2018 Subaru Forester - Carport

I’m going to move to a rural site where I will park in a carport. I hear frightening reports of rodents eating car wiring–actually it happened to a relative here in town who parked in his driveway. Advice on prevention of this seems all very iffy–from lights under the hood to ultrasound to peppermint oil. Can you give me some real recommendations to fend off hungry rats, squirrels and such?

Cats, lots of cats.


I’m with Mustangman. Another thing I would do is create a bait station nearby. Like in a shed. Place Decon and traps there. Not in or around the Subie. Let the mice go to the bait station to hang out. You cannot eradicate the entire population. But you also don’t have to roll over on rodents. Fight the good fight. And for goodness sakes, do not place your trash barrels in that same carport and never leave food in the Subie. I’d seriously consider not even driving it home with a pizza from the local place. That smell will bring out the critters. Once they discover how cozy that car is they will return.

It has been pretty hit and miss in my experience. I live in the city, a couple of people have had problems, most have not. You can try the electronic things, but my guess 2% of outdoor parked cars have rodent problems.

We’ve used this stuff for years. And it works.


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I used GorehamJ 's bait station method–in a shed about 20 feet from my
carport, and it worked fine. Dcon in the shed. No more mice nests on
the cabin air filter.

I have parked my daily drivers outside for decades. The only vehicle I ever had rodents visit was the Porsche I kept in the garage. Maybe the critters just preferred German food.

More seriously, I think if the vehicle is driven frequently, you aren’t likely to have a problem. The aforementioned Porsche sat for years.

I will go against the grain here and argue against the use of poisons. The carcasses get fed on by scavengers and the poison spreads to unintended victims. It’s a method that is hard to contain environmentally.


A rodent that has ingested poison might still be alive long enough for it to be eaten by a cat or a dog, and then–obviously–the cat or dog would wind up ingesting that poison. How would the OP feel if she inadvertently poisoned and killed a neighborhood cat or dog?

Even though my car is garaged, it was invaded by mice last year, and I had to replace the air filter as a result. After that incident, I more or less surrounded the car with baited mouse traps, and–voila–no more problem. At their peak, I was disposing of 2 to 3 traps with dead mice each week.

A couple of days ago, I set out new baited traps, and–so far–no visitors, but at least I am again prepared.

Do you have a power outlet near by. I’ve been using these things you plug in that makes a high-pitch noise that rodents HATE.


Drive it everyday, don’t give them a chance to squat.

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Doesn’t work. I’ve had mice in my trucks and wifes cars over the years…and all driven every day.

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You’re exposed to the same danger whether you park inside or outside. If rodents want to get in, they will get in.

The best way to prevent this is to drive the car regularly. This tends to happen to cars that sit unused.

You can also buy rat poison and deploy it in bait stations, both of which can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but there are reasons you might not want to do that, such as accidental exposure to neighborhood pets and predators who eat the poisoned rodents.

Of course, you could also adopt a barn owl or deploy snap traps where children won’t accidentally wander upon them.

If you’re not a cat person, there are dog breeds that like hunting rodents, such as terriers.

Ah, yes, the deer whistles of pest prevention. Those never worked for me, and they’ve been on the market for decades, right next to those fuel line magnets. :wink:

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Not all cats are good mousers.



I saw a picture afew years ago in the local paper of a rat and a feral cat feeding on the same trash pile.

Did you read the directions?

Yes, I did.

Did you perform a double-blind trial using a control group?

I didn’t either, but when I started a job in 2014, my office was outfitted with these devices. I figured they didn’t hurt anything, so I left them in place, but we still ended up having to put out bait stations when rats became a problem. Both I and our Orkin technician had a good laugh about how close the rat droppings were to those devices.

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I’m not sure about rats…but I haven’t had a mice problem in our garage since I plugged in a couple of those devices.

I haven’t found anything to keep the deer or occasional Moose from eating our bushes.