Steve Ells has recently blogged on his Baby Boomer Airplane Blog about an interesting problem he has been experiencing involving his Piper Comanche (nicknamed “Papa”): Mice (and other wildlife) in the hangar where he keeps it. He noted that:
Mice climb up the landing gear tires and find their way through tiny openings into the soft and comfortable shelter of the cabin. I was surprised one day to find that one mouse–obviously seriously maladjusted–had tried to chew holes in a Travel John I had accidentally left on the back seat floor after a flight. After use the powder in Travel Johns morphs into "odorless, spill-proof gel that is non-toxic and safe for disposal in any waste bin," according to the company.
Steve solved the problem with an idea from the Tips Book of the International Comanche Society. He created low-cost metal walls to surround each landing gear tire when the aircraft is not in use.
He also noted that:
The hangar is home to many of God’s creatures, none of which respect Papa. The flying creatures sing their songs while balancing on the wires of Papa’s VOR antenna, ELT antenna and the nest in the rafters above the fuselage. They poop while they sing.
Apparently though, Steve has not come up with a solution to deal with the birds – other than to wash the aircraft often.
Hence and out of curiosity, have you ever experienced bird, mice or other wildlife problems where you keep your aircraft? What steps did you take to solve any problem?
Frank Van Haste says
With the approach of Spring, I can anticipate a large population of my avian friends going through their mating, nesting, egg-laying, hatching, and fledging cycle in the dim shelter of my hangar overhead, above the scrim.
Long-time denizens of the aerodrome assure me that efforts to evict the feathery nuisances will avail me naught. So I make it a point to close the cowl flaps and use the cowl plugs without fail, even while N631S is in the hangar out of the weather.
I'm sure that they could find other entry points on the airframe, but apparently their have in the "attic" is capacious enough for the whole crowd.
With the approach of Spring, there will indeed, be plenty of vermon coming around. Your local rats and mice are most likely the most menacing. I f there is any crack at all, they will get in. If the feces left behind isn't enough, their constant chewing will ultimately cause chaos and destruction. I was quite impressed with the idea that Steve came up with. It shows that we have the most important thing to overcome them….our brains.