When the mercury drops and the snow starts to fall, Idaho winter can be a beautiful but bone-chilling wonderland. But humans aren't the only locals who feel the cold. All sorts of animals, especially rodents, are looking for warm spots to hunker down.

Rodents find shelter in the most unexpected places.

If you're new to Idaho winters, you may be surprised to learn a number of rodents find warmth and shelter under the hoods of cars and trucks. It actually happens more often than people realize.

Rodent damage is more common in cars that are stored or parked for long periods of time. The area under the hood of a car is dark and insulated, making it an ideal hiding spot for rodents and pests looking to escape from cold or wet weather, especially during the winter months. -Cheney Insurance

Can you really blame Idaho's furry stowaways? We can't. It's out of the wind, insulated, and can stay pretty toasty for a while after the engine shuts off. In a way, one man's trashed and beat up old F150 is another rodent's treasure.

Will rodents and animals damage my car's engine?

They can. These homeless critters aren't just seeking refuge from Idaho's frigid temperatures. They're chewing on wires, messing with hoses, and wreaking havoc on your car in a dozen other ways.

These might sound like minor issues, but they can lead to blown-out fuses, engine fires, and even totaled cars. While many car insurance policies cover a portion of damages caused by rodents, they typically don't cover all of them.

That's why we always pop the hood on frosty Boise mornings. It can be an inconvenience when we're in a rush, but we'd rather spare a defenseless animal (and our wallet) from painful consequences.

Keep scrolling for seven animals that burrow in cars during Idaho winters. 

7 Idaho Animals that Hide Under Car Hoods in Winter

It's always a good idea to check under the hood of your car before starting it up. Especially on cold Idaho mornings this time of year. 

You never know, a furry creature might have made a cozy home in there. Let's give them a chance to leave before we turn on the engine.

Gallery Credit: Marco

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