Mice in snowblowers 'common' problem, says mechanic
Check snowblowers in fall and lawn mowers in spring
Mice making their homes in snowblowers is not unusual and can be costly to repair.
David Hughes runs the Small Engine Clinic in Miscouche, P.E.I. He's been a mechanic for a decade.
"It's quite common, we see it every year," Hughes said, adding he sees about a dozen cases of mice damaging snowblowers every year.
"They pack and pack as much material as they can get — whether paper, leaves, grass, whatever they can find — cram it in cause it's a windproof area, makes it nice and warm."
The packed materials affect the flow of air around the engine, Hughes explained. Often the engine will start up fine but then overheat and quit.
"It's not the end of the world but it's not too desirable," he said.
Hughes advises that homeowners check their snowblowers in the fall before they begin using them. Remove the guards using a wrench, he said — he said it could save hundreds of dollars.
"For 15 minutes of your time, it can make a big difference."
Repairing a snowblower engine averages about $100 and replacing one will cost about $400, he said.
Besides building nests, mice can chew off insulation on wires and chew through fuel lines in blower and mowers, Hughes said.
Mice nests are also common in push lawn mowers too, Hughes said, so remember to check those in the spring.
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With files from Pat Martel