Getting Mice Out of Your Car

Ewww you guys I’ve had mice in my car for a few weeks now and it has been really hard to get them out. They have climbed up into the engine of my Hyundai and made messy nests full of seeds, and even pulled the fabric apart inside the hood of the van to make a cozy home. When I discovered that they had actually been inside my car enough to build up a pile of poop in my daughter’s car seat, I declared war.

Worst of all they made a nest right on top of the filter for the cabin air vents and it STINKS. There was basically hot mouse pee being blasted in my face until I figured out the source of the horrendous smell and how to change the filter myself. This is what I found:

UGGGGHH. So disgusting. I ordered a replacement and threw this one away, obviously. But the smell lingered and even after an expensive but very necessary detailing (the car is sooo clean!) I was still finding mouse poo in my baby’s car seat every morning.

So how do you get these jerks out of your vehicle?? It’s pretty tricky, apparently, as I have only had moderate luck in keeping my car clean (I check the filter compulsively now ha). Here’s what I have done so far.

1. Remove all food and clutter from the car and don’t leave anything in there. Even an old coffee cup and a sweater left on the seat were chewed when I came back for them after a few hours. Less stuff in the car is less to clean later and no source of interesting things for mice to scrounge in.

2. Clean the car and engine thoroughly. I had it fully detailed including engine shampoo and it was totally worth it.

3. Locate and change your cabin air filter. I got replacement filters for my make and model of car on amazon and it was super easy to swap out the old one. And burn it with hell fire.

4. Spray peppermint oil on everything. I blasted the new filter thoroughly so it blew peppermint smell into my nose and mouth instead of mouse faeces. Win!

5. Park somewhere you can leave your hood open. Apparently the dark engine is a very appealing location for a mouse house because it’s warm and enclosed. Opening the hood while it’s parked makes it less likely to attract rodent homesteaders.

6. Set traps inside the car. I am not a big fan of killing rodents typically but I am just not ok with them peeing on the seats of the car I still haven’t finished paying for. In under a week I caught SIX beasties in my front seat, backseat and trunk using snap traps. The death looks pretty quick which is better than sticky traps or poison.

7. Remove anything from the vicinity of your car that may attract mice. We have had a pile of hay in the carport for the rabbits that we suspected might have become a mouse hotel, so we got rid of it ASAP.

Anyone else have mice in their car? How did you get them out??


  1. Some cars use wires insulated with a material that the mice love to chew. The wires then short and the affected systems in the car will fail.

  2. Mice follow pee scent trails of other mice – if you park on concrete bleach the area thoroughly and hose off. Never leave pet food outside – mice love cat and dog kibble. Keep the area you park spotless (no trash bags/straw/hay debris). It’s not so much about getting them out of your car – as it is keeping them from getting into your car in the first place. At this point you’ll have to declare war. My farm is a Mecca for mice – I own a dozen fat cats that do their job so well I seldom see a mouse at all. 🙂

    • Good idea to clean off the concrete! We swept but don’t think that was enough. And a dozen farm cats is a pretty good army, we have two that I think need to pull their weight haha

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