Who are Martens? Do they harm us!! Let’s find the answer to these questions below.
Martens are slender, agile animals, adapted to living in taigas, and are found in coniferous and northern deciduous forests across the Northern Hemisphere. They have bushy tails, and large paws with partially retractable claws.
An average pine marten measures between 45 and 58cm (17 to 22in) with the tail adding between 16 and 28cm (6.3 and 11cm) to their length. Due to a large geographical range they can vary greatly in size. Males are often 10-30% larger than females. They weigh between 0.9 and 2kg (2-4.5lbs) on average.
Pine martens live for up to 18 years in captivity but more often live for 8-10 years in the wild.
This species is an omnivore. The majority of their diet consists of small mammals and birds which are supplemented with fruits, insects, carrion, eggs, and fungi. Berries become a large part of their diet throughout autumn. Martens are attracted to the smell of the polymer.
Martens invade engine bays because they are drawn in by the warmth and safety of the enclosed engine bay or by the smell of urine and feces from other martens. Once inside, they bite into hoses and wires to make space for them or just for fun. They also urinate and leave bite marks in plastic and rubber as a way to mark their territory.
Martens love to chew on rubber and plastic. The most common victims of Martens’ ridiculously sharp teeth are spark plug wires, coolant hoses, wiper fluid hoses, rubber CV axle boots, rubber steering rack bellows, wiring insulation and under hood sound deadening material.
A hole in a coolant hose can cause a car to overheat, crack a cylinder head, blow a head gasket, or even seize all potentially catastrophic for a car and driving with a chewed-up ignition wire can lead to a misfiring engine, meaning unburned fuel will enter the exhaust stream and lead to destruction of catalytic converters, and those things aren’t cheap to replace.
The worst part of all this is that some insurance plans only cover replacement of the chewed-on plastic or rubber part and not the resulting damage. In other words, some insurance will only cover the coolant hose, not the blown head gasket; the spark plug wire, but not the blown catalytic converter which will burn a hole in the consumers’ pockets
Their methods to protect cars against these critters i.e. by using wire mesh under the engine bay or by using ultrasonic sound (which tends to be damped by the various parts in the engine bay) Martens get used to these and they find ways to get past closures.
Let us have a look at the below news articles.
Stone martens are coming for your car.
16 July 2009
This article was published in the local.
The stone marten may look like a cute wild mammal, but the German Hunter’s Association (DJV) warned on Thursday that the predator’s breeding habits is damaging more cars than ever. The furry martens – akin to ferrets and weasels – damaged 180,000 cars in 2007 – an increase of one-third from the previous year.
The nocturnal omnivores, also known as beech martens, live near developed areas and tend to mark vehicles with their scent during mating season.
In 2007, stone martens cost car owners an estimated €40 million in damages by chewing through cables and wires in engines.
The DJV recommended frequent car washes to remove the animals’ scent, especially if they have caused damage to the car in the past.
Some automakers also offer a preventative system that delivers small electric shocks near the car engine if martens try to get too close.
Help, martens have invaded my car!
15th September, 2017
This Article was published in wort.lu
I’ve noticed these long, thin, ferret-like creatures roaming the streets in my village at night. What I didn’t realize was that they have been looking for a bed for the night, and that bed has been under the bonnet of our car.
I noticed the screen wash had run out, and when I got home, I dutifully refilled it. Then I tried it out. Nothing happened.
I lifted the bonnet and discovered that the rubber connecting tube had been cut. It must have been vandalsAfter further inspection, I uncovered a piece of chewed rubber, about the size of a small mouth, lying on the engine. Aha, I deduced – so something has bitten it! At last came the small moment of wonder when you learn something you thought you never would. My ‘vandal’ had actually been a marten, which apparently loves to nibble at any rubber tubing or wires that get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
What’s more, these little sharp-toothed cuties can do much worse than bite through your screen washer. They’ve been known to nibble on spark-plug wires and coolant hoses and crunch through brake hoses and ignition wiring. Electric hybrid cars, with all those additional wires, are the most susceptible to costly damage.
Earlier this year, the Wort reported that three baby martens were found in an engine compartment in Niederanven.
It appears there is little we can do about these critters. Ultrasonic devices and things that give martens an electric shock only work to a limited extent. They are also a protected species, for those of you who have more menacing ideas.
There were also similar incidents reported in different parts of counties.
There needs to be an alternate solution for this as martens are a worldwide phenomenon. They cause of path of destruction wherever they go and it needs to be stopped effectively and immediately keeping the ecology in mind.
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