How to Keep Squirrels Out of Car Engines

by Timothy Sexton

The warmth of a car engine is a highly prized spot for small animals like squirrels looking for a place to get away from the cold during the winter. Sometimes squirrels get underneath the hood of the car out of sheer curiosity or because they think there may be some food hidden under there. Getting rid of squirrels from car engines can be a necessity if the local population comes to find the spot a particularly inviting place.

Spray small animal repellent on parts of the vehicle that don't get hot. This can include the front tires, the undercarriage and the bumper. If you spray it directly beneath the hood and then start the car up, the odor is likely to repel you more than any animal.

Spread some ground hot pepper the areas where the squirrel may be gaining entry. Again, putting hot pepper on parts of the car that gets hot can result in some very irritating effects on the driver, but a generous dose around the tires and along the bumper is likely to drive off squirrels and any other animals hanging around. Cayenne pepper is likely to work well, but habanero pepper is going to work even better. To really give this approach a kick, add a few drops of pepper sauce or some other hot sauce.

Place large mothballs beneath the hood, especially around the wires that squirrels seem to enjoy munching on more than any other part of a car. There is no guarantee that mothballs will be effective, but squirrels are usually repelled by the odor of mothballs.

Using rat poison will prove effective for acute problems with squirrels getting into the engine, but this approach comes at a price. In addition to the fact that you must be okay with the killing of the animal, you must also deal with the carcass once the poison has done its work. The use of poison should only be considered as a last resort, when every other remedy has been exhausted.


  • close Handle all poisons carefully, and keep them away from pets and children.

Items you will need

About the Author

Timothy Sexton's more than 10,000 articles have been published on sites ranging from USA Today to CareerAddict, from PopEater to His writing has been referenced in books ranging from "The Reckless Life...of Marlon Brando" to "Brand New China: Advertising, Media and Commercial and from Scarface Nation to Incentive!"

More Articles