Mouse Attack, I think I won (I hope)

For the third time, with my Toyota FJ Cruiser, I have had a mouse in the passenger cabin. One trap and the latest mouse is a goner (no photos of this). It is time to get a handle on this problem

The first mouse came through the cabin air intake and put a hole in the cabin filter. He then spent some time leaving little reminders that he was there. I could hear the little pest and it loved snacking on what ever crumbs I left behind. This one just seemed to go away.

The second mouse never entered the cabin. It just proceeded to use the firewall insulation to build a nest on top of the cabin filter. When I inspected the cabin filter the mouse was gone. This was an easy fix and just took a new filter.

This last time was what really put me over the edge. The mouse did not go through the filter. Instead it put a hole in a rubber flap that allows the blower to draw cabin air if the heater intake is plugged. This flap is before the cabin filter in the back of the filter box.

I figured the only way to stop this was to place a screen over the cabin air intake. This proved to be no easy task.

Intake behind here

Intake behind here

To get to the location of the cabin air intake the wiper arms need to be removed. Then the cowl and two side panels need to be removed. If you have had a new windscreen then you may have seen these removed before. You will need new clips to reinstall.

Finally the plastic cover underneath the cowl needs to be pulled. This covers the wiper motor and actuator arms. The passenger wiper actuator will also need to be unbolted and moved out of the way. With all the parts out it still took me a little time to figure out where the intake is. On the passenger side there is a metal cover as show in the photo. Underneath is the air intake. The intake is raised and is 11 1/4 by 3 1/4 in size and has a lip around the top.

In that dark space is the cabin air intake

In that dark space is the cabin air intake

I looked the location of the intake and figured this was going to be an impossible task. Ready to put the FJ back together and let the mice win I stepped back and gave it some thought. Well, a solution come to mind.

  1. I purchased 1/4″ hardware cloth (metal mesh) and some long zip ties.
  2. I cut a rectangle of the cloth 14 1/4 x 5 1/4
  3. Each corner was then notched by 1″
  4. The edges were then bent to form a lid with an inside dimension of 11 1/4 x 3 1/4
  5. I wire each corner closed to give the cover some rigidity
  6. I laced tie wraps around the edge through the cloth
  7. Now the hard part. I was able to slide this new lid into the space and onto the intake.
  8. Once in place I tightened the tie wraps which now hold the rodent screen in place.
  9. Job Done!!!!
Rectangle cut from 1/4" mesh

Rectangle cut from 1/4″ mesh

Shapped cover

Shaped cover


Another view of the cover

Cover with tie wraps installed

Cover with tie wraps installed

View of cover installed

View of cover installed

With the new screen in place I reinstalled the wiper cover and cowl using the new clips. The wiper blades went back on and the job was done. A new homemade cabin filter finished the install and now only time will tell if this is really the solution.

New cabin filter cut from furnace filter

New cabin filter cut from furnace filter



Tomas has lived in Colorado since age 5. Having grown up on the Western Slope of Colorado lots of time was spent in the Desert Southwest. Tomas' father introduced him to the love of 4 wheeling at an early age in the high mountains around Aspen, Colorado. While an avid Mountain Biker, Tomas and his Family enjoy adventures in the mountains and desert in the remote locations that can only be reached by 4wd. Day hikes are always a must when on the family trips. While enjoying outdoor activities he wants to share his love as a certified 4wd trainer and ski instructor. Tomas also enjoys caving and cave exploration. Tomas currently resides in Colorado Springs. 

  1 comment for “Mouse Attack, I think I won (I hope)

  1. dale durham
    October 14, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    Great fix! We’ve had that problem several times!


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