Mouse odor



I have removed a mouse nest from the air intake area of my Camry, but I can’t get rid of the smell remaining in the ventilation system. How can I clean it out?


Get a can of Lysol disinfectant spray, and with the blower motor running at the highest speed, spray the Lysol down the ventilation intake duct at the base of the windshield.


And look around to see if there is a dead mouse somewhere.


It’s not dead mouse smell, it’s more like a mouse farm. I’ve tried spraying citrus deoderizing spray with the fan on high, but the bad smell remains, so it’s more of a mouse and tangerine farm smell now. I will try the Lysol though. Thanks for your suggestions.


I do not know how the AC system is set up or where your mouse house was. You just had it apart somewhat. If you are somewhat mechanically-inclined, see if you can figure out if you can run water into the air intake and have it run out the AC drain. That might help.


I’d tie an air freshener to your cat and send him in after any remaining mice. Heck, you can even use my cat :wink:


The original nest was in the air intake area- under the screened cover, but outside of the fan inside/outside air flap. I vacuumed as far into the fan area as I could, and it seemed like I got everything because when I turned the fan on no more bits of nest material came flying out. Possibly there’s another nest somewhere in the ventilation system which is supplying the bad smell, but it seems more like somehow the ventilation ducts have absorbed it. I’m going to try the Lysol spray if I can find any, but then maybe I’ll investigate the AC system, although putting water into the air intake sounds pretty sketchy. Unfortunatly my cat can’t fit in there or she’d already have gone in.


I once had some mice living in my car, someone told me to put “bounce” clothes dryer sheets in the car. Mice apparently don’t like them. It worked and gave a fresh smell to the car. Maybe if you use them or hang them by the vents it may help. I keep them in the car under the seats and in the glove box, changing them once a month.


With my car I can take the blower motor out and wash out the plenum between the intake and the AC evaporator including the evaporator (my real target) quite easily with a garden hose. The detergent and water runs out the AC condensate drain. I do this a couple of times a year. Your Camry may not be shaped the right way to do this. I don’t know the Camry. but it is worth your looking at it. Some other vehicles can access some inner recesses of the ducting by removing the blower motor resistor assembly. Take a look at the engine side of the firewall (pass side) and also on the passenger foot well side.


If your camry is newer and is equipped with a cabin filter, it would be wise to change that filter. The cabin filters are static charged to attract mold, dust, dirt, bacteria and other airborne pathogens.


instead of lysol, i think I’d use bleach in a spray bottle in the intake. it may be noxious for a while, but leaving the blower on high, with the window open for a while whould dissapate it.

im thinking that the inhalation of mouse urine and feces would be a pretty good reason to want the odors and bacteria KILLED, not just glossed over with a smelly coverup.


Be careful with bleach. It is highly corrosive to aluminum. I use it for a short period (10 min) and then rinse well.


the remaining odor is probably urine residue…go to a pet store and get a product that removes animal urine odors, an enzyme based product…spray it in the duct work.


If the fan sounds funny when you run it on high, the mouse probably made it’s nest right above the fan which on my 1998 camry is located under the glove box. A mouse made a nest in my camry too - I don’t know where or how the darn critters get in at. But my car stunk for months and finally went away . I wish I had tried spraying the stuff in there. To clean out my mouse house I had to remove the fan which wasn’t too bad if you can bend and contort enough to get under the dash and remove three screws.

The other day I started the car and I heard the whoosh noise and then clunk clunk from the fan. I turned it off and all of a sudden a mouse stumbled out to the passenger floor and sat there. I went around and opened up the passenger door and was going to chase it out or pick it up but the darn thing ran under the seat and I haven’t seen it again. I had a trap in there but never caught it so I hope it ran back outside and didn’t die inside my car somewhere !

When those mice are ready to have babies they can pack a heater duct full in one night !


Thanks for all of the suggestions. I tried the Lysol spray and it helped, but then I was away for the weekend and I haven’t dared check on it since I’ve been back. I’m going to try the bleach next- a 5% solution should kill anything.


In fact, the standard concentration for bleach disinfectant is 10% on a clean surface. If the surface is dirty you need more. That is for bleach that has the old-fashioned 6% sodium hypochlorite. (The final concentration disinfectant would thus be 0.6% hypochlorite.) Check the label. All the scented stuff has a lower concentration of the active ingredient and so do some of the others now. If there is no percentage given, but a different brand. Bleach has become a rip-off item.