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View Full Version : How do you deter mice from automobiles?


robby
11-07-2005, 11:19 AM
This morning I went out to my vehicle (2004 4Runner) to find evidence of mice. :(

There were shredded napkins and tissues all over the place with the tell-tale sign of mice doots. My new hands-free silicone earpiece for my cell phone was completely shredded.

Any thoughts on how they got into a closed-up vehicle? While I lifted up all of the seats and vacuumed out the whole thing this morning, do you think they're still in there somewhere? How do I get rid of them and/or keep them away? (Do mousetraps work in a car?) I don't ever keep food in there, and it was vacuumed out just a few days ago.

BTW, I absolutely HATE mice! :mad: They chew things up, make their smelly nests, and poop and piss all over the place. This is bad enough in a garage, but much worse in my new SUV! Plus, I'm allergic to them.

CalMeacham
11-07-2005, 11:24 AM
Sell them on the health advantages of bicycling.














Seriously, though, sorry to hear about it. If you're in a garaghe you can put out traps and poison around the car. But I suspect you're not. All I can suggest (having never been in this situation) is to search your car thoroughly for means of mouse ingress. Maybe you can use a UV lamp, CSI-style, to try and identify it through mouse tracks or something.

Mr. Goob
11-07-2005, 02:14 PM
I have a friend that stores two cars for the winter. He puts mothballs in the cars to deter any pesky little buggers.

Kimstu
11-07-2005, 03:05 PM
The Car Talk guys say that mice are generally attracted to the air cleaner housing (http://cartalk.com/content/columns/Archive/1997/September/04.html). Is it possible that they could be getting from there into your passenger compartment via a vent?

Tom: A lot of mice gravitate to the air cleaner housing because they like the material, and it's warm, dry and safe in there. It's seen as a step up in the world of mouse housing.

Ray: To prevent that, I'd buy a small piece of hardware cloth (thick, quarter inch wire screen), and cover the opening of the air intake.


And sure, why wouldn't mousetraps work in a car? As long as the mice are attracted to food, it should be possible to trap them, and I know of no environment in which mice aren't attracted to food.

Mr. Blue Sky
11-07-2005, 03:35 PM
mice doots.

Worst candy ever made.

Rocketeer
11-07-2005, 04:17 PM
Yeah, they're probably still there. You've got to get rid of the mice fast; if they have time to settle in your car it's going to smell like mouse urine forever.

I use mousetraps, the traditional spring-type, baited with either cheese or peanut butter. You may want to nail the mousetrap to a piece of flat wood so it stays put while you're driving. You don't want to use poison, not unless you want to be rummaging around in your trunk or glovebox someday and find a dead mouse.

On our cars, they seem to enter through the air vents. In front of your windshield, below that black plastic screen, is a trough that runs the full width of the car. (The black plastic screen is the inlet for ventilation air; a rodent getting into the trough can eventually emerge through your air vents.) At each outboard end is a drain hole; water that runs through the screen flows along the trough and eventually drains out behind your front fender aft of the wheel. I think the little bastards climb up inside the fender, enter the trough through the drain holes, and then get into the heater/air conditioning ducts. On a couple mouse-plagued cars I've dealt with, I've pulled off the front fenders and glued pieces of 1/4 inch screen over the holes. Seems to keep them out.

If you get bits of fluff or vegetation coming out of your air vents when you turn the fan on high, you're going to have to clean out your ventilation system. Usually this involves getting under the dash, taking loose whatever air duct you can, then going at it with a vacuum.

We didn't seem to have as much trouble with mice when we had an outdoor cat.

ethelbert
11-07-2005, 04:29 PM
I wouldn't use the spring type traps. I used them once in my house and the little bugger screamed and bled his way across the kitchen floor, throwing my wife into shock. I cleaned the kitchen floor easily enough and my wife recovered, but it could make a mess in your car. Use the sticky sheets, just make sure to get them out before you put your hand on it.

asterion
11-07-2005, 04:30 PM
Yeah, get those mice out of there. Someone I know parked their car for the winter (it was a good-weather car only) and a squirrel got in there and completely filled the air filter with seeds. They only found out because the filter was so full the car wouldn't start the next spring due to lack of oxygen for combustion.

