Rats and mice in my car. HELP!


#1

We live in the desert, I think there are about 10 different kinds of rodents that live here too. How do I keep them from eating the wiring on my car. I asked the local mechanic, but he more or less just smiled and handed us the $600 repair bill. Here is what I have tried so far…I hung net bags of cat feces in the engine compartment…they ate the cat sh-t, and the ac didn’t smell very good either…I tried mothballs, that helped some, at least they didn’t eat them, but the car smelled like an old ladies winter coat. I have thought about adopting a dozen or so feral cats, but my dogs and the local coyotes would rather eat them than the rats. Any suggestions???


#2

You have to figure out what those rats are eaten by, and then get its urine extract. Amazon sells lots of that. Apparently your rats don’t get eaten by cats much, and so cat waste isn’t the answer.

Your state university’s extension service might be able to help you identify the rodents you’re dealing with, and what predators go after them.


#3

It’s a food chain, rattlesnakes, coyotes, hawks and owls. Our indoor outdoor cat almost got eaten by an owl and now won’t go near the garage because we built barn owl nesting boxes into it when we built the garage. The mice don’t seem to have the same problem, I’m not sure if they have the same ability to smell as the cat. I’ve seen videos of snakes laying in wait for a juicy mouse and the mouse can’t seem to smell it and gets eaten.


#4

Because the snake isn’t peeing on its own head? :wink:

If coyotes are eating the kind of rodents that are going after your car, sprinkle coyote urine extract around the car.


#5

I live in the country and have lots of spiders, and other pests including mice. The cats seem to bring a few “presents” home for us, but I have a contract with a “pest” control company. If you keep the numbers of mice low and get rid of the one in and/or around your house you might not have anymore problems with your car. So far no problems due to rodents eating wires and nesting inside any vehicles.

I bought a used car that had been sitting outside for a month or so in a parking lot. It was a '98 Volvo station wagon. When I went to find the spare tire and make sure it had a jack I found a lot of mice nesting materials in the compartment where the spare tire was stored. I was lucky in that they seemed to import most of the materials from outside the car and there was no damage. I put a few sticky mouse traps in the compartment and around the car and I did catch 2 mice that were apparently hitch-hikers in my used wagon. After that no more problems.


#6

We do try to keep the rodent population down, because aside from the car issue, the more rodents we have, the more rattlesnakes we have. I’m not sure about pest control because we live in the middle of about 500 acres of open grazing range desert. The coyote urine might drive my dogs nuts, but it might encourage them to pee on the car more so I might only have to put the coyote urine on the car once every 6 mo. or so.


#7

Hmmm, when I hear rodents and desert, I think of hantavirus. Very serious from rodent dropping and urine. I don’t know which is worse, snakes or rodents but I’d start getting very aggressive on control. Make sure all entrances to the garage are tight with no small entry points. Mow mow mow or plow around the garage and building to remove or control any brush or weeds. No food source like seeds etc. Traps like glue traps all over, Decon, etc. etc. Good luck. I’d be moving into town.


#8

I think traps (not the kind that catch, but the kind that kill), with some peanut butter to attract, are the best way to get rid of mice. You can get rid of quite a few in very short order. They’re not smart enough to realize the trap 5 feet away that just killed Joey is the same one they’re about to stick their nose into.

Wife had a mouse in her car. Not sure how it got there, but it was very happy, and she wasn’t. We tried one of those poison-in-a-box routines, but the mouse was pretty smart…he emptied the ashtray, and shoved the butts into the box o’ poison. I laughed hysterically at the sight until I caught the look the wife was giving me…then I went and got some traps.


#9

Pepper spray. Cayanne is what we use in the piedmont NC… to keep stuff out off the veggies. You live there so making your concentrated heavy duty own pepper spray mix should be no issue… add a little veggie oil to adhere.

Baiting? Like wait a minute?? Put bait away from your home not near it… Like bug traps? LOL… yeah put a bug trap in your yard and your neighbors will love you.


#10

I have thought about using DeCon but I am concerned about the natural predators, red tail hawks and golden eagles and owls getting sick or dying from eating poisoned mice. Does anybody know if that is a problem? This is the desert, we joke that we don’t mow grass and we don’t shovel snow. Our rainfall since Jan. has been 3 1/2 inches. I really am looking for a way to repel the mice from my car and to keep them from eating the wires.


#11

I like the idea of cayenne, I just hope that the local mice have not adapted to hot pepper since it is heavily grown commercially in this area. I thought spray glue and then a coating of cayenne would make it stick really well. Would spray glue in a cold engine be a fire hazard when the car then heats up? Is it possible for the cayenne to get into the ac blower or the heating system? I would not want cayenne pepper blowing into the passenger area while trying to drive.


#12

Considering that many glues are petroleum-based and therefore flammable or combustible, I would’nt recommend spraying any under the hood. What I would suggest is using a garage for your vehicle, if you have one, and make sure it’s sealed well. If you don’t have a garage, then you might be able to buy one of those vehicle “tents”, that have thier own floor, and park the vehicle in it when not in use, then zip it up. As for getting rid of the rodents, perhaps use some rat bait (away from your home and vehicle) and make sure the critters have a source of water to go to after ingesting the bait; when they drink the water, they’re dead. Or, setting up the old-fashioned “swack”-type metal- arm-on-a-wood-base mouse/rat traps baited with cheese or peanut butter, in strategic locations is also an option. Of course, maybe I could send you some genuine Florida snakes to eat them (LOL)! Anyway, good luck to you, hope you’ll be able to solve the problem O.K.


#13

Trust me…We don’t need anymore snakes in the desert, but thanks for the offer. I think I have solved the problem… When I tried mothballs in the engine compartment it did seem to keep them away, but the smell inside the car was awful. This time I bought a couple of boxes of mothballs, marked out where we usually park the car and sprinkled the mothballs on the ground within the markings. We now park on top of the mothballs, I don’t notice a smell inside the car while driving and the mice don’t get in it while parked.


#14

We live in the mountains of NM around juniper trees so we have lots of rat problems. The biggest problem we have found is most auto makers DO NOT close off the fresh air vents in their cars. Our BMW has a real nice closed off air vent system but our FORD and MAZDA do not so we have had to rig up a wire barrier and glue it over the air vent which took me all day to just do one and it took me several times to make it work right. Pain in the butt for sure. I wish auto makers would at least put some sort of screen over those vents. Real mystery to me that they do not. Even the BMW does not really seal it off. I had to put some steel wool over the drain holes to make it work right.

Another trick we use is to leave the hood open and leave on a light under the hood. That works ok. We also keep a couple traps inside the car on the floor with tiny bit of p-nut butter on the trap just in case one mouse does get in at least we catch it. So far so good. Hope this helps and thanks for all the other tips. We tried most all of them and so far closing off vents, attics, etc is the best tip we got so far.

Maybe if enough of us call these auto makers they may start closing off the vents. BTW, easy to keep the rats off the wiring around the engine. Simple wire insulation protective sleeve works great and is easy to install and cheap. Good luck