Best Squirrel Repellent for Cars {Why Squirrels Chew Car Wires}

Why do squirrels like cars? It’s time to use the best squirrel repellent for cars and get them out of here. It’s important to use deterrents instead of dealing with a dead squirrel carcass under the hood of your car.

The damage squirrels can do extends from upholstery damage to engine wires being chewed on. Why do squirrels chew on car wires? Does a bar of soap repel squirrels?

In this article, we will discover the Best Squirrel Repellent for Cars.

Best Squirrel Repellent for Cars

You have the options of applying:

  1. Homemade repellents such as white pepper, peppermint oil, cayenne, a bar of soap and its shavings and plenty of other odors.
  2. Ultrasonic noise devices on high frequencies placed under the hood when you are away to annoy the sensitive ears of squirrels.
  3. Commercial products like mothballs or sprays such as:
  • Exterminators Choice Vehicle Defense Rodent Repellent Spray
  • Natural Armor – All-Natural Engine & Vehicle Rodent Defense
  • Mighty Mint Rodent Repellent Spray for Vehicle Engines and Interiors

Commercial sprays can smell bad, get costly and take a few months of repeated use to force squirrels to another vehicle or place for shelter. Try a peppermint oil spray by mixing several drops of it with water in a spray bottle.

How Do I Keep Squirrels Away From My Car?

Deterrents and repellents are going to be your best options for keeping squirrels away from your car. The reason being is that trapping or killing a squirrel around your vehicle can release foul odors and attract scavengers or predators.

Instead, consider:

  • Bitter apple spray
  • Commercial rodent sprays
  • Shavings from a strong smelling bar of soap
  • Sprinkling pepper powder
  • Peppermint oil and water spray
  • Placing an ultrasonic noise device under the hood

You will drive squirrels out instead of handling a dead carcass and facing the struggle of cleaning out the odor that can result. All we want is for the squirrels to go about their business and leave our cars or properties alone.

What Smells Will Drive Squirrels Away?

Squirrels can be driven away from odors that they find disgusting or frightening. You can mimic the smell of predator urine by simply using ammonia. If you want to play it safer with less toxic fumes, you can sprinkle:

  • cayenne pepper
  • white pepper
  • garlic powder

Rodents hate the smell of pepper. If you want a better scent, use peppermint oil or clove oil in spray bottles with water. Alternatively you shave off some bits of soap from a soap bar that is fresh scented for us, but repulsive for these rodents.

What Is the Best Squirrel Deterrent?

The best squirrel deterrents depend on the time, place and space. Do you have an enclosed area that squirrels seem to enter? What if squirrels keep getting under the hood of a car and chew on wires?

If this is the case, you can consider an ultrasonic noise device that sends out frequencies so high pitched to disturb or annoy them that we cannot even hear it.

You may also consider buying rodent sprays online or in stores. You can create the scent of predator urine by using ammonia or actually buying real fox urine, for example, from a pet store.

Try sprinkling pepper or garlic powder in areas where you don’t wish squirrels to be. You can also try spreading coffee grounds. Squirrels are also repelled by mothballs. Choose an option that is safe for you and possibly your children or pets.

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What Smell Does a Squirrel Hate?

Squirrels hate the smell of things that humans enjoy such as,

  • Coffee
  • Peppermint
  • A bar of soap
  • Deodorant
  • Cloves

Squirrels also hate:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Vinegar
  • Peppers
  • Ammonia
  • Mothballs

Sprinkle, spread or spray the items in the lists above to repel squirrels the natural way or use commercially sold rodent repellent sprays available online and in stores.

Why Do Squirrels Chew on Car Wires?

This is the worst. Squirrels can create considerable damage under the hood of a car. They are chewing on wires because they are looking for a place to exercise and reduce the growth of their teeth.

Squirrels and other rodents gnaw on our desired belongings or on one of nature’s offerings to prevent their teeth from growing too long.

Unfortunately, if a squirrel is able to enter your vehicle’s hood or other areas, they can find wires that seem too good to pass up for a nice chewing exercise for their teeth.

Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellents Work Squirrels?

Yes. These ultrasonic noise repellents work well on squirrels, rats and mice in our experience. They drive them away with repulsive sounds by using high frequencies that we cannot hear.

Ultrasound technology creates a clean, safe and inviting option for us to repel squirrels rather than dealing with the mess of traps or repellents sprays. Rodents are a serious threat to destroying our belongings or damaging cars and homes.

Do you wish to clean up the repellents, pepper powders and soap shavings or create spray bottles to repel squirrels? If you don’t want to bother, you can opt for these devices and give them a try.

Do Any Squirrel Repellents Work?

The best repellents for squirrels depend on your location and situation. There are plenty of products that are designed to keep rodents away, but you find that the squirrels around your car or in your yard who don’t care about what you have sprinkled or sprayed.

There are resilient and persistent squirrels who will defy the odds. The trick is to find the option that works best in your situation. Start with homemade options and advance to buying sprays, traps or ultrasonic noise repellents.

With wildlife control, there is no foolproof method that works across the board for all rodents.

Do Mothballs Repel Squirrels?

Sure. You can try mothballs by placing them in strategic locations where you don’t wish squirrels to enter. You can place some mothballs under the hood of a car to keep squirrels from chewing on wires.

Mothballs can be used in gardens as well. When the smell of mothballs begin to dissipate, it’s time to replace them. Keep in mind that mothballs aren’t a safe method of repelling squirrels if you have curious cats or dogs that may try to get too close to its toxic compounds and experience discomfort from them.

Is Rodent Damage to a Car Covered by Insurance?

If you have bought comprehensive insurance, it should cover the cost of damage to vehicles caused by outside forces such as wildlife. Rodents are usually the culprits of significant damage to the underside of a vehicle or under the hood.

They can chew wires and cause the need for the replacement of electrical components which can get costly. Without comprehensive coverage, you may have to foot the bill on this one.

It’s best to check with your insurance agent and ask this question directly to your representative.

Why Are Squirrels Attracted to Cars?

Cars provide shelter and safety from the elements and potential predators. Squirrels do not see these vehicles as anything else. There are plenty of things to do like hide nuts, chew on wires and claw and scratch to their heart’s content.

Since their teeth continue to constantly grow, squirrels find the wires in a car very enticing to gnaw on. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Spray the hood and underside with repellents that are commercially sold or homemade.
  • Place mothballs under the hood.
  • Sprinkle ground pepper powder or coffee grounds.
  • Avoid poisons or traps.

The last thing you want is larger predators drawn to your vehicle due to the smell of a dead squirrel carcass under the hood of your car. Dealing with that is something you can leave for others who aren’t reading these helpful tips.

Scat Mats to Keep Squirrels Away

Scat mats to repel squirrels and rats or other rodents works well. Lay them down on top of each other in rows and let the spikes of the mat lay out an inch or so apart from each other.

Scat mats come in different sizes and shapes. You can fit them at will. Squirrels will be uncomfortable crawling over these mats.


You do not wish to see frightened squirrels jumping at you or lying dead under the hood of your car. You also don’t want to deal with damage such as chewed wires.

Squirrels find entry holes into your vehicle. It’s best to find these entries and seal them if you can. Open the hood slowly and be prepared that if you live in an area where squirrels are common, one could have found its way there.

Use repellents such as homemade essential oils or pepper powder. Spray, sprinkle or spread solutions that are commercially sold as rodent repellents or even try coffee grounds.

Killing a squirrel in your car will release odors and attract potential predators. Avoid traps and poisons for this reason.


Thanks for visiting for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.

Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable