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How to Keep Mice, Rats, and Other Rodents out of Your Car

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Rodents can devastate your car’s electrical systems if left to their own devices.

As soon as rodents invade your car, they begin to nibble away at the insulation of the car’s electrical wiring. This leads to short circuits. When they feel comfortable in the car, they use the gaps in the car to store food.

Rats and mice hide in small spaces in the engine or trunk of the car, and from there they begin to breed. What attracts rodents to your car is food droppings that are left in the car unintentionally. Furthermore, the engine of the car is usually very warm. The car can also be untidy, full of mess, and this provides a natural habitat for rodents.

How to Keep Mice, Rats, and Other Rodents out of Your Car

If you have problems with rodents, you need to seriously consider some of the preventive measures listed below.

1. Eliminate food sources

Food droppings in a car attract rodents. It could be a piece of pizza that hasn’t been eaten, cat or dog food, or your favorite candy bar. If you plan to have food in your car, make sure it is sealed in airtight containers. You can also plan to vacuum your car regularly to remove all food leftovers, especially if you have children.

2. Avoid cluttering your car

It is convenient to store your sports clothes and shoes in the car for the next session, but over time the waste will accumulate. By keeping everything in the vehicle organized and clean, you eliminate rodent breeding grounds. Take a bag for your sports clothes and take them out of the car after use.

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Vacuum your car seats from time to time to remove all food debris. Have a garbage bag in the car and inform the children about the importance of throwing food leftovers in the bag.

3. Move your car regularly

A car that stays parked for weeks or months will attract rodents. It is recommended to start the car occasionally and change the parking place. When the car is not in use, open the bonnet and leave it open; this will deter mice. Close the bonnet during the rainy season.

4. Mouse Traps

Rats In Engine Bay

These have been in use for centuries, but their use has been replaced by new biological chemicals that are more effective. If you still like to catch mice the old-fashioned way, you can buy one or two mousetraps. Make sure you place the mousetrap away from the motor and in dark areas where you suspect mice are multiplying.

Be careful when handling the mousetrap, as it can damage your fingers or your pet. You can also choose to use sticky mouse traps. These have a sticky surface that traps mice. Once caught, throw the sticky mice away.

5. Manage moisture leaks

Rodents prefer dump areas as breeding grounds. You need to make sure that your windows and air conditioning are not leaking and that you do not leave damp clothes in the car. Open all car windows from time to time and let in fresh air.

6. Keep the garage light on

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

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7. Block points of entry

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

8. Repellants

It is the strong sense of smell of rodents that attracts them to the waste in the car. There are some repellent products that you can use to keep mice away. Peppermint oil has a strong smell that many people find pleasant, but rodents do not like it. You can soak a cotton ball in peppermint oil and place it strategically where mice hide.

If you do not have peppermint oil, cut Irish spring soap into small pieces and wrap a string around it. You can then hang it in the hood of your car and it will act as a rodent repellent. Other deterrents are pine sol, cayenne pepper, and self-defense sprays.

9. Electronic gadgets

Technological progress has led to the development of electronic products that generate a small ultrasound that keeps rodents away. The device can be connected to the car’s cigarette lighter or can be solar powered. The sounds generated by the device make the car uninhabitable for rodents.

Poisoning rodents

Mousetraps are excellent for catching rodents in the old-fashioned way. But there are some people who may find it uncomfortable to watch a rodent die a slow death. If mousetraps are not your thing, you may consider poisoning the rodents with various rat poisons. You should be aware that some of these rat poisons are dangerous for humans and animals, and you should keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

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Moth balls use a chemical called paradichlorobenzene, which gives off toxic fumes. Once the rat dies from the poison, you must 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 depends largely on your personal preferences, how many rats are in your car and how often you use the car. You may need to use a combination of techniques to completely stop rodents in your car from breeding.


Rodent infestation can cause problems in the electrical system of your car. They eat away the cable insulation, which can lead to short circuits. You can recognize rodents by the smell of burning from the hood of the car. The first thing you must do to keep rodents away from the car is to avoid leaving food crumbs in the car.

Rodents are attracted to food, and dark, damp areas. Close all ventilation openings with a net to keep rodents away. There are several ways to keep rodents away, such as mousetraps, poison, keeping the hood open, repellents and electronic devices. For the best results, you may need to use one or more of these methods.

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