Rats or Squirrels Chewing on Wires Under the Hood of My Car?

I live out in the country and have a problem with rats or squirrels, not sure which. They get under the hood of my car and chew the wires or cables. Does anyone have suggestions on what I can do to prevent them from doing this. The car is kept under an open carport. I would appreciate any helpful information.

Bonnie from Porum, Ok

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October 21, 20050 found this helpful

I have had good luck with minced garlic getting them out of my attic soffits. I also painted the screens with clear pepper juice. You can make this: putt peppers in a hot glass jar, pour hot vinegar in to fill the jar, put the lid on and leave for 3 weeks. After handling peppers do not touch your face and be sure to wash your hands.) A small bottle of pepper sauce costs about $3. You could also sprinkle cayenne pepper powder over your engine wires. --Stone in OKC

July 23, 20220 found this helpful

I smeared bearing grease on plastic gas lines to stop ground squirrels from chewing gas lines into. So far is working, but they got on top of gas tank and chewed another place in gas line , why would chevy even put plastic gas lines on cars. Cheaper is think


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 214 Feedbacks
October 21, 20050 found this helpful

My mom had problems with mice in the car she placed a trap in there each time she came back home. They were enjoying the warm engine. She caught quite a few. Each time she used the vehicle she would pop the hood and remove the trap before driving away. Do you have any traps?

Another some rat it under the hood on a shallow aluminum plate and remove each time you want to drive the vehicle. This would be a pain to do each time...but you only have to catch/poison the one or two mice, rats or squirrels that are causing the problem.

October 22, 20171 found this helpful

For new car owners.. Much of the wiring is covered with soy, as it is bio degradable.. The rodents love it. The dealerships do not want to cover the damage. There is a class action suit in progress, due to this issue, against the manufacturers.

November 4, 20171 found this helpful

My new Chev Cruze has now been in the shop for six weeks due to rat damage to all wiring and hoses. Now up to $4700.00 in repairs after three ins adjusters. Problem is, with a new auto, parts are hard to come by. Still awaiting on the last one from an assembly line factory as no part is in stock anywhere. Have now spent around $100.00 on traps and baits before I get my car back. I have purchased ammonia, peppermint oil, moth balls, pepper sauce and chili powder to place under the hood. Will this help?????

April 8, 20181 found this helpful

Spraying Rataway Fragrance, from on many things. I would spray the engine, hood insulation, wiring, head & tail light jackets, fuel line, battery case, top of fuel tank, radiator, On the House and business, get stainless steel pot scrubbers (will not rust away like steel wool) break apart stuff in holes,around plumbing and electrical lines. Then spray electrical lines, Pex waterlines, computer cables, insulation, ductwork, heating & ac equipment, Over 8000 people from all over the world are spraying Rataway Fragrance from safe around children & pets since 1999.

August 23, 20180 found this helpful

The solid waste industry has found the answer. Waste Management, Republic Services, Waste Connections are using a water-based, non toxic spray originally used for odor control. They are spraying the garbage trucks and rats are no longer chewing wires. Hauling facilities were getting 2 to 5 hits a day now zero! Driver and mechanic endorsed, it has a zero mortality rate. Also works on roaches and spiders! Its called Infinity Pro. It can be bought online at It works!

November 8, 20190 found this helpful

Never use rat pouson. Yoy kill otherbanimals, contaminate the environment, and kill cats and others who eat them!!!!!

February 14, 20220 found this helpful

So kill them?. That's your reply?.. May God have mercy on your soul... You never kill another living creature.. Ever... Spray the pepper spray by all means.. But too murder it for doing what it does?. Should we also murder all those who commit murder?. Commit child abuse?.. Tell me.. Where does it end?.. God forgive you..

November 17, 20220 found this helpful

Omg don't use poison please. If anyone eats the mouse they die too...cats, hawks, owls, etc.


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October 21, 20050 found this helpful

I sprinkled red (cayenne) pepper on the wires - that stopped the squirrels from chewing and nesting under the hood of my car.

