how to get rid of rat in car

 Rat in My Car & RV – How to Prevent Rats from Infesting Vehicles

Nothing can be more frustrating than having in rats in your cars and RVs… Yes, we always think of rats in our homes but they can cause a huge amount of damage to our vehicles. They not only lurk around our homes, gardens, and attics. They also like to enjoy the warmth of our vehicles regardless of the type. I have already gone through the situation when I parked my recreational vehicle and left it unattended for a while. In the meantime, rats took up residence. And trust me it was so annoying.

Rats and mice are especially attracted to recreational vehicles that have a small kitchen. In this era, most of the RVs have a small kitchen and even an attached bathroom. This makes the recreational vehicles an ideal place for rats. They get an easy access to both food and water along with a safe shelter.

You must be thinking that you keep your cars and RVs clean than how can rats enter. Well, rats and mice can come in search of even tiniest food crumbs no matter how tidy you may try to keep your vehicles. They can smell even the tiny piece of food from a good distance. And as far as my experience is concerned, you should never ignore the damage they can cause.

Let’s dive deep into in it:

Damage Rats Can Cause in Your Car 

clean your car keep mice awayYou should never underestimate the damage rats can cause to your car and RV. If you have had rats living in your vehicle, they can

  • Shred the upholstery in search of nesting materials
  • Chew wires and hoses
  • Gnaw insulation
  • Cause fluid or gas leaks
  • Chew everything

Risks Rats Can Cause to your Health…

rat signs in carThe damage is not limited to the property; they can also cause a serious damage to your health. These rodents carry dangerous bacteria and viruses and spread them wherever they go. If you have rats in your car or RV, you are also exposed to the risk of a potential infection. The droppings, urine, and even the nesting materials of rats carry bacteria and viruses.

The most popular and dangerous diseases that rats can cause include:

  • Hantavirus – This viral infection can pose a serious danger to life and can be fatal in some cases.
  • RatBite Fever – It may be contracted through a bite or scratch and can be harmful if left untreated.
  • Salmonellosis – It is transmitted by consuming contaminated water and food which can cause serious fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.
  • Plague – There are several types of plague that are carried by rats and also spread through fleas.
  • Colorado – It is transmitted by a tick that has sucked in blood from a rat and can cause serious illness.

It simply means that having rats in your vehicles is not good for your health. Therefore, a rat infestation in your car and RV should be dealt with immediately.

How to Keep Mice out of Cars

put dryer sheet in car engine to get rid of miceFortunately, you have many ways to keep mice out of your cars and recreational vehicles. First of all, know the reason for the infestation. And, there are three main reasons that attract rats or mice to your vehicles. Firstly, RVs tend to sit in one place for an extended period of time. Secondly, RVs provide a good place to create nests. Thirdly, most RVs have a small kitchen which means a good source of food and water.

So, now we can jump on to the solutions to keep rodents out of cars:

  • Dryer Sheets – Use dryer sheer to repel the rodents and these sheets will cause no permanent harm to rats. However, I advise using highest quality dryer sheets as rats can tor up them to use for nesting material. Put dryer sheet on your car engine to keep mice away.


  • Natural smells – Most rodents don’t like strong smells such as moth balls, ammonia, fabric softener, Fresh Cab, peppermint, etc. Place cotton balls soaked in natural smells in the rat’s point of access. They cannot stand the smell but you will have to use the smells wisely.



  • Bay Leaves – Bay leaves act as a natural poison to rats and you can place some of the leaves at entry points. You can use some dried seasoning to keep the rodents away instead of killing them. Place a handful of dried bay leaves in the vehicle.


  • Peppermint Oil – This is a natural rodent repellent and you can easily use the cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil. All you need to do is to place some cotton balls at the possible entry points. Mint repels rodents as they don’t like the strong smell and go away.


  • Clove oil – Rodents don’t like the smell of clove oil and you can add a few drops of peppermint oil to make it even strong. Soak the cotton balls in the oil and tuck these into corners of the vehicle. This will help you get rid of rats and mice naturally.


  • Trap – This is one of the traditional ways to keep a check on mice infestation. Set live traps around the infested area and bait them with rodents’ favorite food. Bait the traps with apple slices, peanut butter, or pieces of potato to attract rats.


  • Cleaning – Sanitation is imperative because rats often infest those areas that are not taken care of properly. Whether you are using your vehicles on regular basis or not, keep them clean and tidy always. Regular cleaning is the best way to keep the rodents away.




Rodents are everywhere and they can infest your vehicles too. They always look for an ideal place to hide that has good access to food and water. Most RVs these days offer a good hiding place to them. They can find such vehicles, make a nest, have babies, and screw up the entire vehicle in just a few days. It makes it important to discourage them to enter your vehicles and you can do this if you want to.

If you have rats in your car and RV, they can live and create nests even in engine compartments. Yes! It’s absolutely true that the damage done to your vehicles by rats and mice can be considerable. This is especially dangerous if you live in a rural area as such areas are prone to infestations. Rats and mice can move in the vehicles quickly and can destroy the entire wiring in a single day.

Rats can chew the insulation off wires that connect anything electric such as batteries and alternators. Isn’t it horrifying? However, following the above-mentioned tips, you can keep rodents away from your cars and RVs.

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