Rattling noises, bad smells and intermittent electrical issues® These are all signs of mouse and rodent infestation inside the cab of a vehicle. Did you know that your vehicle most likely has a cabin air filter® Did you also know that vehicle manufacturers design the vehicle so that the only way in is through HVAC intake® If you ‘re following my trail here, the only thing that separates the inside of your car and hordes of hungry mice, is a thin cabin filter made of cotton.
If you’re thinking to yourself, ‘that’s great, all the car manufacturer has to do is place a screen over that intake and the mice can’t get in’, you would be right. That is all they would have to do but they do not (minus a few exceptions).
Read your manual, follow the instructions to access your cabin air filter (most likely behind the glove box), remove the filter and you will find a dark gray or even black, disgusting filter which has collected leaves, nuts and mouse droppings. Look a little closer and you may even find a little hole through the filter, just large enough for a mouse. Once a mouse has found a trail into your vehicle, they will pass the message along faster than you could on social media. And like that, you have unknowingly added lots of new friends.
Interestingly, if you search the message boards for a solution to this problem, you will find little to no real solutions– mostly just theories on dryer sheets, moth balls, peppermint oil and other products sold on the market. And of course, there are always a few snarky, “get a cat” callers. Take it from someone who has tried them all–some may work for a little while, but eventually, your little friends will always figure it out. After successfully tackling this problem myself on two different vehicles with roughly $5 in materials and 90 minutes of labor, I thought I would post some images to help others who were having the same problem.
I cannot guarantee this solution will work on all makes and models but can share with you that in my situation, where I was catching 1 to 3 mice PER DAY in the vehicles, the mouse problem stopped immediately and never returned.
The images below are taken on a 2017 GMC Sierra Pickup Truck and 2014 Toyota Sienna Mini Van. Most vehicle’s HVAC intake is in the same place—right below the window, accessed from inside the engine compartment. Some manufacturers may have screens in place but from my research, many do not. Remove the wipers, plastic clips, pull off the plastic grill and you should have your access.