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Mice in Air Filters

I live in a rural area and keep my car outside under a carport. I've been plaqued with mice living in my airfilters and recently have noticed them making incursions into the interior of my 2010 Prius. They've taken kleenex from my passenger seat to add to their nests. I've tried to trap them, and it isn't working. Is this very bad for my car? What can I do about this?


  • edited April 2010
    There is not much you can do unless you can park the vehicle somewhere else. This can be very bad for your car if they start chewing on the wiring bundles and other components. This can get very expensive very fast. Squirrels can also be a problem but they can't enter the vehicle interior as quickly as a mouse can. I have heard of people putting mothballs and/or charcoal in their vehicles but I just don't think they are very effective.
  • edited April 2010
    I recently went through this. They'd keep chewing up every new air filter I'd put in there.

    You can use things to temporarily "deter" them, such as red pepper, mothballs, dryer fabric softener sheets. But the only way to permanently stop them is to kill them with something like Decon or those sticky pads.
  • edited April 2010
    See if a local garden center sells a product along this line.,default,pd.html

  • edited May 2010
    Let me tell you about this! I too live in a rural area and park my Prius in the garage. I park next to where I store my wild bird seed in enclosed containers.
    I began hearing a sound, like the crunching of leaves, every time I turned on my air. After awhile, I asked my husband to check out my air filter. We found pounds (yes, literally pounds) of bird seed stored in my air filter. Guess who? This burned out my fan that moves the air in the car. It had to be replaced at great cost due to the location of the fan. What a mess! Beware! Check the air filter frequently!
  • edited May 2010
    traps baited with peanut butter work. If you use live traps they must be released at least a mile from your location or they will return.
  • It takes some work, and you need to build a small corral around the car. But this works- have had a Prius in the corral since 1997- one mouse when we forgot one night to put it up. Here is a description of the corral:
  • edited May 2010
    Maybe you could try fastening 1/4 inch steel wire screen over all the fresh air intakes. 1/4 inch wont restrict air flow but will keep rodents out.
  • edited June 2010
    I've lived in the woods for 20 years and only since getting my first Camry in 2007 have I had this problem. (Well, a mouse did make a nest in a lawn mower engine once.) In the past three years I have had rodents chew through windshield washer wires and hoses, turn signal and headlight wires, and turn my cabin air filter into their personal larder for storing hands-full of nuts and dry dog food. Now they've figured out a way to get into the cabin of the car and I can't figure out how/where. I would love to block their entrance because I am still trying to get the smell of dead rat out of the car after finally relenting and using a block of poison under the front seat (the rat ended up dying in the back seat during a day that hit about 95 degrees). This rat couldn't have squeezed through an air vent - it wasn't a little field mouse, it was the size of a Coke can not counting the tail. But in one weekend of not driving she had set up a home, stolen hand lotion, kleenex, 3/4 of a can coozie (chewed into small pieces - I found a few), and I guess was building a nest (although I've never found all that blue can coozie foam).
  • edited June 2010
    Build an enclosed fence area around your car, and buy a cat. Maybe two or three.
    When you park the car at night, put the cat(s) in the cage with the car.

    Now, you won't ever have a mouse problem again, but you will have foot prints on your car's hood and roof.

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