Car Creatures: The Animals That May Be Lurking Under the Hood

Anything from squirrels to opossums may be living in your car, so here's how to keep them out.

There could be creatures living inside your car and you don't even know it.

One motorist recently found an opossum in their car, while another found squirrels living under the hood of their vehicle. 

Even when they were discovered, some of the animals showed no intent of leaving.

After you drive your car and park it, the engine is going to remain warm for some time and that's just what animals are looking for — a warm and cozy place to spend the night or even build a nest, but there are methods you can follow to stop that from happening.

Paul Barletta is an exterminator with New Jersey Animal and Pest Control Specialists and has had his share of emergency calls about critters inside cars. He says they can squeeze into tiny places and make themselves comfortable. 

He uses scents made of mint or lavender to keep the pests away.

"It is obnoxious to their nostrils," he told Inside Edition. He advises spraying the aromas lightly on the engine, inside the car and in the wheel well. 

Rodents love new cars in particular because they think the wiring tastes good. In an effort to go green, some car companies are wrapping their wiring with soy, Barletta said. 

"Soy is like dessert for these rodents," he added. 

Aside from the shock of finding animals living in your car, they can cause giant headaches, says car expert Lauren Fix. She says they will get into the air filter area, eat the filter and make a nest, where they can stay safe and cozy. 

Alec Steinfeld's car caught fire as he was driving in New York City. He discovered that rats had eaten through the wiring. 

Four hours after the fire, one rat would still not leave the car. He stayed in the wheel well even as firefighters battled the blaze.