Damage caused by martens: The invisible threat

Damage caused by martens

Damage caused by martens: The invisible threat

Martens like to be where they're warm and safe. For this reason they often nest in the engine compartment of vehicles or in the roof structures of houses. These cute rodents seem quite harmless at first glance, but they can cause a lot of damage with their sharp teeth. Besides being expensive, this can also be quite dangerous.

When you think of damage caused by martens, chewed cables in the engine compartment is probably what comes to mind. It's true that martens feel particularly at home in cars and can, for example, bite through engine cooling hoses, causing expensive damage to the engine. However, damage to ignition cables, insulation and insulating material or seat cushions can also be very expensive. 

While this damage and its consequences are obvious or quickly noticeable, a marten bite can also have unforeseeable consequences. This can be, for example, a short circuit while driving. That's why it's important to ensure marten damage is detected and repaired as early as possible, as this will help to avoid consequential damage. Paw prints on the car or noises in the attic are probably the most obvious clues. However, you should also be alert if you notice a strong smell of urine or feces, or find animal hair or food remains. 

Martens also like to have a roof over their heads

Less obvious, but at least as annoying as damage to cars, is damage caused by martens in houses. The clever rodents feel particularly at home in the attic and can do a lot of damage with their sharp teeth. In floor screeds, they enjoy destroying the insulation or the insulating material. And the repair costs for such damage can run into the tens of thousands.

Why do martens damage vehicles and houses?

The marten is territorial and may consider a car or attic as part of its territory. It marks this territory and defends it against intruders of the same species. For example, if a marten has marked a car that is not always parked in the same place, this can trigger a territorial fight. As soon as the vehicle is parked in another parking space, the smell of the marking can be understood by another marten as an intrusion into its territory. The marten feels provoked and reacts aggressively in response.

In addition to territorial behavior, there are other explanations for damage caused by martens. The animal may also enters buildings because, for example, it is looking for shelter, food or a place to build a nest.

How to protect yourself from damage caused by martens

If damage caused by martens goes unnoticed, it can result in nasty, long-term damage. The following preventive measures can therefore be helpful in minimizing the possibility of such damage.

For the car:

  • Choose the right parking space
    If you always park in the same place, you will not provoke any territorial disputes. Closed garages are less accessible to martens than public parking spaces. 
  • Install a marten repellent system
    Plugs are available that connect to the car battery and emit high-pitched sounds that are unpleasant for martens. 
  • Attach cable protection
    Cables and hoses can be enclosed in special protective sleeves to protect them from marten bites.
  • Use scents
    There are special scents that can deter martens. These can be placed in the car as fragrance sachets or granules.

For the house:

  • Re-insulate the roof
    This makes it difficult for the marten to enter the house.
  • Seal any holes
    If you remove any potential access points, you will prevent the marten from entering your house.

All of these measures can be combined with each other to increase protection against marten damage – there are of course no guarantees. Which is why it is worth taking a look at insurance.

How is damage caused by martens insured?

Damage caused by bites from martens and other rodents is included in partial casco and fully comprehensive car insurance. Even consequential damage is covered if you can prove it was caused by a marten or rodent. Auto liability insurance does not, however, cover any damage caused by martens.

As far as the home is concerned, marten damage can be covered with an additional insurance policy in the buildings insurance. This way, the costs are covered up to the chosen sum insured.

And because the damage caused by marten bites is hidden and often only noticed at a late stage, it can be worthwhile taking out appropriate insurance.

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