Wildlife car rental

Update: A mouse’s point of view

I was driving to work today and had just driven up my street a bit when out of the corner of my eye, a little gray mouse ran from under the passenger side seat and up under the dashboard. At first, I wasn’t sure what I saw but then it registered. Yes, indeed, I saw a mouse inside my car, while driving.

I pulled over and got out of my car. I called my husband, Joe, and related what had happened. He first said, “Outside the car?” I then repeated, “Uh, no. Inside the car. With me.” He then asked me what the noise was in the background. “That’s me, banging on the hood of the car to scare the mouse…” At that moment, the little mouse ran out from under the car, into a yard and up a wooden light pole.

Joe and I made a plan to look through the car this evening when I got home, to see if we could find a nest or mouse “vacancy” sign flashing. He had just vacuumed the car out this weekend, so the snack drive-thru that was my floorboard was closed. Not sure what there was for him to feast on.

I drove about 10 minutes and turned onto St. Mary’s Road, down the hill from my office building. Again, out of the corner of my eye, a slightly larger gray mouse ran from under the passenger side seat and up under the dashboard. I kept driving until I arrived at work. I then exited the vehicle and banged on the outside of the hood. Nothing. So, either the mouse made a suicide jump from my wheel well while the car was moving or he was awaiting his escape. I didn’t hang around to find out.

In talking with a few friends about this, here were the more promising responses:

“I hope they haven’t built a nest up under your seat.”

“Hope they didn’t build a nest and have babies inside your car somewhere…”

“Hope they haven’t eaten any electrical wires or fuel hoses that could cause your car to burst into flames at a moment’s notice.”

“If they do have a nest with babies, how are you going to rescue them?”

Since one mouse jumped ship down the road from our house and another where I worked, I also now worried that I had somehow orphaned 5-14 baby mice (yes, that’s how many babies they can give birth to, according to the Internet), inside my car, without their displaced parents. I do love most animals and I didn’t wish them any ill-will.

I decided it might be better to tackle this issue in the daylight. I drove home at lunch and Joe vacuumed the car floor and seats again while I wiped down every surface with antiseptic wipes. I then put Bounce dryer sheets everywhere, inside my car, and put batteries in the “Cordless Ultrasonic Rodent Repeller” that I bought last year ($34.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer plus three AA batteries) but never used. It now sits in my cup holder. Other than sprinkling my car with fox or wolf urine (yes, that was suggested on one of the websites that I reviewed), I can’t think of anything else to deter these little rascals from camping in my vehicle.

Note: I think it’s funny that I bought a device that I can’t confirm is working properly. Here are the instructions: “Unlike similar devices that emit only a single frequency, to which only rodents are apt to adjust, this device varies its wail between 25 kHz and 32 kHz, preventing critters from adapting and creating an inhospitable environment for nests.” It’s inaudible by larger animals like dogs, cats and humans. Humph! It does offer an LED power indicator and an audible test button, so there’s that. If I was a more skeptical person, I might think I just got taken for $38 and change. I have ordered other items from this company and they are reputable so I’m trusting that all is well.

Please pray that this is the end of the rodent renters. And, that I haven’t orphaned baby mice, only to die inside my car seat, to smell for all eternity.


  1. Reply

    Oh my goodness gracious! I can’t believe you didn’t have an accident while driving. Kudos for keeping it as much together as you could.

    1. Reply

      So, I am cautiously optimistic that my car is mouse-free. It’s really pretty funny in hindsight. Thanks for visiting my blog, Kristin!

  2. Reply

    Yikes! I hope that’s the end of the adventure. I would die if a mouse took up residence in my car–mostly because I’m allergic. Here’s hoping the mice are gone for good.

    1. Reply

      I’m sorry about your allergies. That would be horrible because you might never know the mice are there but you react to them. If it helps, I think they were just visiting at night, to keep warm. So far, so good – didn’t see any critters in my car this morning!

  3. Reply

    Hi-ya. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Payback time. 🙂

    Since you mentioned the IWSG in your comment, I read your latest post for that first, and left a comment there, but I am soooo glad I read this post, too.(Forgive me for laughing?) Good thing you aren’t the skittish type, eh? I’m glad it was only a mouse and not a snake, and I hope they’ve moved out for good. Since you got rid of their snack bar, I’m sure they have. The funniest part of this post for me? That ultrasonic device that may… or may not… be doing its job.

    Have a super week.

    1. Reply

      I’m sure glad it wasn’t a snake either. I would have crashed the car for sure! The ultrasonic device does make a high-pitched sound once in awhile so I just make sure the radio is on 😉 No signs of baby mice yet. Keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks for visiting me!

  4. Reply

    Humorous, yet terrifying. I had mouse droppings in my van one fall. I probably would have crashed the car if I’d actually seen it running out from under the seat or across the dash! I didn’t find the research on the wolf urine, but I did read/hear somewhere that mice don’t like the smell of mint. I bought two bottles of the mint essential oils. My van smelled very minty for a long time, but I didn’t see any more mouse droppings! I also did the Bounce sheets.

    1. Reply

      Good idea about the mint oil. So far so good with the Bounce sheets and the rodent repeller. Haven’t seen anymore “movement”.

  5. Reply

    I can’t imagine how they got into your car. On the good side of the smelling thing, a rat once took off the screen to the outside of my overhead oven fan, made its way inside, and couldn’t climb back out. It died a few days later and the smell went away after about 10 days. Oh, and when I had cats, they used to kill mice and hide them behind heating radiators and such. Again, horrible smell went away after about 10 days. Good luck!

    1. Reply

      The bounce sheets and rodent repellor didn’t work. We found out they were getting through a nice size hole in the cabin filter. Who knew there was a cabin filter? Crossing fingers and hoping they don’t eat through the new one. Trying to “live trap” them in the garage. We have “served” them meals of cheese and peanut butter thus far. They seem to elude the traps. I don’t want to kill them but that may be the next step if we can’t capture and relocate.

  6. Reply

    We had this problem as well when we left one of our cars in the garage while out of town for a week. The mice chewed up some filters and left a bunch of seeds all over the engine. Eventually I incorporated this ordeal into a short story. Another thing that is supposed to repel mice is peppermint oil.

    1. Reply

      I’d actually be ok if they wanted to live in our garage, out of the way. It’s when they enter my car (and exit it) while I’m driving, that I’m not so wild about. Have a good week!

  7. Reply

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Returning the favour and entertained by your post. Not sure I would have been able to just keep driving but it sounds as if you might be used to having mice around. I’m hoping the A-Z won’t prove too much of a challenge this year with the new arrangements but I’m going to give it a go!

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