Keeping Squirrels From Nesting in Your Car in Winter

Lead Image
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Animal repellent
Small bowl
Small broom
Ground-up cayenne pepper
Pepper sauce
Moth balls
Rubber snakes (optional)

If there’s one thing that can add to winter misery, it is squirrels nesting in your car. The rodents are attracted by the warmth of the engine which creates a cozy place for them to nestle. Rodents create a fine mess once they bring in nuts, acorns, and nesting material. This creates more work for you. Should the rodents chew some engine parts, you will need a tune up, which can set you back financially. If you drive off unaware of their presence, your car could easily malfunction or even catch fire.

Fortunately, here is one way you can keep the small animals away from your car.

Step 1 – Inspect Car Engine

Before you apply any treatments, it is best to check your vehicle to determine where the squirrels are nested. Allow the engine to cool before you open the hood. This will prevent possible injuries and enable you to check the engine more comfortably.

Step 2 – Clean the Engine

It should not be too hard for you to spot the presence of the rodents. Usually, they bring their food along once they are comfortably nested. They also bring grass and small twigs to create a more comfortable nest.

Use a small broom to clear away all elements of the animals’ presence. It will be easier to apply the treatment in a clean engine.

Step 3 – Spray Animal Repellent

You can obtain animal repellent from a plant nursery or hardware store. Spray repellent on areas of the car that don’t heat up. These include the undercarriage, bumper, and front tires. Do not spray any repellent inside your car engine. You will have to contend with a repugnant smell if you spray the repellent on car parts that get hot.

You can also spray some repellent on the ground underneath your car.

Step 4 – Apply Hot Pepper

Mix some pepper sauce with ground cayenne pepper in a small bowl to make a paste. Spread the mixture on the same areas where you sprayed repellent. These areas are likely entry points for the rodents. The pepper mixture combined with the repellent will drive the rodents away.

Step 5 – Insert Moth Balls

The odor of moth balls repels squirrels. If they get past the animal repellent and pepper mixture, the odor of moth balls is sure to drive the animals away. Open the hood and insert some moth balls in several different locations. This will ensure that there’s a strong smell of moth balls to repulse the animals.

Be sure to place some moth balls around the wires as the squirrels like to munch on them.


  • Be extra careful when you inspect your car engine for squirrels. They can bite and cause you more misery.
  • Snakes eat squirrels, so you may want to place some rubber snakes underneath your vehicle to scare them away.
  • Do not keep piles of brush or wood near your car. These are things that will attract the rodents.
This is sure to keep the squirrels from damaging your car when the cold weather hits.