Students claim rats causing costly damage to cars at FAU

Mechanic says rats make themselves at home in engines, chew on wiring

A mechanic says rats are to blame for a Florida Atlantic University student whose new car needed thousands of dollars' worth of repairs.

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Students at Florida Atlantic University claim they've had automobile problems caused by campus rats taking root in their vehicles.

"They'll crawl up inside, make a nest, because I've had to open up plenty of nests," mechanic Brian Small told ABC affiliate WPBF. "They make a nest, they stay there and, for some reason, they're attracted to the plastic on the wiring."

FAU student Victoria Monsalve said her new car was parked in the student dormitory lot on campus. When she couldn't get it to start, she had it towed to a nearby repair shop. She said a mechanic told her rats had been nibbling on the wires in her engine, costing her thousands of dollars to repair.

Her post on a campus Facebook group page prompted nearly 30 responses from concerned parents and students who experienced similar issues.

Small said rats in cars is nothing new.

"I've probably done approximately 30 over the years," he said.

In fact, Small repaired a rat-damaged engine just last week.

"When we pulled the back seat we found three dead rats and the wiring was all chewed … so it blew the fuses," he said.

FAU spokeswoman Lisa Metcalf said the school has had no reports of any such issues on campus but noted "this is apparently a common occurrence throughout all of South Florida."