Close this search box.

How to Get Rid of Mice in Car

how to get rid of mice in car

Having mice in your home can be a traumatic experience to be sure. Having them in your car, however, can be downright disastrous. You may never have even considered this a possibility but if your vehicle offers a warm and dark hideout then you are at risk for these unwelcome passengers. If you want to see just how destructive mice can be, then turn them loose in a small space to gnaw at wires and insulation. Whether you have a classic car in storage or just an extra vehicle you keep at the house, we have a wide variety of products and tips to help you keep your cars free from mice.

How to keep mice out of my car

Mice will take up residence in your car for the same reasons that they will make their way into your home. They are seeking a warm, dark place to stay safe from predators and the elements. They are also seeking easily accessible food sources.

Mice will tend to forage for food close to their nests. They will typically only venture out about 25 to 35 feet in search of a meal. So if they are setting up shop in one of your vehicle’s it’s likely that there is a food source close by.

Mice get into car
Mice Get Into Your Car Through:

Here are some basic steps to take to prevent mice from thinking your car is a good place to hang out:

  • Remove any food from your car.
  • Do not park your car in tall grass or wooded areas.
  • Open the hood of the vehicle.
  • Place traps inside your vehicle.
  • Place a sound repellent device near your car.
  • Put deterring material in your car (dog hair, peppermint oil, cedarwood, etc.)

Some of these are self-explanatory, such as leaving food in your car and parking it near locations that mice and other rodents live.

Opening the hood of your car will eliminate the warm and dark feeling of the engine compartment. This will deter mice and any other mammals that are seeking shelter to nest under the hood.

Mouse in vent or air conditioner

In addition to placing mouse traps in the vehicle, Sound repellents can also be easy to use deterrents to cover one or multiple vehicles. The link below can provide you with more information about the best mouse traps available for catching these naughty creatures.

You can also use dog hair, human hair, or certain odors such as peppermint and cedar. The hair will fool the mice into thinking the vehicle is already occupied by predators. Peppermint and cedar are smells that mice are simply not very fond of.

I have mice in my car engine: How to keep them out?

The engine compartment of your car can be an inviting place for mice and other rodents. It is typically dark and relatively warm with plenty of small crevices for them to come and go. To keep mice out, you need to make it less desirable for them to be there in the first place.

The goal is to make your car uninviting to mice.

How often you use your vehicle will be a big factor in keeping mice out. Try to use the vehicle regularly or at least start it up on occasion. Mice are looking for a predator-free environment, so if you are in the vehicle often they will choose not to be.

Mice nest in engine block

Letting light into the engine is another easy first step. If you can, keep the hood up when you are not using the vehicle. Flooding the engine compartment with light will deter mice from finding a warm and inviting location.

Where possible, you can also block mice size entries into the engine block. Wire screen works very well when placed over these openings. You can also try placing traps on the tires or wheels. Mice will use these to climb up from the ground to enter your vehicle. Other common entry points include vents, openings near cables, openings near the foot pedals, and steering columns.

Mice nest in the winter

Park your vehicle in a location that is not convenient for the mice.

Your parking location should:

  • Park your car in a garage or other shelter if possible.
  • Keep the area around your car clean.
  • Not store food or trash near the vehicle.
  • Be away from tall grass, vines or shrubbery.
  • Have gravel or pavement underneath the vehicle.
  • Be away from wooded areas and other mice habitats.

One last thing to consider is the use of deterring smells. There are several human-friendly options available that will make your car engine a less desirable residence for mice.

How to trap a mouse inside a car

If all of your preventative measures still fail to keep mice out of your vehicle, then there are several ways to catch, trap and eliminate them once they have gotten inside your car.

There are some mouse trap options available for use in your car. The goal is to choose one that fits well within the space you want to put it in.

Best Mouse Traps for Cars
Best Mouse Traps for Cars

Placing traps on the top of the car tires is a good location to catch the mice as they try to climb up in the vehicle. The Victor Quick Set and Power Kill traps are excellent choices to fit in smaller spaces. These can also be placed within the engine compartment. Be sure they are resting solidly so that they do not get easily knocked off a ledge.

If you suspect multiple mice getting in your car, you can opt for the Tri-Kill trap. Although larger, it can be beneficial for handling more than one unwanted passenger. These can be placed under the car as well as on your dashboard, floorboards, and seats. How to set a mousetrap? Click here to know.

I have a dead mouse in my car: How to dispose of it?

In some cases, you may have the unfortunate circumstance of discovering a dead mouse in your car. You will usually make this discovery based on a bad smell coming from one of your vents. Go here to learn how to get rid of dead mouse smell.

Once you discover the whereabouts of the carcass you want to be sure to handle it with care. You never want to handle a dead mouse with your bare hands. They are notorious for carrying around diseases and other parasites.

Get yourself a good pair of rubber gloves before using the following steps to dispose of the deceased rodent:

  1. Seal the dead mouse in a Ziploc bag. You will want to double bag it before you place it in your outdoor trash can.
  2. Wipe down the place where you found the mouse and any of its evidence (feces, nest materials, etc.). You can use paper towels, but be sure to dispose of them in your outdoor trash can when you are done.
  3. Make a bleach-water solution by mixing 1.5 cups of bleach into a gallon of water.
  4. Use bleach water to wipe down the areas of infestation. Sponges work the best for this cleaning.
  5. Once you are done be sure to throw away the sponge and the gloves.

Make sure you wash your hands and forearms with antibacterial soap and then rinse them with warm water. You will want to do a thorough job of cleaning yourself up afterward to avoid any contamination from the mouse carcass.

Are there any good repellents for cars?

There are several over-the-counter and homemade repellents that can keep mice from invading your car. You may have to try more than one to find the right combination that works for your car and your sense of smell.

Homemade remedies will work primarily through the mouse’s sense of smell. Many of the over-the-counter repellents will use the same principle but will have the convenience of being in easily placed pouches or convenient sprays.

Another safe alternative is to use electronic mice deterrents that work on the mouse’s sense of hearing. These devices will emit high-frequency sounds that are designed to drive the mice away.

Be sure to use extreme caution when using repellents or poisons to get rid of mice in your car. Avoid unintended harm to pets and children that may be in or around the vehicle.

Here are some options you should consider:

  1. Mint Solution – While most humans find this smell to be delightful, most rodents cannot stand it. Well-placed drops of peppermint oil in mice entryways into your vehicle may keep them away. This is a safe alternative if you have pets or small children that will be in or near the car. The most effective mint solution is Victor Scent Away Granules.
    Scent away granules for car by Victor
    Scent away granules Instructions
  2. Mouse Magic Pest Repellent – This repellent comes in tiny pouches that you can strategically place around your vehicle. It is an all-natural repellent that contains peppermint, and spearmint oils.
    Mouse Magic by Bonide
  3. Under Hood Animal Repeller – This electronic device is designed to be installed in your engine compartment. It emits high-frequency sound waves that will drive away mice and other rodents.
    Rodent Ultrasonic Repeller for Car

An Ounce of Prevention…

Once inside your car, mice can do significant damage in a short amount of time. They can chew wires and other components that can render your car useless. They can also spread disease and other filth throughout your sweet ride.

Knowing how to get rid of mice in your vehicle starts with the proper preventative measures. Parking in the appropriate place and using the right deterrents can keep you from having to deal with this costly infestation.

If you do find yourself dealing with unwanted passengers in your vehicle then you can choose from a variety of safe and effective methods to rid yourself of this furry little menace.