door wiring harnesses come up into the dash, which is packed with yummy foam from the factory. Optional is sealing the ones in the engine bay assuming you’ve sealed the other points, they won’t chew through metal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To truly block it off, you’ll need to remove the clam or try to weasel your hands around in the spaces you can get to with the access panels off.

Re: “sealing it up”, under the interior black side sills you will see one potential entry point per side. The other entry point is where your door wiring harnesses come up into the dash, which is packed with yummy foam from the factory. Optional is sealing the ones in the engine bay assuming you’ve sealed the other points, they won’t chew through metal.
Gotcha, thanks a bunch. So: HVAC box under front clam, door wiring paths into the dash, and the rear exit points for the side sills. Much appreciated
 

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The rodents really seem to like these Eliges...I'm on a few other car forums, and can't recall a single post about rodents getting into another car and causing havoc. There are some nightmare threads on Lotus Talk re: this. @Bubs I wish you luck.
 
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