How do I keep squirrels from nesting under the hood of my car?

Our yard is full of squirrels and chipmunks. They keep nesting somewhere under the hood of my car (you can't see it when you open the hood) and it's getting expensive to have the mechanic clear them out. Plus it smells!!! Help!!

  8 answers
  • C. D. Scallan C. D. Scallan on Jul 26, 2017

    I read recently that they don't like red pepper or cayenne pepper . Maybe sprinkle some around the garage/carport/wherever you park the car. Hopefully this will chase them off .

  • Nancy Johnston Nancy Johnston on Jul 26, 2017

    Put some mints under the hood or sprinkle mint extract they hate it

    • Leslie Alley Esposito Leslie Alley Esposito on Jul 27, 2017

      Thanks. The first mechanic who cleaned it out told me to put mint essential oil in my glove compartment, which I did, but it didn't bother them. I know mice hate mint but wasn't sure if it bothers squirrels or not.

  • Leah Leah on Jul 26, 2017

    They also hate moth balls and moth ball crystals.

    • See 1 previous
    • Leah Leah on Jul 28, 2017

      I know! I've used them to get rid of the neighbors cats, but only out of desperation. The cats were spraying the flower beds and the smell was going right into the basement. Tried every on the cats and finally the moth balls worked, but so did the moth ball smell get into the basement, but it only lasted until the first rain.

  • Bar23471869 Bar23471869 on Jul 26, 2017

    Hope you don't have a newer Toyota that has soy coated wiring. Seems squirrels, rodents, rabbits really love to eat the "soy" - afterall it is a food. What was Toyota & others thinking?

    • See 3 previous
    • Ellis Ellis on Oct 07, 2017

      I read that soy wiring is a problem with Hondas. There are a lot of angry owners out there, because animals are eating their car's wiring.

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jul 27, 2017

    Sprinkle mothballs there. they hate that!

  • Ellis Ellis on Oct 07, 2017

    Can you soak cotton balls in mint essential oil, then place them in old stockings, and, when you park your car for overnight, open the hood and place all around the engine compartment? Or, just make a whole bunch and place them under the car?

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 03, 2023

    We had trouble with out older model Plymouth Breeze, they ate 2 out of 4 spark plug wires, never found a solution, of course replaced the wires, maybe they were non-soy ones.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 07, 2023

    To help keep squirrels away from your ride, the Canadian Wildlife Federation suggests using taste deterrents, like bitter apple spray. Most pet stores and veterinary clinics carry bitter apple spray, as well as other taste deterrents for wildlife. Use caution and talk to a mechanic before spraying anything directly on your vehicle, though, to help avoid any damage.

    If you suspect a squirrel is already nesting under the hood of your car, the Toronto Wildlife Centre suggests leaving the hood of your car open for a day or two (if it's safe to do so). This may help make your car a less attractive nesting space and the squirrel may vacate on its own.