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How to Keep Mice, Rats and Other Rodents Out of Your Car Engine

Updated on May 6, 2016
Rochelle Frank profile image

Living the simple life in a rural area for the past 20 years, Rochelle has experienced, wild critters, power outages and some life lessons.

You may have bats in your belfry, but how about rats in your manifold, or mice in your motor?

It is a myth that small autos are powered by hamsters running on exercise wheels, but it is an unfortunate fact that rodents can live and create mayhem in engine compartments.

In fact, the damage done to vehicles by mice, rats, and their many cousins can be considerable.

Gnawing wires, ripping out insulation for nesting materials, or squirreling away caches of nuts and trash in car and truck engines can destroy some of man's most sophisticated transportation technology and cause significant financial loss.

This is especially true if you live in a rural area. You need your car to get to your job or to go shopping, but wood rats and other critters want it for their homes.

Source

Some Techniques Work: For Some People, Some of the Time

Rodents are everywhere, and some are likely to invade your vehicle and do damage. They can find your car, decide it is a safe place to make a nest and a handy site to store food. If you can discourage them, you may win the battle.

There are dozens of techniques used to prevent mayhem by the destructive critters. Here are some successful measures rat damage victims have tried, especially in combination. Multiple lines of defense seem to work best.

Steps to take:

  • Leave the hood up. Rodents are looking for a dark place to nest. This idea may help discourage nesting, but may not be practical in all situations.
  • Hide your dog food, cat food, and birdseed. Dog food is the gold standard of rat society. Rats will stuff pounds and pounds of it into the air cleaner, glove compartment, or other empty spaces in your car.
  • Remove or seal off rat hiding places near the car. Cut down nearby shrubbery and vines where they can hide. If you have a garage, block rat-sized entrances to the building, or spray them with substances or solutions that rats hate (see below).
  • Block small entrances to the engine compartment. Some car owners place traps around the vehicle or on top of the wheels, since rats climb wheels to get into the engine. Some block engine openings with wire screen.
  • Use electronic deterrent devices. Rodents can hear ultrasound, and it annoys them, at least for a while. Some learn to ignore it. Strobe lights like Mouse Blocker or Rid-a-Rat may work for longer periods, as they disrupt the darkness that rats prefer.
  • Make your engine and its entrances smell bad, at least to rats. Motorists have had success with peppermint oil, powdered fox urine, used cat litter, cat hair, dog hair, Pine-Sol, Irish Spring soap, red pepper, and laundry dryer sheets. The people who make "Rataway" tell you to spray it on all the wires in the engine.
  • Finally: use traps to remove the rats who get through. The old-fashioned snap traps still work. Glue traps work too but may torture the rat. Humane cage traps may work, but relocating the varmits can be a problem. Toxic baits do kill rats eventually, but are likely to also poison predators, including domestic animals.

Rodents Can Move in Quickly

Rural people know that a seldom used old car may be taken over by rodents, but they can also get excited about brand new cars. In less than 24 hours they can destroy much of the wiring.

Some plastic insulating material now being used in cars seems especially tasty to the tiny invaders. When mice chew the insulation off wires that connect batteries, alternators, or anything electric to anything else, they cause short circuits that result in costly restoration.

After the repairs, mice may go back to work and cause the same problem again, unless you take steps to prevent them.

Run! The Hood is open!

photo by Linda Gast
photo by Linda Gast

Mechanics See Engines Destroyed by Rodents

"Apparently they have nothing but time," says Rick LeDuc of Rick's Automotive Service in Mariposa, California. He has found elaborate nests in intake manifolds, and even litters of tiny pink mice inside air cleaners stuffed with bedding material.

In one of the more ambitious nests, he found part of a broom handle that had been dragged into the inner workings, as well as "a couple of pounds of dog food." In another instance, he said that only the wires coated with blue plastic insulation had been gnawed.

"They are supposedly color-blind, but sometimes they pick out one certain color of wire to chew," he says. Probably there's something about the taste or texture.

Several auto repair businesses report multiple incidents of rodent damage each month. The time of year doesn't seem to matter. Hoarding, nest building, and wire gnawing are year-round occupations.

Repair costs can be as high as $500 and sometimes much more. In at least one case, so much wiring damage was done that the car was not worth fixing.


Rural car owners sometimes come into a repair shop complaining that they "smell something burning.” Such an odor may come from smoldering grass or or pine needles tightly packed into a carefully fabricated nest, or from burning droppings, stashed food, pack-ratted items, or the deceased bodies of the actual culprits.

A lot of people are surprised to discover the source of their problems. Why are so many furry occupants living where they are not welcome? This is not their natural habitat. Are they planning to take over the planet by disabling our vehicles?

The real reason rodents seek a home under a hood is that it provides a dark, warm, secure place to hide.... at least until the ignition key is turned. The start-up of the car’s machinery can be deadly for the critters, and sometimes can cause serious consequences for the drivers as well.

An acorn, rolling into a crevice after a driver stepped on the gas pedal, can keep the throttle open. The driver of a late model Ford truck was taken for a wild ride on a winding country road, and severely damaged his brakes before he could shut off the power.

The wood rat culprit apparently abandoned ship before the adventure, but his hoard of nuts almost caused a real disaster. The truck required towing and lots of professional attention.

Anecdotal Results of Dozens of Strategies

Realistically, getting rid of rats may be a lengthy project, requiring multiple strategies. Every situation is different. As it happens, I have hundreds of anecdotes below, in over 270 comments sprinkled with suggestions, and you can read them all, or read my new article summarizing them, "Getting Rid of Rats or Mice in Your Vehicle: Reader Suggestions."

Briefly, I’ll summarize the results below.

  1. Remove rodent hiding-places next to your car. Cut down shrubbery and vines.
  2. Remove food sources near the car so the rats won’t be tempted to turn your car into a warehouse. Most notorious: dog food.
  3. Expose the motor to the light, so rats have no dark place to hide. Park with the hood up.
  4. Use traps. Baits risk poisoning pets or wild predators.
  5. Use strong-smelling substances. Compare readers’ results from using peppermint oil, powdered fox urine, used cat litter, cat hair, Pine-Sol, Irish Spring soap, red pepper, and laundry dryer sheets.
  6. Block small entrances to the engine compartment. Some place traps on top of the wheels, since rats climb wheels to get into the engine. Some block engine openings with wire screen or brillo pads.
  7. Use electronic deterrent devices. Some have had success with ultrasound devices, others swear by the strobe-light-emitting “mouse blocker.”
  8. Do not let the car sit unused. Drive it once in a while, see if rats have been doing mechanical or electrical work.

Collecting and Nesting Behavior of Wood Rats

John Muir, the famous Yosemite naturalist, called the wood rat (or pack rat) "a handsome, interesting animal".

In his detailed descriptions of Sierra flora and fauna, Muir also opined that "no rat or squirrel has so innocent a look, is so easily approached, or expresses such confidence in one's good intentions."

The comments of today's vehicle owners plagued by rodent motor damage are much less complimentary -- and are often unprintable. It may have been easier for the poetic naturalist to appreciate the animal, since he usually traveled on foot, rather than by SUV.

Wood rats are notorious for accessorizing their nests with things they collect, ranging from natural curiosities like bones, cones, and stones, to the tools, trash and treasures furnished by humans. Muir recorded incidents of rats stealing combs, nails, tin cups, eating utensils, and spectacles, which he supposed were used to strengthen rat nests.

Once inside an engine compartment, the rats see a mother lode of wonderful man-made objects, with wires and hoses and tubes connected to a spectacular variety of shiny metal and plastic components. To this assemblage, they will add their acorns, pine needles, hardware items, bottle caps, and whatever ornaments suit their eclectic decorating style.

Even before the era of motorized vehicles, settlers contended with these tiny terrors, doing their best to keep rats and mice out of their houses and barns.

Hard rock miners, however, actually encouraged rats to inhabit the mine tunnels, by saving crusts and crumbs of bread for them. The rats acted as a low-tech safety system. Being ultra-sensitive to tremors or quakes, they provided early warning of impending collapses or cave-ins. If rats suddenly went running for the exit, the mine workers were right behind them.

This may give us a clue that a deterrent that causes vibration or sound waves, may be a good choice.

One of the newest products addressing the wire-chewing problem is Honda Motor Tape. It is infused with pepper and perhaps some other deterrent and is used to wrap the wire harness. Early reports say it works well. It is not cheap, but costs much less than replacing an entire electrical system in your vehicle.

.... Lurking, everywhere.

Rat photos by Linda Gast
Rat photos by Linda Gast

Some Less Serious Ways to Discourage Them

So are there other ways that pesky little wire nibblers and insulation grabbers be discouraged? Could a car be disguised with animal pelts, to make it look like a rat-eating predator?

Would a ground squirrel be tricked into thinking your car was a mountain lion or a giant badger with the help of a spectacular paint job? Or perhaps one of those big plastic owls could be stuck under the hood, and wired it up with a speaker playing annoying rap music.

Some people park their car over a bucket of mothballs, which is apparently repugnant to rat olfactory receptors.

The family dog or cat may help to keep mouselike pests away, though if the cat gets into an engine, it's bad for everyone -- usually worst for the cat.

There are also little buzzer things that are supposed to keep pets off the furniture. They might work.

The problem is not going away, so drivers might be wise to pay a little extra attention next time they notice an unfamiliar squeak in their vehicle.

They are out there.

Some of them know where you park your car.

Have you had this problem?

See results

New Hub on Rats in Cars

My newer article (click here) summarizes the best car rat-proofing ideas contributed by readers in the 270+ comments below. Or read the comments and add your own ideas!

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    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 9 years ago from Central North Carolina

      One reason rodents chew on wiring is that the electricity produces a salt, which is tasty. Could be the same deal in the cars.

      Just the other day I got a napkin out of my glove box and it had been chewed/shredded by something with teeth. Mm, I better check under my hood!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Hmmm, Donna,

      That may be the thing that is making them go for the wires. I can understand them wanting a dark warm cozy place, but wondered about the wire chewing. I thought it might just be that they were looking for sturdier nesting material.

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 9 years ago from South Africa

      Perhaps the rodents are decended from lab rats and such cannot resist being wired!

      Nice Hub

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 9 years ago from California

      Not only is this hub entertaining, it's true.  This poor woman brought a car into my shop many years ago with "cut ignition wires" so we installed new ones for her and she drove home.

      She called the next day, furious that we had done such "poor quality work" and demanded we pay to have her car towed back to our shop and for us to do the work correctly this time.

      I was totally shocked and confused, but of course I agreed to do so immediately and called our favorite tow company.  Upon getting her car back in the shop, we discovered the "cut" wires again.  I went out to Mike, one of our techs, and asked him how he could possibly have managed to miss some cut wires.  He pulled the woman's old wires out of the garbage can, the whole set still there from yesterday.  "I didn't," he said.  lol.

      So we studied the new broken ones and the old broken ones and I noticed little teeth marks, the kind of little grooves you see when you look at a piece of cheese you've just bitten a bite from, in the insulation of the wires.  When I called her up, she didn't even want to believe me, thinking we were pulling a fast one on her somehow.  lol.  I told her we'd replace all of the wires for free this time, because we failed to realize the cause of her problem the first time, so she lightened up.

      It took her three more wires and a week to finally catch that mouse.  LOL.  Her car was the first time I ever recommend a cat as a means of automotive preventive maintenance. 

      great hub.. sorry I went on so long.  Couldn't help it.

    • profile image

      Pete 9 years ago

      Just Googled "rodents chew car tubes" and hit this site.

      Here's my rodent story.

      Had my car serviced 2 days ago, minor service, replaced all fluids etc. And they washed the car for me. And of course, while on their lot waiting for pickup, a large bird did what all birds like to do on newly washed cars & dropped a load on the windshield.

      So I picked up the car, drove off and of course hit the windshield washer to clean the bird poop. Hmmm, not as much pressure as usual. Did they top up the fluid ?

      Got home, parked the car and noticed fluids dripping out on the ground. Popped the hood. The tube running from the windshield washer tank to the nozzles on the hood hand a chunk bitten out of it, and the area was covered in little bite marks.

      And that newly topped up windshield washer tank ? Nearly empty, the contents having been sprayed through the hole all over the engine compartment.

      Thankfully just a small rubber hose to replace and not the wiring system in my case.

      Thanks for the site, good to know I'm not the only victim.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 9 years ago from California Gold Country

      It is not as uncommon as some people think. Out in the countryside we have lots of rodents in multiple species. The pack-rats are really inventive in the ways they can mess up man's machinery.

    • profile image

      shirley 8 years ago

      i saw a rat inside the motor of my vehicle this morning...i've been having to jumpstart my car every morning for about 4 months now i've taken my car to several mechanics and none of them have found the problem, the battery is fine, alternator ok, everything seems good so i have no other choice but keep jumpstarting my car. this mornign i was jumpstarting it again when i saw this big rat next to the battery, it was alive, moving, horrible, i dont know what to do could it been the problem that noone has been able to solve?

    • profile image

      Ellie 8 years ago

      Very interesting article, Rochelle, but living in a condo with an indoor garage, that's one less thing I have to worry about. Never thought about this type of problem until you drew it to my attention. However, I do park the car outside now and then... Worry...worry...

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I never knew that they could cause so much damage to vehicles.

      We had a mouse in our house and were trying to catch it. Until it helped us get rid of a neighbor who never could take the hint to end her visit. He became an honored guest after that.

    • MellasViews profile image

      MellasViews 8 years ago from Earth

      I never even knew something like this happened to people. This was entertaining and helpful all the same. I also loved how other folks came in to share their rodent in the car stories as well. Who knew!?!?! I have to pass this along to others! ; )

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Rochelle, I don't know how I missed this hub......but I actually put in a hub request a few months back asking how to get rid of pesky mice for this very reason. I went through 4 sets of sparkplug wires in about six weeks time. The first time I had no idea what was wrong with my car. The engine light was on and it was running badly. I had it towed to the dealership just to be told it was a mouse. I replaced the wires and within the week they had eaten through the second set. After the fourth set I made hand-sewn sleeves for each sparkplug wire made out of a heat resistant material I found at the auto parts store. I haven't had any problems since.