February 17, 20190 found this helpful

Did not work. I put mouth balls, peppermint oil , sprayed the wires with pepper spray. Set a trap. 3 times try chewed the wires first tine cost me1700. How doni stop them

By Krysi (Guest Post)
October 22, 20051 found this helpful

All the suggestions are great, but I do have one caution-- I too, live in a fairly rural area, and I have noticed that young feral cats have been gnawing away at my husbands car. He believed it to be rodents, but I sat outside for almost an hour every day for about a week when he would get home, and the only thing I ever saw were those cats. It wasn't until he started the car (unknowingly) with one left inside that I realized that they were the culprits. So before placing poison, be sure that it's not a wayward kitty first! The pepper ideas would be best if you're unsure. Also, if you are sure it's rodents of some kind, consider getting a couple of barn cats. Lots of shelters have feral cats that need homes where they won't be handled frequently (since they aren't very tame) and since they will be munching on mice, their food budget won't break the bank. Just make sure they're spayed or nuetered, or else you will have a rapidly multiplying problem :)

November 17, 20220 found this helpful

Did he see the cats chew it though? This doesn't sound like something cats would do. They are most likely there hunting the mice.

By Yellowbird (Guest Post)
October 29, 20050 found this helpful

Moth balls work for us to drive unwanted critters away without harming them. Put some in some old nylons or socks and tie or place the bags where the critters have been doing their mischief.

By LENORE (Guest Post)
March 17, 20070 found this helpful


By Dr. Lee Miller (Guest Post)
June 26, 20070 found this helpful

If you poison rats outside you may be also killing a hawk, eagle, owl or your or a neighbors cat. The rat poison will also kill these wonderful birds and pet cats. Please use traps on rats or some other method. There is a rat poison that will not harm birds but it will still kill pets like cats or small dogs. If the bird or pet eat the dead rat the poison will go to the bird or pet and kill them as well.

By demi (Guest Post)
October 5, 20070 found this helpful

I just had a $600 bill on a new car last week. The mechanic said he even found rat droppings in the car, and most of the wiring was chewed up. The warranty didn't cover the cost either. The mechanic suggested that I wrap the wiring with steel wool. We'll see what happens next.

By Rick Suddes (Guest Post)
October 27, 20070 found this helpful

New product out called Rats Hate

It stops rats, squirrels, dogs,cats,puppys horses, raccoons
and is nonpoisonous. go to web site for more information.

By Rick Suddes (Guest Post)
October 27, 20070 found this helpful

it you have a squirrel or rat rodent problem contact me
Rick Suddes @ aol . com

or Rataway
. com

March 2, 20200 found this helpful

Squirrels have chewed through the harness on my 2018 Ford Escape three times within the last year. Each time it has cost me the $500 deductible. Ford or their agents don't want to know. They just tell me that it's the soy within the harness cover that attracts them. Can you suggest a good repellent. I have tried moth balls, dryer lints, wolf urine.

By Rick Suddes (Guest Post)
November 17, 20070 found this helpful

I have had several calls from the fire area of southern California. Rats and mice etc are nesting in the home & car. Rataway has been a proven spray to stop rats, mice, raccoons, etc from nesting & chewing. It is a "Green Product" Safe for pets,children, and service personal.

By MyJoy2Go (Guest Post)
December 15, 20070 found this helpful

How about a rabbit? The technician found a rabbit in our engine compartment sitting on top of the engine. The menace chewed my car wires first (major damage)with the estimated cost of over $2,000.00. I couldn't figure out how it could have such big teeth mark in my car. My car is still in the shop waiting for a wire harness.

And then this week got in my husband's car and cost $252.44 to repair the minor damage. The rabbit traveled 16 miles to our first stop and 22 miles to the shop. He now has a new place of residence and I hope it doesn't find it way back to us. We had moth balls in the engine compartment and pepper chaser. I like the steel wool idea.

And if any of you have it happen to you call your car insurance to see if you are covered under comprehensive. Our damages are covered 100%.

Anyone for rabbit stew?
myjoy2go@ just remove the space

By Rick Suddes (Guest Post)
December 15, 20070 found this helpful

again try Rataway, from www. Rataway. com

it is not messy and easy to use. RickSuddes AT
rats chew 2% a day that is 29 minutes a day everyday on natural or man made things like your car.Rats teeth grow up to 4 INCHES a year. For the rat it is Chew or die!
Rataway stops:puppies, woodpeckers, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, dogs, cats, horses, from chewing NONPOISONOUS Green Product
Now Rataway will protect plastic water lines. A rat bit a water line in a house in California, the damage was $100,000 dollars.

By Patrice-DFW (Guest Post)
January 7, 20080 found this helpful

After shelling out $350, and learning the news from the auto mechanic, about a rat chewing the harness wires under the hood of my car, we kept thinking a rat was the culprit. My cat came up with a couple of rats so I was sure rats were doing the damage. The third time it happened, (go out to start your car and nothing, after just driving it that morning) I got out raised the hood and caught glipse of a fuzzy squirrels tail escaping down the backside of the engine. I hate to kill the little guy because I'm afraid it's the one my 8 year old daughter has named "Chatter Box." He is ruining my car. Everyone at work thought I was crazy when I told them about it. I think I'll try the moth balls.

