Mice usually crawl inside cars through vents; in some cases they also die, leaving behind a horrible stench as well. They can also chew away different tubes, circuitry, and wires under your car’s hood. If you don’t do something about the rodent invasion in your vehicle, you significantly increase the risk of experiencing performance problems with your car.
To help you avoid the risks of vehicle damage and disease, the following are some tips that can help you keep mice out of your car. Be sure to read them all before winter comes!
How to Keep Mice Out of Cars
When you reach in the glove compartment for a pen, keys, or a map, you surely don’t want to feel or see a dead rodent, or even worse, a live one. While there are some conditions where a mouse-free car cannot be guaranteed, there are some tips that can help lower the chances of rodents entering and damaging your vehicle. Some of these include:
1. Clean Your Car Thoroughly
If your vehicle is dirty and filled with trash, including tissues, fast-food containers, paper, cups, and garbage, it can become a very attractive nesting place for mice. Basically, if your vehicle is similar to a dumpster, it will become the ideal place for rodents to sleep, hide, nest, and forage for food.
Furthermore, if your children eat in the car and spill crumbs on the seats, you’re sure to attract the local mice. Also, remember to take out any packaged dog food kept in the trunk as that can cause trouble as well. By frequently vacuuming beneath and between the seats and trying to avoid spilling snacks, you can significantly decrease the risk of rodents entering your car.
You can also use dryer sheets to repel rats or mice. You just need to place the sheets near any possible entry points and suspected nesting spots. Some common areas include seat upholstery, the car trunk, the floor close to the car doors, and near the wiring access panels. You can also place the sheets on top of the wheels to stop the rodents from entering the vehicle. Remember to replace the sheets as needed and remove them once the vehicle is taken out of storage.
2. De-junk the Trunk
Rats and mice are attracted to bags of dry cat food, dog kibble, garden seeds, birdseed, livestock feed, and even emergency meal supplies that might be stored in the trunk or garage. If there’s a large food supply nearby, mice will surely start nesting in the conveniently parked vehicle.
Plastic, cloth bags, or cardboard cartons and paper will not keep rats and mice away from their food supply. So, make sure you store all these edible options in rodent-proof, sturdy, sealed containers.
Since rodents can easily squeeze through openings that are no bigger than a dime, it’s important to block all points of entry. If the car’s sunroof or a window isn’t completely closed, or if a door is left ajar, your vehicle can quickly become a safe haven for mice.
Mice are also attracted to moisture, so make sure you prevent condensation from forming in your car. Several different problems can result in moisture and condensation, such as a leaking heater or a blocked pollen filter. Remove any damp clothing as they can become a part of the problem as well. If condensation continues to form, it’s better to have your car examined to determine the source of the problem.
3. Check Under the Hood
Rodent-inflicted car damage is a decades-old problem that has recently been increasing as manufacturers have started using more plant-based biodegradable materials and components to reduce waste. So, you can purchase the most reliable car on the planet, and still experience fluid leaks and outright failure when mice start chewing on plastic, hoses, wiring, and other critical car parts.
Some signs of mice living in your vehicle include:
- Gnawed insulation
- Shredded upholstery
- Chewed wires and hoses
One way to keep mice out is to open the hood of your parked vehicle. This will eliminate the warm, dark environment that rodents usually seek when building a nest. You can also install a metal mesh around wiring harnesses, rubber hoses, and any other openings that can be used by mice to crawl into the ventilation or intake systems. Some people also place traps on top of the wheels or around the car to block the small entrances that lead to the vehicle engine compartment.
It’s also important that you don’t let the vehicle sit unused. A rodent intrusion is more likely to happen if you leave the car parked for a couple of days. Starting the engines frequently can discourage rodents from entering your vehicle and doing any electrical or mechanical damage.
4. Clean Your Garage/Area You Park
Another way to keep rodents away is to keep foliage away from your vehicle. Once autumn leaves fall, mice need to find shelter from the rain. While there are several areas they can hide, a car is a very inviting place for them. If there is foliage around your car, it will form a direct pathway to your vehicle. On the other hand, rodents are less likely to approach your car if they’re unable to come anywhere near it.
It’s also advisable to avoid storing and parking cars in areas with rodent problems, particularly grassy and wooded areas. In fact, it’s better to store or park your vehicle on pavement or gravel. You can also sprinkle fox urine powder or place a bucket of mothballs to keep mice away.
Furthermore, remember to mouse-proof your storage area or garage by sealing up any chink, opening, crack, or hole that measures more than ¼ inch in diameter. You can cover openings by cutting sections of steel or copper wire mesh and nailing or stapling them securely. Make sure you check the entire building and bear in mind that rodents are good climbers and can easily enter a garage from under the eaves as well.
You can even let a cat live in the garage or building. However, not all cats are good at catching rats, so make sure you get a good mouser.
5. Exterminate Mice
If you want to permanently eliminate the rodents, you can use traps to exterminate them. A snap trap is a trap that has been around for a long time and has a very straightforward operation. You can use bacon or peanut butter as bait to attract mice. Once the bait is placed on the lever and the mechanism is triggered, a tense wire bar that’s connected to a tight spring is released. The bar comes down with great force, trapping the mouse and killing it immediately. Since snap traps are usually successful, they’re still considered to be the most effective way of exterminating rodents by some people.
Sticky strip is another popular mouse trap that traps the rodents with a thick, sticky, and gluey adhesive. This trap is disposable and can trap more than one mouse at a time. It can also be placed inside or near the engine compartment and does not smash down on your hand. It’s usually placed on top of and near tires to prevent mice from climbing in and damaging the engine. However, some people are against the use of sticky traps as they result in a slow and painful death.
Cage-like traps are also available today. These traps humanely capture mice, which you can then release in the wild, away from your garage.
Video Guide to Keeping Mice Out of Cars
If you’ve been unable to get mice out of your car, even after trying every possible option, then you should watch this video. The method explained in this video requires four jack stands and four simple buckets.
You’ll need to cut the lip off and drill four holes in the bottom of the buckets, so it doesn’t fill up.
Put the jack stands in the buckets and put the car on the jack stands. This way, mice won’t be able to enter your car, and when the ones that are already in your car come out for food, they won’t be able to climb back in.
To get a better idea, be sure to watch this video:
While there’s no guaranteed method to keep rodents and mice away from your cars, you can still significantly reduce the risk of rodents nesting in your vehicle by parking away from rodent-friendly areas and keeping your storage area and your car itself clean.
You can also use a powerful mice repellent so that mice skip your car for more appealing areas. All in all, by following the aforementioned tips, you can surely reduce the chances of mice entering your car.