Keeping Squirrels Out of Your Cars Engine

This may not be a nationwide phenomenon but every year or so I get a call for a pesky squirrel or rodent that is making his home under the hood of a car. Maybe because the engine provides warmth and protection or perhaps they are just curious but either way this can be a dangerous situation if let go. For some the call is too late because hundred of dollars worth of wire damage has already been done. It can be even worse if the unsuspecting car owner drives off to work and a short causes a fire or other malfunction.

Ways to deter squirrels

First understand that squirrels are not easily scared or deterred plus they seem to have an innate ability to figure out problems. These suggestions have worked for me but I’ve found nothing that works 100% of the time so be prepared to use more than one.


  • Squirrel deterrent sprinkled on the ground under your car.
  • Cayenne pepper sprinkled on tires and ground. (lots of it)
  • Squirrels don’t like the color red. So a red towel over each tire or on ground under the car
  • Rat snap traps in wheel well area or on top of tires if that’s where they enter.
  • Rubber snakes placed under car
  • Large homemade glue boards
  • Live traps baited with corn.


Now I’m a nature lover like so many of you so I don’t really relish the idea of killing a squirrel but if it comes between my safety and that of my families the squirrel has got to go. Squirrels are rodents and as such their teeth are constantly growing so to keep them manageable they gnaw every day just like we file our nails. This is why they chew wires, pipes and anything else handy. Besides the expense this can become very hazardous in a short time. If worse comes to worse, find a pest control expert who can help you out.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Brandon Kamp

    I keep seeing this. Sprinkle this, set that… my vehicle moves nearly everyday. Anything of a powdery-nature isn’t going to survive the first application. And a live-trap is just going to lodge itself and destroy my engine.