Are Rodents Taking Up Residence in Your Car?

Most people have seen a mouse scurry across the floor somewhere they’ve lived. But have you ever spotted a mouse in your car? Maybe even while you’re driving? It happens more than you’d think, and we hear all about it at Modern Pest!

A man is having car trouble

Besides being a disturbing surprise, rodents can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, and opossums can all damage cars in various ways. It’s dark and often warm in your engine compartment, and it makes the perfect rodent sanctuary.

The mouse population is vast right now due to an abundance of fruits and nuts over the last year. A similarly high-yield of acorns caused the squirrel population boom we saw this summer.

Are you seeing signs of rodents around your car? Don’t wait until they do expensive damage, call Modern Pest today!

So, how do you know rats and mice are living in your car? What damage are they causing while they’re in there? And most importantly, how do you stop them from creating expensive repairs? The good news is that you’re not alone. Modern Pest Services is here to help.

Signs of Rodents in Your Car

  • Visual sightings of droppings and urine, along with bad smells
  • Strange sounds, especially the heater or fan making a rumbling or vibrating noise that indicates a nest in the heater blower motor
  • Spotting food sources like acorns, dog food, and bird seed that rodents have brought into your car to eat. Seeing old snacks like French fries in unlikely places
  • On occasion, seeing a mouse or rat jump out of or run around in your car

How Can a Rodent Damage Your Vehicle?

The main ways that rodents, usually rats and mice, damage your car are through chewing, nesting, and waste.


Rodents need to frequently chew on things to sharpen their teeth. All rodents have self-sharpening incisor teeth that never stop growing. They will chew through almost anything they encounter, such as:

  • wires
  • hoses
  • plastic panels
  • power steering lines


Rats and mice need to build nests for shelter. They harvest the nesting material from:

  • hood liner insulation
  • carpet insulation
  • interior upholstery

Common nest locations are:

  • Heater blower motors
  • Under the center console
  • Behind plastic paneling
  • The engine compartment
  • The trunk
  • Air conditioner ducts


Mice defecate and urinate everywhere they go. In addition to a foul smell, this can be dangerous for your health. Mice can spread hantavirus and salmonellosis to humans.

Wires chewed by mice
Mice have chewed the wires in this car. (Photo credit: Eddie Carrara, Axle Addict)

Are Your Car Parts Particularly Delicious?

Auto damage from rodents seems to be increasing as automakers use more plant-based biodegradable materials to reduce waste and cost. Switching from petroleum-based to soy-based insulation to wrap wires is more environmentally-friendly, but it also a delicious treat for rodents. There have even been several class-action lawsuits filed against automakers, including Honda and Toyota. However, there are no studies that prove this to be true yet, so it continues to be used.

Whether it’s mice, rats, squirrels, or opossums damaging your car, Modern Pest has a solution! Click here to request a quote or schedule service.

How to Keep Them Out

There are ways you can reduce the possibility of mice and rats taking up residence in your vehicle:

  • If your car is in a garage, make sure all pet food and bird seed is tightly sealed so mice aren’t attracted to the area. Don’t leave food in your car, either.
  • Don’t let your car sit for too long. The rodents will get comfy. At least start it on a regular basis.
  • Install metal mesh around wiring harnesses and rubber hoses
  • Use mesh to cover any openings where rodents could access ventilation or intake systems
  • Honda has even produced a rodent-deterrent tape to wrap around wires. The electrical tape is treated with capsaicin, the active component of chili peppers, thus making it very irritating to rodents

The Modern Solution

Modern Pest’s Homecare Green program protects against over 50 common household pests, including mice and rats. We can protect your garage like we do your home and keep them out. If it’s squirrels, chipmunks, or opossums living in your ride, our Wildlife Control Team can handle the job. Call Modern Pest today at 1-800-323-7378 to request a quote or schedule service. Don’t be a vermin chauffeur this season.