Why Did Squirrels Fill A Dodge With 50 Pounds of Pinecones?

Finding out your car has been made a squirrel's pantry overnight isn't exactly a high priority for most people.

Squirrel's life during cold weather in Turkey's Kars
Anadolu Agency—Getty Images

Last week, Kellen Moore of Gaylord, Michigan woke up to a peculiar occurrence in the engine bay of their Dodge Journey minivan. For whatever reason, they decided to open up the engine bay of their Dodge, only to find a massive cache of pinecones occupying every available cubic inch of space under the hood. Moore's friend, Gabe Awrey, was called in to help empty the Dodge of its harvest, and snap a photo of the mess.

Awrey revealed that the engine's heat had caused the pinecones to expand, lodging them in places that made them hard to recover. Those that were not jammed in by their own expansion fell out when the vehicle moved, however, with a local leaving a comment stating she had spotted the Dodge with pinecones spilling out from underneath as it drove. All in all, extraction of the mess was reported by a USA Today article to have taken 45 minutes, with 50 pounds of pinecones eventually being removed from beneath the Dodge's hood.

Why would a squirrel make a nest under the hood of a vehicle? For the same reason any rodent would: An engine bay is secluded, warm (if a little too much so at times), and out of the elements. Rodent dens inside HVAC systems are common in some regions in winters, and may result in unpleasant smells wafting through a vehicle's cabin vents.

Of course, there are far worse things that rodents can do to your car than make it their home. One study discovered that rodents treat new, soy-based wiring insulation as an all-you-can-eat electric buffet. We're sure the food is served hot, and that the rodents eating into wires are making themselves a complete circuit as part of their complete breakfasts.

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