My son is a gearhead, and simply loves to collect older cars from the 70s and 80s. He sees past their present state (which to me is one step from the junk yard!) and visions them all done up and on the road.
His only problem is that he collects more than he can work on, and they stay parked outside for a very long time.
He went to get started on one car and opened the door only to be greeted by a fat mouse and seats that had been chewed to make nests; actually to me it looked like eCredit: morguefile.comntire cities of mice they had been there so long! There were runways from the front vents to under the seats and more.
The car was ruined and the smell was horrible. He ended up scrapping that car simply because these tiny little creatures completely destroyed it. So, you need to stay on top of mice problems and here are a few tips that will help to keep them away from your parked cars or RVs.
How to Keep Mice Away
Step 1 – Make sure the area you are storing them is away from brush, wood piles and debris. It is easier to prevent them from getting inside your car. If you can store your car in a sealed garage that would be better but is notCredit: morguefile.com always possible, in which case you have to really be choosy about your parking spot.
Simply try to park it away from areas mice inhabit, such as brush, wood piles, long grass etc.
Step 2 – Lay a tarp down on the ground if you can’t park it inside (have the tarp larger than the car and weigh it down). Then park your car on top of the tarp. This makes it so they will have to walk on the crinkly tarp to get under your car and helps to keep the damp out. They prefer“stealth” like access from the dirt ground underneath. So, this puts the little critters off your car. But you should still follow the next few steps.
Step 3 – Peppermint Oil and Cotton Balls – You can use moth balls but many people don’t like the smell and it stays with your car a very long time and when you drive you feel like you just took it out of your great great granpa’s garage.. so try peppermint oil instead.
Not just any peppermint oil, you need to get the concentrated form of it. You can get it from health food stores and online with Amazon, it is very powerful with just a few drops.
Wet a cotton ball with the oil and place a few of these in the engine compartment.
Where to Buy Peppermint Oil
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Really Clean Your Car To Repel MiceCredit: morguefile.com
Step 4 – Really clean your car. If you eat anything in your car they will be attracted to any crumbs and will invite all their friends for a large buffet feast in your car, then lay around, burp and do their business afterwards, not a good scene!
They especially love ketchup packages; it is like a dessert to them, so check under your seats too. They are very crafty little critters and are very resourceful. You will even find food from around your house in the car if they decide this is their new home. So, you need to stop them before they get settled, so get rid of anything that will attract them.
It might be worth getting your car professionally cleaned before you park it. This way everything is gone and you come back to a nice clean car. Mice are not fond of clean smelling cars, especially if the rugs have been shampooed.
Step 5 – More cotton balls and peppermint Oil. Add some more soaked cotton balls and place them in the vent louvers and on the floor of the car. If nothing else your car will smell great.Credit: morguefile.com
Step 6 – Fake snakes – Place a couple of these in the car and maybe one underneath the car. Mice don’t like snakes and you could even wipe peppermint oil on them.
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Step 7 – If you don’t like peppermint oil, you can also place fresh dryer sheets in the engine compartment and in the car itself. Just remember where you place all these so you can collect them before you start the car. Mice are sensitive to smells and unused dryer sheets are strong and will repel mice. This is often the remedy recommended for cottages and any couches or beds that are in the closed building. Simply leave dryer sheets around or peppermint oil balls.
If you are going to be gone a very long time, such as over the winter or more than a month, it would be good if you can get someone to come and replace these dryer sheets, or the peppermint balls and move the snakes around a bit and open the car and check things.
Step 8 - For one more added layer of protection you can also try this method. Take some used kitty litter and place a scoop or two just inside the two front wheels on the tarp. This will put them off trying to climb up into the car from the engine compartment. Mice cannot stand the smell of kitty litter.Credit: mine
You don’t want to put too much of this out, since you don’t want to get into a stinky kitty litter smelling car. So, just under the front of the car by the wheels will work well.
But if you have a cat like mine (pictured) then chances are you won't be able to depend on them to keep the mice away!
How to Repel Mice From Your Car?
Park it away from mice habitats, tarp the ground, clean and clean again, peppermint oil soaked cotton balls and/or fresh dryer sheets in the engine compartment and inside the car on the front and back seats and floors. Get a fake snake or two, and put used kitty litter under the front of the car.
Hopefully the above tips help to repel mice from your car, but these same tips can also help to get rid of mice in your car as they won’t like the new neighbourhood! So, if you see a mouse or two in your car, then put these steps into action before they do damage, they could be in the scouting stages of home building!
But you have to catch them before they really get started because they will store their food in the vents which will clog your car, and they will chew the upholstery, wiring and even the roof liner, so keep a vigilant watch over your parked car.
When I saw my son’s project car I was amazed at just how much damage they can do. He had it covered as the roof leaked so didn’t go in it to check and didn’t see the damage mice were doing to the car.
If you don't see mice but notice a bad smell in your car, then check out this article to see what you may find.