how to keep rodents out of your car

How to Keep Rodent Out of Your Car

When mice move in and start nibbling on wiring, hoses, plastic, and other essential car parts, even the most durable car can develop complicated electrical gremlins, fluid leaks, and even outright failure. A car that has been kept during the winter or left parked for a prolonged length of time during the pandemic is especially at risk.

how to keep rodents out of your car

A long-standing issue, rodent-caused damage is reportedly getting worse as manufacturers employ more plant-based biodegradable products to cut down on waste. In recent years, a number of class-action lawsuits were filed against significant automakers, alleging that soy-based products were to blame; however, these court cases were later dismissed.

Well, in this article, we’ll be discussing the answer to the following questions:

  • Why do rodents get into vehicles?
  • What are the signs that rodents are present in a vehicle?
  • What kind of damage do rodents cause?
  • How to keep rodents out of your car?

Read more: How to Get Scratches Off a Car

Alright, let’s dive in!


Why do rodents get into vehicles?

Your car is a very alluring place for a rat to live. That defines both the inside and several areas under the hood. They are looking for protection and small openings that prevent larger predators from getting at them.

There are plenty of cables around for rodents to munch on, perhaps to prevent their teeth from getting too long, but others claim they prefer the soy-based insulation currently in use.

And within, in the form of what we refer to as “seats,” there is a ton of practical nest-building material. When it comes to mice, you’re up against a creature that can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil as a youngster and a dime as an adult.

There are a variety of such holes in a car’s firewall that allow wires and cables to move between the engine compartment and the interior, and the ventilation system also acts as a similar conduit.

Other possible internal entrance points are rusty holes in the floor and gaps surrounding the doors. For either a mouse or anything bigger like a squirrel, getting inside the engine area is easy.

Read more: How to Disable a Car Anti-Theft System Without a Key

What are the symptoms that rodents are present in a vehicle?

Even though they often go unnoticed, there are a few symptoms you may look for. For instance, you might smell something strongly offensive, hear scratching or gnawing, or see or smell chew marks on the seat belt, floor mat, or other areas.

Alternatively, the rodent’s malicious activity could be to blame for any malfunction you encounter. Usually, they find a place to call home in vents, trunks, the dashboard compartment, air filters, underneath seats, or next to the battery.

For a variety of reasons, they find these regions appealing. Several entry points exist for rodents inside vehicles, thus it is imperative to take all required safeguards.

Read more: How to Reset Check Engine Light

What kind of damage do rodents cause?

Your car may suffer cosmetic and mechanical damage from rodents, and because they are known disease carriers, rodents may also put your health at risk.

They have the ability to spread diseases including leptospirosis, salmonella, the hantavirus, and more. One of their preferred nesting locations is the car’s air filter.

If there are rats in the area, turning on the air conditioner will force all of their waste and other unpleasantness directly into the cab, causing allergic reactions and possibly even spreading diseases.

The severity of breaks can range from minor to fatal. The radio could not be able to turn on again. You might have to drive to the closest auto shop if your engine chokes off.

You are in immediate danger, along with every passenger, if your brakes or power steering fail.

Read more: How to fix the side mirror on a car

How to keep rodents out of your car?

how to keep rodents out of your car

Here are a few methods you can use to keep rodents out of your car:

  • Keep or Park Your Vehicle in a Garage.
  • Keep the interior of your car clean.
  • Use scents to keep mice and rats away, such as peppermint oil.
  • Utilize Sound Repellant.
  • Keep the windows and sunroof of your car closed at night.
  • Wrap the wires on your car in rodent-repellent tape.
  • Around your vehicle, scatter cedar shavings, sawdust, or mulch.
  • Place mouse traps.

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Keep or Park Your Vehicle in a Garage

Rodents may find your car more alluring if you park it outside. Grass and other greenery are attractive to rats. Vehicles parked in thick vegetation or close to densely forested areas run a particularly high risk of infestation.

Keep the interior of your car clean

Rodents may find food in paper, trash, tissues, and fast-food bags, which can make the car an inviting site.

Use scents to keep mice and rats away, such as peppermint oil

Use commercial rodent-repelling scents or essential oils to spray inside and around the vehicle. Natural rodent repellents include essential oils made from clove and cayenne pepper as well as peppermint oil.

The cabin or under the hood of your car can also benefit from cotton balls soaked in such oils. Because the smell will eventually fade, you will need to repeat this procedure a few times a week.

To deter rodents, several pest control businesses provide odor-emitting goods.

