How to Keep Mice Out of Your Car

There are several tell-tale indicators that mice may be getting into your car. In extreme cases, maybe your car won’t start, or you’ve noticed gnaw-marks and droppings somewhere inside the vehicle or motor compartment.

If so, there is a high chance you have mice using your car as a secret hideout, or worse… a breeding grounds. 

That said, learning how to keep mice out of your car is easy enough (albeit it may take a multi-pronged attack).

Afraid Mice Are Getting Into Your Car?

Mice aren’t exactly common in vehicles, but they’re also no strangers. If you leave food behind, they will find it due to their keen senses and endless exploring of their surroundings. So, beware. Put that milky way in the glovebox or take it inside, the same with the half eaten bag of chips on the passenger seat.

No matter if you like them or not, if given the chance, mice can and will wreak havoc on the entirety of your car. Usually offending most senses in the process, these little rodents will enter areas of your vehicle that you never even knew existed. More or less, once they are in your car, they will explore every single inch of it. 

Absolutely no area within your car is safe from mice. Wires in the engine are at risk of being chewed on, upholstery of being gnawed on and shredded, and practically anywhere that is possible will be defecated on (or in).

Considering how expensive maintenance on a car can be, as well as debilitating if the damage is severe, it is quite important to take precautionary steps to secure your car’s security and value.

Find Out How They Are Getting In

The reasons for mice using your car could be varied, as well as numerous. A mouse isn’t aware that a car isn’t suitable for habitation simply because you say so, have you seen how cosy it is in there?! They will stick to what works for them, whatever it is made of, especially if it comes with any extra benefits.

Parking Location

Obviously security from the elements is a major bonus for any hideout for mice. Although it may seem harder to reach in the safety of your garage, you may be enabling the mice to thrive with ease, as it is common for people to use the garage for storage of pet foods or bird seed, a readily available source of sustenance is always a big seller when choosing real estate for mice.

If your car is in a garage or carport, check around the area for signs of where the rodents could be coming from. Look for entry-holes, gnaw marks, droppings and other indicators they may be around. If so, you know where to start with your pest control and prevention.

Exterior Condition

The structural soundness of a car is crucial because, if it isn’t in great shape, mice get into it in a heartbeat. During tough winter months, an insulated area from the cold wind and rain makes the inside of your car an ideal spot for mice, whether your vehicle is parked in a garage or not.

Check under your car for holes in the body of the vehicle. Likewise, check the inside for holes under the floor mats and carpet. It may be necessary to peel back the carpet in order to check the body for rust holes. At any rate, finding these holes will allow you to block future access to the mice.

Cleanliness Of Interior

The inside of your car is more important than you know. Regardless how often anyone else sees it, and leaving snacks and such laying around can be tempting, this will attract mice. If one of your kids spilled a soda or dropped a few fries, and it wasn’t properly cleaned, this too will attract mice to the interior of your car. 

Making sure that you keep the interior of your vehicle as spic and span as possible at all times will ensure that mice aren’t attracted to your car for any other reason than basic shelter. And, eventually, they will move on (or be captured or killed by you).

Practice Prevention

Unless you are sympathetic to a mouse’s cause, ignoring their existence in your vehicle is only going to last for so long. If you value your car, and have experienced mice interruptions before or not, practicing proper prevention is not a choice, it is mandatory.

Basic Pest Control Techniques

If you have noticed a mouse in the car, and want to get rid of it, the best things you are simply basic pest control techniques. Set out traps in the car overnight, as well as under the car overnight. Furthermore, leave traps in the direct proximity of where you park your car, cutting down the number of potential mouse-invaders to your car.

In addition to traps while your car isn’t moving, you can also leave bait in the trunk, and under seats, possibly even in the engine compartment. That said, if you leave bait, make sure to check back for dead rodents every morning. If not, you’ll be dealing with the infamous “dead rat” smell pretty soon.

Continue Practicing Prevention

Keeping a simple routine for mouse prevention, even after you get them out of your car, is your best chance at avoiding future issues.

Here are a few simple ways you can do so:

  • Sprinkle peppermint oil on the floorboards in your car
  • Clean the car (and parking area) regularly with Pine-sol
  • Regularly check the car’s exterior
  • Keep an eye on the parking area of signs of pests
  • Continue setting traps in the parking area

As you may have already seen, all of there are scent based, and rely on the mouses natural instinct of survival to avoid all things that may produce these smells, or are just unbearable to be around.

Using these methods of prevention will save you plenty of grief and funds in the future, so if you value your car enough, please consider them.

Final Thoughts

Keeping mice out of the car is easier than it sounds, when it comes right down to it. Unless you happen to drive a 40 year old car with rust-holes through the floorboards and a busted up body. Which, in that case, traps and bait will be absolutely necessary.

For most folks, simply setting out a few traps near the parking area, keeping snacks put away, and perhaps putting out a bit of poison bait if desired, is really about all it takes. The real issue is the patience it takes in diagnosing the problem and setting those traps and baits in the right areas as well as patching up any entry-ways you find.

Jordan Quinn Farkas
Jordan Quinn Farkas
Jordan is a full-time writer from his home in Southeast Europe. An avid outdoors-man and backpacker, he has gathered a plethora of tips and tricks for dealing with all sorts of pests.

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