How To Get Rid of Roaches In Car

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It is one thing to deal with roaches at home and another when they invade your car, considering cars are sacred to some people.

Nobody wants to drive in a cockroach-infested car because they make your vehicle unsanitary and annoying, so you ought to know how to get rid of roaches in car.

The warmth, moisture, and food particles (if you tend to eat in your car) make it a conducive place for cockroach to get into a car. You may see them coming out of your car’s AC or crawling elsewhere.

Do not overlook the problem, even if you see one, because it could be a sign of a much bigger issue.

How Does Roaches Get In Your Car?

how to get rid of roaches in car


1.  Through Open Windows Or Doors

 Open car windows or doors provide cockroaches with convenient spaces to enter your car. This is true, especially if you park your vehicle for an extended period without fully closing the doors or windows.

Roaches can also enter your car through open windows or doors if you have a dirty garage with plenty of organic matter, dirt, and other substances that entice cockroaches.

2. Cracks And Crevices

 Cockroaches can get into a car through small cracks and crevices in your car’s body or dashboard. They can squeeze into tiny spaces that you might not even notice.

Some of these tiny openings include door gaps, damage in your undercarriage area, and cracks in your windshield or sunscreen.

3. Hitchhiking

 Cockroaches can also get into your car by hitchhiking on your clothes, bags, or other items that you bring into your vehicle. So if you move items like moving boxes, used appliances or furniture, suitcases, grocery bags, or laundry with roaches into your home, these creatures can then make your vehicle their home.

4. Through Infested items

If you bring infested items such as cardboard boxes, grocery bags, or other items into your car, the roaches could hitch a ride.

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Signs Of Roaches In Car

The presence of roaches in your car can go unnoticed for weeks because they are nocturnal. However, you can tell their presence by a few signs. These are:

a) Cockroach  Feces

Among the most apparent signs of roaches in a car is the presence of roach feces which are small, black, and cylindrical. You will commonly find them on surfaces like the dashboard, seats, or floor mats.

b) Egg Casings

Roaches lay their eggs in small, brown casings in dark, hidden areas like under your car seats or inside the trunk.

c) Odor

Roaches have a distinct musty odor that you will easily notice as the cockroach population in your car increases. So, if you notice an unusual smell you cannot explain in your car, it could be the work or roaches.

d) Live Roaches

If you spot a live roach scurrying across your dashboard or crawling up your windshield, then you have a roach infestation.

e) Damage To Your Car Interior

Roaches may damage your car’s interior by chewing on wires, upholstery, or insulation, which is not only annoying but can cause costly damage. Look for signs of gnaw marks or shredded material.

Related: How To Get Rid Of Roaches Overnight Home Remedies

Where Do Roaches Hide In Cars?

Roaches are popular for their ability to hide in small, tight spaces, and cars provide plenty of these hiding spots. The common areas cockroaches may hide in vehicles are:

1) Dashboard

Roaches may hide in the dashboard of a car, especially in the air vents or around the radio. The dashboard gets exposed to heat and sunlight, making it warm for roaches, and the tiny crevices and spaces provide them with hiding spaces to breed and nest.

Crumbs and food can also accumulate on your dashboard, especially if you don’t clean it often, providing roaches with food. Also, dashboards offer humidity to cockroaches.

2) Under Seats

Your car seat’s underside provides a dark, sheltered area roaches may find attractive.

3) Floor Mats

Roaches may hide under floor mats, especially if they are rarely moved or cleaned. Underneath your car floor mats, you may find vehicle-loving German cockroaches and roach eggs, which, if left undisturbed, will multiply and live comfortably under your feet.

4) Trunk

Your car trunk provides roaches with ideal living spaces because it is secluded and dark, hiding inside your items and small crevices. Additionally, spills, crumbs, or food in your trunk make it attractive to roaches. Furthermore, trunks are warm, especially in summer.

5) Engine Compartment

Roaches may find their way into the engine compartment of a car, where they can hide in small crevices or feast on engine fluids. Moreover, it is dry, warm, and protected, thus providing perfect shelter during cold weather and heavy rain.

6) Glove Compartment

Roaches may also hide in your glove compartment, where they can feed on crumbs or other food debris. This space is also sheltered and warm.