Read more: How to Remove a Stuck Wheel

Utilize Sound Repellant

The use of ultrasonic pest repellents also keeps rodents away. They function by discharging sound waves that can confuse, induce seizures, and finally kill rodents.

Humans cannot hear the sound waves, and neither can dogs or cats. You must place these devices close to your car because of their limited range.

Keep the windows and sunroof of your car closed at night

Rodents will enter your car through any little openings in the windows or sunroof. When parking your vehicle in a parking lot overnight, make sure the windows are shut.

Read more: Windshield wipers squeaking: possible causes and how to stop it

Wrap the wires on your car in rodent-repellent tape

Honda produces a capsaicin-treated rodent-repellent tape. Rodents avoid this ingredient since it is present in hot peppers. The Honda dealers as well as online retailers sell this tape.

Around your vehicle, scatter cedar shavings, sawdust, or mulch

Cedar emits a strong scent that contains phenols that repel rodents and can eventually kill them. Additionally, cedar deters dangerous snakes, fleas, moths, and cockroaches.

There are various types of cedar, but not all of them work equally well to keep rodents away. People with rodent issues have praised Western Red Cedar as a top option. To deter bugs, scatter shavings, sawdust, or mulch around your automobile.

Read more: Understanding How to Read Tire Sizes

Place mouse traps

Place rodent traps in the trunk, behind the seats, or in front of the seats to help. When the car is in use, it ought to be taken off. Select a clean rodent trap: Once the rat has been captured, these lock it inside an opaque container.


How do I keep rodents out of my engine compartment?

Use smells to put them off. Rodent deterrents include peppermint oil, pine sol, red pepper, Irish Spring Soap, and powdered fox urine. To keep those bothersome rodents away, all you have to do is prepare a solution and liberally and frequently spray the area.

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What can I put in my car to keep rats away?

Put peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is not appealing to rats and mice. As a result, this is one method for keeping mice and rats away from cars. To keep rodents away from your cars, strategically place little cotton balls with peppermint oil on them in various locations.

What smell drives rodents away?

The scents of peppermint oil, cinnamon, vinegar, citronella, ammonia, bleach, and mothballs can deter mice.

Read more: How to fix the side mirror on a car

How do I distract rats from my car?

Clear the Area, Declare a No-Food Zone, Provide Light, Use Peppermint Oil, Barricade the Entrance, Use Gadgets, and Keep It Roaring.

What can I spray on my engine to keep mice away?

Rodents are reportedly scared off by peppermint oil and cayenne pepper. Reapplying spray products on a regular basis is necessary since they can wash off or wear out. Rodents can be scared away by using ultrasonic devices, which produce noises at frequencies that are inaudible to humans.

What smell rats don’t like?

As a result, the most popular natural rodent repellents include peppermint oil, chili powder, citronella, and eucalyptus. Ammonia, bleach, and mothballs are examples of chemical odors that discourage mice.

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How do I protect my engine wires from rodents?

Installing metal mesh over key portions of the car and its entry points is the finest rodent defense. One effective method of preventing pests is to cover the air cleaner inlet with metal mesh. When feasible, leave your automobile in an enclosed garage. Leave the hood open but the doors closed.

How do you block rodents?

Close up cracks and openings both inside and outside your house

To prevent rodents from entering, patch up any holes you notice. Use steel wool to plug any minor holes. To keep the steel wool in place, use spray foam or caulk around it. For larger holes, use metal sheeting, cement, hardware cloth, lath screen, or lath metal.

What’s the best rat deterrent?

Some of the most effective organic rat deterrents are essential oils. Rats have a keen sense of smell, thus strong fragrances like peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, and pine oil are repulsive to them. Additionally, effective deterrents for rats include cayenne pepper, cloves, and a solution of vinegar and ammonia.

Is tobacco a rat repellent?

Rats won’t approach your automobile because of the strong tobacco smell.


You can use specialized spray treatments to keep rodents away. Also useful for repelling animals are peppermint oil and cayenne pepper. However, because they frequently wear off, you will need to apply them every day. Then there are ultrasonic gadgets that produce irritating sounds for the rats. They operate at a frequency that is undetectable by humans. Use mothballs to drive them away if they decide to build a nest in the trunk (avoid using them inside, though).

That is all for this article, where we discussed the answers to the following questions:

  • Why do rodents get into vehicles?
  • What are the signs that rodents are present in a vehicle?
  • What kind of damage do rodents cause?
  • How to keep rodents out of your car?

We hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!