By 4saints (Guest Post)
March 16, 20080 found this helpful

We've had about $450 in damage to our truck wiring so far. Our feed and seed store recommended solid rodent poison bars, "Just One Bite II," with Bromadiolone. They're designed with a hole through the center so as to wire them down so as the rodents don't just carry the bars off to their nest only to be eaten later. I.e., this encourages them to eat it in place. Also. she sold me crystallized bobcat urine to sprinkle around vehicles - do so lightly every seven days as it does have an unpleasent order like cat urine. My wife cleared out all overgrowth along the fence. And we filled an old sock with moth balls placed under the hood. The poison seemed to do the trick as it appears to have been chewed on and there has been no sign of our very expensive rodent this week. We also moved the truck to another location while we were treating the area - it's now parked back under our carport, hopefully, so far with no problem.

July 2, 20210 found this helpful

Be careful with this it will kill your dogs or hat there is no antidote for it

By Walt (Guest Post)
March 18, 20080 found this helpful

Trust me it is usually squirrels...spread Cayanne pepper over the engine and wires and you will solve the problem!

By Walt (Guest Post)
March 18, 20080 found this helpful

Cayanne pepper will fix the issue!

By Al_B (Guest Post)
April 7, 20080 found this helpful

I have the same problem, a squirrel ate most of my wiring in my 2005 explorer. it also built a giant nest under the hood. It caused 3000 worth of damage. Does anyone know if this is covered under car insurance or homeowners insurance.

By Patricia (Guest Post)
April 22, 20080 found this helpful

Yes contact your insurance company. I just had a squirrels chew my wires in my fuse box and my insurance company GEICO paid for all the damages.

By Joe (Guest Post)
June 25, 20080 found this helpful

I started my car this morning and heard some crawling noise coming from the engine. I got out of the car and saw a raccoon running out from under the car. It was responsible for doing about $800 in damage a few weeks ago. The raccoon chewed up the insulation insulating the hood from the engine and also a hose. Hopefully sprinkling cayanne under the hood will fix the problem. I live in a wooded area where there are a lot of wildlife.

By Tim (Guest Post)
July 11, 20080 found this helpful

Same Problem here. Not sure if its groundhogs, rats, rabbits or all of the above. I have moth balls under my hood and have even used LOTS of powerful animal repellent AND traps. It is not stopping them. What am I supposed to do!

By Christohper Fisher (Guest Post)
July 23, 20080 found this helpful

Try putting moth balls under your hood.

March 3, 20200 found this helpful

moth balls don't work! Try a hot pepper spray, that works best. Just boil any kind of strong peppers, cayenne, a bottle of hot pepper sauce etc. Let cool then strain & put in spray bottle & spray all wires.

By Tony from NJ (Guest Post)
July 30, 20080 found this helpful

I'm in the same situation. Little critters cost over $800 damage to my wires to my 2008 Nissan Altima (Geico covered 100%! less my deductible). Now, our brand new 2008 minivan is experiencing electrical issues. Was towed to the dealer who found chewed nuts under the hood.

By jason. (Guest Post)
August 11, 20080 found this helpful

A squirrel completely shredded my engine harness, hoses, brakes, oxygen sensors etc. $3700 I paid the $1000 deductible and Geico did the rest. Over a month in the shop. 4 months later he came back! The bastard did it again! another month and another $1000 deductible. These critters are certainly determined. 2 yrs ago they chewed a hole near my a/c and came in the house! I tried fox urine powder, mothballs. I think I really need a cheap effective alternative like sticky paper surprises.

By (Guest Post)
August 12, 20080 found this helpful

Squirrels do not like the smell of irish spring soap (MUST BE THE GREEN BAR..THE ORIGINAL) .You can grate it with potato peeler or just place bars around area . Don't know if ya can use it under the hood but maybe. They don't like it. Repeat as necessary . Especially good in attic.
Cathy from MA

By Michelle (Guest Post)
December 28, 20080 found this helpful

I found rat droppings under my car and a chewed wire casing. I got the cayenne pepper and sprinkled it on every wire I could see. The salesperson I went to for help in the local hardware store phoned a pest control person who instructed me to put two rat traps under my car near the inside of the two front tires. He then told me to by a mini fan and pop the hood each night and stick the fan inside to make it unbearably cold under the hood. After reading your posts, I wasn't taking any chances. I caught a rat in the trap the very next day. I moved the car and will be treating the area. Thanks for the cayannne pepper tip.

