Mice In Cars

Before I get started, here’s a depressing photo of the garden.  We’re all wishing it was Spring.

The garden in winter time.  So sad. Can't wait for Spring to get out there and see how all the bushes are doing and plant our veggies.

The garden in winter time. So sad. Can’t wait for Spring to get out there and see how all the bushes are doing and plant our veggies.

Okay…back to life on the estate….

The mice missed us while we were on vacation. Now that we are back they are joyously moving back into our cars. A couple of days ago the wife said she saw mouse droppings in the back seat of the Rabbit, which I guess isn’t too surprising because it sat unused for two weeks. And there was that giant mouse nest in it last spring, under the hood, so they are familiar with the comforts of the vehicle.

Now we’re seeing fresh droppings in the Toyota as well so the mouse moved back into there since we got back from Florida. The other day when I was warming up the car and moving child seats around I backed up the Toyota a few feet and saw a mouse run, through the snow, over to the trash can next to the garage. I didn’t get a photo for you to see but he was a big fat fluffy grey mouse, not like the brown and white one that I saw in the RAV4 before we left. This new mouse actually looked like the one that shot out of the trap last month.  Looking at the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources there seem to be a plethora of rodents that live in the area. (Images from ODNR website – “Mammals of Ohio – Field Guide”).  I’ve definitely seen either a deer or white footed mouse in the RAV4 that I did not successfully catch. I believe the one we caught was a harvest or house mouse, or maybe even a meadow vole. The one I saw this morning was one of those last three varieties as well. Note, there are a ton of voles that all look the same. I’m not sure why we’d have a vole but if anyone could have a vole living in their car, I know for a fact it would be my family.

And yes, the irony of the cat silhouette in the DNR literature is not lost on me.  Maybe I should put “Goo Man” in car overnight to sort things out for me like nature intended.

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Regardless I don’t want ANY mice in our cars. The thought crossed my mind to move back to the suburbs, but I figured I’d try something new before putting up the “for sale” sign. My friend recommended I put peppermint oil on cotton balls and place the balls in the car.  Rodents don’t like the strong scent. Plus it will mask the smell of any dropped food crumbs in the car as well.

So I went to Mustard Seed Market and picked up a vial of peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil from Mustard Seed Market.  Was about $8.50 for this little jar.  We'll use it to get rid of the mice in our cars.

Peppermint oil from Mustard Seed Market. Was about $8.50 for this little jar. We’ll use it to get rid of the mice in our cars.

Later today or this week I’ll vacuum out the two cars, to get rid of the mouse poop, and place cotton balls all over the place. Note, the RAV4 is very clean since we had it detailed before we left. The family left one cup in there that had pop in it, and that was enough to invite the beady-eyed vermin back. The Rabbit on the other hand is filthy but up until now never showed any sign of mice droppings. I have not checked the Jeep in the garage. Also I suspect the cold winter is playing a huge part as well.

I don’t have it in me to play the live trap game this week. Maybe when the weather is better or I have more free time.  Killing the mice will be a last resort; one that is getting more attractive every day.  I’m buying owl boxes this spring and putting them all over the place too. I’m HOPING that warm spring weather finds the vermin returning to the fields and wetlands.

Does anyone else out there live in the country and get live mice INSIDE their vehicles?  

How to you deal with them?

What kind of mice do you have living in your cars?

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8 thoughts on “Mice In Cars

  1. have you investigated a radio frequency repellent gizmo? i believe the discouraging sound waves these things generate do not travel through walls, so the kitties would not be disturbed by such, just the resident meecelies. maybe worth a shot?

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  2. I’d think the cat in the document is to help with size comparrison, so you know the difference in size between mice and rats 😦
    I wonder if moth balls would work also. There’s a lady in my Bible study who is having this problem in Alexandria VA (not exactly the rural wilds!) so I’ll see what she has heard

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    • Oh yeah I know the cat’s for scale, I found it funny cause I’ve had people suggest I just put a couple if our cats in the car then “poof” no more mouse problem. I’ve been shying away from the “cat solution”….for now 😉

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