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car damaged by rodents

How to Keep Mice and Rats Out of Your Car

As the outdoor temperatures start to drop, rodents begin searching for places inside to keep warm. While some choose to overwinter inside the attics, walls, and crawl spaces of human homes, others seek shelter inside cars, trucks, and RVs. Once inside the engine bay, mice and rats can wreak havoc on a motor vehicle’s electrical system by chewing the wiring.

Below, we’ll provide you with some tips to keep rodents out of your car so that you can avoid expensive repairs.

1. Park in your garage.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a garage, use it! This will offer some protection against outdoor mice and rats who may crawl up inside your vehicle, looking for shelter from the cold.

2. Rodent-proof your garage.

It’s worth noting that parking in your garage won’t do a lot of good if your garage is vulnerable to a rodent infestation. Here are some steps you can take to prevent critters from finding their way into your garage:

  • Make sure vents are protected with steel wool.
  • Update any sweeps on external doors that are hanging off or not making contact with the ground or door frame.
  • Seal any gaps in the walls with foam sealant or caulk and steel wool. This includes gaps that have pipes or cables running through them.
  • If your garage has siding, check for gaps caused by siding that has warped or been dislodged by strong winds. Be sure to fill those gaps as well.

For professional help with rodent-proofing your garage and the rest of your home, you’ll get the best results by working with an experienced rodent removal professional.

3. Avoid leaving food and drinks in your car, and vacuum up crumbs.

Eating in the car is convenient, and let’s face it: no one is going to stop doing it. That being said, it’s never a good idea to leave food or drinks in your car unattended, especially overnight (when mice and rats are most active). Even if the food and beverage containers are empty, rodents can still be attracted by crumbs and residue left on cups and packaging.

4. Use peppermint oil spray.

Even if you keep your car in pristine condition, the wiring itself could be enticing rodents to gnaw on it. This is because a lot of wiring insulation in cars is made with plant-based materials that rodents find appetizing, such as peanut oil, soy, and rice husks.

However, there is one plant that rodents definitely do not like. Peppermint has a sharp, pungent smell that repels mice and rats. You can buy peppermint oil and make your own spray with water, or you can buy a ready-made spray, like Mighty Mint’s Rodent Repellent. Regularly spritzing this plant-based rodent repellent around your car can help keep mice and rats at bay.

5. Start your car on a routine basis.

Even if you don’t plan on driving it, start your car to scare any rodents who might be hunkering down inside of it.

If you need help eliminating a mouse or rat problem on your property, don’t hesitate to call the rodent control experts at Hoffman's Exterminating Co., Inc.: (800) 615-3920.

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