      We had record numbers of mice in our area according to the local news. We were seeing mice daily inside and out. We live on 27 acres, but have for the last 27 years as well and never had them chew through wires before.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      You might be doing your community a public service by writing an article for your local paper about the problem.  suggest your solution along with others.

      I originally did that with this subject, and found that many people were familiar with the problem.

      Thanks for reading.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      I still may end up writing a hub about it......I know everyone I talked to about it was having some sort of problem with them this year. One co-worker and I would compare notes each morning about how many we had killed the night before.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I have added this hub to my Mice Eating Spark Plug Wires. :) Gary

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, Gary. I will do the same here-- between the two of us, we may beat those pesky mice. Ha!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Seems like most people first hear abut it when it happens to them. I've been lucky so far, but probably should look into the deterrents before it happens.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      There ae some suggestions in the comments formerly made-- One of the best I have heard is to get a plug-in electric deterrent that buzzes when it senses motion.

      Them Rodents are very smart.

      The " small electronic deterrent device which sends out rodent- disturbing signals" might be your best bet. Good luck!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Persistence pays. Hope they didn't do too much damage.

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the article. I had squirrels under my hood for a while. I don't want to ruin your advertising, so let me just say that Amazon also sells cayenne pepper.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Was that your remedy? Makes sense. I don't think squirrels are much into peppery seasonings-- though maybe if you are close to the southern border...

    • HarperSmith profile image

      HarperSmith 7 years ago

      I ran into this problem on a brand new Toyota Supra several years ago. Mice had pulled up carpet padding and made anest in the air cleaner. Thanks for the hub I never heard of anyone else having this problem.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Seems like it isn't that unusual especially when you live in rural areas.

      Yesterday I saw a gray squirrel with a a mouthful of blue plastic fibrous material (ripped off of a disintegrating tarp that is covering some firewood). A nice little bundle which I am sure is going to add a decorative touch to an otherwise ordinary squirrel nest.

      Rodents are amazingly inventive and adaptable.

    • profile image

      Linda Foster 6 years ago

      I live in the country and commute to work the other morning I pulled alongside the road to eat my breakfast burrito and talk to my cousin on the phone. I looked up and there was a giant rat on the windshield. I tried going really fast and slamming the breaks to knock him off. He would not let go I was screaming and driving like a nut. I finally went down a cul-de-sac going in circles really fast slamming the brakes he was holding onto my wiper blade with his front feet. Swaying from side to side then my cousin yelled hit the wipers it flung him to the hood of the car and he rolled off. I wish I would have had a dash cam I could have made some money it was like something out of the movies. Now I am terrified there are more.Any suggestions what do I do to keep them away. I almost had a heart attack.

    • tbryce1966 profile image

      tbryce1966 6 years ago

      Having mice in your motor would be terrible…they are bad enough elsewhere! Please don't use any of these Ortho Home Defense Max Kill and Contain traps…take my advice. They are ineffective and falsely advertsised.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 6 years ago

      OMG, this is so true. Luckily the rats which camped inside our car was only having a tour or perhaps there was no time for it to build his nest in the engine. When my hubby switched on the engine, the little vermin scurried away.

      One time while I was doing the laundry the washing machine's spinner would not even budge so I ended up hand washing the clothes! As it turned out, a mice happened to be inside the machine and it was caught in the swirling motor. Good riddance.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Hi PaperNotes-- you were lucky. I suppose those who leave their car idle and parked for a few days, would be more likely to have rodent intrusion. You might want to do some prevention to discourage re-visits.

      Thanks for you comment.

    • profile image

      Mr Rudi O'Neil 6 years ago

      This is a new notion for James Herbert, who could write a book to go with the other seventeen million that he has written about rats. This one could be about combating the fact that the world is overly populated by rats, by making them into a type of super efficient fuel.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      That would be poetic justice of a sort. If they are going to be in our engines, they may as well be fuel.

    • PR_am profile image

      PR_am 6 years ago from Oregon

      Wow. I never really thought about this. Now i know what to do when i or anyone i know have such problem. Thanks for the information

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Preventing it is the best approach. If you notice any evidence of rodents, have a plan in place.

    • profile image

      Carole 6 years ago

      I had driven 4 hours north of my home to the service centre of where I bought my new car to have it serviced. I couldn't believe it when the service department rang me to say that my engine has been eaten by rats. They were amazed that my car even made the journey. As I have an electronic break system I am to consider myself very lucky. As to the weeks without a car whilst waiting for european parts and one part alone that is costing $2300.00 I do not feel entirely lucky. I have now purchased a cat for my property and will certainly be trying other suggestions.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      I hope the cat takes care of it. That was a big repair bill. A lot of people are saying that the old fashioned snap traps are still effective, especially with peanut butter as bait.

    • profile image

      Sue-Ann Wayne 6 years ago

      This site is no help at all. Everyone has a story or a problem, but no SOLUTION. What can be done ( besides moth balls- they are poisonous to humans too )

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      You may be right, Sue-Ann.

      It seems there will always be rats and mice. The list of suggestions is long, and what works for some people doesn't help others.

      As I said, many people think the old fashioned "snap rat" or spring loaded mouse trap works best. Others swear by peppermint oil, fox urine, dog hair or some other organic repellent deters them.

      I know one lady who had the problem who swears by the electronic repellers, and another who has a good "mauser" cat.

      My neighbor always keeps the hood up when parked at home and keeps the garage light on (they like dark secluded places for nesting).

      The first, most important step is to make sure you have no pet food, bird seed or other livestock food in places that can attract rodents... especially in the garage.

      Maybe a combination of methods will work, and I agree-- I would use mothballs and poisons as a last resort, and with extreme care.

    • profile image

      heyteach 6 years ago

      Definitely had this problem for some time. Here's what I've done--praying it works.

      First, found that if you wash out the engine as well as you can with a hose and get as much nesting material and their scent out, that's a good first step. Then I got Pine Sol per one site's suggestion and faithfully spritzed that in the areas they seemed attracted to each week. That did decrease activity (sprayed near the windshield washer where they had clearly been feasting; also around the front tire, wheel well.) Got an ultrasonic pest control device and with an extension cord popped the hood and put the device in when car was not in use for about a week (used but would take the device out; got home put it back in). Idea was to send message to find a new place to live. That SEEMED to work, but didn't as eventually they got back to car.

      I noticed in my front yard that I had some burrowing. So just this past week I went out and got something called The Giant Destroyer, sold at Home Depot, on Amazon.com, and probably elsewhere. It's four sticks of sulfur producing materials. I had my brother help me. We plugged the holes and then down the largest most active one, we put the lit device. When it smoked, covered the hole up and let it gas whatever might have been in the hole. Next day I looked and the rock was moved--could have been internally or externally or a cat walking through, etc. I took a half gallon of generic Pine Sol and poured it into the hole and then put the rock back. I have seen no evidence of activity, so that MIGHT have killed things off.

      I had to get some things, wiring and tubing, replaced and the man at the shop said go get something called

      CRITTER RIDDER sold at Home Depot and feel free to spray it all over in the engine compartment as it can't damage the car. So I bought that and applied liberally. The spray bottle said it's good for 30 days. We'll see. It also comes in granules/powder and I bought that as well and spread it around in the areas where I know they've burrowed in the yard. (The problem is I live where we have cactus and I CAN NOT access all the holes.) So far, so good, but it's early days.

      I do KNOW for a fact that other things I tried did NOT work on what I had. Someone had said that peppermint oil would put them off. I took a cotton rag, soaked it in peppermint oil, then tied that near where they had been by the battery. Next morning, I went out and they had EATEN part of the cloth and pulled it all away from where I had tied it.

      I have been told that RAT BAIT will work as well. I purchased some and placed it out--it was carried away, but I don't know that it did any in.

      IF you have a garage, I would say try the ultrasonic pest controller and set traps in your garage. Get the engine as clean as you can, preferably either getting it on a lift or jacking it up and knocking away any visible nests. Spread the Pine Sol and/or Critter Ridder in the car engine compartment. With the Pine Sol, I'd NOT get it on the batteries--more in the area around the windshield washer where it's all metal (at least in MY vehicle) should have enough smell to send a message. The Critter Ridder should be safe everywhere according to the auto mechanic shop man.

      IF you can find burrows or nests or such--try the Giant Destroyer and/or Critter Ridder as well so they aren't handy.

      If you can't use your garage or don't have one, you still may try the ultrasonic device near the car--they claim they work for a hundred feet or so.

      I think that strategy (clean, use the smells, use the ultrasonic, and try to gas them in their holes) will work in many cases. If it fails, then you probably need a professional pest control person to come give it a go. I'm praying I don't have to shell out that kind of money and one I spoke with for free said they like to TRAP them--traps mean time and multiple visits and they can eat an amazing amount of stuff in short order.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sounds like you have the best answer to the problem. It takes patience and dedication, but a combination of methods may be the only solution.

      Rodents have plagued mankind forever, it seems, in one way or another. They probably will never go away completely.

      I appreciate all of the information you have added in sharing your experience, heyteach.

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I've never heard my husband say anything about rats in the engine, but he does complain about stray neighborhood cats sleeping under the hood leaving dirty paw prints and scratch marks. How do you keep cats from crawling up the engine from under the car? :O

    • rmr profile image

      rmr 6 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Great hub, but I do have a word of warning about the electronic repellents. Buy more than 1! I put one of these in my garage when I found field mice there. It chased them out of the garage in a hurry, and right into my house lol. Now I use them inside and out.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      to Susan: It seems to be that certain makes and models of vehicles tend to provide easier access. Like the other animals, I suppose they are looking for a dark warm place for security. Maybe the electronic deterrent would also keep them away. On the other hand, the cats may be keeping the wire-chewing mice out.

      to rmr: Perhaps little directional signs would show them which way to exit the garage. I'm glad, at least, you found something that worked for you.

    • rmr profile image

      rmr 6 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thanks for the tip, Rochelle! I've made little signs leading to my neighbor's car. The neighbor that likes to walk his dog on my lawn, that is.

      I had a much bigger problem recently. I raised the hood of my car to find a very large, disgruntled possum hissing at me. Animal control came out, told me it should be perfectly safe to yank it out by the tail, then left me to my own devices. Tax dollars at work!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Whoa, them critters can be skeeery! "SHOULD be perfectly safe"-right. I guess they are not disturbed by the sonic waves. I mean the government workers. They should be yanked out by their tails and see how they react.

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I guess cats under the hood are the lesser evil then. Hehe. :)

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 6 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      I ran through our small town at full throttle once in a big old burgundy Cadillac. Turned out there was a nest of mice in the engine and they had gnawed through the throttle cables. It was so scary; I'm glad I didn't kill someone before I got it stopped.

    • jeremysharon profile image

      jeremysharon 6 years ago

      Mice huh, they goes in the car and chew the wire sometimes they stays somewhere dark in the car and I scream when I watch a mouse anywhere they are just irritating.

      Thanx for the information I will definitely use tit.Hanx for making this Hub!

      I hate Rat and mice!

      Reagards!

      :-)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Susan--cats can be annoying but hy do have some positive traits. I don't mind if a cat sleeps on my feet

      or keeps the rodents away.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Silva-- What a scary experience!-- Yes, they are devious and damaging little critters.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, jeremysharon. Hope you don't have too many rodent experiences.

    • profile image

      tammerdee 6 years ago

      My experience with mice began three weeks ago. During a warm fall here in the Sierra Foothills, my car began stinking. Finally took out the back seat and found dead baby mice. Scrubbed out the ooze and maggots.

      A week later I found a nest of pink wiggly things in the trunk. Out they went and in went the good old fashion traps. To date, we have killed 6 inside the car and 3 on the car port. I have vacuumed out the air filter compartment twice, removing about a pound of acorns, seeds, grass and insulation. How are they getting stuff into the air filter and compartment?

      We live on two hundred acres of vineyards and woodland so I expect the critters. I am even on terms with the mountain lion and her cub, but PLEASE!!! Enough already.

      We lost our "Magnificent Mouser Kitty" to illness a few months ago and are looking to replace him this week. We will continue the battle!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Some people think the sonic deterrents work, others say old fashioned traps-- though they only take care of one at a time, and there seems to be an endless supply of mice.

      Thanks for commenting, and good luck in your battle. Sounds like you need at least a couple of kitties.

    • quicklysilver profile image

      quicklysilver 6 years ago from wexford, ireland

      I had an incident with my car and some rats a few weeks back. A bit different thought. I stopped at a set of traffic lights and two mice dressed in balaclavas brandishing pistols car-jaked my Lexus. I couldn't believe it, I never thought it would happen to me.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      I guess you didn't have any garden gnomes with you? They are fearsomely afraid of gnomes.

    • quicklysilver profile image

      quicklysilver 6 years ago from wexford, ireland

      No, we needed some extra cash, so we sold Peter.

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      sgyuris 6 years ago

      My problem is squirrels..... they do the same damage as mice and rats, even worse. Has any of you used CRITTER OFF??

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Squirrels can do huge damage. I have no experience with Critter-Off, but they claim to use 'natural' ingredients like peppers. Might be woth a try. It seems that people with big problems try to use a combination of methods.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I live in a semi-rural area. About two years ago I was having problems with my car engine. One day it wouldn’t start, and a mechanic discovered that wires in the engine had been chewed by mice or rats. We had a dense mat of plants climbing up the back wall of our house, which looked lovely. I had been noticing frequent rustling sounds coming from the plants, which fascinated my cats. I guessed that the sounds were being created by some invisible animals climbing through the branches. We took down all the plants, which was a shame because they looked so nice, and we‘ve had no mice/rat problems since.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sorry to hear of your problems, AliciaC. Those of us who live away from the city depend on our cars.

      You have brought up a good point, though. Getting your car away from a mouse-friendly habitat (or removing the habitat) is another piece in the puzzle of defending against rodent damage to your vehicle. Thanks for your comment. Your solution will help someone else, I'm sure.

