The 10 best ways to keep mice out of your sled are as follows:
- Store the sled inside if possible
- Store your sled on pallets or a lift
- Use covers and tarps
- Remove any food from storage areas
- Plug the intakes and outlets with steel wool
- Place mothballs/dryer sheets under the cover
- Use special mouse traps
- Start the engine periodically
- Inspect your sled regularly
- Get a cat
If you want to find out more about these methods, this post is for you. No fluff, or affiliate links, just the best tips to keep your sled safe from mice!
How do I Keep Mice Out of My Snowmobile?
Before we drill into the details, we have to mention that it’s not just mice that you have to worry about.
Rats, squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents are also prone to make nests in the sled, chew on or eat a lot of the parts, even the plastic ones!
Moreover, it is quite common for owners to find bees, crickets, and/or other insects under the cover in the fall, especially if the sled has been stored outside.
This means you must protect your sled from many different creatures. Let’s see how you can best do that!
Store Inside if Possible
One of the most effective solutions to keep animals away from your snowmobile is by storing it inside.
Storing a sled outside is still very popular, but it provides the least protection against insects and animals. Therefore, if you really want to keep your sled safe, best practice is to store it in a garage.
Contrary to popular belief, sheds and barns usually don’t offer appropriate protection against animals, especially if they are located on a farm.
If your only option is to leave your sled outside or in a barn unattended, you should consider storing it in a self-storage unit during the summer months.
Since animals can damage a sled in many ways, it makes sense to store your sled in a secure place at any cost!
Store your Sled on Pallets or a Lift
Wherever you store your snowmobile, it’s highly recommended that you keep it off the ground.
If outside storage is your only option, you may want to place some pallets under your sled or jack up the rear bumper. Both are good ways to keep your sled off the ground.
This not only makes it harder for mice to access the sled, but also protects the track from damage.
If you store your sled in a garage, it’s still wise to place it on a rack or lift. This is because if you store your sled on the garage floor, it’s not just animals but condensation can also climb up your sled much easier. This can lead to rust or other types of damage.
The additional benefit of a snowmobile lift is that you can work on your sled or move it around in the garage more easily.
Carefully Cover the Sled
Whether you store your sled inside or outside, it’s essential to put a good quality cover on it. This can protect it from the weather and keep animals out to some extent.
If you store your sled outside, it’s also recommended that you place a tarp on it over the cover. Make sure it wraps around the skis, the snowflap, and the track as well!
The fewer open spaces under the tarp, the less chance of mice getting into the sled.
Remove Food from Storage Compartments
You must also make sure there aren’t any food items left on the sled. Snacks left in the storage compartments can strongly attract mice and other rodents.
Also, make sure you aren’t storing any seed or other things that attract rodents in the same place where you keep your sled!
Plug the Intakes and Outlets
One of the most effective methods of keeping rodents away from a snowmobile by plugging up the intakes and outlets.
The most commonly used material for this is steel wool, as mice can’t chew through it.
Are you wondering where the most important points are to place steel wool on your sled? These are the exhaust outlet, the carburetor intake, and any other opening that a mouse could fit into.
As mice really like building nests in airboxes, best practice is to remove the airbox and block the air intake.
Besides steel wool, rags soaked in oil can also be used to block these places. These rags don’t just keep mice out of your engine, but bugs, insects, and moisture as well.
It’s also important that you not forget to remove these items before you start using your sled again!
Place Mothballs/Dryer Sheets Under the Cover
Mothballs are also commonly used for keeping animals out of snowmobiles. Place a bunch of mothballs into stockings or a plastic bottle with some holes in it. With this trick, the balls won’t roll everywhere.
Many owners claim that mothballs do a very good job, but the drawback is that they smell terrible.
That’s why many owners use dryer sheets instead of mothballs. It seems they can also keep animals away, and they don’t have such a strong smell.
For example, Bounce Dryer Sheets and Downy Sheets are commonly used for this purpose. Just make sure you place plenty of them under the cover and in several places!
If you are looking for something more natural, you can also use peppermint oil on cotton balls. But it seems that the majority of the owners stick to mothballs and dryer sheets.
Place Mice Traps Around the Sled
Another common way to keep rodents out of your snowmobile by placing a few baited traps around it.
But the main problem with traps is you have to empty them all the time. Moreover, many types of traps have only one shot, so they are not very effective.
This is where rolling log traps come in handy. They can catch many mice and you can also empty them with ease. If you want to learn more about this simple but very effective design, don’t miss this video:
Some owners simply pour a little automotive antifreeze in a dish and place it near the sled. Although this is an effective way to get rid of mice, we don’t recommend it.
This is because there is always a risk that your or your neighbors’ pets would drink from it! Thus, using antifreeze is definitely not recommended.
Start the Engine Regularly
It seems rodents don’t like the smell of the exhaust. This is why many owners start their sled once or twice a month in the off-season.
It is also good for your engine as its parts can get some lubrication. Before you fire up the engine, make sure you’ve removed all the blocks from the exhaust and the intakes.
Inspect Your Sled Regularly
It’s also recommended that you regularly take a good look at your sled during the off-season and carefully check the cover for holes as well.
Best practice is to inspect the whole sled once a month to make sure there are no nests inside it. This is extremely important if you want your engine to start because a nest in your sled can lead to serious engine damage!
Remove the hood, the side panels, the airbox, and carefully inspect every part. You may want to clean the carbs as well, as many owners have found mice nesting there too!
Get a Cat
Many owners say you can expect the best results by getting a cat. This may seem funny, but it works!
If you store your sled outside, just feed the cat(s) near the trailer, and you can be sure that a lot of mice will be caught.
Types of Damage Caused by Animals on a Snowmobile
Are you wondering why you should keep animals away from your sled? Let’s take a closer look at the most common types of damage that animals can cause on a snowmobile.
- Building nests in various places (airbox, clutches, pistons, carbs, muffler, seat, and many other)
- Eat and damage seats and cover
- Chewed wires and rubber components
- Squirrels can even chew the plastic parts!
- Cricket and bee nests under the cover
- Animals can also damage the trailer in many ways
A snowmobile is a perfect home for mice and many other rodents. They have a ton of foam in the seat and many nooks for building a nest.
Beyond the nests, rodents and insects can damage your sled in many ways. In the worst case, the damage may require an engine rebuild!
That’s why you have to keep mice out of your snowmobile at any cost. Fortunately, there are many different methods to choose from.
To achieve the best results, you shouldn’t rely on a single method. Best practice is to combine them as much as you can!