How to use mothballs in a car engine to get rid of rodents?

This blog post will answer the question, ‘How to use mothballs in a car engine to get rid of rodents?’, and cover topics like, what attracts rodents to cars, signs of a rodent invasion, places to look for in case of a rodent invasion, and how to tackle a rodent invasion.

How to use mothballs in a car engine to get rid of rodents?

These are the following steps that must be followed to get rid of rodents from a car engine using mothballs:

  • Although dryer sheets are a viable option for this purpose, they have a high probability of flying away due to their thin material, hence using mothballs is a strong alternative.
  • Make sure you are equipped with all the materials needed to tackle the situation like the mothballs, some tools for making holes, a pair of scissors, a pouch screen sheet, and some duct tape.
  • Cut the sheet and form it into a pouch, followed by placing the mothballs into it.
  • Seal the pouch with some hard cardboard or with something of a similar make.
  • Using a sharp tool, make a hole or two into the seal.
  • Place the setup in your desired area inside the engine.
  • It is advisable to place the setup in a cooler area so that it is protected from heated components like battery, etc.

What attracts rodents to cars?

The following factors need to be kept in mind as they contribute to most of the rodent invasions in a car engine

  • Low illumination attracts rodents as they look for dark and shady areas in the vehicle to nest and store food.
  • Electrolysis in the car alerts rodents as they sense the usage of water, something that they thrive in.
  • If the vehicle has been turned into a dumpster, containing waste like leftover food and plastic-based waste, it can attract not only rodents but larger creatures as well.
  • The warmth of the batteries and other heating components.

Signs of a rodent invasion 

The following are the signs that rodents have invaded the vehicle engine:

Bad odor

There will always be an unpleasant odor coming out of the vehicle which is unrecognizable initially.


There is an ever-present chewing and scratching noise which can either be on a wire or an electrical component.

Malfunctioning display systems

The display systems might start acting up due to some wire or any electrical component that might have been chewed upon.


Bite or chew marks are visible in older vehicle models and can be very prominent if the vehicle is too old.

Damaged wires and cables 

The wires and cables are easy to be damaged and one can find gnawing on such parts in and around the engine.

Droppings and chew holes

One can identify a rodent invasion by looking for droppings in the engine bay and chewing holes in engine components.

Places to look for in case of a rodent invasion

The following are the areas to be inspected in case of a suspected rodent  invasion:


The glove box is a very good place for rodents to thrive and nest if it is not used for a long time.


Batteries are usually warm and rodents are attracted to any kind of warm component.


Car trunks offer rodents a vast area to expand their nesting ideas, especially trunks having smaller side compartments that give rodents all the more security and privacy for nesting or storing food.


Vents are a very suitable place for rodents to thrive as they are dark and warm and help rodents to stick inside and chew on wires and cables.

How to tackle a rodent invasion?

The following steps need to be kept in mind in case a rodent invasion has already taken place.

  • Firstly the droppings and nests including any extra debris need to be eliminated using a vacuum.
  • Engine rinsing is advisable either with a garden hose or by adding a few drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle that can help clear out extra nesting materials and also the unpleasant odor.
  • The engine compartment should be inspected for any sign of damage and must be taken for immediate repairs by a professional mechanic.
  • Usage of rodent repellants not involving cheap homemade formulas can go a long way especially involving some peppermint oil as rodents are disgusted by it.

An important point to be noted is that after the entire cleaning drive has been carried out, we must not vacuum immediately as the droppings and other rodent waste can be infected by Hantavirus which is dangerous for humans if inhaled.

The vehicle must be moved outside in the open air and blow-dried.

Following this, we must mix bleach or peppermint oil with water and spray it on the affected areas while wearing rubber gloves. 

After allowing this to sit for about five minutes we need to wipe them dry with a towel and sponge the areas with the solution. This must be followed by throwing materials in a bag and washing hands with soap and water.

Research has shown different types of rodents that can invade a vehicle and wreak havoc inside.


This blog post addressed the question, ‘ How to use mothballs in a car engine to get rid of rodents?’

We understood the various factors that invite a rodent invasion and also noted the signs indicating a rodent invasion. Furthermore, we came across the different places to check for a rodent invasion and steps that need to be followed to tackle a rodent invasion. Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to use mothballs in a car engine to get rid of rodents?

How do I keep rodents from under the hood of my car?

To deter rodents, peppermint oil or cayenne pepper can be used as a spraying solution, although these need to be applied on a particular routine as they can wear off quickly.

What is the best way to get rodents out of your car?

Cleaning up waste and setting traps inside the vehicle helps. Taking the car to a car wash to scare them away is a good idea.

Do dryer sheets keep rodents out of cars?

They unfortunately do not help in deterring rodents. The same goes for baited traps as they do not work wonders either.