Mouse nest found in engine bay

2014 Camry LE 4-cylinder

At today’s oil change and tire rotation I asked the shop to look for what is causing on odd hot smell whenever I drive far enough for the engine to be really hot. Turns out there was a mouse nest underneath the plastic cover that is over part of the engine. No sign of any chewed wires, thankfully. Mouse nest has been removed and the nest area cleaned by the shop.

Obviously, I’ll set mouse traps in my attached garage where I keep the car as well as conduct a thorough fall cleaning of the garage to get rid of the resident rodent. Yes, sadly, I am prepared to commit mouse murder.

My question is in addition to keeping a check under that cover for any new nest building where else should I be looking in the car that is typical hiding place for mice that might not be obvious to anyone like me who cannot do my own mechanical work and therefore knows mostly to keep the interior and trunk clean???

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You need to stop feeding the cat as much & tell it to do it;s job to earn it;s food & treat;s


I dunno but if there weren’t any little babies in there, they have already left the nest and into the garage. I’ve only seen two in 20 years-killed one and chased the other out but I put glue pads down anyway. Plus I have been obsessed with sealing the garage air tight. So I put new double tube door bottoms on all three doors from North Shore, put those metal rodent guards on the bottom of my weather seals (I don’t like them), and also used that brass weather stripping on the bottom of the door frame as a rodent seal. I love those glue pads but tend to get saw dust all over them. If I see another one, I’ll get the shot gun out.

In our old house, which was a new house, we had one year with the corn field in back that was particularly bad for rodents. I found a nest in the sand box for cripes sake. We were on vacation for a couple weeks and I found a nest with little dead babies in it in the car air cleaner that had sat in the garage for two weeks. maybe mama got locked out or something and they all died. As I think about it now, garage doors leak on the bottom and the sides so that’s what I focused on now.

Tester recommends that spray stuff for around the buildings. I’ve never used it myself but if you found a nest, I’d check for leaks and put some glue pads down.

To be on the safe side, open the glove box and check the cabin filter. I found a nest on top of the filter a few years back in my 2013 Equinox.

Ed B.


I don’t have any cars new enough to have an over-engine plastic cover. Don’t like them when I see them when seeking our next new car. What’s the downside of leaving that cover off? Upside could be far fewer comfy nesting spots for mice. They’ll do fine without relying on your car.

My cars are parked outside in a wooded area. I routinely find mice nests whenever a car is not driven for more than 2 weeks or so. I don’t get them in the cars driven every day. One thing you can do is just leave the hood open in the garage, gives them less cover.

I sprinkle cayenne pepper around on non-moving parts.
You could start with just some under the engine cover.

I have an '03 Camry that has had it’s share of mouse residences and evictions. Heck, this spring I chased a ground hog out of the engine bay!

One area you should consider protecting is the air inlet snorkel. This is a small metal “tower” sticking up under the cowl cover and feeds the air inlet to the cabin filter. They are typically wide open. Mice can crawl up the side of the cowl and go down through the air snorkel onto the cabin filter. They build nests and can either dislodge the filter or chew through it to gain access to the interior ducting by the fan. I put a small piece of screen over this and secured it using ty-wraps. No more nests in the ducting…

Thank you for all your responses and suggestions. Operation Mouse is this evening’s task.


I was going to suggest installing a cat myself. I had the air bags replaced on my Corolla under recall back in January and the shop told me I had a mouse nest (but no mice) in the headliner! They wanted me to make an appointment to have the nest removed so the mice (which were already gone) wouldn’t damage the wires in the headliner (which weren’t damaged). My regular mechanic probably would have done the job in 30 seconds with a shop vac for free but this being warranty work they wanted me to make a follow up appointment. I haven’t been back and the nest is still there.

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You might check inside the trunk and areas around that. We don’t have much of a rat or mouse problem around here even though it’s a rural area with a nearby grain elevator.

A couple of years ago I found a 3 foot long piece of snake skin in the trunk of my Lincoln. We have a lot of rat snakes around here but I have no idea how it got into the trunk. At the time had a failed rear shock grommet so I theorize it got in that way.
Good thing this never happened while my wife was driving. A snake popping out from under the seat would have sent her into full blown hysteria.

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Yes my cat’s do a good job of keeping the mouse population down if I ever see one I tell them no more treats if I see it again. Knock on wood I have never had a nest in any of my vehicle’s other place;s but never in a vehicle.

I can see your wife doing that with a snake I would do that myself my wife doe’s the same thing with spider’s she almost made me run off the road one time when she saw a spider she grabbed my arm jerking & yelling for me to stop & get it out.

I sat down one weekend to watch the upcoming U of OK football game. My wife to the back to get some laundry started. A minute later I heard a blood curdling scream.
The cause was a 4 foot rat snake that decided to take up residence in the dirty clothes hamper.


If I were to find a snake in the house or in the car you’d probably hear my scream across three states. I’ve dealt with a few mice in the basement and a few snakes in the yard, including a baby copperhead. Mice illicit eeeks at a distance, shrieks if they run across me. Snakes deserve a WIDE berth. If I discovered one hiding in the hamper I’d scream too. :grin::mouse::snake:


Doesn’t the heat of the engine when driving rather cook the powder of anything like cayenne pepper or cinnamon (another suggestion given)? Any fire hazard involved?

I don’t put it on or near the exhaust parts.
The engine block could reach 250F, not enough to burn most things.
No sign of the pepper even being discolored after more than a year.

So should I put some under the cowling where the nest was? There’s a ton of wiring there I don’t want chewed!

Yes, on wiring and hoses they might chew; in cozy pockets they might hang out in.

Okay, I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion. :slightly_smiling_face: