Since prevention is always the better solution than attempts to get rid of rodents, you should think about how to keep mice out of the car on time. Keep in mind that these animals need food available within 50 to 300 feet (15 – 91.5 m) of their nests. Therefore, it is usually enough to clean your car and surroundings to get rid of these menaces forever. Let’s see.
How to Keep Mice Out of the Car?
1. Eliminate sources of food
Bags of garden seeds, dry cat food, dog kibble, livestock feed, or birdseed are a magnet for rodents. If you keep any of them in a paper, cardboard, or plastic package in your vehicle, be prepared that mice will find these bags and move in there.
To avoid such an inconvenience, you should keep food stored in sealed and sturdy rodent-proof containers. Also, clean your car of spilling snacks and keep the trunk empty since mice will smell food.
2. Keep the car surroundings clean
Both the car and its surrounding environment should be kept clean and free of clutter. Since rodents like nesting in areas full of hiding places, the best way to keep them away is to keep your parking free of trash, foliage, boxes, straw, cardboard, and newspaper.
Avoid parking your vehicle near shrubs, fruit trees, and garbage cans that are not tightly closed. Also, keep your parking area free of spoiling fruits and fallen nuts, including acorns.
Never park your vehicle on grass surfaces for long, especially throughout winter. If you have a garage, seal it up since mice can enter even through tiny openings. Plus, you should add some snap traps to provide extra insurance against these menaces.
3. Check the openings
Believe it or not, mice can squeeze through unbelievable tiny openings, including holes in the ductwork or cracks in the wall. If you leave an open window or trunk, mice will pass through. They can even come inside the engine through a tailpipe and the wheel vents!
The only way to stop them is to repair the holes or damage, cover the tailpipe, close the windows and trunk, and use the wire mesh to protect entries.
4. Check under the hood
Try to check under the hood and the interior of your car in a period when you don’t use it regularly. Pay attention to the mechanical system, belts, and wiring and check for possible leakage of oil and gasoline.
Keep in mind that mice can store food inside the air filters and hoses, so check them before starting the engine. Use a flashlight and inspect the hard-to-access parts of the engine.
If you have a garage, leave the hood popped up from time to time to prevent mice from making the nest there.
If you keep your car outside during winter, try to let it uncovered since covering is an ideal place for rodents to hide. If you still want to use it to protect the vehicle from snow and salt, you should uncover it occasionally and check for invaders.
5. Start the engine
One of the efficient options to discourage mice from moving in is to start the engines from time to time even in a period when you don’t use your car. If it is possible, provide two different locations for your vehicle and use them alternately. Unfortunately, if there are too many of them, this solution won’t work in the long run.
6. Electronic deterrents
Nowadays, you can find a bunch of effective electronic repellants on the market. Depending on a chosen model, you should plug it into a wall socket or the lighter receptacle inside the car.
Also, you can pick out a solar-powered or ultrasonic model, or the one using a flashing strobe light or vibrations.
7. Repellant fragrances
Mice naturally avoid some specific odors, which makes them an ideal solution for keeping these menaces far away from your car. Let’s see all the options you have:
- Peppermint oil – Soak the cotton balls with this oil and hung them inside the vehicle. Don’t forget to reapply the oil at least once or twice a week.
- Cayenne pepper – Sprinkling it around the tires may deter rodents from your car.
- Irish spring soap – After cutting the soap into cubes, wrap wire through them and tie them under the hood. The other option is to rub the soap bar on surfaces on the underside of the car.
- Laundry dryer sheets – Put them under the hood to keep mice away from the engine. Take care to replace them regularly.
- Pine-sol – Spray it into the engine compartment, but avoid the battery. However, always check the manual before using this product.
- WD-40 and pepper spray – Yes, they are effective against rodents, but you should avoid them. WD-40 is dangerously flammable. Pepper spray may hurt you by firing in your direction.
8. Biological deterrents
- Cat – It is an excellent solution to get rid of mice. The only problem is to find the one with the right hunting instincts. Keep in mind that kitties like getting inside the engine, as well. Therefore, check for your pet before starting the car to avoid hurting it instead of rodents.
- Rat terrier – These dogs will keep rodents away from your car but may damage the vehicle by biting, clawing, and scratching it in an attempt to catch the rat.
- Animal fur or human hair – Placing this biological material around the car or under the hood will keep rodents away from the vehicle. They will consider fur and hair as a sign that the predators are around.
- Mousetrap – It is a quick and clean solution to keep mice away from your car. Fill the traps with peanut butter or cheese and place them on the tires.
- Sticky strip – By affixing the strips with a thick, gluey adhesive to surfaces inside the engine, you will catch mice efficiently. The great thing is that one strip may catch more mice at a time.
- Mothballs – They are poisonous to mice, but also for humans, so be careful when using them.
- Rat poisons – They will kill rodents for sure, but also hawks and foxes after they eat poisoned mice or rats.
- Rat bait – It works well, but it is highly poisonous to cats and dogs, either.
Except these agents are toxic for all animals, you should avoid them because it is hard removing a dead rat from the engine.