Rodents in Cars

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Rodents in the hood

Rodents in Cars

How do rodents get in cars?

During winter rodents can be attracted to the warmth and insulation of your car’s engine.

They will make their nest in the engine and use it as a storage site for their food.

Rodents are capable of eating through an entire main wiring in the engine bay of your car and they can rip up your car upholstery for their nests as well as the insulation in the cars engine.

How to prevent rats from getting into your car?

If you have not yet had a rodent infestation in your vehicle, here are a few tips that might be able to prevent it from happening.

  • Rodents seek a warm dark place for their nest.
  • Make sure that all doors and windows are closed.
  • Β Rats will store the pet food into all the empty spaces in your car such as the air vent and glove compartment.
  • Remove any thick shrubs that are in close proximity to your car where rodents can hide.
  • Clear any foliage away from around your car.
  • If your car is parked in a garage block any entrances that the rats could use to enter the garage.
  • There are certain smells that repel rats that you can use in your engine such as; peppermint oil, cat litter, cat and dog hair and red pepper.
  • Keep your car clean from any food or rubbish items such at paper, cups, tissues and fast food packets.
  • Don’t let the car sit for long periods of time without using it. Drive it around every so often.

What happens if a rat or mouse has died in the engine?

If a rodent has died inside the engine.Β  You will smell immediately when turning on your car as the smell will come through your air vent.

It is extremely important to note that you should not remove the rodent or it’s droppings without the proper precautions as rodents and their droppings carry disease.


When you begin cleaning, it is important that you do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming up droppings, urine, or nesting materials.

When dealing with rodents or their droppings, use rubber gloves and a mask to avoid inhaling any airborne illnesses associated with them. Do not handle them with your bare hands.

  • Mix up a bleach solution with 1 part bleach plus 10 parts water.
  • Spray the solution on the rodent urine and droppings.
  • Pick up the rodent, urine and droppings and put into a plastic garbage bag.
  • Clean the area with paper towels and the bleach solution, dispose in a plastic garbage bag.
  • Throw the bag’s away in an outside garbage bin.
  • Remove your gloves and mask and dispose of them.
  • Wash your hands well with antibacterial soap.


Questions Frequently asked about this topic

  • What damage can rodents cause to cars?
  • How can I prevent rodents from getting into my car?
  • Are rodents attracted to specific smells in cars?
  • What are the signs of a rodent infestation in a car?
  • Can rodents cause electrical problems in cars?
  • Are there natural ways to deter rodents from entering my car?
  • Can rodents chew through car wiring?
  • Will insurance cover rodent damage to my car?

Further Reading