How to Protect Car from Rats and Squirrels

Should you use rat repellent for cars? How to get rats and squirrels out of your vehicle. Learn how to keep mice out of a car and protect your engine.

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How to Protect Your Car from Rats and Squirrels

Are you finding debris in or around your car that indicates squirrels and rats are living in it? This is not uncommon especially if you live by a wooded area. Mice, squirrels, and other rodents like to get protection from the elements and predators by living in vehicles, generally under the hood of the car. The problem is, this can cause significant damage to the wiring and vehicle engine. Here’s how to protect your car from rats and squirrels.

Squirrels and Rodent Repellent for Cars – Spotting Signs of Problems

Before purchasing squirrel and rodent repellent for cars, your first step should be to ensure they are there. This is not always obvious. In many cases, you are sure to find these pests accessing the vehicle from the underside. The debris, then, can be tucked well into the engine where it can be hard to find. How do you know if this is happening to you?


First, consider the signs of rodents or squirrels. Look for nesting materials, such as leaves or dry grass. They use these to create a warm area. You may notice this type of material under your hood. Generally, this is not from just using your car. Rather, it is there because of the presence of the rodents. You may also find food particles, feces, or even plastics. In some situations, they will use scraps to create their nests.


The most common indication that you have a rat or squirrel problem under your hood is a lack of function. You may notice the engine doesn’t start. In some cases, the vehicle may sputter. This happens because these rodents typically chew into the wiring, making it impossible for a connection to form.

How to Keep Mice Out of a Car

Your goal is to keep mice out of a car, but that’s not always simple to do. There is no way to completely close off the interior of the car or hood area from rodents. This allows them to get in. There are a few simple things you can do to reduce this risk. For example, store your vehicle in the garage. You can rodent-proof your garage through careful planning.


You can also attempt to park your car away from areas of vegetation. Instead of parking near the walkways with landscaping at work, for example, park towards the middle of the parking lot. Small steps like this can make it harder and less likely for critters to end up trying to make a home out of your car.

Why You Need Rodent Repellent for Car Engines

Rodent repellent for car engines as well as other chemical-based products exist and may be helpful. These are sold at various home improvement stores and auto parts stores. Their goal is very simply to make the area unattractive for pests to live in. They may do this by adding a chemical “taste” to wires and surfaces to make it less likely for the pests to want to chew on them.

Other Options for a Mouse Deterrent for Cars

A mouse deterrent for cars beyond this may include sound products. These products create a high-pitched sound that can deter critters from the car. You cannot hear it. Your pets cannot hear it. However, the rodents including squirrels and rats do. This drives them away from your vehicle. These are placed under the hood. They are not chemically based, which makes them an attractive option for some people.


Other options may exist as well. Some people have benefited by placing dryer sheets near the areas where they think the rodents are living. You may be able to place peppermint, whether in a spray scent or an actual mint that you have pulverized, in the area. The animals are less likely to interact with these products.

Rodents Chewing Car Wires – Will Car Insurance Help You?

When you have rodents chewing car wires and doing damage to your engine, you may want your car insurance company to cover the costs. Most of the time, though, this is not likely to happen. Car insurance does not cover pest damage in most cases (unless it is brought on by some type of exposure that is a covered peril). You may wish to contact your insurance agent to discuss whether you can file a claim.


In all situations, it is quite important to take steps to deter pests from your car. Because they can remain present for months at a time, they can do a significant amount of damage. If you use your car often, this is less likely to occur. However, when you start seeing the rodents running from your vehicle, you know you have a problem on your hands that you need to deal with as soon as possible.