The stone marten population in Germany now again comprises more than 840,000 animals. They are nocturnal and mainly live in the forest. However, the stone martens penetrate ever further into the habitat of humans and nibble on everything in their path in search of food. That is why they do not stop at vehicles. On the contrary, the engine compartment offers them comforting protection, so that they enjoy staying there.
However, the components in the engine compartment are not suitable to withstand the marten bite. This makes it easy for the animals to bite or destroy hoses, cables and various plastic parts. Especially affected are:
If these damages go unnoticed, the catalytic converter and in the worst case even the engine can be damaged. This leads to high repair costs and also costs time and nerves. So that you are not affected by it, we offer you numerous high-quality and effective products for marten defense.
For stone martens the active time begins in spring. On the one hand, the young animals are taken by their parents in search of food, on the other hand it is a matter of finding a suitable partner for reproduction. The right mating season starts at the end of June. For this reason the ADAC notes most mishaps due to marten bites in the months April to August.
Before you get into your car in the morning, you should check your vehicle for the following information:
If you see any abnormalities, you should check the following things before driving off:
If the vehicle is no longer roadworthy, it should be towed directly to the workshop. If only fairings are affected, make sure that no parts can fall down while the vehicle is in motion. This damage should also be repaired as soon as possible. It is then advisable to carry out a thorough engine wash. This will allow you to thoroughly remove any existing scent marks.
However, not everyone who lives in a marten-rich area has to fear marten damages. Martens become biting only when they feel threatened in their territory. Then they try everything to destroy the rival's tracks and bite everything in their path. Therefore, vehicles that park regularly at night in different areas are affected most of all. This increases the chance that two or more martens will seek shelter in the car and fight for their territory.
A marten can therefore climb into your vehicle for two reasons. On the one hand because he is looking for shelter and food and on the other hand because he smells a rival. No matter for what reason a stone marten visits your vehicle, as soon as you notice it, you should take active action against it.
There are basically four types of marten protection. These are:
1. How does the marten repellent with ultrasound work?
If the marten fright with ultrasonic function is selected, high-frequency tones with over 100 decibels are emitted, which are unpleasant for the marten. Over time, however, the animals can get used to it and ignore it. For this reason, ultrasonic devices with frequency changes are useful, so that the stone martens cannot adjust to the sounds. This effectively drives them away.
The installation is very simple and also for laymen fast and easy to mount. Some ultrasonic devices are connected directly to the car battery, others are powered by their own battery. Meanwhile, the devices are so well developed that they have a very low power consumption. In order to achieve the best possible result, it is relevant how high the efficiency of the loudspeaker is. The wider or the larger the engine compartment is, the wider the radiation angle of the device should be. The correct alignment of the marten repellent device should also be observed. If there is an object in front of the loudspeaker, the sound cannot reach the area behind it and thus offers a protected area in which the martens can stay undisturbed.
The disadvantage of ultrasonic devices is that other animals such as dogs, cats and birds also perceive these sounds and find them disturbing. In addition, they are not harmless for humans. The hearing of babies and small children in particular can be disturbed by the high-frequency vibrations. Here it is important to pay attention to where the vehicle stands and whether the neighbours are affected. Then another method should be chosen.
2. how effective is the marten fright with electric shocks?
An other effective method for marten defense is the use of electric shocks. Here metal plates are attached in the engine compartment and set under current. If the marten touches one of the plates and the other paw touches a metallic part from the engine compartment, it receives a slight electric shock and leaves the car. The electric shock is throttled and the device should comply with animal welfare regulations. Then nothing can happen to the animal and you don't have to worry about marten damage.
The power supply of these devices is usually controlled by a separate button cell. However, marten protection with electric shocks is only correctly effective if there are enough metallic parts in the engine compartment that represent the opposite pole. Nowadays, however, the engine compartment consists more and more of plastic parts with which the current cannot flow. One solution is to use so-called contact brushes instead of metal plates. These form the positive as well as the negative pole through metal brackets. Above all in large engine compartments, mass mats can be used in addition to the contact brushes to create a larger conductive surface.
