How to Keep Rodents and Mice Out of Cars and Campers Smartly
Though rodents are found everywhere, they cause significant damage when they enter your car or camper and nest in warm places there. If they find your car a safe and comfortable place to create a nest and a great place to store food, you’re going to find it difficult to get them out.
Why do rodents and mice enter cars and campers?
Rodents, such as mice, squirrels, and rats are particularly attracted to nesting in cars and campers that are left unused for long. They enter through the vehicle’s engine compartment, ducting, side vents and rust holes and enjoy the isolation and warmth inside the vehicle.
They are also attracted to campers because of the presence of a kitchen where food might be readily available. For these reasons, once they settle down in your vehicle, it is very difficult to remove them entirely. Also, they multiply very quickly and in large numbers, so they colonize your vehicle with amazing rapidity, thereby multiplying your problem of getting them out.
How to spot rodent infestation
Rodents are easily responsible for car damage, beginning from its ignition wires to its air vents, upholstery and hood insulation. They are capable of so much damage because the enamel in their teeth is so strong that it helps them gnaw at all kinds of interior vehicle components.
You know when rodents have attacked and damaged your vehicle when you see the following:
- Wires gnawed around the engine
- Gauze torn in the air vent
- Upholstery and insulation chewed
- Holes chewed in non-metal engine components
- Droppings and talon marks
When your car just won’t start, it means the damage is severe. If mice aren’t in the seating area, you can find out the damage by using a flashing check engine light under the hood.
How to keep mice out of your cars and campers:
If you’ve been wondering how to keep mice out of your car, check out these tips—they actually work!
1. Block all entry points
Now that you know how mice and rodents enter your car, you know which parts of your vehicle to block. If there are gaps or cracks that you can’t fill, block them with steel wool or mesh, or spray foam in the area.
To prevent mice from entering your RV, block their entrances with stainless steel mesh boards. If there are any open spaces, have them filled by a professional, though it may be a tad expensive.
2. Don’t leave remnants of food in your camper
Food is another reason for rodents harboring in your camper. This only means that you clean up really well after your meals. Crumbs and leftovers can keep them coming in and gnawing at the food packets that you have perhaps not sealed perfectly.
3. Turn on the lights
Rodents feel secure and comfortable in dark places, so make them feel insecure and run away by turning on the lights. Hang lamps at night which will keep them away from your camper. Remember, they are nocturnal animals that move in packs.
4. Use mice repellents
These days, there are several branded products that will repel rodents out and away from your camper. Put some repellents in your sink, cabinets and toilets and near wires which they enjoy chewing. This is one of the better ways to keep rodents out of your car.
5. Trap them
Old-fashioned rat traps are still effective in catching mice. So, you might like to use them. They are easy to use but the only hitch is that once you trap them, you will have to go very far from your car or camper to set them free. Still, it’s worth using.
6. Spray strong scents
By using peppermint or eucalyptus oil in the path of mice or other rodents, you can deter them from entering your car. You can also do this as a preventive step after you clear your camper or car of all mice.
7. What won’t work
Contrary to common belief, the following methods of rodent removal just don’t work:
8. Dryer sheets
Though people keep mentioning dryer sheets as a method of eliminating mice and rodents you’re your vehicle, yet, it hardly gives the desired results. That’s because mice and other types of rodents can gnaw at these sheets very easily. And, what’s surprising is that they use dryer sheets in car mice to nest.
It is commonly believed that the malodor of urine is enough to make rodents run miles. But, in fact, urine’s typical smell doesn’t irritate them at all. They ignore it and enter the camper, so don’t go with this one.
Mothballs work well to get rid of small creatures like cockroaches, but not rodents like squirrels and mice. They can’t keep rodents at bay, particularly in campers and cars. It would, therefore, make better sense to go with other stronger repellents.
What to do if you find mice in your car engine?
If you suddenly find that your car just won’t start, it could well be because mice have entered your car’s engine and gnawed at the wires. Once they eat the wires or tear apart the insulation materials, they create their nesting place.
