Been having this problem for a few years off and on and it’s driving me crazy. I’m hoping I can get some suggestions or more insight.
Car and environment: 2013 Honda Civic, live in Canadian city, residential home, 2 car attached garage.
Problem: Rat droppings usually found in the engine on top of the transmission (bottom area of the engine compartment). Dropping also on the ground just under the engine area.
In the past year have trapped and killed 4 rats. Ranged from rather small to a fairly big rat. I know that the current rat is fairly big because of the dropping size. Have cleaned and searched all over the garage and no sign of rat or droppings. Only in engine and on the ground around the engine. Have set up traps around the garage and under the car. So far no catch for a couple of weeks but the rat is around. Each time I clean the engine of droppings and sweep the garage floor, no sign for about a day but soon after, it is back.
Searched and search as best I can around the engine and inside the car but cannot see any possible home. No damage to wiring or parts either. Opened up air filter and even using a shop vac to suck and blow air through and no trace of debris. Seems to be a clear flow through the air ducts.
Yesterday I make a very concentrated mixture on Pine Sol. Sprayed some around parts of the engine and rinsed it out. Wiped down most of the engine with this solution as well. Garage and engine now smell super Pine Sol fresh! This morning, no trace of droppings. Obviously, I don’t think this this deterrent should be a normal long term task. Any ideas where the rats hang out, where they might from? As said, I’ve cleaned and searched all over the garage and no trace of droppings or a home. There is no food sources in the garage at all. The only thing I can think of as a possibility is somewhere around the outside of the car the rats stay. Is this possible?
The final possibility is that they may come in from the outside through a couple of small gaps of the garage door. I plan to seal these gaps up soon. I’ve placed traps near this area and monitor the area but there is no sign they travel through this space.