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Mice in my engine

Mice just did $1200 of damage to the wiring in the engine compartment of my 2016 wrx. I’ve looked at a number of articles and posts but I’m not sure anything is promising to prevent this from happening again.

Most of the prevention methods are questionable, not applicable or impracticable for a daily driven car.

The car is daily driven. Parked in my driveway. I do not have mice in my house but I did find they got in the grass seed in my detached garage. Other than the grass seed I am not aware of any food sources.

The cable they ate is under the intake and very difficult to access. The dealer had to remove the manifold to replace it. So I don’t think Honda rodent tape or possibly even spraying with cayenne pepper is an option

I’ve mothballed up the garage and set snap traps in there. I have a bucket trap by the garage killed 7 mice the first couple days but the following week has been quiet. Also hung a fake hawk above the garage door overlooking the driveway.

Ultrasonic deterrents sound waves are easily absorbed by blocking surfaces so I’m guessing they won’t penetrate into the engine bay plus anyone who knows about the importance of hearing protection knows a mouse will just become deaf to that frequency eventually.

I hear bounce dryer sheets and Irish spring don’t work but heck they can’t hurt.

Last rodents were covered under my comprehensive auto insurance so I’m only out $500 but this has been time and money I don’t want to spend again.

In my neck of the woods mice are now seeking shelter for the winter. The only solution I’ve found is to use “glue traps” and patience. I lay the traps around where I think they’re going… based on their little trails of… well, based on their little trails. Put a dab of peanut butter (they cannot resist peanut butter) in the center of a few glue traps and lay them on the ground around your vehicle.

I don’t like killing any animal. But I’ve found no other way to deal with them, and my garage, where I’ve trapped a few, is not going to be their new home.

I live in Mexico, in a rural setting. I had mice babies in my underwear drawer, Disgusting.

I saw a Steren repeller in a store, and tried it. It looks like a small speaker, a cube of about 4 inches on each side. You do need a lot of power. Those tiny things from the building stores don’t have enough power. Steren estimated 3 would protect my house. it took 8 of them. The device kills lizards, and stuns scorpions. It does nothing for spiders. We get single digits of mice or rats a year.

I have been using them for years. There is no evidence that mice become deaf to ultrasound. You are over-thinking this issue in that regard.

The problem is logistic. How do you set up a device so you can get it near the car each time you park? I have no solution to that. If you pulled the car into a garage you could position the device and simply pull over it. But, outside would require intervention each time you parked, and/or an electrical cord running across your yard and driveway. Not a good plot.

I have no connection to Steren. This is not spam; I simply have years of experience with the ultrasound devices, and here in Mexico, Steren is the only source.

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In my house I use old-fashioned spring loaded mouse traps. The best bait I have found is doughballs made from soft bread. It would seem that you could put them under your car, between the wheels so they don’t get run over.

When we had this problem at work, we called an exterminator who placed outdoor bait/poison stations strategically around the vehicle. It seems to have solved the problem. These bait stations have openings that are small enough that larger animals like pets cannot get into the poison.

I don’t understand why mice are attracted to wires… Comments anyone?

Most home improvement centers/garden stores sell this product.

We use this in an unheated pole barn where classic vehicles are parked for the winter.

In all the years we’ve used this product, not once have we seen any evidence of mice.


Yep also gotta make sure all the little holes and possible entrance points are sealed tight against the little critters, like garage door bottoms. This is the time of year they like to come in to get warm and grass seed is a great food source. If you have to keep grass seed then seal it tight.

I only use snap traps to kill mice. They’re clean and quick. Poisons and glue are slow deaths. Poisons can end up poisoning other animals in the food chain.

My car recently had mice all through the dashboard after it was parked for a year. Luckily they didn’t damage anything but I had to take the whole dash apart to clean everything. The mice never came back since I’ve been driving it regularly. I couldn’t figure out where they came in or I would have sealed it off with wire mesh.

I’ve never had much luck with repellents. I can say from experience that moth balls do not work for mice.

Yup. Rodents, all rodents, must knaw constantly to keep their teeth from overgrowing. Rodents’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lifetime, and they can overgrow to the point where the animals can no longer eat. They can even entrap the animal’s jaws. Rats in cities have are even known to knaw on bricks. The rubber coating on the wires seems to be the right consistency for the mice’s preferences (have I pluarlized that correctly? :scream:) . Perhaps the rubber is similar to the flesh of their prey. They ain’t talkin’.

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Been where your at - after researching, and trying everything you mentioned -nothing worked. Spearmint oil diluted with some water - sprayed all over the engine bay. Never had another problem.

I had problems once with mice chewing wires in the engine area. I sprinkled cayenne pepper, a bit heavily, all over the engine compartment, and never saw the mice again.

TSM: makes sense, thanks

Mice like wires because they are tasty! The insulation on the cheap wires are made from fish oil, corn oil, and soy beans and not crude oil. It is part of going green and getting away from crude oil. Mice ate tons of my wires on my farm trucks last winter. I patched all of them needed to get the trucks operational again.

They also chewed up numerous vacuum hoses and even the filler gas tank hose on one of the trucks. The dash needs to be removed on one of them because the vacuum hoses that control my vents are like swiss cheese.

Mice and rats are seeking shelter for the winter and they decided that your car was a nice toasty home.

I’m a big fan of Decon, particularly if you have a garage in which to put it. The new packaging is very similar to the professional bait stations pros use. Change the bait stations as often as they are consumed or every 3 months. I put one right under the engine in the garage if I see any signs of them.

Check this out-

A method that worked (to the best of my knowledge) is tins of chewing tobacco. I had mice in the engine compartment on top of the engine. Left lots of droppings and shells from snails that they brought in to eat.

Solution was a sleeve of chewing tobacco tins from Costco. Find and wipe clean a few flat or nearly flat surfaces around the inside of the engine compartment. Take each tin and punch (screwdriver) a few holes in the top to let smell get out. Use a loop of duct tape to stick the tins to the flat surface and close the hood.

Apparently, mice don’t like the smell of chewing tobacco, which will slowly dry over days depending on weather. My mice didn’t come back even after tins were completely dried out. I didn’t try adding any liquid to the tins to ‘regenerate’ the smell, but then again, they might have sensitive noses that smell even the dried stuff.