Storing a Car Over Winter - Blocking Squirrels!


Our 1987 Ciera Cutlass gets driven about 500 miles every summer, and then goes into winter storage in our Wisconsin barn. I’m having trouble keeping squirrels from nesting inside. I’ve tried moth balls! How can I block entry or at least STRONGLY discourage it?


Do you live in a house near the barn or do you leave the state in the winter?


You may have to wrap your car in screening, the metal kind used on screen doors. Check with your hardware store to see if this material is available in bulk.


I eliminated my squirrel problems by eliminating the squirrels! Solutions come in .22, .410 and Farm Store rat poison flavors…A couple of resident barn cats can be a great help. I doubt it’s squirrels. More likely chipmunks. A good barn cat will clean them right up…


Hi, thanks for replying.

Our 1908 farmhouse is near the barn, but we’re in Virginia from September to May. The electricity in the barn stays on - it’s used for neighborhood boat storage. Any ideas?




Thanks for replying. I could see using screening. But: what openings are the critical openings to close with screening? Where do these critters come in? Have you used screening to do this?



The critical opening is the fresh air intake, usually under the cowl. The problem that many people have discovered is that a rodent will expire in the ventilation system and you will have a bad odor for weeks. Rodent nesting elsewhere is less of a problem.

My suggestion was to wrap the whole car. You wish to avoid general gnawing problems. The critters will chew up wiring harnesses and headliner fabric. Damage seems small but is a real pain to repair.

I’ve never had to protect a car. My cats have access to the garage. But screening is the traditional way to keep out rodents, be it denying them access to dryer vents, garden bulbs, attic openings, etc. It’s relatively cheap and highly effective. Also reusable.


Look along the cowl area just below the windshield wipers. There is a plastic grate that is the fresh air intake into the heater/A/C air box. This is a likely entry point. Look closely for chewed areas that permit entry. These critters can squeeze through a keyhole…