Gary Robson
11-07-2005, 04:31 PM
This is the world's most timely thread. I just discovered a mouse nest in the glove compartment of my truck, where I was keeping a stack of napkins. Then I found that the air cleaner in my wife's car is full of dogfood. I guess the mice have been sneaking food out of the dog's dish and stashing it in the car. We have FIVE cats who obviously get fed too much ;)

I guess I'll have to search out every opening in the air ducts and put screen over the outside.

Kalhoun
11-07-2005, 04:32 PM
Our car was running like shit once. I took it into the dealer and he found a handful of dogfood in the air filter. He said that mice will steal it from the dog (outside) and stash it in the warm air filter for later. I was freeking stunned!

To answer your question, use poison if you don't have cats. Otherwise, the little fuckers will kill your cats. I'd put traps down. You can get a variety of styles...sticky or snappy or trappy. They all work to some degree.

engineer_comp_geek
11-07-2005, 05:04 PM
I guess the mice have been sneaking food out of the dog's dish and stashing it in the car.

Someone called in with a similar problem on car talk a while back. The owner complained that every time they turned on the air, dog food came out of the vents almost like it was some kind of popcorn machine. The dog apparently enjoyed this quite a bit. The owner was slightly less thrilled. It was one of the more entertaining car talk segments that I've heard.

The car talk guys also recommend spraying lysol in the air vents (with the fan on, and make sure the car is set to suck in outside air, not recirculate the inside air) to get rid of all sorts of smells. Once you get rid of the little buggers I imagine you'll want to do this to get rid of the mouse pee smell.

Make sure you take care of it asap. Mice can cause all sorts of damage, like clog up the air vents, clog up the air intake for the car (starving the engine for air so it won't run right), chew up wiring, and worst of all, one of the little buggers could get sick and die inside your air vents. Nothing short of disassembling the entire vent system (not an easy thing on most cars) will get that smell out.

AllShookDown
11-07-2005, 06:15 PM
My experience with poison in the garage is, before they eat enough to kill themselves, the mice take the poison pellets and hide them in little nooks & crannies in your car. I went to get my oil changed after putting out poison and I heard all the little pellets running down when the hood was opened. I went back to using traps.

robcaro
11-07-2005, 06:28 PM
Try D-Con. Works every time. Here is a link for it:
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/buyinprivate/dconmousii.html

Nic2004
11-07-2005, 06:43 PM
I have to second the note on moth balls. It seems to help. However, my wife hates the smell (no jokes please) and I took them out of the garage.
Also, the sticky traps work well for small mice though I use the big, rat size ones. If using the spring traps I have heard (and later tried with success) that Gum Drops are a really good bait.
Put a trap on the floor of the passenger side (where you'll see it as soon as you open the door) with a gum drop on it. That way you won't forget it and either have a dead mouse in your vehicle or perhaps reach under a seat and get your hand stuck in it. :D

Balthisar
11-07-2005, 07:22 PM
Also, the sticky traps work well for small mice though I use the big, rat size ones. If using the spring traps I have heard (and later tried with success) that Gum Drops are a really good bait.
Don't have a problem in my car yet, but I think I should check out my not-oft-used SUV. I've recently acquired a rat problem in my house! One of the neighbors says they probably entered through the sewer pipes. Yuck!

For some reason, I can't find the dang spring traps anywhere -- must be a Mexican thing. I've had great luck with the glue traps, though. The small, mouse-sized ones worked on two out of my three-to-date trapped rats (the last one I caught between my foot and the floor).

