How do you deal with a mice infestation in an old car?

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4 min read

Mickey Mouse. Tom & Jerry. Pink and the Brain. Jaq and Gus.

Classic. Entertaining. Hilarious. Cute.

Real mice? In your car? Not so much.

While the thought of a rodent (or rodents!) living in your idle car makes you shudder, it’s important to know the signs for a pesky problem and how to solve that problem––fast. We’ll walk you through signs of a mice infestation and what to do about it.

how to tell if there’s a mice infestation

odd odors. Mice smell. Mice droppings smell even worse. (Let’s not even talk about the smell of dying or dead mice.) If there’s some funkkkkky smells coming from your air vents, there may be a mice infestation.

mice droppings. This one may be obvious, but if you’ve never seen mice droppings before, you may not know what mice droppings look like. If you spot remnants inside your car that look eerily similar to black rice, it could be a sign that you have some furry rodent friends riding shotgun.

unexpected car problems. While it would be nice to blame mice on every little issue you have with your four-wheel drive, that’s not always the case. But, mice love to chew through wires in the engine compartment. When things go awry, check the engine. Chewed-up wires definitely indicate mice––and something to blame for your issues. Car issues, at least.

what to do if there’s a mice infestation

recommendation #1

Blast the heat! Humans don’t love extremely hot temperatures, and neither do mice. Roll up your car’s windows, park your car in the sun, turn up the heat, and bask—in the glory, not the sun—while those mice get all hot and bothered and move on out of your car.

recommendation #2

Make it smell––like the holidays! Most rodents and bugs are repulsed by the smell of peppermint since it's so pungent. Try soaking cotton balls with peppermint oil and tuck a couple in your car vents. This will permeate the car with a smell that not only deters mice, but will keep your car smelling as crisp as the first winter snow. 

recommendation #3

Disinfect like there’s no tomorrow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), use a commercially labeled disinfectant or a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to create a spray and soak your engine’s air filters with liquid. (You’ll need to have a replacement filter on hand to insert in the old filter's place.) Close the unit back up. You just let those mice know who’s boss!

recommendation #4

Set traps. If you’re in a last-ditch-effort kind of situation, setting traps—we recommend the humane type—in or under your car can help protect it from any more visitors. The bad part? If you catch any mice, you still have to remove them from inside or under your car. Make sure to have some gloves handy that can be trashed after use.

recommendation #5

Part ways with your car…and the mice calling it home. Much like an intruder inside a home or an unwanted guest at a dinner party, it can be hard to recoup once the damage is done. Cars aren’t intended to house pests and rodents (or smelly gym clothes), and it may not be worth the trouble to clean out a disease-covered nest and potentially uncover mice––dead or alive––in the process.

In that case, turn to Peddle, who specialize in junk car removal. After answering a few questions, we’ll provide you with a quote, send someone to pick up your car, and give you cash (or a check) for that once-driveable, still lovable ride. Wave goodbye to your car and your family of rodents.

Sell your junk car. Make some cash. Be mice free, entirely. Thanks to Peddle.

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