Yes, you read that right. Mice can take up residence in your car. During these cold days and nights in Upstate New York, mice are looking for a warm place to stay. This is more common than you think, and not just with cars stored for the season or parked for an extended period. Mice in your garage can easily lead to mice inside your vehicle.
How did mice get in my car?
Mice can enter the space between the car’s cables, the steering column, and the pedal shafts. Vents are an easy entry point remembering that mice can fit through a very tiny space. According to the Farmer’s Almanac,
First, you need to know how and why it happens. Cars are attractive places for rodents to hole up and hide from predators. Sometimes it happens because cars are parked near convenient food sources like bird feeders, dumpsters, or in a garage where pet food is stored. In these cases, your car just happens to be a handy shelter close to dinner. If you’ve left that half-eaten granola bar on the dash, or if you or your kids have eaten in the car, there will be crumbs that attract these hungry rodents.
Additionally, soy-based insulation that your modern auto wiring is wrapped in, proves to be an irresistible treat to mice, rats, and squirrels.
The warmth of your engine, especially in winter, may also be the reason mice move into your car. But no matter what the weather is like, the dark, confined spaces beneath your car’s hood offer good protection from predators and lots of nice cubbies to build a nest.
What kind of damage can mice do to my car?
The damage to your car is quite like the damage mice can do inside your home’s attic or basement.
- Mice love to chew wiring and the air filters!
- If the mice are in the car for an extended period, their urine and feces will accumulate and smell, driving the scent through the vents when the air conditioning and heat are on. This is a severe health risk.
- Upholstery, as well as any coats or blankets left in the car, creates a haven for mice to bed and nest.
Any damage to the components that keep your car in tip-top shape can cause serious engine malfunctions and possible leaks or car fires. It is a serious matter that is rarely discussed. Nationwide Insurance, in a recent blog, stated:
Don’t dismiss this warning as something that only occurs in cars that aren’t regularly driven. Just as people seek the handiest shelter during storms, so do these animals. The National Fire Protection Association warns almost two-thirds of vehicle fires are caused by faulty electrical or mechanical systems, often brought on by animal damage. Animals aren’t the sole cause of these fires, but auto technicians note that animals in engines are not unusual.
Can I prevent mice from getting into my car?
Yes, you can, to a certain degree. However, nature is powerful, and the drive for food, shelter, and water creates a persistent little mouse! Here are some quick tips to prevent mice from getting in your car.
- Keep the garage clean. Store birdseed and pet food in sealed containers, eliminating easy scavenging for mice.
- If you will be away for an extended period, have someone check in on your garage and car.
- If you are parked outdoors, simple but accurate, close your sunroof entirely as well as the car windows and doors.
- Do not park near food sources such as dumpsters and bird feeders.
- Keep your car clean and free from food debris and mess, including papers.
- Be mindful and aware, and do not dismiss any signs of mice in your car.
Can a pest control company help with mice in my car?
Yes. The technicians at Accurate Pest Control can assist with mice in your garage or around your home. They can assess the situation and see where mice enter the house or garage. It is essential to contact a professional.
Vacuuming droppings in the car in a confined space can create an airborne spread of disease, especially Hantavirus. Let our trained technicians return your vehicle, home, or garage into a safe and clean environment.
Contact us to learn more.
Special thanks to Nationwide Insurance and The Farmer’s Almanac for their knowledge and insight.