As the leaves start to change color and drop, and the weather cools down and a crispness enters the air, critters are hard at work preparing for the winter.
Some start eating more to build up fat reserves, others start building their ultimate winter dream homes and stashing all the food they’ll need to get through the darkest and coldest months of the year.
If you have certain kinds of trees in your backyard — especially nut trees — you will notice the desperate scramble of small rodents increases.
Chris Persic of Pittsburgh has a walnut tree in his yard, but he noticed something odd about it.
“Funny thing is I was thinking that for how massive the tree is, and how many walnuts have fallen (and how many dents our vehicle received), there really aren’t many on the ground,” Persic told KDKA-TV.
It wasn’t long before he and his wife Holly discovered where all those walnuts had gotten to, and it resulted in some minor damages and a Facebook post to warn others about just how disastrous those adorable little rodents can be.
“Here’s a little PSA for everyone on this rainy Monday,” Persic wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “Rodents and vehicles do not mix.”
“My wife called me from Northland Library and said that her car smelt like it was burning, and was making a weird sound. I told her to pop the hood, and this is the picture that she sent me!”
The picture, of course, has been making the rounds on social media, showing mounds of dried grass nests peppered with green-husked walnuts.
“I was at Shorkey on McKnight after getting towed (my truck has 4000 miles on it) because it started to shake when accelerating and the check engine light was on,” Persic wrote.
“I got a rental and headed over to clean out over 200 (not an exaggeration) walnuts and grass from under the hood. It took almost an hour, and we were able to clean it enough to take it to Tevis Auto Service (thanks for getting us in so quick!) to check it out.”
Persic then used the photo and story to warn other car owners to keep an eye on their cars parked outside to make sure that the same thing isn’t happening to them.
“Long story short, if you park outside, do yourself a favor and check under the hood every once in awhile,” he wrote
According to KDKA, the mechanics found even more walnuts under the engine, where the diligent squirrels had hidden them away.
Thankfully, there was no serious damage done — which is not always the case when rodents and cars mix. Persic suspects that the furry friends might be responsible for more costly repairs on his own car.
“Turns out my truck may have had a squirrel chew through or pull the fuel injector hose out,” he said.
There may be an end in sight for this particular trouble, as the Persics are looking into removing the giant walnut tree — but hopefully, these particular squirrels aren’t as spiteful as they are industrious!
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