Interestingly enough, the rats here are kind of cute looking, furry little things, like overgrown mice, not like the balding, icky things we have back home. Don't want 'em in my house, though.

spingears
11-07-2005, 08:32 PM
This morning I went out to my vehicle (2004 4Runner) to find evidence of mice. :( Did you find any?
There were shredded napkins and tissues all over the place with the tell-tale sign of mice doots. My new hands-free silicone earpiece for my cell phone was completely shredded. Where did the napkins come from?
Have you been eating in your car and leaving crumbs, sacks of leftovers, and what not for the little bugger to feast on?
Any thoughts on how they got into a closed-up vehicle? While I lifted up all of the seats and vacuumed out the whole thing this morning, do you think they're still in there somewhere? How do I get rid of them and/or keep them away? Deter is spelled 'D-Con' and should be available in CT.
(Do mousetraps work in a car?)Yes. Even in a car.
I don't ever keep food in there, and it was vacuumed out just a few days ago.Just one day's crumbs, empty fast food bags, etc. is one day's too many!

bizzwire
11-07-2005, 09:02 PM
Lock a cat in your car?

TokyoBayer
11-07-2005, 09:02 PM
Back when I was living in the States with my ex-wife, we went camping in Yellowstone and a mouse got in the car. We were leaving the food in the car so bears wouldn't visit out tent, as well paper towels and clothes -- all of which the mouse could use for bedding. It must have thought that it had died and gone to mouse heaven. I got a mouse trap and caught the little field critter.

You don't want to leave mice in cars since the mouse will start to chew the upholstery as well as other the problems people have mentioned, so it's best taken care of quickly.

Rick
11-07-2005, 10:19 PM
Mice or rats will eat anything and everything your car is made of. I have seen wiring harness chewed in half. :D Very spendy to repair.
I would suggest that you call a exterminator to get rid of the mice/ rats in your garage, and ask for their advice on the guys in the car.

robby
11-14-2005, 06:48 PM
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

After vacuuming out the vehicle thoroughly, and seeing no further evidence of mice over the last week, I decided it was probably a fluke. (Wishful thinking at its finest.)

This morning I found shredded papers as well as two ruined pairs of gloves in the glove box. There were shredded papers under the seats as well. I didn't find anything in the cabin air filter (behind the glove box) or in the engine air filter. I still have no idea how they are getting in, or if one is holed up in there somewhere.

Anyway, I vacuumed everything out again, and now have 4 glue traps sitting on the floor mats, and will put another one in the glove box tonight.

I also picked up an electronic mouse trap at Home Depot. It uses 4 AA batteries, and supposedly electrocutes mice that enter the trap. I'll bait it with a gumdrop and/or peanut butter tonight.

Rocketeer
11-15-2005, 09:18 AM
...now have 4 glue traps sitting on the floor mats, and will put another one in the glove box tonight.

I also picked up an electronic mouse trap at Home Depot. It uses 4 AA batteries, and supposedly electrocutes mice that enter the trap. I'll bait it with a gumdrop and/or peanut butter tonight.

Good luck! I hope you get the little devil! The one time I tried a glue trap, I had a shredded glue trap the next morning :rolleyes: --That's why I recommended the classic spring-type in my earlier post.

robby
11-15-2005, 09:30 AM
I put peanut butter in the electronic trap, and a gumball in the center of each glue trap last night.

This morning, I found one missing gumball from one of the glue traps. I'm thinking that that the low temps last night are making the glue less sticky.

I think I'm going to have to get some spring traps today.

:(

Max Torque
11-15-2005, 10:21 AM
We had a mouse problem at our old duplex. I put some spring traps outside, baited with peanut butter. The morning after I first put them out, I was much surprised when I checked the traps: they were completely clean. As in, all the peanut butter was gone, every scrap, but the traps had not been sprung.

I got two mice the next night, and on the third morning I figured out what had happened: beetles. Little beetles, too small to set off the traps, had crawled onto the traps and gently lapped all the peanut butter off.

Anyway, just thought I'd pass that along, in case you end up with more "missing bait" and need an explanation.

ouryL
11-15-2005, 11:32 AM
Lock a cat in it and twentyfour hours later, no mouse will approach it. Oh, yeah, buy a gas mask.

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