    • profile image

      Rebecca 6 years ago

      Well, I've just had it happen to my Chrysler- $250 later... So, I wanted to pass along a tip from my mechanic. Irish Spring Soap. Cut in cubes, drill holes and wrap a wire through and around the soap. Then, tie them under the hood in locations where it doesn't get hot. I pray this works! As for now, just glad my car us working again lol!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      I hope that works for you-- at least it's easy t try. You must have discovered them early; a lot of reports I have heard had much higher repair bills. You might want to look over some of the other suggestions in these comments. Good luck.

    • profile image

      Wendy 6 years ago

      I am glad to know I am not the only one. I have a newer Honda Odyssey, and my husband took it in for an oil change. The technician came to the waiting room with an air filter and put in on the counter. CLUNK. It was so loud! When the technician asked who owned the Odyssey my husband was embarrassed to admit it. The technician discovered that every slot in the air filter had approximately 40 pieces of dog food in it. He took my husband out to the car and showed him another 2 cups of dog food in a recess behind the glove box. We were floored. (BTW- we already had sticky traps taped to the battery from an intruder from last year. We caught 8 under the hood last year, and I park in a closed garage every night.)

      Luckily, the technician had worked for Honda before and stated this was quite common - especially in our model. He suggested placing extra traps near, and on top of, the tires since that is their entry point for climbing into the engine.

      After this, we thought all was well until we headed out on a road trip. We loaded everything the night before so we could leave around 3AM. Our rodent returned and helped itself to the contents of our snack bag. Needless to say, we were hungry on our trip. The little bugger decided to nest under our dog's kennel. (So no, dogs don't keep them away.)

      Our car is now empty of all food, tissues, GLOVES, etc. Our dog now eats in the house, and we store her food in the laundry room.

      Now we are keeping cotton balls in nooks in the engine compartment. Every few weeks we place a few drops of peppermint oil on the cotton balls. We also rub the oil on the air filter. It is a strong repellent for them mice and it keeps our car smelling nice. So far, so good. We'll see over the long run.

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      yaseen rASdg 6 years ago

      Good information. I like it much. Thank you.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, Wendy.

      I think you are taking the right approach by using combined strategies. It is surprising to research this and find that Hondas seem especially prone to rodent invasion. Perhaps their design allows easier access to the inner places-- something the maker should address.

      and thanks yaseen, hope it was useful.

    • profile image

      Cate 6 years ago

      Had a 1997 volvo. Drove home and as I went to go in the house I noticed a little smoke coming from the hood, went and opened it to find debris on fire. Used a broom to knock it out. A few months later, my mother calls me on the phone. She'd been driving my car periodically since I was away at college. She drove to the grocery store and when she pulled into the parking space, she noticed smoke. She got out, went to open the hood and some guy stopped her. next thing you know, the whole thing burst into flames. Dead burned to a crisp volvo. After being inspected by the fire fighters and others, determined a next on top of the engine ignited.

      So now, I've just graduated from college, got a 2004 volvo a year ago. I've been finding acorns and scat all over my engine. They've chewed through my hood insulator in various areas, ripped out some other stuffing from who knows where. The acorns and scat burn and lucky me gets to breathe it in as a I drive. I've officially declared war...

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      I hope you win. They can be very determined. It seems that some people have had luck by combining several strategies.

    • profile image

      Cate 6 years ago

      Last night I put a trap next to the wheel where they climb in. It was supposed to electrify the mouse when it climbed in for the peanut butter. It didn't work, all I did was give it a yummy meal. But I now have a lovely strategy that has got me one dead mouse already. After finding the failed trap this morning I made my mom turn the car on while I stood next to the front wheel with a shovel. Mouse came out, I hit it with the shovel... dead mouse. Let's hope he doesn't have any friends. So now I'm just going to put some old-school metal snap traps next to the wheels.

      I'm going to try some of the deterrence techniques as well but mostly I want them dead. : ) Death is a great deterrent. Shovel technique is still my fav.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 6 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Long ago I drove a 1987 burgundy Cadillac Coup de Ville. One day as I came into town and entered an area where the speed limit dropped to 30, the car kept going at top speed and I ROARED through town. I'm amazed I didn't kill someone. I don't even remember how I got it stopped; I think I turned off the ignition and lost power steering and power brakes; anyway, it was a nightmare. Found out that a mouse made a nest under the hood and chewed through the throttle cables or something.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      What a scary experience! I guess there is no way to estimate how many accidents may have been caused by rodent damage.

      We mostly hear about the horrible repair expenses, but there certainly could be much more serious consequences. Glad to hear that no one got hurt.

    • profile image

      Billie 6 years ago

      I am now starting round 3 with pests in my car. So discouraged and enjoyed reading some of the deterrent suggestions. I absolutely love my car and am gathering the courage to fight these vermin's! First encounter, I opened my drink and seen a mouse head pop up (out of an open athletic bag), I screamed a little and slammed the trunk shut because I was at a gas station and didn't know what else to do. Long story short, got home and asked my husband to "fix" it for me. Turns out that not only was there a mouse with babies, but a flipping rat! My husband killed it w/ a mallet, yuck. So, thinking that was the end of it, three months later I notice droppings in my car, take to the auto shop and I was told there was about a 3-inch hole chewed through the plastic mesh between my engine compartment and the inside of my car. So after 3 hours of labor and small parts cost where they replaced the plastic mesh with steel mesh, cost me nearly $400! Now about a month later, I have droppings again! So disheartened...back to the shop? Coexist? Definitely not coexist! Anyway, will try to post back if a method had worked.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      You have reinforced the idea that they can cause a lot of expensive damage and set up a potential disaster. I hope you will share any solutions you find, because it seems that many people share the problem.

    • jamiecoins profile image

      jamiecoins 6 years ago from ireland

      great hub i have this problem alot and even had a birds nest one day

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for commenting. What works for you?

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      danny whitley 6 years ago

      i had an old broken down 1958 lincoln that was invaded by mice a buddy of mine told me that he once used dryer sheets so i tryed it out it seemed to work i guess that they dont like the smell or taste of it , try it out it worked for me but the dryer sheets can put off a very strong odor in the car

    • profile image

      B W Toppel 6 years ago

      I came upon this story while searching the web for ways to solve the problem posed in the title. Unfortunately, there is very little info here on How to Keep Mice, Rats and Other Rodents Out of Your Car Engine.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      It seems like different things work for different people-- and many suggest a combination approach. As far as there being little information, I think the comments give a lot of possible solutions. It is clear that there is not one answer to the problem that works for all.

    • Harlan Colt profile image

      Harlan Colt 6 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      I recently heard peppermint oil on a cotton ball placed in areas you want to keep them out of will send them running away. You can throw them in their hole in the ground too. I am going to try it.

      - Harlan

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Peppermint oil, fabric dryer sheets, fox urine powder and other strong smelling deterrents seem to work for some people. Others say that electronic vibrations, traps, cats or or other methods helped them stop the invasions. It might take a combination approach. Critters can be very determined.

    • profile image

      Kimberly 6 years ago

      I did some research after the little monsters ate wiring in 4 out of 6 running vehicles. It seems that most newer wiring, especially Honda's are made with insulation from SOY PRODUCTS. Ohh tastey isn't it. Arggggggg , moth balls in little fabric bags tied strategically in the engine area seems to help the most.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      It seems that i have heard about more incidents with Hondas-- Maybe you have discovered the reason. Maybe they should make them with moth balls. Glad you found something that works for you. Maybe it will help someone else.

    • profile image

      Alice 6 years ago

      My son got a 2004 Sunfire for his 16th birthday. Two days after getting his license, his car began accelerating on it's own! The dealership found that the throttle was stuck. It had been packed with debris and nesting material from a rodent who had taken up residence there! Cost $270.00 in repairs.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      It's amazing that these critters can cause so much damage. Thank goodness your son wasn't hurt.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 6 years ago

      This would be a nightmare for me. Rodents in my car would mean abandoning or immediately selling it. I wouldn't fork out $270 cos my car isn't worth that much. Voted up

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      I think it's a nightmare for most vehicle owners, seanorjohn. One problem is, we never think about the preventative strategies before something happens. When you get a better car, you might think about it.

    • profile image

      Dolittle 6 years ago

      I HATE RODENTS!!!!!!! My husbands car had an oil leak. Apparently it was the valve cover gasket. Yesterday, my husband had to put a small engine fire. Luckily, he had just bought a case of Miller Lite, and was able to use one to douse the fire. Of course we assumed it was due to the oil leaking, and getting onto something to hot under the hood. So we had it towed to our mechanic, who showed me the teeth marks on the plug wires. He also showed me where one of the wires had been arching off the underside of the hood, which in turn ignited the oil that was leaking. This is the 3rd time the plug wires had been replaced due to their late night snacking! I told the mechanic I don't understand why they chew my husbands wires but not mine. So we decided to pop the hood on my car....and those little rat b@st**ds!!!! They have chomped on some of mine also. It is war now!!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Both of them? That's terrible. I wish you a quick and decisive victory.

    • MarkMAllen15 profile image

      MarkMAllen15 6 years ago

      Very useful hub, Thanks for sharing this.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you, MarkMAllen15. I also thank all of those who took time to suggest all of the things that worked for them. I just re-read all of the comments and it seems that persistence is the most necessary part of the solution.

    • profile image

      μεταχειρισμενα αυτοκινητα 6 years ago

      I don't really like mice so in house i had cats and dogs to eliminate them.Since we were not rich we buy a used car ?????????????? ?????????? and every now and then we check it condition as well clean it to prevent them from this tiny creature.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sometimes the simplest solutions, and checking frequently, are the best things you can do.

    • funmontrealgirl profile image

      funmontrealgirl 5 years ago from Montreal

      I am scared of rats! Good advice.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for commenting, funmontrealgirl. I prefer ground squirrels, too.

    • profile image

      Matt39 5 years ago

      We had the same problem in our VW TDI for years. Every time we would look under the hood, there was a nest built from the underhood insulation. We live in a rural area and do not have a garage so we have to park outside and without fail we would find a nest in the engine bay. Last spring we bought and installed a mouseblocker and so far we have not seen any mice or nests. I installed the mouse blocker under the hood and ran it off the cars battery to ward off mice. Been working well for us. Good luck, this appears to be a major problem for people.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for adding your experience. It sounds like a simple solution with no mess or fuss. I'm sure it will help someone.

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      Curt 5 years ago

      I live in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, and for months I kept finding little chicken bones inside the engine compartment of our 1993 BMW 325is and kept giving all the Dominican guys that sit on the cars dirty looks. About three months ago I popped the hood on one of our street cleaning days to check the oil and discovered a 6 inch deep nest constructed out of paper materials, potato chip bags, leaves, and all sorts of loose things that are common in the gutters on the street. That's when it hit me, rats were hanging out in the engine! I put some pigeon spikes in to take away the flat space they were nesting in and thought I'd beat them, but then our car just died this weekend when leaving church. I'm still waiting for official word on the cause but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a chewed wire/sensor somewhere because I saw fresh chewing on the wires attached to the AC compressor when I popped the hood.

      I'm thinking a few different strategies: Just One Bite, Golden Marlin Fly Bait and Coca-Cola, Miller Hot Sauce Animal Repellant, and maybe trying the electronic devices. The rats have started a war, and I intend to strike back.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      So obviously this is not just a rural problem.

      Read through the comments and you might get some additional ideas. Let us know what works for you. Maybe Urban rats are different in more ways than just their choice of nesting materials.

    • profile image

      girafman 5 years ago

      "Repair costs can sometimes be as high as $500". i only wish it were that inexpensive. i drive a Honda Fit and just spent $1200 on this mousy problem. i cannot imagine what people in luxury cars must have to pay for this repair. i will try all the deterrent methods suggested in here. i have to park in the driveway (we only have a carport and because of zoning cannot build a garage on our property) and the mice (or whoever it is) climbs up in the warm engine on winter nights. hopefully we can solve this or i will be bicycling soon.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I hope you find a good solution. For some reason Honda's seem to be very prone to having the rodent problem. Some people have suggested it is because they use soy products in their cable coatings, others think it's because of a design quirk that allow the critters easy access from under the car somewhere.

      I may have to adjust that price estimate. This was written a while back-- but people are still having the same problem.

    • profile image

      Sue 5 years ago

      My son just found 2 cups of peanut shells in my air filter. I was feeding the blue jays and left the peanut bag in the garage where the car was parked. Evidently, some furry creature decided to eat in the comfort of my vehicle. We are going to set mouse traps and see what turns up.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      You'd better check under the hood, too. They can disable your car in a hurry when they run out of peanuts. I hear that peanut butter is good on the traps, or maybe a peanut stuck down with peanut butter-- since that is what they were after.

    • profile image

      Samantha 5 years ago

      We had one under our hood this morning. Had chewed off a bunnch of wires. My brake and check engine lights came on. Also fluid was leaking from the car...I have no idea how much the damage will cost us...

    • profile image

      Melanie17 5 years ago

      We own a construction company and have a few trucks we use to plow in the winter that we don’t use much in the summer. Every fall we have to clean out a mouse nest from the airbox before starting the trucks. We found this out the hard way when one of the trucks wouldn’t stay running during a storm a few winters ago. We have been looking for a permanent solution for our mouse problem when our mechanic suggested the Mouse Blocker. www.mouseblocker.com We now have one installed in all our trucks, and they have been working great. I see it has worked for another poster on here and just wanted to share our experience.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Melanie, thanks for the suggestion. Anything that works for one might help someone else.

      Samantha-- so sorry to hear that, doesn't sound good. Hope you have a trusted mechanic... then you might want to try some of the strategies others have suggested here in the comments.

    • profile image

      RJ 5 years ago

      I just returned from a a muti-day backpacking adventure in the Eastern Sierras near Lone Pine and significant amounts of the under hood insulation have been ripped torn and dragged away. I am most unhappy. I have another trip coming up to Yosemite this weekend and am very nervous

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      You might want to look into some of the deterrents that have been suggested by commenters. I think early fall is prime time for this kind of activity. You might want to check and see if your insurance has roadside assist service.

