What rat poison to use for a car engine?

This blog post will answer the question,’ What rat poison to use for a car engine?’ and cover topics like, what attracts rats to cars, signs of a rat invasion, places to look for in case of a rat invasion, and how to tackle a rat invasion.

What rat poison to use for a car engine?

These are the following rat repellants to use for rats in a car engine:

  • Plant-based repellants based on peppermint oil and balsam are very effective against rats.
  • Fresh-cab rodent repellant is one such plant-based repellant for rats in a car engine.
  • Any product based on peppermint oil will do the trick.
  • Mothballs placed inside the engine bay in a comparatively cooler area are effective as rats find this smell repulsive.
  • Ultrasonic rat repellants

What attracts rats to cars?

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

  • Low illumination attracts rats as they look for dark and shady areas in the vehicle to nest and store food.
  • Electrolysis in the car alerts rats 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 rats but larger rodents as well.
  • The warmth of the batteries and other heating components.

Signs of a rats invasion 

The following are the signs that rats 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 rat invasion by looking for droppings in the engine bay and chewing holes in engine components.

Places to look for in case of a rats invasion

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


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


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


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


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

How to tackle a rat invasion?

The following steps need to be kept in mind in case a rat 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 rats repellants not involving cheap homemade formulas can go a long way especially involving some peppermint oil as rats 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 rat 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 rat repellants that can be used to keep these pests away from the car engine.


This blog post addressed the question, ‘ What rat poison to use for a car engine?’.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What rat poison to use for a car engine?

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

To deter rodents especially rats, 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 rats out of your car?

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

Do dryer sheets keep rats out of cars?

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