March 25, 20090 found this helpful

I solved a similar problem by using a mouse trap! The mouse was catch the next day. email me (enuj_silos AT if you need a picture of the mouse trap that I used.

September 2, 20090 found this helpful

The power steering went out my "new" (I bought it three months ago tomorrow) 2007 Honda Accord Hybrid. Squirrels have chewed the wiring harness. $700 for the harness and $1200 labor. It's covered by insurance - less the deductible. Thanks for all the hints. Has anyone tried La Yu - the pepper oil that's used in Chinese cooking? Or tobasco sauce.

December 28, 20090 found this helpful

What did you do? We have the same problem.

February 26, 20100 found this helpful

I've been doing some research and it says that once a rat or other rodent makes a nest in your car that it leaves behind feces and urine odors that never go away, even if you remove the nest. This odor attracts future rodent residents. I'm under the impression that it might be a good idea to have the entire engine compartment pressure cleaned to remove this attracting smell. I don't know if it is necessary to apply an anti urine product but spraying the engine with such a product might also stop the problem. I'm going to try it as I'm having the same problem in my car.

March 20, 20130 found this helpful

I had rats chewing wires in my car and a friend in Prescott had rabbits in the car. He saw the rabbit when he opened the cars hood. We both put Rid-a-Rats in our car and problem is happily gone. They say it will work on many animals.

Most of the hardware stores around here carry them. They chase the animals away they don't kill them. It has saved me a lot of money.

May 2, 20130 found this helpful

Please go to the site and read what they say. The have 3 test labs that have tested 100s of hours different products before coming out with the rid-a-rat
The inventors are a retired aerospace engineer and an a Phd animal behaviorist. A lot of work went in to this new technology. They gave me a 100% money back guarantee too.They even talked to me on the phone before I got one over the internet because I had so many questions.480 488 6820. I would never again try anything else.Now many of my neighbors are happy because they have them and don't have to worry about all the damage they were getting by animals chewing wires in their cars.It works great for rabbits and for mice. My friend drove 12 miles with the rabbit in his car to the mechanic.They popped the hood and the rabbit ran for dear life!
This is a product that uses a brand new patent pending technology and is used across the US and in Canada.

May 2, 20130 found this helpful

Please do not use poison, it won't kill the rats most of the time and if they have eaten it they just get weak. In their weakened state they make a nice stack for hawks,owl,eagles,coyotes,and the cats such as mountain lions,and bobcats.
Havaheart traps are wonderful. Then you can choose what to do with your critter. is also green and made in the US by Americans

May 9, 20160 found this helpful

I read the other answers, all saying to kill the squirrels. This is ridiculous and time consuming. Allstate Insurance advises spraying the wiring with bitter apple or other bitter unpalatable and unforgettable taste. Google this and you can get details.

January 25, 20170 found this helpful

The wires in Hondas are coated with soy and the squirrels love it. (according to the service dept at my dealership) They have chewed my engine harness twice. Insurance deductables were costly and they had to keep my car for awhile. We have had some success with moth balls. Will try Irish Spring bars too. Our neighborhood is filled with oak trees!

May 3, 20190 found this helpful

Today I took my 2011 Prius in to find out that all the wiring under the hood had been. I will get car back tomorrow and yes, I'm going under the hood to sprinkle cayenne pepper and the Toyota agent told me to put a bar of ivory soap in a Baggie and place it in the glove compartment. He said squirrels absolutely hate the smell of ivory soap so I guess I'll try that too. If anyone has tried the ivory soap, I'd like to know if it worked. Thanks

May 4, 20190 found this helpful

It's me again, looks like I left out the word chewed at end of first sentence, it is squirrels and they cost me $800. Also, if you have thought about Carshield as an extended insurance for car repair, DONT! THEY ARE NOT ON THE LEVEL. check with the BBB and see for yourself.


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January 19, 2012

Squirrels are chewing the wires on my car (battery, control systems, and plugs). It needs to stop. My car is in shop now, because of this! What can I do to stop this?


By Carl


January 20, 20120 found this helpful

Use half water and half ammonia. Works great, I use it every winter for my lawnmower, weedeater, etc. Put into a spray bottle and spray wherever needed.

May 19, 20130 found this helpful

The Rid-A-Rat installed once by yourself will solve the problem. Perhaps with a major problem you might need 2. They ship their product all over.

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