      Good luck and enjoy your adventures.

    • profile image

      Mark 5 years ago

      Just spent 1200 to repair almost every wire in under my fusebox. Fuel pump was taken out by shorted wires. Live in mtn area and field mice are around. I placed the Tom Cat all-weather blocks on plastic ties in different areas of my cars engine and have already noticed nibbling on some of the blocks. May not be humane but repairs are costly and I'd rather the mice eat the bait rather than my engine wiring.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sorry to hear of your problems. I have not heard of that remedy-- is it a poison? The problem with that can be if pets eat the poisoned rodents. Used with care and discretion, it might be the answer for you. On the other hand, a real tom cat might work, too.

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      StaceyFlNative 5 years ago

      throw used cat litter under the car, stop feeding the birds and squirrels, sweep up all the excess or blow it off the grass under the tree where you feed and clean under the hood and use a wet vac in reverse and blow all the junk from under hood and use electric wiring to make any repairs, if you park inside garage still do all this also keep garage door closed completely also block heater vent at night and place used cat litter around that as well, set humane traps with peanut butter on small piece of bread, if you are obsessed with feeding animals outside just give very little so they will eat it in one feeding with no leftovers, the use cat litter is so disgusting, dont use the scoopable kind, use the crystal fine kind the kind that doesn't clump it dehydrates but smells! I bought at Petsmart in a green bag it was 13$, dr something it is called

    • profile image

      StaceyFlNative 5 years ago

      * use electrical tape to make repairs

    • profile image

      StaceyFlNative 5 years ago

      * I mean dryer vent not heater vent

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sounds like you have real life experience. Thanks for the suggestions.

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      ed boss N.E. TX. 5 years ago

      Sprinkle the blue rat and mouse poison on the manifold and such. It's just warfin and makes them bleed to death internally and go look for water. I wouldn't use any think with arsnic or other poison because pets could eat them in their weak state and be poisoned themselves. Some might say this would only attract more but not really. They love the real Mouse bait. Bingle Tiger or what ever over wires, and within hours want wanter so bad they leave. It works the same way in a house.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Apparently it worked for you. I hope people read all the warnings and are extremely careful with the poisons.

    • profile image

      mickey 5 years ago

      I have read every single word on this site and I still don't know what to do about mice nests. Think I;ll just visit my local Hardware Store .

    • profile image

      Alleen 5 years ago

      Mice chewed the wires by the gas tank, and the repair bill was over $400. I was told that mice don't like the smell of Ivory soap, or Irish Spring. Rub that around. I am going to try it, and I hope it works for you AND me!!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Well, mickey, it seems that no one thing works 100% for everyone. The hardware store will probably have some suggestions. I would try a combination of tactics.

      Hello, Alleen. I have recently heard that deer are put off by the smell of Irish Spring. In the meantime, I still think it's good to try several methods. That was a pricey mouse.

    • profile image

      Uncle Pauley 5 years ago

      I just purchased a certified pre owned Mercedes clk350. After 27 days the engine light came on. It's in the shop with 5500 in damage. It has been driven daily and parked in a garage. We live in town and we have no other signs of mice. I feel this car was damaged when we purchased it but the dealer is not helping. If anyone has any ideas what I could do I would appreciate it. Thanks

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      If it was "certified" does that mean you have a certificate? If so what does it say? Is there a certain period of time that the car should be trouble free? Do you have a better business bureau that takes complaints about businesses? I'm not sure what you should do, but You may need someone to help you with this.

    • profile image

      Chris in N. CA 3250' 5 years ago

      In our very rural setting, snakesw have taken care of the problem till this year. This year, no snakes, and a ground squirrel explosion. My F-350 had pounds of rodent debris that my mechanic found when the engine light came on. I appreciate all the good advice here. I'm also surprised nobody's mentioned spraying the engine compartment with capsacin, the chemical that makes peppers hot. Seems expensive, but if it works, a bargain. Anybody tryed this? Thanks

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, Chris. Those are new suggestions. So you pepper spray the engine? Sounds like that might work, as long as your mechanic doesn't have to get into it. I guess the other possibility is to put snakes in the engine.

      Thanks for adding to the list of possibilities.

    • jeremytorres profile image

      jeremytorres 5 years ago

      We had a mouse in our home and need to catch it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Here's wishing you luck. They are wily, fast and determined little critters. it is hard enough to keep them out of a car-- but some of the ideas people have presented in the comments may give you some ideas. The old-fashioned snap trap with peanut butter might still be the easiest and best, but there are a lot of newer ideas available now,

    • Hollie Thomas profile image

      Hollie Thomas 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is a problem I can honestly say, I have never come across before. How on earth did they get a couple of pounds of dog food in there. I have to say, if I found a rodent in my engine, I'd run a mile. =)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for commenting, Hollie Thomas. I guess they got the dog food in there one little bit at a time. (Poor dog.) I guess if you can run a mile, you might not need the automobile as much.

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      Betty Orrin 5 years ago

      Having just suffered a fair bit of damage to my car wiring and insulation, the technician who checked that hadn't done damage i couldn't see, suggested using WD40. He sprayed it around the wiring etc (NOT on exhaust pipe as highly flammable) as they don't like the smell or something! I trapped them in the house, and obviously huffed them, so they went and chewed my car!! will let u know if this works, had three mouse damage free days!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Apparently their twitchy little noses are very sensitive, that's why some people recommend pepermint oil, mothballs or Irish Spring soap. I would be carful with the WD-40, but if it works... it works.

    • profile image

      Dove 5 years ago

      I have a Honda and have spent over $800 replacing wires this year. I keep a coffee can of moth balls under the car engine, have fabric softener shets tied inside the engine. However, what seems to be apparent as I am reading the suggestions is that they don't like light. I wonder if a low watt light bulb under the car would light up things enough to keep them out? Or maybe even a security light rigged up under there in some way. I might give this a try as I have a motion light just sitting around in a box doing nothing.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      You may be onto something, dove. I know that some people leave their hood open-- but that does not work for people in some weather conditions.

      The motion detector light might be good-- because it is not constant light, and more surprising. Let us know.

      BTW It seems that Honda owners get more of than their share of this-- possibly a design feature that allows critters easy access from under the vehicle.

      Check out the other suggestions in the comments, too. Mousetraps might be one of the best bets. The sonic repellers seem to have some good reports, too. You have paid too much already.

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      carol 5 years ago

      Well, I thought living in a big city, lite up very well and busy streets that this could not happen. It seems that doesn't matter. I pulled a 4x4 inch nest made from the insulation from the fire wall out of the corner of the engine compartment. and cleaned out all the little turds from the top of the engine. I thought i was done. Next day, more little turds. Again it is all cleaned up. It is rainy and windy but i will again go out there, 9 pm on the west coast, and check again. Tomorrow I will put cat fur in a little spike strip and attach that someway to this building space they like and see what happens.

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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      From what others have said, just cleaning it out may not help much. (they are very persistent). I like the peppermint oil idea, but a lot of people think the electronic repellers work well-- a small investment to avoid costly repairs. Let us know if the cat fur does the trick.

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      starla 5 years ago

      2 months ago a mouse ate the wiring in my new kia forte koup. it cost me 585 dollars tro get repaired. A couple of weks later another wire was damaged but a friend was able to fix it. yesterday, my dog went crazy on my car, jumping on the hood, scratching the hood and then chewed the front fender trying to get to the rodent. A short time later a rat jumped out. I had been using an electronic device to deter them but lately got out of the habit of plugging it in....what a costly mistake i made.

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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Yes, it's best to plug them in, or get your dog to sleep next to the car. If it has happened once, the possibility for a reprise is always there. Keep your deterrents in place, once you find something that works.

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      Aunt Snow 5 years ago

      Wow, I had no idea Hondas were more likely to get rats!

      We live in a rural area of Southern California, and we've lost a Mitsubishi Eclipse and a Mercury Sable to rats - although we still got some good years out of both.

      I got a Honda Fit, and found rat damage when I tried to refill the windshield fluid. Told my husband about it, and we opened the hood of his Ford Fusion Hybrid and found nests there!

      We cleaned out both cars, took the Honda in for service and made an appointment for the Ford. The next day - before the Ford's appointment - my husband drove the Ford home from work, parked in the carport, and within minutes the car burst into flames!!! Thank god we are near the fire station - they saved our house.

      My husband got another Honda Fit - we're a two-Fit family - and just the other day his engine light wnet on - you guessed it.

      We leave the hoods up. That seems to be working so far, but only since winter hit and we closed the hoods for rainy days we've seen more evidence.

      I'm going to steam clean my engine, spray it with Critter Ridder, and buy some mothballs to park on top of.

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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I can't verify that Hondas are more prone to have this problem, but I have seen a couple of comments that say the Honda design has some open spaces underneath or in the wheel wells that provide an entry for rodents into the engine.

      Your experiences are some of the worst I have heard-- and I agree that a multi-faceted approach may be needed.

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      Mike 5 years ago

      I have had a mouse problem where I live for years. Mice have been constantly destroying air filters, wiring harness and anything else they can get their teeth around. I recently purchased a mouse blocker for my cars and even my riding lawn mower with great success. I would definitely recommend mouse blocker to anyone!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Everyone is interested in finding a practical solution. I couldn't find a reference to "mouse blocker". Is it physical, chemical or electronic? Really we want to block them, but what is the brand name or the link to your product?

    • profile image

      Matt39 5 years ago

      The mouse blocker can be purchased at www.mouseblocker.com That is where we purchased ours, and still have been mouse free for months now.

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      Jeff 5 years ago

      We noticed the other day a mouse had eaten a styrofoam coffee cup in our center console and left a few droppings. After more investigation, we noticed more droppings in the driver/passenger area as well as in the engine area....not many droppings but enough to alarm my wife. My question...we always park the vehicle in an attached garage. Do you think we should park the vehicle outside the garage or continue to park it inside until the mouse/mice have been caught? We have put down traps but no luck yet. Thanks

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      Barbara Louw 5 years ago

      We unfortunately are having to leave our car unattended on the mainland as we work on an Island and can only check up on our car periodically, and we have a serious rat problem!!! We also are very remote, Mozambique, so cannot get our hands on all these devices and chemicals ..... we do however have a can of pepper spray so we are going to try this - will spray the engine and underneath - does anyone know if pepper spray can cause corrosion on metals or damage plastics?

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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, Matt, It looks like one of those electronic deterrents. Most people think they work.

      As for inside or outside the garage, Jeff -- if the mice can get into the garage, it doesn't seem to make much difference. I think you'll need to try something that discourages them. Check out some of the suggestions in the comments.

      Barbara-- as for the pepper spray, it seems like a good choice to keep them away, but I don't know if it would damage the car. Maybe you could just spray the area around or under the car.

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      ricky 5 years ago

      I believe I have mouse problem too. J have rat terriers that have suddenly started attacking my Honda accord. In this case the mouse is not doing the damage but causing the damage. Animals can sometimes make the problem worse.

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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Wow! I have known a few Rat Terriers, and can understand they might agrivate the problem. You'd better go to some of the deterrent suggestions.

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      Wyatt 5 years ago

      I have the problem in my 1986 lincoln towncar. Am a poor colege student so had to fix gobs of eaten wiring myself. THEY KEEP COMING BACK. The only way they can climb into your car though is on the tires. Have been placing tomcat bait blocks under the car just against inside of the tires. Live in a rural area, have no pets to worry about. So far, they are eating four blocks a week and the damage incidents have gone down. Still an occasional frayed wire, eaten coolant house or destroye dhood insulation. I think it is going to be an ongoing battle.

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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I guess the problem is-- there are so MANY of them,they reproduce quickly in great numbers and they are hungry.

      You are lucky if you can do some of the repair yourself, though I'm sure it is time-consuming and not that much fun. Sounds like the bait is working, but it might be worth your while to try one of the electronic repellers. Though there's an initial investment, you don't have to buy any refills.

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      kieran 5 years ago

      Hello Rochelle my sister lives in a cottage in the country side and she is having a constant problem with rats getting in to the car and eating holes throughout the interior,her car can get quite messy with sweets and things as she has 4 kids would this be the reason for the problem?i keep telling her to get a few cats,would you recommend cats or have you any other solution as my sister would not get in to the same car again and got a new car and it also happened to her partners car.Thank You

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      Laurie 5 years ago

      I work at a car dealership and see this all the time.Have seen where they have chewed wiring harness costing over $4,000.You might want to contact your homeowners insurance if you have damage....They will cover this.Thanks

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      diddaboyss 5 years ago

      Just had a quote for £2,500 + for mouse damage to air filter and subsequent further under-bonnet damage to 7- month old Motor Home. Insurer not interested, nor is dealer. Trading standards suggest may be able to try

      using GB's sale of goods act with dealer. Main question really is shouldn't the designers/manufacturers (Peugeot) of the chassis where the mouse got in (the 3 air-intake holes) be held to account? If the holes had some sort of mesh over them he couldn't have got in. Has anyone tried getting these people to accept blame/re-think their designs?

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      Don Jackson 5 years ago

      Recently spent $5500 to replace rat damaged wiring harness on 2006 Prius. Soy based insulation on wiring harness. Insurance paid for repair. Two weeks later $500 more to replace more rat damage. Am trying crushed moth balls mixed with used cat litter (urine not feces clumps). Plus anticoagulant bait plus traps - Toyota will hear about this but it seems that it is not only soy based insulation that the rats like. Will follow this hub. thanks much!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Mice must be on the move again. Let me try to keep up with posted comments.

      Kierin-- I wouldn't be too quick to blame the kids and their crumbs. Though a few sweet nibbles might be enticing, a lot of people have a lot of rodents and no kids at all. It seems that the biggest problem is from the little critters seeking a protected nesting place. Others have suggested that the wiring may offer salt or even soy-based plastic, which is apparently tasty. Cats can help if they have a strong hunting instinct and are not overly fed, but you might want to try some of the other deterrents that have been suggested. A multi-prong approach may be best.

