Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Rodent repellent for cars

Best Rodent repellent for cars and trucks

First understand why rodents like your engine and interior spaces

It’s not the soy based wiring insulation! It turns out that’s a myth according to pest control company Terminix and Consumer Reports.

car wires chewed by mice and rats

Living under your hood keeps the whole family from the elements

“Pest control company Terminix considers the temptations of tasty materials to be a myth, and instead, it blames rodent biology and their need to constantly chew, thereby preventing their teeth from growing too long. It turns out that feasting on cars is more prevalent than you might think.” — Consumer Reports

Who’s under your hood and why they’re there

Mice, Rats, Squirrels, Chipmunks, groundhogs, opossums, and woodchucks

How to avoid attracting rodents to your car in the first place

• Park away from trash bins or natural sources of rodent food like vegetable gardens
• Don’t store any food, candy, food wrappers/containers, or dog food in your garage, car or trunk or near where you park.
• Seal gaps in your garage doors and foundation to keep critters out of your garage
• Remove sources of nesting materials like leaves, straw, rags, or patio furniture cushions.
• Don’t park for long periods in unsealed garage spaces. Move your car regularly so any critters that have started a home in your engine have an incentive to get out quickly.
• Check under your hood on a regular basis and remove any signs of rodent nests

Place rodent traps around the garage to reduce the population

Rodent repellents for your engine

Moth balls as rodent repellent for your engine compartment

Purchase aluminum window screen. Form it into a pouch. Fill it with moth balls and secure several pouches around the engine compartment around the perimeter, away from moving parts. And NEVER place moth balls anywhere inside the passenger cabin. The active ingredients in moth balls are either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Each can cause negative health effects if inhaled long enough.

For storage, placing mothballs under the hood can help. (Don’t use them inside the car, or you’ll be stuck with that awful smell.)

moth balls as rodent repellent

Dryer Sheets don’t work as a rodent deterrent

Many Internet posts say to place dryer sheets in your engine compartment. Does it work? Not usually. In fact, rodents appreciate the nice smelling bedding material. In other words, don’ t waster your time or money on dryer sheets under the hood. They don’t work.

Pepper spray, Peppermint Oil and rodent repellent sprays work to keep rodents out of your car

Peppermint oil and cayenne pepper are reported to deter rodents. Note that spray products will need to be reapplied routinely, because they can wear away and rinse off.

But you must retreat often. The sprays simply don’t last long.

Protect engine compartment wires from being chewed

The sprays help, but there are two more effective ways. One is expensive, the other is labor-intensive.

Honda rodent deterrent tape 4019-2317 prevent wire damage from rodents.

Purchase Honda rodent deterrent tape 4019-2317. It’s electrical tape impregnated with spicy capsaicin. Buy the tape online from a Honda dealer. The price is about $45 for a 20-meter roll. Wrap it around the wires in the engine compartment.

Aluminum screen wrap to prevent rodents chewing wires

Purchase ordinary aluminum window screen from a hardware store and wrap it around wiring harnesses in your engine compartment.

For additional tips on keeping rodents out of your car, see this post

©, 2022 Rick Muscoplat


Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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