Don’t Let Rodents Take Up Residence in Your Vehicle this Winter

The National Pest Management Association offers tips to prevent rodents from invading cars

FAIRFAX, VA (February 4, 2020) – Car problems such as flat tires and dead batteries are oftentimes associated with cold weather, but there is another potential threat to vehicles during winter motorists may not be aware of – rodents. In November 2019 alone, online conversations around the topic of rodents found in cars had a surge of roughly 1.8 million engagements*. This winter, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is urging drivers to take preventative measures to protect themselves and their vehicles against the threats posed by rodents.

“Between the engine’s warmth, protection from predators and plenty of wiring for chewing, our vehicles are the ideal source of shelter for rodents seeking refuge during cold weather. It’s a lot easier for these pests to get inside than car owners may realize – mice only need an opening the size of a dime to gain entry,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “The worst of winter weather is still to come in many regions across the country, so motorists need to be on the lookout for mice, rats and other vermin making a home in their cars.”

A rodent infestation in your vehicle will not only cause costly car repairs, but it could also pose a threat to your health. Not only are rodents carriers of diseases, including hantavirus transmitted by deer mice and plague from rats, they can also be a respiratory concern. Signs of a rodent infestation in your car include chewed wires, droppings and gnawed upholstery and insulation.

To avoid threats to both your vehicle and health this winter, NPMA is offering the following prevention tips:

  • Keep the Vehicle Clean: Piled up trash and paper products serve as nesting material for mice.
  • Promptly Address Moisture Build Up: Water is a necessity for rodents to survive, so a leak in the heater or wet materials left in the vehicle will draw them in.
  • Eliminate Entry Points: A cracked window or sunroof is all a mouse needs to gain entry to a car.
  • Pay Attention to the Garage: Vehicles parked in garages can still be at risk for rodents. Take extra measures to ensure the garage is rodent-free by keeping trash cans covered, clearing clutter and sealing any openings where rodents can squeeze through.
  • Check Under the Hood: Rodents tend to build their nests near the engine due to the warmth it generates.
  • Contact a Pro: Take the car to a professional automobile mechanic if a rodent infestation is suspected or found. A licensed pest control professional can assist with a rodent issue in the home.

*November 2019 online engagement findings are a result of a recent online research study conducted between January 2018 and January 2020 by Advanced Symbolics Inc. using a representative sample of 274,500 Americans.


About the National Pest Management Association 
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit or follow @PestWorld on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube.