Sussex residents resort to wrapping cars in tarpaulin after foxes get taste for cables

140524-fox vs car
Credit: ITV News Meridian

Residents in Sussex say they have been terrorised by foxes chewing through cables underneath their cars and causing, in some cases, thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Some vehicle owners in Worthing have resorted to covering the bottoms of their cars with blue tarpaulin after their wiring came under attack.

Motoring groups say the animals might be attracted to the insulation around the wires which is made up of soy or peanut oil.

One resident, Dayan Maharaj, has had what she believes to be a fox try chew through her brake cables on three separate occasions.

Foxes have taken a liking to the soy-based coating on brake cables.

She has spent £2,000 on repairs to her car, with one dealer alone asking for thousands of pounds to fix the problem.

She said: "I got into my car to go to work, as normal, pressed the button to start and then all of a sudden everything just pinged and the car wouldn't move."

The sheet deterrent came from desperation after chilli and garlic infused sprays and bleeping fox sensors failed to put off the animals.

The AA says it is not just foxes, but other animals with a chewing nature, that have a taste for the cables. Credit: Library picture

Another resident Chris Middleton said: "We couldn't get our car off the drive. The AA guy came round and said 'you don't need to tell me what's happened - I know what it is - the foxes have eaten your brake cables'".

Jack Cousens from the AA said: "Within cars themselves and the wires within them, they have a soy-based covering over the wires.

"It's not just foxes that are attracted to them. It's any sort of rodent that just has a natural chewing nature to it - so mice are equally attracted to the wires.

"But it's just the fact that that they're looking for something to chew on, it's within easy reach and they just gnaw away."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.