Can Roaches Damage My Car?

Yes, cockroaches can damage your car in several ways, including:

1.  By Chewing On Wires And Cables

Roaches may chew on your car’s electrical wiring, causing damage to the wiring and potentially leading to electrical problems.

2. Corroding Metal Parts

Roaches produce an acidic secretion that can corrode your vehicle’s metal parts, including the engine, which can cause damage over time.

3. Clogging Air Filters

Roaches may nest inside air filters, clogging the filters and lowering airflow to your engine, potentially leading to performance issues.

4. Contaminating Interior Surfaces

Roaches can leave behind droppings, shed skins, and other debris on your car’s interior surfaces, like the dashboard, seats, and carpets. This causes contamination that may be costly to clean.

Also Read: Why Do I See More Roaches After Bombing

How To Get Rid Of Roaches In Car

how to get rid of roaches in car


1. Vacuum It

Pick up every item that should not be in your car, such as food containers, and then vacuum every inch using an outdoor or indoor vacuum. A handheld vacuum is better since it is easier to use and reach even the tightest spaces.

Before vacuuming your car, park it in a convenient place, and open every window and door to facilitate air circulation, thus preventing odors. In addition, stay safe from nasty allergens and pathogens by wearing goggles, gloves, and a mask.

Also Read: How to kill roaches with borax

2. Clean Your Vehicle Thoroughly

Begin by washing your vehicle’s interior using soapy water and disinfectant, ensuring you focus on high-contact parts like the dashboard, glove compartment, pedals, and steering wheel. Ensure you remove food stains and oily residues.

3. Kill The Roaches

After vacuuming and washing your car, you must eliminate the roaches, including their eggs. Do so with:

a) Use Cockroach Baits

You can buy cockroach baits and strategically place roach baits inside your car to kill them. They are commonly found in local hardware or pest control stores. Place the baits in areas where cockroaches are likely to frequent, like under the seats, inside trunks, or glove boxes.

b) Try Glue Traps

Bait or glue traps will help you trap and kill cockroaches. Glue traps offer easier cleanup, but bait traps are more effective.

c) Insecticide Sprays

Spray an insecticide inside the car following the manufacturer’s instructions and paying special attention to the areas you have seen cockroaches.

d) Use natural Repellents

Use natural repellents such as essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, cedar, eucalyptus, tea tree, cypress, or lavender to keep the cockroaches away. Soak cotton balls inside your chosen essential oil and place them inside your car.

e) Boric Acid

This substance dehydrates roaches and renders your car unconducive for their survival. Sprinkle a boric acid layer in your vehicle, making sure it’s invisible and avoiding areas near air vents. Also, don’t use boric acid with additives, only pure one.

f) Diatomaceous Earth

This substance also dehydrates cockroaches and destroys their colonies. Diatomaceous Earth is better than boric acid because it is safer for kids or pets. Sprinkle it in places roaches love congregating, like under seats and inside cup holders.

Also Read: Diatomaceous Earth For Roaches

4. Seal Off Entry Points

Check for any openings or gaps in your car that may allow cockroaches to enter. Seal off cracks around your car doors, trunk, or windows with silicone caulk or weather-stripping.

5. Regularly Clean Your Car

Make a habit of cleaning your car regularly to prevent a re-infestation. Do not leave any food or drink inside the car, especially overnight.

How Long Does It Take To Get Roaches Out Of Car?

The length of time it will take you to eliminate roaches from your car will vary based on different factors, such as the infestation severity and the method of eradication used. Some methods, like commercial insecticides, are more potent, killing the roaches within hours or days, while essential oils may take longer.


Can I Bomb My Car For Roaches?

You can successfully kill roaches with a bug bomb, but using it in confined spaces like your car can be hazardous, potentially causing health risks like poisoning or respiratory issues. Also, it may be less effective since it might not reach every spot roaches like hiding in.

Can I Use Roach Spray In My Car?

You can spray your car to kill roaches, but you must handle it safely since your car is a confined space. Also, focus on areas like seats, floor mats, and dashboard.

Final Remarks

Although treatments like insecticide sprays are effective in getting rid of roaches in car, prevention is much better. In that case, clean your vehicle regularly, don’t leave crumbs or food, and seal entry points.

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