Rodents sound like something you shouldn’t be worrying about. But when rodents like mice, rats, or squirrels get into your car, they can cause mayhem. And after what we found out what happened to a local Las Vegas driver, we thought we could give you a heads up.

Last January, a Las Vegas driver thought he smelled burning and hear strange noises coming out of her car while he was driving. He proceeded to pull over and opened up the hood. He found what looked like walnuts all around the car’s engine. He then discovered that a squirrel had been keeping the nuts in there for winter. Luckily, there was no damage done to the car. But, this could serve as a lesson to everybody.

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Why and How Rodents Get Into Cars

Rodents are extremely flexible and nimble. They can wiggle their way into very small spaces. They can also squeeze through wherever there’s an entry point that looks impossible for them to go through. They can get into your car through vents, pedal shafts, or between other parts or components.

Rodents are more likely to seek refuge in a parked vehicle when temperatures drop and there is bad weather. That is why we see these little critters often during the fall and winter months. Nocturnal animals are also commonly found inside a vehicle.

Damages Caused By Rodents

Although normally rodents are harmless, they can also cause a lot of problems for you. Obviously, they could cause an accident if you find them in your car, frightening you or distracting you while you’re driving. But even if you’re not driving, these little critters are not welcomed in your car.

Chewing

Rodents can easily use their sharp teeth to chew their way through various materials. When in a vehicle, they can actually chew electrical wires, hoses, your seats’ fabric, and other plastic components.

This is considered serious damage that may need a mechanic to repair it. The most dangerous damage they can do is cause faulty electrical problems, which could lead to a vehicle fire.

Nesting

You can find evidence of rodents in your car in the form of nests. They create nests in soft materials like carpeting or upholstery, or even in the air filters or liner insulation. Some rodents look for a warm place to spend the night and will find a good spot at your car’s engine or heater blower when they’re still warm. Unfortunately, this can end really badly for the animal if you move the car before they have time to leave.

Droppings

You may not be aware of an unwanted visitor in your car until you find droppings inside it. Rodents relief themselves wherever they go. Clearly, this is a disgusting problem to have and to deal with. Even worse, this can be a health risk. Rodents can often carry salmonella and hantavirus.

Illness

The worst risk of having rodents in your car is getting bitten by one. It’s highly possible to get diseases like tetanus, leptospirosis, or rabies.

How To Keep Rodents Away From Your Car

You can prevent rodents from infesting your vehicle and damaging it by following these tips:

  • Park your car in a garage when possible.
  • Avoid parking near tall grass 
  • Avoid parking close to dumpsters, bird feeders, and pet food storage.
  • Shut the windows at night.
  • Don’t keep food inside the car.
  • Keep the inside of your car clean and clutter-free.
  • Make sure you knock on the hood of the vehicle before starting the engine to scare away any rodents that might be sleeping there.
  • Use any kind of rodent repellent spray.
  • Protect your car’s components and cables with rodent repellent coating.

What You Should Do If you Find Signs Of Rodent Activity

You should act fast if you’ve already found signs of nesting or droppings in your car. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Open all doors of your car and let the air out.
  2. Now, clean the affected area with a bleach mixture. Use rubber gloves.
  3. Then, place traps all around the car when you park it overnight. 
  4. You can also use heat or cold to make them leave your car. During summer, you can park your car in the sun and open all doors. During winter, you can leave your car out in the cold and open the hood.
  5. Try placing cedar chips around the car. Their smell is a natural repellent for rodents. You can also repel them with household items like cayenne pepper and dryer sheets.

Sudden Impact Auto, We Look After Our Customers

We are a family-owned business and a proud member of our Las Vegas community and we care about our customers and their vehicles. Contact us at 702-457-3002 and speak with an auto collision expert now!