      Laurie-- that's a good suggestion. People should check on the insurance options, but diverting the problem might still be a good idea.

      Diddaboyss-- yes, that's good to check on. I have heard of some vehicle owners blocking off those entries wit wire mesh-- which would take some work, but perhaps helpful.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      "crushed moth balls mixed with used cat litter urine clumps-- Plus anticoagulant bait plus traps"

      You suffered serious damage-- and that requires serious combination methods.

      Thanks for your suggestions-- It just seems totally unfair that these tiny furry creatures can discombobulate our sophisticated technology.

      I appreciate your suggestions and recommend them to others who haven't found a solution. Let us know how things have evolved.

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      Walrusguy 5 years ago

      i found some little poops in my car, dont know what they are!!!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      They are most likely little poops of small animals. If this is all you have found, check the engine compartment and other areas of the car. Maybe you are lucky enough to make this discovery before they can do damage. Look over the deterrents that have been suggested and maybe you can discourage them before they do expensive damage.

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      Tess 5 years ago

      Nearly crashed yestesday , lost control of car , after 2 mins car stopped , guy came to find a mouse / rat had eaten my fuel pipe, 2nd time in 2 months, first time lost £90 fuel and yestesday £50 , I do hope this wont keep happened , its so scary and very frighting .

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      What an awful experience. You'll want to check your car frequently, and it would probably be a good idea to use some off the strategies that other people have suggested for keeping them away. Hope you find something that works for you.

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      Tess 5 years ago

      Me too Thanks , I have a case over engine ect so makes it much harder to check before each jorney , Make me think twice now before driving , I did read other comments which did Help !!! Thanks

      Tess .

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      Portland Bjorn 5 years ago

      Thanks for your post, it helped me to figure out that finding dozens & dozens of peanut shells underneath my air filter was not right for my 1997 Hyundai Accent! This car just moved 1000s of miles so hopefully the little resident muncher stayed behind. This make of car has a huge air intake port that practically has a flashing "vacancy" sign on it.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for your comment, Portland. I hope you take the right measures before they get to you. You might want to check your air filter, too. The air intake ports are a possible entry-- and make sure there are no flashing signs.

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 5 years ago from Hong Kong

      hi Rochelle,

      thanks for the very useful hub. A rat ruined my engine once and since then I kept imagining there were rats all over the place.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you Dr. Benson-- nice to see that you are still around here.

      I was dozing on the couch the other day and dreamed mushrooms were growing on my feet. When I awoke my dog was sleeping on my legs. No rats, though.

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      JR 5 years ago

      Yesterday our 2nd vehicle was damaged by rats.

      I was driving and the pick-ups check engine light came on, it seemed to be running a little rough. Took it the the mechanic and he said I'm sorry to tell you the rats have chewed the wiring, it's going to cost 800.00. They said we were the 3rd vehicle this month with rat damage. I can't have this happen again.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      That's terrible!-- and a quick way to empty a bank account. Look over some of the suggestions, and try some of them quickly. (I'd also suggest that you shop around for a mechanic who might give you a better price.) Prevention is better than a fix, when it comes to rats. Good luck.

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      Kirsty 5 years ago

      Hi everyone! Im a serving soldier living in Germany, and both of our cars have mice/rats getting in them on a nightly basis! We have a volvo xc70 and Suzuki Jimny. We have had a load of soundproofing dragged through the car from the trunk, and the little critters have eaten through the straps on one of our childs carseats! this is getting so expensive! I have ordered the sonic things and put humane traps down inside both cars. We haven't caught anything yet but if it is rats doing all the damage then they wont fit into the humane traps to get at the chocolate. I have been advised that peanut butter is good and so is marsbars for tempting them to their death! Im going to get some proper no more mrs nice gal traps that will certainly put an end to whatever eats the bait. I did put the car into the garage with the engine running tonight, thinking that the fumes would build up and gas them all, but was told that the engines dont produce the same fumes these days and so it wont work unless you use a 2 stroke engine. Im now on the lookout for a 2 stroke scooter i can put into the garage along with my car, leave the engine running and close the door! Im guessing if you leave it like that for about an hour, then air out the garage you should kill them where they are hiding!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I can see how you might be thinking of drastic measures. It must be maddening to get the repeat offenders. Poisons or poison gasses seem a little drastic, because of possible collateral damage. I hope you find a practical solution.

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      MikeSantos 5 years ago

      A rat terrier dog can smell and here small rodents. Anything from rabbits to mice. They are especially fond of the latter and will tenaciously pursue them. Peppermint oil does work, but needs to be re-apllied periodically, every 4 weeks or so.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Maybe the ultimate solution is to sprinkle peppermint oil on a Rat Terrier. Make the dog smell nice, too

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      BJ 5 years ago

      We drive a 2003 Chevy Impala. Parked at Ocala Nat Forest in Florida to see the "boils" & stayed all afternoon. The small squirrels ate up most of the wiring in the car! It took three mechanics at three different garages to finally find all the damage. Total cost over $2000. Your home owners insurance will pay to repair it- but you have to make sure the mechanic writes that it was rodent chewing on the receipt. We didn't have a deductible on our Comprensive coverage, so they paid all the bills. The mechanics said to put bars of Irish Spring soap on each wheel well. Also put out moth balls. We haven't had any more damage, but the moth balls are too smelly for us to stand, so we're going to look into an electronic repeller.

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      BJ 5 years ago

      Sorry....meant car insurance on last post.

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      Robert 5 years ago

      Just took my 2009 Camry to the dealer with an engine light on and a slipping transmissions. Mice ate the sensors and more! They found nests (plural). Now we had a real bad mouse issue in town and got traps, snagged a few dozen. They are fast though and a shovel won't be good enough for them. I have an air gun and other options and will be watching. I am out $1500. :-(

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      That's the kind of vacation complication that no one wants. Good that you had coverage to take care of the expense. Thanks for the additional suggestions.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      ...of course.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      It's amazing how much damage those little things can cause. Also amazing that few people seem to know about this until it happens to them.

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      Alfons 5 years ago

      Rochelle,

      Thanks for this educating and entertaining page. I like your sense of humor. You keep me in stitches with your witty comments! I enjoyed your Hub and read through all the comments.

      Rodents are a persistent problem globally because they're smart. They have to be for their survival, since they're very low in the food chain: most rodents -if not all- serve as food as lots for other animals (and as a source of annoyance to us!).

      Yet, we humans are smarter than all the billions of rodents put together so we WILL find a solution to this gnawing problem - if we haven't already.

      From a pest control operator's perspective, the mouse blockers mentioned earlier seem to be the best solution yet as a deterrent. Successful trapping and baiting on the other hand, requires a little more skill and knowledge about their behavior, but both are doable.

      By the way, I had no idea that this rodent-in-my-car problem was so common and so severe, even though I have been in the household pest control business since 1994. Why is it being kept such a secret? :o)

      Anyway, I like this hub and will 'park my car' here for a while, hoping I won't end up with a mice infestation as a result.

      Meanwhile, I'll take on the challenge to explore the market for a healthy solution.

      Oh, one more note before I go:

      @Kirsty from Germany:

      Did you say: "I did put the car into the garage with the engine running tonight, thinking that the fumes would build up and gas them all..."

      NO-O-O-O!!!!!!!! You're not serious, are you?? PLEASE reconsider this fumigation technique!!!

      You may get CO gases in your house, which can kill more than just rats and mice: they may kill you! (Peacefully in your sleep, but that's not the point)

      And even if your garage is detached it's still not a safe idea. Why not invest in a mouse blocker instead or any other suggestions made by other visitors?

      Personally, I’d stay away from the WD-40 and the pepper spray technique though. The first is dangerously flammable; the second may literally backfire on you.

      Good luck!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I really appreciate your expertise in this matter. Yes, you can see that many people are desperate to find something that works and some of the methods may be ineffective at best and dangerous at worst.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I will look forward to your posting of additional solutions.

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      Jan from Victoria 5 years ago

      My beautiful new BMW - engine light came on yesterday so I went to the dealership thinking it was time for an oil change. What a surprise! Replacing the sensor wire will cost $700 this week. The rats left lots of evidence of their activities - no nest thank goodness. Thanks for all the suggestions. You can bet I will follow up.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      That's a shame. Hope you find something that works. You might want to try a couple of things at once.

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      Sandy from Ohio 5 years ago

      My windshield washer fluid was not working in my new Toyota. Took it to the dealership and was told mice had eaten the tube which they said was coated in peanut oil. Wh peanut oil?

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I really don't know. Maybe they need some kind of lubricant and petroleum products would harm the plastic? I have heard that some car manufacturers use a soy product to make tubing-- and the critters also think that is tasty. They certainly were not looking at this from a mouse point of view.

      I hope someone can give some more information on this.

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      Matt39 5 years ago

      I am not sure what they make the plastic tubing out of, but my friend has fuel lines eaten on his car resulting in a large fuel leak. I cannot imagine that would taste good at all. We are still using our mouse blocker and have not had any mice all winter. It seems not everyone has a mouse problem but if you do, they sure will cause you problems. www.mouseblocker.com

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      According to your hub on storing your car, it looks like you have been using multiple strategies. I think that is the best approach for most people. Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you so much for looking into this so deeply. A lot of people are desperately looking for the information you offer. I think you should join

      HubPages and write your own articles on this subject and related topics. So far, I think your suggestions are the best I have seen.

      Thanks, on behalf of many.

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      Cj 5 years ago

      I have them in my car right now...what should I do?

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Consult your car repair person-- get rid of the rodents and their nests, and check for damage that could make your car unsafe. Take advice from your mechanic-- and look over the suggestions posted here so far about deterrents and strategies to keep the critters away.

      Prepare for the battle. Good luck.

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      Erhard Senkbeil 5 years ago

      Driving my Mercedes 108B CDI 2008 to Hobart I thought it performed sluggish.After driving around in Hobart I noticed smoke coming from the exhaust - so I drove straight to the Service Center and informed RACT of a breakdown. As a Gold Ultimate Member, I felt save - I would be able to drive back home some 100 km away - But that was not so - because Rodents ate a small hole into the turbo hose and a few other things as well. No replacement car and my wife and I had to find our own way back home. Lucky it seem that our comprehensive insurance with RACT covers Rodent damage - sort like an accident with wildlife I guess.

      Anyway I am now looking for those critters and they will not esscape my fury.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Good luck in your battle. It is very frustrating to have a humble rodent disable such sophisticated machinery. Turn your fury into some deterrents. Apparently not everything works for each case. A multi-faceted strategy may help keep the pests at bay.

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      Drew 5 years ago

      After failing to try and start the car I popped open the hood and found pipes, vacuum hoses and spark plug wires all chewed up to hell, like there was a tornado inside the engine compartment, along with leaves, grass and a whole stock of plants.

      At first I thought someone must have cut everything up with a knife, but it was far too "shredded" for that.

      Unless there was something else going on in there that specifically targeted rubber housing then I'm pretty sure it was the squirrels.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      It sounds like squirrel-- or a squirrel relative.

      Look though the comment suggestions. I might be worth your while to try some deterrents. It must have been a shock to see such damage-- the collection of organic matter does suggest a small creature seeking a nest site.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Wow! you have a ton on comments on this one. I was just going to say that I have had this problem. About 4 years ago both my husband's new GMC truck and my new Toyota Highlander were invaded by rats. When I took my car in to be worked on the mechanic said one jumped out of the engine and ran across the garage. We solved the problem by getting a couple of cats, it really reduced the rodent population around here.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Yes-- apparently a lot of people have had this very expensive problem.

      In earlier generations, the worries were about the rodents invading the food supply. The modern version is vehicle invasion.

      Rodents could well rule the world one day if we are not vigilant-- WE DO NEED CATS. -- the entertainment value is priceless, but their predatory insticts could save civilization as we know it.

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      Ellety 5 years ago

      I have a 98 honda civic that I drive every single day.

      I went to get my headlight replaced by a mechanic today and I was told I had critters under the hood!!! He removed the air pipe (probably not the right term) and showed me the birdseeds, etc. that we're sitting in the airbox . Needless to say, I was thoroughly disgusted.

      He told me that my neighbors must be have birdseed and the mice are eating it. He showed part of a wire covering that the mice already started eating through, also the air filter had droppings on it. YUCK!

      I live in a busy suburb of Chicago and do not park in a garage. Because of that the mechanic did not recommend mouse traps.

      He just said vacuum it out, (which i did several times and still not sure if I got it all) and watch if they come back.

      I do not park in the same spot every day, so it'll be almost impossible to track where these mice are coming from.

      I was wondering if there are some methods that'll work better for cars parked outside?

      I'm kind of scared to look inside tomorrow for more damage. The thought of an infestation is nauseating!!!!

      PLEASE help!! I can't afford the potential damage mice cause!!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Check through some of the comments. It seems that there is no one answer for everyone.People who have tried mothballs usually say that the smell is overwhelming to humans. Maybe a few sprays of peppermint oil might be a more pleasant 'solution'. I don't know if the electronic devices need to have an external outlet. Maybe you could check and see if there is a battery powered one-- or one the plugs into the lighter.

      Good luck.

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      Joey82 5 years ago

      I have had problems for years with squirrels getting into my truck. They have causes havoc tearing apart wiring harnesses, insulation and stashing their food in the cabin filter intake. After spending thousands of dollars on repairs and hundreds of dollars for the so called solutions; peppermint spray, moth balls etc. I have finally found a solution that works! I purchased a Mouse Blocker and haven't seen the pesky varmints back since installing it! I appreciate all the help everyone has suggested on this site. If it wasn't for mention of the Mouse Blocker I may have never found a solution and lost my sanity by now!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Others have mentioned Mouse Blocker-- certainly one option to check out. I have not used any of the suggested products, but it seems that not all work for everyone. A multi-prong approach may be a good way to go.

