How to Solve This Smelly Problem?

mouse in car

It started with a smell.

The terribly awful odor of death is unmistakable, and it came from somewhere inside my car.

After throwing a small tantrum, I emptied everything out of our Legacy, hooked up the vacuum and told myself I wouldn’t stop until I found “the problem.” I vacuumed every nook and cranny, under the seats, in the glovebox… and found nothing.

The scent didn’t go away, so I dug deeper and did some research.

Let me tell you something right now. There are two things you should never Google: personal medical symptoms and the possibility of mice in your car. Both will fill your head with worst-case-scenario thoughts. Search for car-loving mice, and you’ll have horrible visions of destroyed wiring, thousands of dollars in damage and rotting mouse bodies in air vents. Fear and hopelessness will be all you have.

Without a lot of confidence, I examined the car again and found signs of mouse poop in the trunk. I took out the floor of the trunk and found a nest, along with two dead mice. Success!

I cleaned everything up, vacuumed and disinfected, then carried on with plans for a weekend trip, content with myself for finding and solving the problem.

Until, that is, I found more mouse poop. The next morning it was in the cupholders, in the storage cubbies and in the floor mats. My heart sank. I immediately went back into the trunk, opened the cover and saw the little punk staring at me. I had him. Until he escaped.

For the last two days I’ve been looking for him and cleaning up poop every time I get into the car.

I’m not sure if the mice are hitching rides on stuff I put in the car or climbing in through an opening somewhere. My next step is to use some live traps to try and catch the critter and set it free.

An infestation of mice in cars is apparently a fairly common problem. Solutions include everything from poison to peppermint oil. I’ll try it all until I find something that works.

This experience has opened my eyes to something I hadn’t thought of before when shopping for a used car. Be sure to ask the seller if the car has ever been infested by rodents. The damage can be extensive if they get into the wiring, air ducts or the engine compartment.

I’m pretty sure my situation is confined to the trunk and cabin, but it’s in your best interest to avoid used cars with more serious problems.

Have you ever had a rodent in your car?


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Used Subaru Legacy


  1. Realy I hate mouses in my home or my car if I found any one I have to kill it, I will try son to apply your solution maybe I that will stop them in my car.

  2. The mouse is really a big problem not in the car but in most household. They disturbed me a lot during my sleep.

  3. I had same problem in the past . The best solution is having air freshener . You should use the best air freshener and keep your car clean.I am using M GOODEES CAR AIR FRESHENER for my car . This is one of the more unique air fresheners on our list. For an inexpensive yet sophisticated air freshener, it really does a nice job of removing unwanted odors from your vehicle. It is easy to install and will keep working in your car for a very long time.

    It actually works by plugging into your car’s power point. Once that is done it creates an ultraviolet light and ionizer to help control any odors that are present in your car.

  4. How terrible it is! I used to meet the same situation. I think you had better clean your car regularly so that the similar kinds stay away from yours. Good luck.

  5. This might happens in tropical countries. General cleaning is a must. Use the best air freshener and keep your car clean. This way rats will stay away from your car.

  6. Very true! lol “Google: personal medical symptoms and the possibility of mice in your car.” Friends of mine had this issue, never found the mouse but it eventually stopped.

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