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How to Keep Rats, Mice and Other Rodents Away From Your Car

Team AckoMar 1, 2023

Just as people welcome guests in their house, they also tend to do so in their cars, especially if it is a new car. Friends and family are constant passengers in one’s car. Be it a road trip, romantic night drive, or a bunch of friends visiting their favourite food joint, cars are usually the preferred mode of transport. However, not everyone is welcome in the car.

How to Keep Rats, Mice and Other Rodents Away From Your Car

No one wants rats, mice, and other rodents in their car because of the damage they can cause. It is unhygienic and if the situation worsens, it can be dangerous as well. If you are troubled by uninvited guests such as rats, mice, and other rodents, then read ahead for some advice to avoid such a scenario.



Ways to Keep Rodents Out of Your Car:

Here are a few ways that can prove helpful to keep mice, rats, and other rodents out of your car. You can choose the best suitable method as per your vehicle, resources, and surroundings. There is also the option to use a combination of methods for higher success rate.

1) Clear the Area:

Scout the area where your car is parked to find and eliminate potential hiding and breeding spots for rodents. For example, it is not a bright idea to park your car near the bushes. Parking areas in the cities might not have grassy areas, however, one must be on the lookout for unattended trash or boxes, and avoid parking near such areas.

In short, clear the area around the car and do not allow the rodents to create a shelter for themselves. Keep the area litter-free, hygienic, and non-cluttered. This will ensure that the rodents do not find a conducive habitat in and around your vehicle.

2) No Food Zone:

Mice and rats are living creatures. And living creatures need food for their survival. Therefore, if you leave food in and around your car, it is bound to attract rodents. Cutting off such food sources can help you to keep uninvited guests away.

For those who park their cars in a garage or a compact indoor parking space, ensure that no food items are lingering around that area. Children tend to drop food crumbs in the car while eating – make your car a ‘no food zone’. It’s not just human food that you need to be aware of, rodents also eat dog and cat food along with livestock feed and seeds.

3) Let There Be Light:

Most of the rodents prefer to nest in dark places. They do not like light, especially when they are sleeping. Therefore, consider switching on the lights in the garage or park in a place which has ample lighting.

Keeping the car’s hood open to let light enter the usually hidden crevices of the car’s interior can discourage mice and rats from building nests and living inside your car. During the day, you can keep the car open enough to ensure that its interiors get maximum exposure to direct sunlight.

4) Peppermint Oil:

Rodents such as mice have a strong sense of smell and they do not take well to peppermint oil. Therefore, you can use it as a mouse deterrent. You can apply a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them strategically in your car to repel mice. Note that it is not a one-time solution but a process that needs to be performed repeatedly for a few days for optimal results.

5) Block the Entry:

If you are confident that you have found the entry point that the mice or other rodents use to enter your vehicle, then you can seal it with a mesh. It can be tricky to find an entry point as mice and rats can squeeze through tiny holes. You can have a word with a trusted mechanic concerning such entry points and seal them.

6) Gadgets:

Just as there is the option to use peppermint oil as a deterrent, there is the option to use electrical gadgets as deterrents as well. You can buy gadgets that vibrate or emanate a sound that only rodents can hear. Such gadgets are often motion-sensitive and are known to prevent nesting. Compared to peppermint oil, gadgets are a one-time solution.

7) Keep It Roaring:

An unused car can turn into a breeding ground for rats and mice. It is suggested to frequently start the car’s engine and let it roar for a while even if you are not taking the vehicle out for a drive. Do not let the vehicle’s engine go without a roar for a prolonged period.

8) Cats & Dogs:

Rats and mice fear cats. Other rodents will also be sceptical about nearing your vehicle if there is a dog around. Such pets can act as biological deterrents against rodents who might look at your car as home sweet home.

9) Trap Them:

You can use the oldest trick in the book if you are old school – the mousetrap. Lure the rodent with a bait and then trap it! There are some sticky-tape traps available in the market as well.

10) Poison:

Rat poison might seem like the preferable option but think twice before using it. Why? Because it is poison! One, the rat might die inside the vehicle and leave a pungent odour. Two, the rat might die outside and if some other predator eats that rat, it can also be poisoned. Beware while using this method.

Also, Read: How To Get Rid of Mould in Your Car?

How to Get Rid of Rats and Mice in Your Car Engine:

If you already have rats and mice in your car, then you need to make a move as soon as possible. Do not waste any time and use your preferred method, or a combination, from the list mentioned above to get rid of rats and mice in your car engine. Another thing to consider is to keep changing your parking spot regularly. Seek professional help if you feel the issue has gone out of hand.

Signs That Mice and Rats Are Already in Your Car:

Here are some common signs that suggest your car is under rodent attack.

1) Smell:

You might come across an unpleasant smell. You might not be able to recognise it always but you will be able to feel its presence because of the bad odour.

2) Noise:

Rodents can make scratching or chewing noises. They can be scratching the surface or biting on a wire.

3) Chew Marks:

Although uncommon in new models, chew marks are a possibility in older vehicles. Check for chew marks on the floor mat, cushion, seat belt, etc.

4) Faulty Display:

Rats and mice can chew on wires of gadgets that are connected to a display unit. Such instances can lead to faulty display.

How Do Mice Get Inside Your Car?

Mice can get inside your car via multiple inlets. The car’s engine needs air and thus there are vacant spaces for rats and mice to crawl in and disrupt. Rats and mice can enter a car by climbing on the tires and then crawling their way up. Holes in body panels are also potential entry points.

Also, read: Car Insurance Renewal

Places Where You Can Find Mice Nests in Your Car:

Here are some areas in your car which mice can use for nesting.

1) Vents:

Vents can offer great access to food and warmth for mice. They can chew on cables and nest in dark and warm areas near the engine.

2) Trunk:

The trunk offers a wide area for mice. It can be a perfect location for a mice nest if it is not accessed in a long time. Trunks with tiny compartments are particularly alluring to mice for nesting.

3) Dashboard Compartment:

The dashboard compartment or the glove box as it is commonly known can be a good spot for a mice nest if it is left unused for months.

4) Air Filter Boxes:

Huge cars have bigger air filter boxes, which are commonplace to find mice nests.

5) Seats:

The area below the seat, especially the back seat is conducive for mice nests.

6) Batteries:

Car batteries are warm and mice like such areas.

Damage Caused by Rodents to Your Car:

Rodents in the car can be a source of foul smell and lead to unhygienic interiors. They chew on cables which need to be replaced. Rodents can cause faulty wiring, which can lead to accidents. If they build a nest and multiply in your car, they can cause a major problem – you will not be able to drive the car owing to their presence.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding mice, rats, rodents, and their impact on cars.

Is damage caused by rodents/mice/rats covered under car insurance?


The answer will depend upon the kind of policy chosen and its terms and conditions. You can get in touch with your insurance company for more details.

Can rodents/mice/rats present in the car cause allergies?


Yes, they can be a source of or trigger certain kinds of allergies.

Can a car mechanic help me out to detect if there are rodents/mice/rats inside my car?


A trusted mechanic can advise you regarding such issues. Their experience might help them to detect if your car has rodent/mice/rat presence.

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