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      Charlene 5 years ago

      A couple of weeks ago I moved my car and smelt a horrible smell. As time goes by it was somewhat fading away. I took my Hyundai Sonata Hybrid to the dealer to have it's first maintenance done. I mentioned to them about a possible mouse. Well sure enough it was a "RAT". That rat made a home behind my glove compartment area. They did find some wire damages. It started at $400, I got a call today it's now up to $1000. Cause it's a Hybrid they want to make sure all is okay. They did suggest for me to call my Auto Insurance Company. Minus my deductible my Insurance Company will take care of the rest.

      Apparently this has happened before to other Hyundai cars but mine is the first Hybrid vechicle. I've read alot of other comments and suggestions in eliminating these critters. So far I have has follow:

      1. Cotton balls with peppermint oil

      2. Mouse traps

      3. Moth balls in a bag

      4. Dryer sheets

      5. Shake Away Rodent Repellent

      6. Critter Out

      7. Car Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent

      8. Irish Spring Soap on a string

      9. Mouse Blocker

      10. Cat

      Thanks everyone for your suggestions. It's now "RODENT WAR" with these critters and I'm going to win. We have three cars and we can't afford any more damages to any of our vechicles. I wish I could have a cat. The hills where we live has coyotes, I don't think the cat could servive this area for long. I'm totally surprised that this happens alot to others. I will be rodent free some day soon. SAVE OUR CARS.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      It is very frustrating to have a tiny little mammal cause you to spend hundreds of dollars-- not to mention the loss of your vehicle when it is being repaired. It seems like you have employed many ways to let them know they are not welcome. I wish you good luck, and hope they get the message.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Oh, I had this problem with my Jeep! My dogs would keep the mice of our home but the garage - oh, my!

      Never heard anyone else having this problem! Wow! Thank you!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      After writing this, I have heard of lots of people with the problem. Car mechanics in our area seemed to be well-aware of these incidents as well.

    • profile image

      Casey61 5 years ago

      As a resident of Mendocino County living in the woods, I am no stranger to the nests, debris, droppings, and stashes of food rodents leave in vehicles. But my most recent experience is the worst, and it has not resolved yet.

      My '07 Subaru Forester had to be repaired last year when mice made a nest under the back seat and ate through the speed control wiring, causing the ABS warning light to come on. Several months later, another nest was removed from my air filter. I spread packets of Fresh Cab Botanical Rodent Repellent, which I have had some success with, throughout the cab. Then I began smelling something cutting through the balsam oil aromas. It was dead flesh. The dealership found another nest in my air system and cleaned out as much of the system as they could without tearing apart the dashboard. They also applied peppermint oil to areas where rodents can walk into the air system. The smell got worse and became so bad that I had to drive with all the windows down and a handkerchief tied across my nose and mouth. You could even smell it from outside the car, a few feet away, in a parking lot. I filed a claim with my insurance, and it has now been in the shop for a week! The dead body(s) has not yet been found, and they are slowly pulling apart the dashboard to find it.

      I have several concerns and questions:

      1-Is anyone aware of a consumer advocacy movement that is lobbying for better vehicle design? It seems like there is a large group of consumers affected.

      2-Has anyone else heard of people getting respiratory infections in connection with breathing the rodent droppings in their air system? I know of two people who had this kind of health problem who also had this problem in their vehicle.

      3-Can anyone recommend a car which is not as susceptible to rodent invasion? Are some more susceptible than others? My Forester is perfect for the terrain here, but it seems to have become a magnet for rodents.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      What a nightmare! I hope you will find some answers to your questions. Check the suggestions in the responses and see if you can get some clues.

      Those of us who live in remote areas really depend on a vehicle that does what it is supposed to do.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

      I am astounded at he poll numbers on this hub. Apparently there is no easy solution for this problem. The multi prong approach may have the best chance of success.

    • Rick Suddes profile image

      Rick Suddes 4 years ago

      A lot people spray Rataway Fragrance to protect car engines,

      safe around children and pets.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

      Normally I would disallow a comment which seems 'spammy', but several people have mentioned this product and I think it would be worth trying.

    • profile image

      silverhound 4 years ago

      I don't know why auto manufactures are not more diligent about sealing the interior of vehicles. Toyotas have a gap where rodents can get in through the fresh air intake. I have mouse proofed three in the last 15 years. I have to take the grill and wiper motor off and fasten quarter inch mesh screen over the 3x5 inch air intakes vents. I had to fortify my Hyundai by placing quarter inch mesh over some vents in the wheel wells that allowed mouse access to the trunk area. I did have a Nissan that I could not figure how they were getting in so I just kept a bated trap on the passenger floor boards. I would get one every few weeks. Usually they went for the peanut butter in the trap before they did any damage. Good luck everybody.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

      You are right it seems that certain vehicles have easier access for the little critters. Some people have figured out how to "fortify" their vehicles to deny easy access. Certain Japanese models seem to be prone to the problem, but perhaps many of their customers are 'urbanites 'who are not as vulnerable.

      Thanks for your suggestions-- not everyone is able to install the prevention measures you took, but it is another idea to add into the mix of possililities.

      You are right-- the manufacturers could probably do it without too much trouble, and it would prevent problems for a lot of people.

      Thanks for the feedback, silverhound.

    • usacartitleloans profile image

      usacartitleloans 4 years ago

      Never knew this could be a problem....till my uncle found a family of critters living in his engine. I got a good laugh to say the least!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

      It may sound funny, unless it happens to you. Thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      samar 3 years ago

      good to see your hub. I had no idea that it is a global problem! So long, I thought that I have this unique problem of mice attack. I had a small old Suzuki in my country house in a rural area in eastern India that I visit, well, not too often. Every time I used to visit for two days, one day I used to spend repairing the car, mostly joining wires and insulating. My friends, there advised me to get a new car which according to them not preferred by the attackers. So I bought a Nano, the Indian small car. There was no problem for the first year. Last weekend I went there, the car was dead. Checked the battery, battery fine. Push start, not even a hiccup. Engine is in such odd place that I had to give up by noon. The service is 100 km away. In the mean time I forgot about my little enemies. This weekend I had sent my mechanic, he just now called that, " that sir, it is nothing serious, only some mice had chewed up some wires. I fixed them". Only if he new the whole story.

      I am now going to make a paint half rat poison and half paint and going to paint the engine and all. It is not the end, just beginning.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Apparently this happens everywhere there are cars and rodents. I hope your solution works, but I would be very careful with the poison. Thanks for reading.

    • temoscarros profile image

      temoscarros 3 years ago

      Ratos são uma praga mes temos carros aqui no Brasil e acho que Ratos so em carros abandonados mesmo ou esgotos

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      I think this is the first Portuguese comment I've ever received. Apparently, the same problem exists in Brazil.

    • profile image

      LesleyAnn17 3 years ago

      This Hub is amazing and the suggestions have been quite helpful. We recently had 2 repairs at our dealer due to damage from mice totaling over $900 and after the second time decided to search the internet for solutions. An evening spent reading this Hub and researching solutions we chose to try the Mouse Blocker as mentioned many times and have to say we are very pleased with the results. There are no signs of mice in the vehicle at all since installing the unit and wanted to share our results here. This Hub helped us find a solution and it only makes sense to share our solution here with everyone.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, it seems that no one thing works for everyone, but I'm glad you found something that works for you. Some people try two or three methods, just for insurance. It's amazing how much damage those little varmints can do.

    • profile image

      Keith Hecht 3 years ago

      This is very attention-grabbing, You’re a very professional blogger. I’ve joined your feed and sit up for in

      the hunt for extra of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      That's an excellent hub! I'm going to recommend it to Christy as a HoTD contender. :)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you so much,stuff4kids. I loved your laughing baby hub.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Aw, thanks about the baby hub - it's one of my favorites, too! I sent Christy the link to this hub and told her all the reasons why I think it should be a HoTD and she's put it on the waiting list - so watch that space and good luck - you deserve it!

      I think they're keen for us to recommend hubs (obviously not our own) and it seems it's a good way to keep the quality high. :)

    • profile image

      vince 3 years ago

      Just a long awaited FYI. I had my sparkplug wires cut after replacing them and they were cut again shortly after that. I setup a camera to capture the culprit and to my surprise it was bats. Bats had setup shop in my car that had been sitting in the driveway for a few days in the late fall. They made multiple clean cuts each time and I would have never believed it was an animal. The “wildlife experts” claim that bats do not do this but I have video evidence to the contrary. So before you blame the next door neighbor or that ex you have been fighting with, or the lowly field mouse, look for bats.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      That's amazing. Now that you have the proof of the culprits, have you found a way to keep them away?

    • profile image

      Dave 3 years ago

      just had to pay $1100 thanks to these lovely creatures

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Yes, they can be incredibly expensive. Time to fight back. Mousetraps are not expensive, and if you scan the other comments you will find other ways to do battle.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Yay! HoTD! :D

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Holy cow, I never even thought of that. That's just creepy. I can imagine the damage they can do dragging stuff in and gnawing and scratching around. Congrats on HoTD, great work here.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you, stuff4kids. A first for me, thanks to a recommendation.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      I had never heard of it until we moved from the suburbs to the country. I guess there are a lot more rodents here. Depending on where you live, an auto mechanic would probably know if it is prevalent in your area. Thanks for commenting, WiccanSage.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      congratulations on HOTD Rochelle :)

      I love the 'telling 'of this hub

      I had never heard of rodents getting into cars until I moved to the desert in '79. I asked my friend why so many people had the hood of their cars up! sure 'nuff it was to keep the field mice out!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      It seems counter-intuitive to open the hood, doesn't it, RNMSN? I guess some rodents can't sleep with the light on.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congrats on HOTD!

      This is a new one on me. I was born and raised in San Francisco, and my dad's cars were always garaged. After I married, we at first had to park on the street, and later in the lot behind out rented house. We had a huge problem with mice in the house there, which stopped after we got a cat; it was as if the mice got the word: stay out--a cat lives there. However, we never did have any problems with them getting into the car engine.

      After we bought our own home, we lived in Pacifica for 22 years, and there was never a problem with rodents there...and now that I live in a semi-rural older area, and the cars are always outside, we've still not had any such critters around. (**Reaching up to head to knock on wood.**)

      Our problem here is robo-gophers making an ankle-turning minefield out of the yard; they seem immune to anything we throw at them.

      Voted up, interesting, pinned and shared.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      The worst I've had is a chipmunk that kept getting into the driver's compartment, chewing on paper, and sleeping on the seat.

      Very informational and useful Hub, so voted Up and many more!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you, DzyMsLizzy. If you have a cat that is a good hunter, that is a good preventative. Let me know if you come up with a good gopher solution, they punch holes in our garden every year.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Hi, Patty Inglish, MS. I thought you liked cute little squirrels. You were lucky it didn't like the wiring. Thanks for the votes.

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Evi Lopez 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Great hub with great advice!

      My car once left me stranded in the middle of a heavily busy road and I had to have it towed to my mechanic. He then calls me and tells me I had rats and they had eaten the electrical wires underneath my car. I was shocked! I said didn't have rats! Well, I didn't, but at work I used to park my car next to a man-made lake, which was inhabited by rodents ( I later found out), and while I was working, they were too.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Ill bet you thought the mechanic was trying to sell you a load of baloney. I think everyone is surprised when they find out the cause of their trouble. Thanks for commenting FD.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      Excellent post. I have had rats inside my car bonnet some times and I shoo them away

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

      Wow, I've never never of this. I guess it depends on where you live. I've have live in the UK but now Japan. I never knew that issues such as this could occur.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      (Forgot to mention--our cats are indoor-only; always have been.) There are a few neighbors who let their cats run loose, though...and I do see them staring down gopher holes..but they don't seem to catch any. I'm glad we don't have rats or mice.

      We actually killed (drowned) an almond tree trying to flush out a gopher a couple of years back. :-(

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      They can be very persistant. I'm gladd shooing works for you.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      As I mentioned before, It may depend on where you live... ask your local auto mechanic if this is a problem in your area.

    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 3 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Yeah, I had a past experience with mice getting into my car engine and my house when a developer purchased a raw piece of land that bordered my lot. After scraping the property clean, to prepare it for building, all kinds of rodents and inspects fled for safer environments. To say the least, it was a costly and somewhat protracted nightmare to remedy. As for cats and dogs making a difference… not in my situation; in fact, I still think new friendships were formed in which food and shelter was shared without prejudice.

    • profile image

      Linda 3 years ago

      Live in TX on coast. My Toyota Avalon is in shop because of rat/s. parts are back ordered three weeks. Those parts cost $4500. There are more parts. Will be lucky to get it fixed for $8000. Comprehensive insurance covers damage less deductible. I will have been without use of it a week today. This is a BIG problem and consumer advocates should address it. Even your agent or adjustor will say "I've never heard of such a thing!". Your mechanic will tell you he sees 10 or more vehicles a year with this damage. I read that the cost of rodent repairs in th US cost $1 billion in 2012. I just hope I feel the car will be safe to drive after all this.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      What a headache. I hope you can convince your insurance to pay.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      You are right, Tom. The cats and dogs have to be of a certain disposition to be hunters. Disturbing the rodent habitat can certainly stir things up.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      I never knew that rodents and mice could get into your car. I guess I've never experienced it or seen it for myself. this hub reminds me to check on my car which is in the garage broken down for the moment. voted up and pinned.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for your hub-support, torrilynn. Those tiny rodents can get into garages too-- but it depends on the the size and kind of varmint population in a particular area. They do like vehicles that stay in place for awhile, especially in rural locations.

    • profile image

      MrsSchneck 3 years ago

      We have a 2012 Range Rover Evoque that completely shut down on us after a few days of the navigation and heated seats not working. I could not even get into the vehicle nor under the hood because my doors are touch activated. It was towed to the dealership, where I was told a few days later it was a frayed wire. Thinking nothing of mice, I was glad the problem was fixed.

      A few days ago I left two bags of dog food in the trunk. When I went to retrieve the food I found shavings and crumbs leading away from the bag with a mouse size hole in the bag. I then knew I had a very bad problem. I found the nest last night in the glovebox. There was a bucket full of food not only dog food, but gold fish crackers and various other snack food as I have children who regularly eat in my car. Along with the food there was car insulation, and other things to make a happy home.

