Are There Rodents in Your Car?

A mouse crouches in the snow

Winter in Iowa can be harsh, and while we can bundle up to keep warm, the same can’t be said for pests like rats and mice. They look for warm places to nest and feed, and with that in mind, your car can become the perfect spot. Springer Professional Home Services has been handling rodent infestations for over 30 years, and in that time, we’ve learned that rats and mice will take any opportunity to get indoors, which doesn’t always mean in your home. Sometimes it means in your vehicle. Because of that, it’s important to know the warning signs of rats in your car, the risks they pose, and what we can do to help.

Signs Rodents Have Been in Your Car

Be they rats or mice, rodents are known for three main habits: biting, nesting and defecating. Anywhere you find these three phenomena, you’re likely to find rats and mice as well. Some of the damages are things you’ll be easy to see, like droppings (that may look like coffee beans or grains of rice, depending on the rodent), or tears in the upholstery to get material for nests. These nests will usually be in warmer spots around your car, such as behind heat ducts or under the center console.

It’s vital to contact a pest control company for treatment as soon as you notice any of these signs. With the amount of time we spend in our cars with every passing year, it’s important to ensure the vehicles we drive are operating safely.

The Danger Rodents Pose

The visual signs of rodent damage in your car are concerning. What’s especially nefarious, however, are the forms of damage that you aren’t able to see. If a rat is able to chew at the plastic panels on your dashboard, it’s not too far of a stretch for them to chew one of the vital wires that your car needs to operate properly. If that wasn’t enough, rat and mouse droppings carry pathogens that can cause illnesses like salmonellosis and hantavirus. So, if a rodent makes a nest behind your heat vents, you run the risk of circulating particles of pathogens throughout your vehicle.

You don’t want to put your passengers or yourself at risk. That’s why it’s so important to seek professional pest control treatment before the problem spreads.

Springer Professional Home Services for Rat and Mouse Control

If you suspect rodents in your car, don’t hesitate to act. If you wait too long, there’s a very real possibility of the rats or mice getting into your home. But if you make an effort to clear your car of rodents, only to find more moving in soon after, they may already have a nest in your home. Luckily, Springer Professional Home Services can safely remove existing rodent nests, as well as take exclusionary efforts to prevent future infestations. You can trust the team that has been caring for households in Iowa since 1989 and know that whatever work we do is done with your comfort and safety in mind. To learn more, contact us today!

DIY Ways to Keep a Mouse out of Your House

A mouse pokes its head out from under s piece of furniture in a house.

Iowa’s winters are frigid. It’s true for human residents as well as pests, particularly rodents, who try to get into homes to warm up and gain access to food. At Springer Professional Home Services, our skilled rodent exterminators can get rid of any size or type of infestation. But if you were able to keep mice out in the first place, wouldn’t that be better? Here are some methods you can try to help keep your home pest-free* this winter. Please note, however, that DIY pest control is not as effective as professional pest control. But if you’re not ready to call an exterminator or want to wait until you’ve tried everything yourself, here are some techniques to consider.

Non-toxic, DIY Rodent Repellents

Here are four common methods for keeping mice and other rodents away using common household items:

Peppermint oil: Mice don’t like the smell of peppermint. In order to keep them from entering, you can put a few drops of the oil on cotton balls, and then place them near any potential access points or attractants, like unsealed food. Even better, you can plant mint along the perimeter of your property to act as a natural barrier!

Another odor mice dislike is apple cider vinegar. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and spray it once a month along the perimeter of your home and around potential access points.

Steel wool: Thanks to their strong incisors, mice can chew through many materials. But research shows that they’re unable to bite through steel wool. If you use it to fill potential entry points, it will prevent them from entering your home.

Mice hate the scent of fabric softener sheets. Put one of the sheets inside any openings you find that you think could be entry points for a mouse. Bear in mind, they can squeeze through an opening with a diameter of only ¼ inch. 

Ways to Keep Rodents Out

Mice want what any mammal wants when it’s cold out: food, shelter, and warmth. If you have them, they’ll try to get in however they can. Let’s review some methods you can use to keep rodents from getting into your property:

  • Check your home’s interior frequently for evidence of mice, especially dark corners like attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
  • Locate every potential entry point on the exterior of your home and seal or treat it with the DIY methods above.
  • Keep food in your home covered, sealed, and safely stored.
  • Remove as much clutter as possible from your home, both inside and outside.

Mice won’t want to stay for very long if they don’t have easy access to food or a quiet, dark location to nest. Plus, as an added bonus, taking these actions will make your home tidier and more comfortable to live in.

If DIY Approaches Fail

Even if you follow all these steps, mice or rats might find their way into your home. If they do, Springer Professional Home Services can get them out. Since 1989, we’ve provided trusted extermination services to homes and businesses throughout Central Iowa. We can help rid your home of rodents or any other pests. Contact us today for a free consultation