keep rats rondent out of car

How to keep Mice, Rats and other Rodents out of your Car

In General by Magnus SellénLeave a Comment

keep rats rondent out of carRodents can cause havoc to your car’s electrical systems when left unattended.

Once rodents invade your car they start chewing off the car’s electrical wires insulation. This leads to short circuits. As they become comfortable in the car, they will use crevices in the car for food storage.

Rats and mice hide in small spaces in the car’s engine/trunk and from there they start breeding. What attracts rodents to your car are food droppings that are unintentionally left in the car; the car’s engine is usually very warm. The car can also be a mess, full of clutter and this provides a natural habitat for the rodents.

If you have rodent problems then you need to start taking some of the preventive measures mentioned below seriously.

Eliminate food sources

Food droppings in the car draw rodents. It could be a piece of pizza left uneaten, cat or dog food or your favorite candy bar. If you plan on having food in the car then ensure it is sealed in airtight containers. You can also plan to vacuum your car regularly to eliminate any food droppings – especially where kids are involved.

Avoid cluttering your car

It is convenient to stash your gym clothes and shoes in the car for your next session but with time you get a pile-up of trash. By keeping everything organized and clean in the truck you eliminate breeding grounds for rodents. Have a bag for your gym clothes and remove it from the car after use.

Occasionally vacuum your car seats and underneath to remove any food debris. Have a waste bag in the car and inform the kids about the importance of throwing leftovers in the bag.

Stalled car

A car that remains parked for weeks/months will attract rodents. It is recommended that you start your car occasionally and change your parking space. When the car is not in use open the hood and leave it open – this acts as a deterrent for mice. Close the hood during rainy seasons.

Mouse Traps

rats in engine bayThese have been in use for centuries but its use has been replaced by new biological chemicals that are more effective. If you still like catching mice the old-fashioned way then you can purchase one or two mousetraps. Ensure that you put the mousetrap away from the engine and in dark areas that you suspect mice breed.

Be cautious when handling the mousetrap as it can harm your fingers or your dog. You can also opt for sticky mice cardboards. These have a sticky surface that traps mice. Once caught toss away the stuck mice.

Manage moisture leaks

Rodents prefer dump areas for breeding grounds. You will need to ensure that there are no leaks on your windows, air conditioner and you do not leave damp clothes in the car. Occasionally open all the car windows and let in fresh air in.

Keep the garage light on

Rodents love breeding in dark areas. Since they eat a lot, they will stash some of their excess food in the car hood. You can live the car hood open and switch on the garage light. The light will prevent the rats from sleeping and act as a deterrent.

Block points of entry

The car has various entry points for rodents. The air intakes are one of them. You can seal some of these spaces with a mesh but mice are small creatures and you have to seal even the small holes. The side of the wheels also provides an entry point for rodents.


Rodent’s strong sense of smell is what attracts them to food droppings in the car. There are some repellant products that you can use to keep mice away. Peppermint oil has a strong fragrance that many humans find pleasant but rodents do not like it. You can use soak a cotton ball in peppermint oil and strategically place it in areas where mice hide.

If you do not have peppermint oil, cut Irish spring soap into small chunks and wrap a string around it. You can then hang it inside the car hood and it will act like a rodent repellant. Other deterrents include pine sol, cayenne pepper, and self-defense sprays.

Electronic gadgets

Advancement in technology has led to the development of electronic products that produce a small ultrasound that keeps away rodents. The device can be attached to the car’s cigarette lighter or be solar powered. The sounds produced by the gadget make the car inhabitable for rodents.

Poisoning rodents

Mouse traps are great for trapping rodents the old fashioned way. But, there some people who may not be comfortable watching a rodent die a slow death. If mouse traps are not your thing you may consider poisoning the rodents through use of various rat poisons. You should note that some of these rat poisons are dangerous to humans and animals and you should keep them out of reach from kids and pets.

Mothballs use a chemical called paradichlorobenzene that emits poisonous vapors. Once the rat dies from the poison you have to be meticulous in your search for the dead rat. A rotting rat produces a pungent smell that makes driving impossible.

Each of the methods described will largely depend on personal preference, how many rats are residing in your and your frequency of use of the car. You may need to use a combination of techniques to completely keep rodents from breeding in your car.


Rodents infestation can cause problems in your car’s electrical system. They will eat the wire insulation and this will lead to short circuits. You can identify rodents by a burning smell coming from the car’s hood. The first thing you need to do to keep rodents from the car is to avoid leaving food crumbs in the car.

Rodents are attracted to food and dark, damp areas. Close any air vents with a mesh to keep rodents away. There are various methods to keep rodents away like mousetraps, poison, keeping the hood open, repellants and electronic devices. For the best results, you may need to use one or more of the methods.

Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.

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