      I replaced the food for peanut buttered mouse traps. I will be looking into other forms of deterrents!! The war has begun! Thanks for all your tips, I hope something pans out!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      It is very maddening to have all that technology destroyed by a little mouse. I'm glad you discovered the culprit. Good luck.

    • profile image

      E Davis1 3 years ago

      Just found out from Toyota Service that pack rats have been chewing the insulation in my 2013 Toyota Camry! We live out by the desert which is full of wildlife. I'm not sure how much it will be to replace it but service tech said it's expensive & could be around $400 or $500! Glad I found this doing Internet search. Will try the cotton balls with peppermint oil.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      It's amazing how much damage they can do before we notice. I would recommend trying multiple suggestions-- all at once. A lot of people think the electronic gadgets work, but others think the old-fashioned snap trap is still best.

    • profile image

      Joe Stephenson 3 years ago

      I just got a new 2014 BMW. Before it had gone 1000 miles it started throwing a code saying that it needed an oil change--at 200 miles. The dealer found the problem, a chewed wire that caused the code. The cost of repair was $142. A Honda Element is parked next to the BMW and it has not been attacked by mix. My surfing as uncovered many accounts saying that carmakers have gone to insulation made from soy or corn protein, claiming that they are trying to be environmentally sensitive. It probably has more to do with cost cutting.

      I feel that BMW should make repairs for free and should replace the damaged wiring, which may not be possible. But, in any case I don't feel that I should continue to pay the cost repairing a poorly designed car. I love the car, but I can't afford to pay for constant repairs.

      Joe

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Yes. i have heard the soybean theory. It seems that some people think soy and corn plastics might be ecologically better than using petroleum based products. I'm sure the mice like it better. It is interesting that you mentioned the unmolested Honda-- as that seems (according to comments) to be a make that is more prone to rodent attack. Good luck with your battle-- both the mice and the auto company.

    • profile image

      Disha 3 years ago

      I use and recommend Ultrasonic repellent with multiple frequencies which can be connected to car battery. It is working fine for me.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      I've heard others say that this is a good solution. It's good that you found somrthing that works for you.

    • TomRy profile image

      TomRy 3 years ago from USA

      Yes, mine left right away after I put dryer sheets under my hood.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      That's great! another success story-- and very economical.

    • profile image

      levie 3 years ago

      Well I've read almost everyone story and decided I'm gonna try them all. This squirrel has cut into my 2013 Ford edge engine brought in some pretty clean white feathers cut all wires that were in it's way engine check lit up 2.400bucs,while I get that fix I get a rental Ford escape park different spot, wake up get ready to go to work that's right you kno brake light low fluid look under Hood early stage tearing at Hood liner and for sure brake wire's, the two squirrels in the middle of the road no linger funny

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      I understand your frustration, and your thoughts about all-out war on squirrels. Hope you find something that works.

    • profile image

      fmouse 3 years ago

      Our problem is Squirrels, the brown ones that we have here in Central Texas. I've had now three different wiring repair jobs, two of which were done by professional mechanics at cost close to $300, and have no idea how to stop the pests, other than to permanently give up using the car port which the squirrels seem to know is where I park my truck. Does anyone have any positive experience with:

      * "Stop The Rodent" commercial anti-rodent spray

      * Paradichlorobenzine (moth balls - very toxic vapors)

      * Acoustic pest repellers

      I've seen all of these recommended, but don't know if the recommendations are plugs or real reviews. I also have a 22 rifle and am about ready to start exterminating the little bastards, which I'd rather not do. Help!!!

      Damn tree rats!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      A lot of people think the acoustic, electric repellers work-- it may depend upon the particular rodent or area. Look over the comments, A two - method approach may be a solution.

    • profile image

      Sam 3 years ago

      The guy at my dealership recommended using Brillo pads to place beneath the hood. Any thoughts or better proven solution? Thanks!

    • Mickey Perreaud profile image

      Mickey Perreaud 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Check out rid-a-rat. I found it in a hardware store and it is working great for keeping the rats out of my car.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      That's a new one, but it might work, (nothing, it seems, works 100% for everyone) but strong smelling things often discourage rodents. The soap in the pads is likely to remain in place for a time, so it could be a good deterrent.

      Thanks for adding to the list.

    • profile image

      Samar 3 years ago

      I wrote here about 5 months back. tried many ideas from this blog. unfortunately, still did not find full proof solution.

      Has anybody tried high intensity strobe light at regular interval, placed under the hood? May help. I am devising such gadget and I will post the result.

      Thanks.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      It seems there are many ideas-- not everything works for everyone.

      Especially if you have a severe problem, a combination of approaches may be the best avenue of attack.

      Thank you, so much, for adding another weapon to the arsenal which might be helpful.

      The tiny critters are very persistent, and the war goes on.

    • Mickey Perreaud profile image

      Mickey Perreaud 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      There are several studies proving the ultra sonic doesn't work, along with a government warning to stop saying they work. We put a Rid-a-Rat in the car that we got at our local hardware store and it helped. I also read all of the instructions. They took longer to read than to put the device in.

      Rid-A-Rat is a strobe the runs off the car batteries. It's already invented. They say it works 99% of the time with a money back guarantee. I am very happy with it and don't have rodent chewing my cars wires any more. Kyle

    • profile image

      Samar 3 years ago

      It is reassuring to know that strobe lights are successfully used as repellant. Unfortunately such device is not available here and I will be thankful to Mr. Perreaud if he provide some detail so that I can try to import the same. Thanks.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      I think everyone has to use the method which works best for each individual situation. What works for one person ( or one type of rodent) may not work for another. For a severe problem, some people recommend a two prong approach, for instance a deterrent or repellent and traps. Many people will resort to poisons, but these can also be dangerous to pets and other wildlife. I hope you find an effective solution.

    • Mickey Perreaud profile image

      Mickey Perreaud 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Rid-a Rat works and is a proven method! If you Google ultrasonic devices you can find that they were "told" buy the government to stop claiming it works. Rid-A-Rat works on a new Hi tek system using lights. It is sold in Tucson Az and hardware stores and almost every garage. They have a may were they are sold. They are very helpful.

      Moth balls are poisonous and dangerous to use. Poisons can kill natural predators if the sick animal is eaten.

      I have been asked so I am posting the web site. They ship all over the world...Rid-A-Rat.com If you call them they are very friendly.

      The product works on rabbits, squirrels and rats.

      Kyle

    • Mickey Perreaud profile image

      Mickey Perreaud 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I always recommend a multi approach due to the fact that Mama rodent keeps popping them out faster than fast. Rid-A-Rat has been tested on numerous types of rodents and works. The technology affects the eye and makes the area hostile to the rodents. I recommend using a Have A Heart live trap and relocating the rodent.

      It can be terrible if you kill your favorite hunting dog or the neighbors cat using poison.

      My last post must have gotten a veto. I don't see it here. We have hard core fact that this product works. Patent pending....we do not pay for advertising so we don't get talked about only word of mouth. Rid-A-Rat is also being use by several car dealers. We have major rodent problems in the South West but it is amazing that this seems to be a world wide problem.

    • Lanny Poffo profile image

      Lanny Poffo 3 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      My wife's car (Audi) has had the wiring underneath her car chewed up twice while my vehicle (Jeep) had been unharmed. Any guess to what we can do to stop the mice/squirrels/rabbits from doing this damage?

    • Mickey Perreaud profile image

      Mickey Perreaud 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      This is not spaming go to the rid.a.rat.com web site and read in. Als0 you need to clean up the area were the car is being parked. Raise the vegetation from the ground not to leave hiding places. Get a black light and check if they are marking the area with urine. Many times critters will mark their turf letting others know it is a safe area. If urine is found spray with deodorant enzymes. They can be found near the kitty litter. Spray area of car with a mixture of Pinesol and eater 50-50 mix.

      Put our live traps like a Harv a Heart. If worse comes to worse use glue boards. You have to get ride of the critters.

      Kyle

    • profile image

      Matt39 3 years ago

      I have to assume your Audi is very similar to the VW's and per recommendation from our dealer we installed a mouse blocker a couple years ago and found it to have solved our problem. I can only speak from experience with our vehicle however we did not try other deterrents because this has been working for us since having it installed. Good luck with yours.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Is the mouse blocker and electronic device?

    • profile image

      Matt39 3 years ago

      yes Rochelle, they wired it to the battery in the car. The dealer stated they had many success stories and we were desperate so we had it installed. Very happy that we did and happy to share our success to such a crazy problem.

    • Mickey Perreaud profile image

      Mickey Perreaud 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      The rid.a.rat is also electronic and is 100% guaranteed there is no need to have a mechanic install it. There is a video if anyone has questions. Simple to install takes less than 5 minutes.

      It gets great reviews on Amazon and is used in the Tonto National Forrest Preserve.

      They needed a method to keep their cars and trucks safe without killing wildlife.

      The device works on the acting of the eye towards light and makes the area inhospitable to the rodent.

      Rid.a. rat is a small private company that ships 1,000 of units around the world every year.

      Calling a device electronic only says only how it gets power. It does not say how it works...

      Kyle

    • profile image

      Alisa 3 years ago

      This is the time of year when cats not infrequently get sliced and diced by the fanbelt when you start your still warm engine after parking it for a few hours. Many outdoor cats have discovered that the warm engine bay of a recently parked car is a nice place to escape from the winter’s cold for a few hours. Then when you start your car, catastrophe! But installing an underpanel keeps cats out of your engine bay, gives you faster warm up times, reduces your car’s aerodynamic drag, and keeps the mud and salt out so you can keep a cleaner engine.

    • imtii profile image

      Imtiaz Ahmed 2 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      That's a great problem. Mice in car committing suicide in the car engine and making their nest. And you just showed how to get relief from the problem Rochelle Frank.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
      Author

      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Hope the ideas help. Many of the suggestions from reader comments are in my newer hub here: https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Getting-Rid-of-...

    • profile image

      Pam 2 years ago

      I have a 2006 Dodge Ram. 2 1/2 yrs ago had my first mouse problem....had to have a new wiring harness. Dodge dealer service said it was cause the wires are now coated in silicone or soya and the mice love it. Since then, I have had 5 more occasions of wiring problems due to these darling critters.....very expensive. Doesn't matter if I park outside or in the garage....I've tried pure peppermint oil (bought it by the quart) and have to spray every couple of days or the smell dissapates (sp). Every mechanic I have talked to is aware of the problems of the coatings on the wires.....somebody should do something about it. I have read all the posts here and am going to try the mouseblocker...if that doesn't work...going to sell the truck...PS I have a 2006 Chev Trailblazer they haven't touched. (knock on wood)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Mouseblocker seems to be effective for many people. The soy coating does seem to be tasty to mice-- I agree that they should use something that actually protects the wires from rodents, rather than attracting them.

    • Rick Suddes profile image

      Rick Suddes 2 years ago

      Spray Rataway Fragrance to protect your car engine, home, business....

      safe around children & pets.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, Rick. It has apparently been one of the helpful suggestions.

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      Goringe Accountants 2 years ago from London, UK

      Ruined the engine of an Audi S3 I had years ago in London. Rats loved keeping warm under the bonnet and chewing the cables whilst they were there!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      The rodent wars are ongoing in all corners of the world, it seems.

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      Powerline Auto Recyclers 2 years ago from Seymour, MO

      Do these mouse/rat repellents work on squirrels/chipmunks as well? I had a Volvo wagon sitting during the Winter and in the Spring there were nests in the glove box, under the rear carpet, in the engine bay where they'd chewed through much of the wiring. Luckily most was just for the windshield washer reservoir and coolant reservoir.. Which is right next to the engine computer harness, but that is all protected by plastic shielding which they left alone.

      Took about a week to fix everything, but would have cost most people hundreds for rewiring.

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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      I suspect they would have similar effects on all rodents, but you might want to consult the labels or the manufacturer of specific products to see what they say. Some of them are based on the urine (or equivalent odor) of predator species like fox or coyote. One would assume that squirrels and chipmunks would be as alarmed about the proximity of these hunters as mice are. Other products base their 'recipes' on strong essential oils which apparently repel critters with sensitive noses.

      One thing that people have suggested when using the repellents, is that they must be reapplied on a regular basis.

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      Lisa 2 years ago

      I have a 2011 Acadia Danali... I came in today and my car smelt like Antifreeze leaking...I carried some things in the house and came back out...My car started pouring out fluids that was antifreeze...We popped the Hood and under the Motor Mount cover..Mice has been in my car...Tearing up my Insulation and starting to make a nest...I have it in the shop and hope and pray that they haven't done too much Damage.. I am assuming that is why my antifreeze was leaking out..Everything else seems to be okay and No lights are on..

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      You may have gotten off easy if they only need to replace some tubing. Make sure you look over the suggestions and get some defenses in place.

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      Brittany 2 years ago

      I have a 2014 Mazda 3. Today when I went to start it for work after I turned it on it smelled like rotten eggs REALLY bad. That was my first clue. Then I put it in reverse to get out of my garage and my car started sputtering and dying out. I was so mad, it's literally an 8 month old car!!! So I got it towed to Mazda and got my rental for the day. I followed up with them around noon and that's when they told me. A rodent (probably a rat) made a giant nest in my engine and ate a bunch of stuff to the point if disabling my car from driving. 300$ later I'm about to pick my car up nice a fixed. I will not be parking anywhere near my garage tonight though and will try the peppermint oil. They better not come back. :( I should probably warn my neighbor so they don't try to move on to his car. I didn't even know this problem existed until today. So annoying.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sorry to hear about your problem-- so bad, especially when it is your Pride-and-joy new car. Some people have found peppermint oil to be a good solution. Seeing that you had a stinky problem, it might help in more ways in one. Make sure you reapply the oil frequently.

      I would strongly recommend that you use at least two methods for awhile, especially since you may have rodents that know where your car lives.The little beasties are so sneaky, you never know they are there until the damage is done.

      Wishing you the best.

