This Is Nuts! Squirrels Pack More Than 200 Walnuts Under Hood of Woman's Car

A Pittsburgh woman's car was taken over by squirrels.
This is what greeted Holly Persic when she popped the hood. Chris Persic

Holly Persic couldn't figure out why there was a burning smell in her car.

It was a bad day for vehicles at the Persic household.

Chris Persic's truck, only 2 months old, was headed for the shop. His wife Holly's car was making a strange noise and emitting a weird burning smell.

The reason? Marauding squirrels.

They posted a photo of a giant mess under the hood of Holly's car, and the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, couple are getting lots of laughs over all the attention. 

"It's crazy," Holly told Friday. 

The now-viral image shows mounds of dead grass and more than 200 walnuts covering the engine of her KIA sedan. 

Holly had helped her husband clear out his truck Monday morning so it could be towed to the dealer to find out why the new vehicle with only 4,000 miles on the odometer was making weird noises. The check engine light kept flashing as well.

With that accomplished, Holly drove to the library to return some books. Then her car began creaking and a burning odor billowed from the engine.

So Holly called her husband. "My car's making a funny noise now, too," she told him. Chris advised her to pop the hood and take a look at the engine. "So I did, and that's what I found," she said, referring to the rodent nest that covered the engine block. 

The walnuts smelled like, well, roasting nuts. At the mechanic's, an entirely different mess of grass and nuts were under the engine. Once everything was cleaned out, the debris filled half a garbage can. 

Meanwhile, at the dealership where Chris' truck was being examined, it turned out that squirrels had chewed through a wire going to the engine.

The couple moved into their home last year and had always parked their vehicles in the garage. But over time, and with the birth of their daughter, the garage turned into a storage space and Holly and Chris began parking in the driveway.

With the arrival of fall, and dropping walnuts from a massive tree in front of their house, the Persics learned that leaving their vehicles outside had certain detriments.

"My car had dents in the hood," Chris said, referring to falling walnuts.

But they had no idea that squirrels were trying to turn their vehicles into nests for the winter.

"We're definitely cleaning out the garage," Holly said. "We're looking into getting the tree removed. The walnuts make a pretty big mess."

Chris said he's talked to his neighbors and none of them have squirrel problems. But the Persics are the only homeowners with a walnut tree in the front yard.

"The amount of squirrels we have is unreal," he said. "Literally, you can hear them when you go outside. They make really distinct noises. It's really loud."

And they are not chastened by the removal of their vehicular nests.

Friday morning, Chris found another clump of dead grass on the engine of his wife's car. "They were back to work," Chris said, laughing. "They're determined to make Holly's car their home for the winter."