What in the world ever possessed me to buy that alarm clock. My car, the one I used for my job as a nurse for public health services, a VW Golf, was parked overnight on an outdoor parking space. The first time it would not start in the morning I needed to have a hose repaired and was told that the damage had most likely been done by a marder, which is a marten in English.
Not very many weeks went by and the car was again acting strange and again, a rubber connection needed to be replaced because of damage caused by an animal that had used it’s sharp teeth on it.
So I began reading about these slender, furry, night-active animals. They seemed to be attracted to the rubber used at that time for parts of VWs. I also read that it is the young ones, in the Spring, that are known to use the area under the hood of a car as their playground. At that time the motor and everything around it were accessible from below on my car.
I read that one can spray these rubber hoses with hair spray and that will keep them away. Didn’t work.
I read that you can put chicken fence wire under the car, on the ground, and they will avoid this and find another playground. Where can I buy chicken wire in Switzerland?
I read about a marder siren that can be installed near the car. The shrill noise will keep them away. Too expensive.
Someone reported that leaving music running all night will keep them at distance. How does that work, living in a residential area near Zürich?
Then, I found a solution which I thought could be workable for me. A loudly ticking alarm clock. The marders will not like this and stay away. So I purchased a large wind-up clock and kept it in my car daytime, wound it up when I arrived home and placed it under the front of the car, on the ground, each evening. I knew the clock might be subject to rusting due to our often wet climate but worth a try. This seemed to work for several weeks and I had a comforting ticking accompanying me during my minutes in the car during the day.
After a few weeks, we had visitors from the USA. An excursion to the Rhine Waterfalls was planned. In my enthusiastic tour guide mood, talking as we three got into the car, I forgot about the clock. Only when I heard the crunch, did I remember my marder prevention gadget. It was the end of my crusade against marders. There was no more damage to the car as we shortly thereafter were able to rent a garage for the car.