It is important, however, that if marten protection is activated, it switches itself off when the bonnet is opened. This can be done either on the unit itself or through a safety hood switch. Otherwise, you may also receive an electric shock. Similarly, people with a pacemaker should avoid touching the active current plates, contact brushes, etc., as this could have an effect on the pacemaker.
Otherwise, this marten defense is very effective. In addition, there are also combination devices that contain ultrasound and electric shocks. This has the advantage that places that are not reached by ultrasound are protected by the electric shocks. The non-metallic areas in the engine compartment can also be covered by ultrasound, where the electric shocks are ineffective.
3. How effective is the marten defense with coatings / sealings?
There are also variants to seal the engine compartment in such a way that the martens can no longer enter or to protect sensitive parts. Thus marten damages are excluded from the outset. There are two ways of doing this:
For the sheathing, the most important cables, lines and hoses are protected with a special hard plastic. This is available in slotted corrugated pipes and cannot be bitten through by the martens. During installation, however, care must be taken to ensure that the protective hoses do not come into contact with hot motor parts so that they do not melt. They must also not rub against the ends of the hoses. If you want to be on the safe side, have the sheathing carried out by a workshop you trust. However, parts such as the bellows cannot be protected, leaving some residual risk.
Alternatively, the engine compartment can be sealed off. However, this is only possible for newer vehicles and only for selected brands. When sealing, certain metal sheets and so-called "bristle curtains" are attached to all openings below the engine compartment. These devices are model-specific and are available as car accessories from some car dealers. This prevents the marten from getting into the engine compartment at all. This variant is quite effective and animal-friendly. However, with the attachment of the parts also a modification at the fender can be necessary. In principle this variant of the marten protection is the most expensive and most complex and not for each vehicle possible.
4. How useful is marten repelling with chemical & biological products?
Last but not least, there are the chemical and biological products that are offered as marten protection. On the one hand there are the fragrance brand remover mostly in spray form. These effectively eliminate already existing marten smells. In addition there are also Antimartensprays and incense sticks, which are to prevent by unpleasant smell that a marten penetrates (again) into the vehicle.
The advantage of these products is that they require no additional power source and are very cost-effective to obtain. In addition, they can also be conveniently taken on holiday or to other locations. They also have no negative impact on people and animals. The disadvantage of the sprays is that the effect wears off over time, especially when it rains a lot. The incense sticks are less susceptible to the weather and are therefore more effective for longer. Quite rarely it can happen that martens get used to the smells, whereby the effect would not be sufficient any longer. Since it does not occur however so frequently, these chemical products are a good choice for marten defense.
Alternatively or in addition a marten repellent mat can be placed underneath the vehicle. Due to the coarse structure this is a difficult floor for the martens to assess and prevents them from walking over it. Therefore they avoid this area and look for another shelter. However, if there are few other options for the animals, some will overcome their shyness and get into the car. These defence mats are nevertheless a good supplement to the marten defence measures mentioned above.
The costs for a good protection against martens already start around 10,00€ and only a few are more expensive than 200,00€. With it the acquisition of effective marten protection is worthwhile in any case, because the costs of marten damages are not covered in the liability insurance. Also with a partial coverage it is to be checked exactly which damages are taken over by the insurance. In most cases, consequential damages are not covered, but only direct marten damages.
Often a deductible of at least 150,00€ is included in the comprehensive insurance, so that the insurances do not pay so often for the damages. However, it can happen that your insurance premium increases. Most fully comprehensive insurances, on the other hand, also cover consequential damages. However, here too the conditions have to be studied carefully. No matter which insurance cover you have, it is worthwhile to take care of the marten protection in good time. The cost is not nearly as high as the removal of marten damages.
With us you find marten defense for each requirement to a favorable price. Our assortment includes high-quality products of the leading brands K&K and Stop & Go. Select now the appropriate marten protection, so that your vehicle is sufficiently protected against marten bites. Should you have any further questions regarding marten protection, you can always contact our customer service with confidence.