Most people do not consider their automobile to be a potential nesting location for rats. It seems to be a growing problem. Rats caused a sedan fire in Manhattan. College students in Florida have had their cars destroyed by rats. There were even class action lawsuits against automakers like Honda and Toyota claiming eco-friendlier soy-based electrical wiring attracts rats.

Rats can get into many parts of the car, including the engine bay, the wheel wells, the interior, and the air filter. They may also try to get inside the car by crawling through small openings around windows, doors, and the trunk.Most people assume only long-term parked vehicles are at risk. Even cars that are “daily drivers” are at risk. All these photos are of daily drivers.

Rats Under the Hood

Engine compartments provide ideal habitat for rats to avoid predators. Additionally, these areas are ideal shelters from temperature and precipitation. While inside the car engine, rats will gnaw to keep their teeth filed down. Rats will gnaw on wires, hoses, air conditioning. Wiring harnesses can cost thousands of dollars to replace.

In the car’s interior, rats will damage insulation, upholstery, and seat covers. Their droppings and urine will create an unpleasant smell in your car and potentially spread diseases like hantavirus.

Rodent Damage to Cars

Rats can cause significant damage to cars by chewing wires and other components, which can lead to loss of power or even a fire. They may also damage insulation, upholstery, or seat covers, and their droppings and urine can create an unpleasant smell in the car.

Once the rats are gone, you need to fix the damage done. Remove any nesting materials. Clean up the droppings and sanitize the area.  

How to Get Rid of Rats from the Car

It might be tempting to try a DIY rodent control problem. We have found deterrents like peppermint oil are not very effective. Rat traps are the best way to get rid of rat infestation. Some claim keeping the car hood open and shining a light into the vehicle’s engine will stop rats. Rats do prefer dark places.

Snap traps are the most effective means of rat control for your car.

Recurring Rodent Control

Once we remove rodents from a home and perform a full seal, we recommend a Perimeter Rodent Population Control Program. Once the house has become inaccessible, automobiles left outside are the next closest hanging fruit for these animals to seek shelter. 

Perimeter Rodent Population Control Program uses bait stations to mitigate re-entry to the structure we just sealed and protected. Additionally, it is the only viable way to offer some degree of protection to our automobiles left outside. 

Get them out.
Keep them out.®

Experiencing a wildlife or pest issue? We can help! Complete this form and your local Critter Control® office will contact you to assist.

Best Wildlife Removal Company