Keeping Mice Out of Your Car

In all the years I’ve had a very lived in car, I have never had a problem with anything non-human living in it. I was actually sort of impressed that when I vacuumed out the goldfish and cheerios that I wasn’t also vacuuming out droppings. Then, this year, I noticed some signs. A nibbled corner of the granola bar I had in the car with me. A strange pile of what looked like torn up papers. And then…a few droppings. Oh. No.

Mice infestations are very common, especially in the fall and winter as the animals look for warm spots. But you definitely don’t want them to find YOUR spot – not only are they dirty, but they cause destruction by chewing on everything. And if they crawl into a vent and die, the odor is NOT something you want to be driving around with.
Mice can get into cars quite easily. Their spines are incredibly flexible, and they can squeeze into any crack or crevice. In most cases, even if your car is sealed up nicely, mice will come up from underneath. So what you want to do is make your car an unappealing place.

1. Scent Away Rodent Repeller Packs – provide a nice minty smell that mice don’t like. It’s not foolproof, but it may make them bypass your car for a place that smells better to them.

2. Keep Your Car Clean – If your car is filled with clutter or food, this is ideal for rodents. They can hide, find shelter, and eat without much effort. A clean, spartan car is much less hospitable.

3. Don’t allow moisture in your vehicle – Mice need a steady supply of water and are attracted to moist areas. Keep a lid on any beverages, make sure your car is free of damp clothing or bags, and make sure your car isn’t building up condensation on the inside.

4. Clear out the foliage – piles of leaves built up on the dashboard are the perfect entry point for mice. Don’t give them any invitations.

5. Use the food chain – If you have a cat, place a litter box in the garage and let the cat patrol the area from time to time. Placing a rubber snake under the car may also help ward off mice – they won’t go near it.

6. Check for damage – If you have seen signs that mice may already be in your car, have the engine and surrounding areas checked for signs of gnawing. It’s critical to take care of these things while they are still minor.

7. If you’ve done all these things and you still feel like you may have little visitors, it’s time to set traps. Setting them overnight is the best option, and there are plenty of choices for whatever you’re comfortable with. Always make sure that children or pets have no access to the traps and don’t keep them in the car while you’re in there.

8. If you find a deceased mouse in the car, never touch it with your bare hands. Wear rubber gloves, seal it inside two Ziploc bags and dispose of it in an outdoor trash can. Then clean the area you found it in with a disinfecting solution. 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water works well.

All in all, do what you can to keep them away, but if you catch the problem quickly enough, you can handle it easily!