Most people don’t realize it, but you could have mice living in your car and you may be transporting them around, without even knowing it. While mice may be tiny, they can create significant problems, not only in your home, but also for you and your vehicle. As we have reviewed, rodents carry and can spread disease, they can also cause a lot of damage to your vehicle in just a few short days. Let’s review some signs that there may be mice in your vehicle, to help you be on the lookout and prevent these unwanted riders.
Do Mice Really Live in Cars?
Having mice live in your vehicle is not as uncommon as you may think. Our vehicles, much like our homes, are appealing places for rodents to live. They provide a warm shelter and protection from larger predators, while sometimes also offering desirable food sources.
Mice, and other rodents, are always looking for food, water, and shelter, and if your vehicle presents a desirable dwelling for them, they will find their way in. Mice may make a home in a vehicle if it is parked near convenient food sources like bird feeders, dumpsters or trash cans, or in an area where pet food is stored, like a garage. Leaving leftover food or crumbs, in your car, will also attract these food seeking rodents.
The dark and warm, confined spaces beneath your car’s hood offer good protection for these small rodents and lots of places for them to build nests. It’s important to know the signs that there may be mice in your vehicle, so you can stop an infestation before it has grown out of control.
Signs That There May be Mice in Your Vehicle
There are signs to watch for that point to you having mice taking up residence in your vehicle:
- You see a mouse or their droppings: There is no greater indication that you have mice in your vehicle than if you see a mouse in your car. You may also find mouse droppings or see their nests. Mouse droppings look similar to a grain of rice, ranging in size from 3/16 to 1/4 inch long. The pieces typically have pointed ends and a color varying from blackish brown to gray.
- Smell a strong vulgar odor: If you detect a bad smell coming from or in your vehicle, it could be due to rodents. Mice will use the vent system as a tunnel to get from the engine bay to your car’s interior. Vehicle vents provide easy access to insulation and filter materials that mice can use to build nests. Your vehicle literally can provide mice with the perfect materials to create their dream residence.
- New vehicle issues/problems: Another sign that mice may be living in your vehicle is if your car suddenly won’t start or isn’t working properly. This is frequently caused by mice chewing through wires in the engine compartment. There is some evidence that mice find newer soy-based wire insulation materials to be mouthwatering. If you see chew marks or have other unexplained wire issues in your vehicle, they could be caused by mice.
- Notice damaged upholstery and interior: If mice are living in your vehicle, they will make themselves at home and look for materials to build a nest. For small rodents, such as mice, nests are important in heat conservation as well as reproduction and shelter. Car upholstery can be the perfect material for mice to make a nest with. Finding scratches and/or holes in your seats, missing chunks of insulation or chewed-up foam, are signs that you have mice, or other rodents, living in your vehicle.
What Damage Can Mice Cause to Your Vehicle
Having a mice infestation, whether in your home or in your vehicle, is less than ideal for any Arizona resident. Mice in your vehicle, like when they are in your home, can cause damage and issues. Mice can chew on wiring, insulation, and air filters, causing them to need replacing and impacting the integrity of your vehicle. They also can create a strong foul odor in your car due to the smell of their urine coming in through the car’s vents. Once inside, mice may chew and nest on upholstery, ruining your interior.
Like most other rodents and pests, mice can carry disease that can be harmful to you and your family’s health. If there is a nest in or near your vehicle’s air filter, each time you turn the ventilation system on, you are blowing dander and particles into your car, which can trigger allergies and spread disease.
When it comes to mice being in your vehicle, perhaps the most damage they can cause is an accident. If you are driving and you see a mouse or one runs across your foot, it will likely be alarming, and could create a dangerous situation for you and others on the road.
Phoenix and Tucson Pest Control
At Bucksworth Home Services, our goal is to provide quality pest control services for your Arizona home, including your vehicles, so that you can have peace of mind.
Contact us for all of your pest control and yard care needs in Phoenix and Tucson and the surrounding areas. Schedule an appointment so we can get started.