The last thing a car owner would wish to have is a foul smell in their car. Mice and other rodents can, unfortunately, get access to your car. Getting rid of an unpleasant mouse smell can be a tedious process. Mice could access your vehicle through a small crack or opening. Leftover foods attract mice into the car. Some will stumble into the car in search of warmth, food, and shelter.
Why Worry About Mice Infestation
Mice and rats are known to spread more than 35 diseases to humans. These diseases spread through rodents’ droppings, urine, saliva, bites, and carcasses. The most common infections from mice are; Hantavirus (HPS), Leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, and rat-bite fever. Additionally, mice keep gnawing and can easily cause damage to your vehicle’s interior parts. They could chew on the wire and fabrics.
To avoid incurring expenses in repairs and purchase of these components, check the vehicle regularly for any sign of mice infestation. If you get a mouse smell, it is time for you to extensively clean the car.
Steps To Removing Mouse Smell Out Of Car Vents
Face masks and gloves help prevent direct contact with the mouse or its waste as you clean up. The following steps can help you through the cleaning process;
Prepare The Car For The Cleaning Process
Remove all movable components from the car like seats, carpets, and covers. Roll down windows, open vents on the dashboard, and warm up by turning on the engine.
Locate The Source Of Smell
The first step is to try and locate the source of the smell, which can be a mouse, dead or living, its droppings and urine. The most probable hiding spot for a mouse is in a warm place such as between the engine and the front seat.
It is hard to see a mouse in open spaces. Check the trunk thoroughly and under the seats and carpet for droppings and the mouse. It will be almost impossible to get a living mouse in your car. You can do the work on your own or engage a mechanic to help you check on those hard-to-reach areas. Having a professional mechanic do the work can be costly but worth it.
Remove The Dead Mouse Or Droppings
After locating the source of the smell, you will have to remove it. The pungent odor will still linger in the car after removing the mouse or its droppings. Disinfect the spot and wait for a few minutes, say 15, then clean with an odor remover.
Blow The Vent
As you blow out the vents, the dust and dirt will be much. Open the doors before starting the process, it could get quite messy. Stop the blowing once you are satisfied that the vent is clean.
Fumigate The Vents
You will need to fumigate the vents to clear any lingering odor. Urine can leave a pungent smell even after blowing out. Regular bleach and vinegar can be an alternative to fumigating liquids.
Clean Up The Seats And Other Interior Parts.
For thorough cleaning, you can consider removing seats out of the car and washing them. Vacuum clean the carpet and the trunk. Alternatively, you could use a steam cleaner. Wipe clean all other interiors with a disinfecting liquid to eliminate germs and ensure a spotlessly clean interior.
Use An Odor Eliminator For Fresh Finish
After cleaning the vehicle, the final step should be eliminating odor using an odor eliminator. Start the car and set the air conditioner to the hottest, then spray the odor eliminator directly to the vents. Repeat the spraying 2 or 3 times. This should give you fresh air free from the mouse smell.
Use An Ozone Machine
An alternative to an odor eliminator is to use an ozone machine to clear the air. The ozone machine works by splitting oxygen and nitrogen molecules to produce free radicals of oxygen, known as ozone molecules. Leave the ozone generator in the vehicle for 2-3 hours after cleaning. This will give you fresh, crispy, and healthy air.
How To Prevent Mice From Accessing Your Car
- Use repellants. One of the natural rodent repellents is peppermint oil. Spray a few drops of the oil in your car every few months. Avoid spraying on sensitive areas such as the heat shield and the mass airflow sensor in the engine.
- Avoid leaving food and leftovers. The smell of food attracts mice. Try and clear food leftovers in your car to deter mice from accessing the car.
- Park in a well-lit area away from mice attractions. Shrubs, piles of trash, and piles of wood are commonly infested by rodents. Avoiding such places and parking in areas with bright light will minimize the chances of infestation.
- Block entryways. Block the places you might suspect mice may use to enter your vehicle. Avoid blocking engine air intake with unbreathable fabric. You can consider using a fabric mesh. Ensure your garage is clean and entry points are blocked too.
- Change parking spots. You might try switching parking spots to determine the best parking place free from mice.
- Use mouse traps. Traps and glue boards are easy to use. Place on the entry point and capture them before they access the car. Avoid the use of rat poison. When mice consume the poison, they could die in very hard-to-reach places in the vehicle. This could complicate the search process.
In conclusion, the mouse smell is annoying in a car and can be a challenge to get rid of it. Moreover, the presence of a mouse or its droppings and urine are a health risk. To prevent infections and damage to your car, keep it clean, park in well-lit areas, seal entry points, and use rodent repellents. In case of infestation, follow the above-highlighted steps to eliminate the odor. You might also consider consulting a professional cleaner if the smell does not disappear.