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      service tech 2 years ago

      I am having a similar problem with mice but its not with my car its with my custumers fork lifts.l am inhouse at large company with over a 100 various fork lift. The mice are camping out inside the lifts after hours and chewing on the wire, these are eletric fork lift and can be hard to troubleshoot. I have tried moth bolls, mouse magic

      Pillows and dryer sheets.so far nothen has worked and its costing

      The customer a mint on repair.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      I think you are going to have to construct a comprehensive strategy. It may involve getting a professional exterminator involved.

      If all of the fork lifts are housed in one location, you might have to concentrate on 'mouse-proofing' the garage.

      Sometimes it depends on what type of rodent you have. If you try ultrasonic repellers on one area and traps and bait in in other, you might get a clue about what works best in your situation.

      If it mainly wiring, sometimes the stuff you can spray on the wires helps.- you have to keep spraying consistently until they give up. ( Speaking of 'spending a mint"-- peppermint oil might be worth a try-- it seems to work for some.)

      Scan the possibilities listed in the article and try a few. Good luck.

      It is a frustrating battle, but hopefully you will find the right answer for your situattion

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 2 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Some really good ideas. I have seen "indications" that they have visited, but so far no nesting. Did have a car where they were eating the air filter. I thought I was just at their mercy, but now you have provided some options to deter them.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      You're lucky they didn't like your wiring system. A little prevention could be well worth your time-- especially since you have seen evidence of their presence.

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      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      I used to live in the country and mice were a very real issue. Our kitties helped out tremendously though in the home. Now that I am in town we have never had any trouble with these pests but I have been reading a lot of online articles. One technique that I was very thrilled to see was simply putting out cotton balls dipped in peppermint oil. I guess they just cannot stand the smell so I really like that suggestion. Natural and would smell great to us but not the rodents.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      A lot of people like the peppermint oil deterrent. It can be effective for certain species, and at least it makes your car smell good. You need to remember to apply the oil on a regular basis, as the scent will dissipate. Between the kitties and the peppermint, you are on the right track.

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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks-- though I think it is actually a pack rat. Not sure.

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      I hate rats 2 years ago

      Recently, my brakes went out as I was driving into work. I had my foot floored and still wouldn't stop. Luckily I wasn't going fast and used the emergency brake to stop the car. I had the car towed and come to find out I have over $1,500 worth of rat damage to my BMW. Chewed through the main line through my brake booster hose, ate through the coolant hose. Once the mechanic took apart the intake manifold found that it chewed up and destroyed other wiring. I have seen the pictures of the nests from the insulation in my car along with the mounds of rat poop. The mechanic says it reeks of urine under my hood. I cannot afford to have this happen again. I will try to have insurance cover this and make sure the traps are inside my garage, as well as the front of my house. I officially hate rodents. This is no laughing matter. Thankfully I didn't get in an accident and hurt anyone else as a cause of these pesky rodents.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      What a scary experience. I'm sure there have been some tragedies caused by such damage. The repair bill was a shock in itself. I hope your insurance covers it-- make sure they get copies of the pictures. Glad to hear there were no injuries, and good luck in your extermination program.

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      Al 2 years ago

      My handicap van was in the shop for several weeks and had thousands of dollars of damage and all of it is still not fixed. Being on a fixed disability income I cannot afford it. I am thinking about having a hardware cloth cage made for my front 2 tires and electrocuting them. I live in the city so I have to make sure it is clearly marked. If I were in the country I would make a cage using 3' tall 1/4" square hardware cloth that my car would fit inside leaving an opening to drive in and openings for the doors. I would close that cage tight and wire it with a 110 or 220-volt charge. Make sure there was no way to crawl under it and the openings in the back and on the sides were TIGHT so they wouldn't squirm through. No matter if they tried to get out or go in that would be the last thing they did. Make sure it is clearly marked on all sides so people would be aware of it. That is a fool proof way of making sure they don't bother your car again.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      That might work. It sounds like a big project, but it might turn into an idea that can keep them out. I'm sure a lot of people would like to know how it works for you. In the meantime, you might try a couple of the other suggestions.

    • Saharian profile image

      Saharian 2 years ago from Wyoming

      My mechanic told me that making sure I run my car once a week during the harsh Wyoming winters should solve the problem. I just had to get 6" of wire replaced. I was lucky that the damage wasn't worse. Thanks for the additional ideas to prevent this from happening again!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for the comment, Saharian. It sounds lie you got off pretty easy. Hope the suggestions help prevent additional damage.

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      GeorgeJohn243 2 years ago

      I had rodent accessing my truck when left in the garage while in Arizona. First winter my truck was damaged, next year I tried the home remedies on the Lexus, nothing but gnawing results. The past three years I installed an item called the Rodent Diverter System or R.D.S. for short. Best $49.95 plus shipping & handling I ever spent. Bought it direct from the inventor, he only needs the vehicle tire size. Works on all vehicle axle configurations including aircraft.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Glad to hear you found a solution.

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      Jim Greaves 2 years ago

      I just found a mouse nest on the intake manifold side of the air filter in my diesel van (E350), MEANING it must have come through the tail pipe - I guess. The van was running rough, and not accelerating to over 40 without a downhill to help. I removed the nest with 4 "pinkies" in it and the shredded tissue. No sign of mom - I suspect she was sucked in and has clogged the fuel-air injection area... ANY SUGGESTIONS (other than expensive repairs)? Thanks in advance!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      I can't help -- maybe someone else has a suggestion. Chances are you'll need a mechanic, make sure he knows the details.

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      Steonghold_grace@yahoo.com 2 years ago

      I will surely try all of this to get rid of the pest in my engine....I will update you if it worked!!!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you, Please do update with your results-- there are a lot of people who are interested.

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      Julie 18 months ago

      I just had to have all my engine wires replaced in my car from a Rat eating through all of them. Now that the wires are replaced it seems like I have a blown head gasket. My car was in the garage from Thursday evening through Monday morning when I went to work. Oddly my emergency brake light was on. I worked all day and drove home Monday evening and went out to start the car Tuesday morning and it wouldn't start that's when we found all the rat damage . My insurance paid to repair the wiring and now they look like they are gonna deny the blown head gasket.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 18 months ago from California Gold Country

      It is very frustrating since you rarely see the culprits before the damage is done. Maybe you can get your mechanic to go to bat for you to help bolster your insurance claim for the additional damage. In the meantime, I hope you can find a way to prevent further damage. Condolences.

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      Mike Russo 18 months ago from Placentia California

      Rochelle: Thanks for posting your article. Here is my story:

      https://hubpages.com/autos/Did-you-know-your-car-m...

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 18 months ago from California Gold Country

      It looks like the rodents caused a very expensive problem for you. If the repairs are done with the same soy materials won't that set up the same situation? I hope you can find some good deterrents. I have another hub that summarizes the reader suggestions posted here.

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      Infinitro 16 months ago

      I've been working in the auto industry for 30+ years and I've repaired cars with this problem. They just cleared out the field across from me and my wife's GMC had wiring damage yesterday morning. They chased the rodents out of their home to look elsewhere. I AM going to try the mouse blocker and a few other ideas I have read here. I am NOT going to blame the auto industry and blame poor design. We have a rodent problem, not a car problem. Do defective, poorly designed forks make you fat? Do defective, poorly designed pencils misspell words? Come on, you have got to be kidding me with that stuff!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 16 months ago from California Gold Country

      I think you are right. Auto design is not the main problem, yet it does make you wonder why certain makes seem to this problem more often than others. Thanks for your comment.

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      Ruthie1225 15 months ago

      We found a fresh nest as big as a person's head on the motor of my Ford Escape. Built out of a pile of clean white fluffy pillow stuffing with a top layer of fresh yellow straw. Don't know where the pillow stuffing came from, but the straw had probably covered spring flowers someone planted too early. Don't see any nearby, though. The critter - whatever it was - also shredded the hood liner and added that to the mess, and it's going to cost me almost $200 to replace. I have to park outside, but I'm parking about 150 feet away for now, to my great inconvenience!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 15 months ago from California Gold Country

      It's amazing what they can do.

      Parking in another place may help, but using some of the other suggestions might be wise as well.

      Traps, Peppermint oil, even electronic devices cost much less than $200. Good luck.

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      hemanth Kumar G 15 months ago

      best solution i have found successful is used coil springs wound on the electrical wires. Yesterday i found fuel pipe is chewed, again i used the same technique and found it is safe.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 15 months ago from California Gold Country

      Sounds like a good idea, If it is working for you, others may want to try it.

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      Matt39 13 months ago

      It crazy how this thread keeps going. Wanted to update everyone that the Mouse Blocker we had installed 2 years ago is still protecting us today. We thank our mechanic every time our vehicle is in for service he and tells us he has saved 100's of cars with this unit. What an amazing device this has proven to be. Just wanted to share our success story and hopefully help others with this same issue.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 13 months ago from California Gold Country

      Yes , I think it is still an ongoing problem for many people. I'm happy you found something that works for you.

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      Help. 6 months ago

      I took a roll of 18in roof flashing and stood it on its edge,with stakes, and went around a vehicle to stop these pests. It is too high and too slick for them to get over. If they dig under just make a trench to set the flashing in.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 6 months ago from California Gold Country

      Sounds like a lot of work. I have heard of people making these kinds of fences,and making sure their vehicle is always properly enclosed. If it works, it is certainly worth the effort. Thanks for your suggestion!

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      Elimann81 6 months ago

      When our son was living with us(on 80 acres) he drove in after work but the next day his car would not start. Popped the hood and there was a mouse nest. What to do

      ??

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      Janiebtrue 6 months ago

      Ok, the mechanic found a mouse nest under the hood of my car. (didn't even know mice made nests)

      I live on 5 acres. My car is parked under a carport.

      This may sound like a ridiculous question but can can you strategically place the dryer sheets under the hood so you can drive the car with the dryer sheets under the hood? And replace them once a week?

      ...or are all these methods for when you are storing a car.

      I drive my car almost everyday and can't imagine I'll have to open and close the hood every time I leave or come home to remove and replace dryer sheets! Help???

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      Palsekar 5 months ago

      When I started my new car which was parked for three weeks, it displayed indicators along with a message 'Check Brake System' on the dashboard monitor. Car has to be towed to the service center because it didn't let me release the hand brake! Reason: Rat/Rodent bit of wires inside the hood costing me hundreds of dollars :(

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      Howard Alameda 5 months ago

      Just wanted to know if any one knows where the hole or if they had this problem I guess I have to lift car up and look under 2002 pt

      c ruser

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      crickett 3 months ago

      last 2 days i have caught 2 mice in the trunk of my car, with tomcat mouse ytraps. just started seeing mice droppings n my car. since i use peppermint candy in my house in my kitchen drawers 3 months ago ,i have not seen any mice droppings at all, so i am gonna put in my car. i have heard of irish spring soap working, just might add that also.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image
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      Rochelle Frank 3 months ago from California Gold Country

      Some people have reported that Irish Spring soap or peppermint oil is helpful as a deterrent. Others have said they didn't help much. I have not heard of using peppermint candy. It doesn't seem that it would be a strong enough mint smell, but if it works for you, go with it. Since you have some proven success with the traps, I would keep using those as well.

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      Penny Garzarek 3 months ago

      Some sort of critter is wreaking havoc on my truck tires. ONLY my 3/4 T truck - not my SUV or a smaller truck. Seem to particularly love the right passenger tire. Have spent about $2K in replacement tires - another one ripped this AM on the outside so cannot be fixed! It appears that whatever is doing this extremely costly and maddening damage has a sharp, probably pointed tooth that it stuck into the tire and then pulled across and leaves about an inch or so long tear that resembles a pencil line. Usually more than one place. WHAT is doing this and what can we do? We've tried wolf urine, critter repellant spray for vehicles, have built wooden covers that they can apparently get under. I'm broke and so upset at this point. We have a camera to use if I can get it set up - not very technical, but have called a friend for assistance. Anyone???? Thanks --pls email BGarzarek@aol.com.

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      Bob Mayo 3 months ago

      I tried many things. Unfortunately (for the critters), the only thing that really works, and that I now continue to use, is a pellet rifle I bought for less than $100 -- a lot less than the $500 I spent to fix the cables the last time.

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      Paul Chippendale 3 months ago

      I just had the same problem as one of your contributors. A rat had eaten a large proportion of the rubber tube of the windscreen washer, replaced it yesterday, the rat has now eaten through further down where I can't reach it. I need to get to the washer bottle,thank you Nissan for putting it in such an inaccessible place, I've only got to take the front wing off!

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      Debbie Back 2 months ago

      I had this happen about a month ago. $150 to repair my 2012 Dodge Ram truck. We live in the country and just about all of the suggestions above are not possible. The mechanic advised us to spray peppermint oil mix all of the inside of the engine. We did that. Last week my engine light came on again. Took it in today and again rat damage.

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      Tim Delaney 2 months ago

      Wow! I've had rodent issues on 4 cars, including my new, 2017 Forester, where a little bugger was chewing at the insulation on the firewall, and recently had a check engine light on my 2005 Mercedes C240. I had it in the shop today and a critter got into an area near the gas tank, made a nest which jammed a solenoid open, tripping a trouble code on the computer. This can be real trouble: dead or damaged vehicle, including a real chance of a fire. Thank you for your article – as you point out, it isn't a panacea, but it's a great place to start.

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      Whatever works 2 months ago

      Cover the engine with fitted a sheet of metal mesh so they can not get to the insulation under the hood and tear it up for nesting material. It is safe to drive with it in there.

      Use glue traps and snap traps with peanut butter.

      Check under your hood every single day. Check all shrubbery to look for nests in your yard. If you cant see light coming thru thru the bush/tree etc, because of a nest -it could very well be a be a rat's nest.

      Rat nests can be found on the ground as well as up in the trees. Destroy them completely.

      Dogs/cats are an excellent deterrent to rats.

      Bob Tanem -the gardener-has a recipe to kill rats suing plaster of paris.

      Look for entry holes into your house, especially on the roof.

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