You’ll find that they even store food in different parts of your car engine. So, what steps do you take in such a situation? Here are a few immediate steps you can take to restore normalcy:
Place traps at different points of the vehicle
In fact, you can also lay traps on the wheels too. By doing this, you will be able to control them. Apart from traps, also use wire screens to block their path.
Set electrical devices to deter them
Mice are annoyed to hear ultrasound emanating from electrical devices. So you can use ultrasonic mouse repellent for cars to throw mice out of your car engine compartment. However, if you use this technique over a sustained period, they will get used to the sound and ignore it. You would then have to step up your rodent defense for cars.
To make them uncomfortable, use strobe lights. This will make them leave ultimately.
Spray various solutions into your engine wires
By pouring a solution of peppermint oil, powdered fox urine, cat hair, red pepper or Irish spring soap into your engine’s wires, you will force the rodents living there out of their habitat.
Set glue traps or other traps too
Setting glue traps for them is yet another option, though an inhumane one. They will be tortured in these traps and so die. Apart from these, you can also set human cage traps for them.
Do the mice in your car eat the wires?
These days, rodents are increasingly gnawing at car wires because they are being coated with bio-plastics coated in soy. With this, rodents not only seek shelter in cars but also forage for food. To prevent your car wires being eaten up by rodents, do the following:
Keep your car’s hood open all night
The moment you first detect rodent droppings or any damage to your engine compartment, keep the bonnet open all night. Continue to do this for a couple of weeks, and then about three times a week until you’re sure your car is rid of them entirely.
By doing this, your car no longer offers rodents any warmth and exposes them to night light.
Place mouse traps on the tread of the front tires
Place three mouse traps at certain spots on the tread of the front tires. This will act as a deterrent to the rodents as they enter by climbing the tread of the tires.
Spray natural peppermint mist into the engine compartment
For a couple of weeks initially, spray the engine compartment four times a week with peppermint spray. Then, reduce this to twice a week, until you stop spotting them. The rat repellent spray for cars works to confuse rodents so they cannot distinguish between the smell of peppermint spray and that of their urine.
Detecting urine is important to them as it helps them mark paths and locate food.
Illuminate the tread of the front tires
Rodents love being in the dark, totally unseen. By setting up lights on the tread of the car’s front tires, the rodent will be deterred from ascending the tread of the tires, so that it walks amid light to enter the car.
So, if you’ve been wondering how to get rid of mice in your car, these are sure shot methods.
How do you get mice out of your car?
It’s a huge job to get rid of mice and rodents’ infestation. On cold nights and days, rodents seek a warm spot and find it in the engine compartment of cars and campers. Mice and other rodents in your car can be very dangerous. In fact, since they nest there and chew wires or belts, they can cause grave engine malfunctioning and, in some cases, even car fires.
Read on to see how you can keep mice out of your car:
- Clean out the car thoroughly
Clean the car and vacuum the carpet with warm water and detergent. With a dry or wet vacuum, extract the water and rub dry using dry towels. Clean the seats too and the aisle space.
- Get rid of junk
If you’ve been collecting all kinds of junk in your car’s trunk, it’s time now to get rid of it. Do you see paper, cardboard, coats? Throw them all out.
- Honk to scare away mice from entering your car
Before you start the engine of your car, honk. Such loud noises will help get mice out of your car, because the sound will scare them.
- What’s under the hood?
The engine bay is where mice love to nest, particularly in the air vents, hood and air filter. Here’s where most of your wiring is which they love to chew. Check that the air filter and hoses do not have any of the mice’s stored food or nesting stuff.
Use a torch to check for infestations. If you find oil or gas leakages, have that rectified quickly as this can cause leaves to burn.
- Do you hear a rattling sound?
If you hear a rattling sound, it means that rodents have loosened the flame-retardant materials that lie between the floorboards and the exhaust system of your car. If your wiring is damaged, have the car services and checked all over. It means you’ve been having mice living in your car engine.
Mice-ravaged cars and campers are a huge financial loss to owners, so absolute care should be taken to avoid such experiences. The solutions offered here are time-tested and assured of success, so do try them.