How To Get Rid Of Roaches In Car

Having cockroaches in cars are actually more common than you think. This article seeks to help tackle one of the common rising problem/ question of how to get rid of roaches in the car.

If you’ve ever experienced seeing even a small cockroach inside your car, you know how  frightening and disgusting is that. It’s worse when they appear while you are driving on the highway and there’s nowhere for you to go.

Here’s a True story – A 61 year old woman in Singapore crashed her red Mazda into the base of an overhead bridge when she lost her wheels due to the appearance of a cockroach while she was driving.

How & Why Did Roaches Get in Your Car?

Before diving down to how you can get rid of cockroaches in your car, let’s first understand how and why do they get inside your car.

There are many ways roaches can enter the car and here are a few common ones: The car exhaust, you accidentally left the window open, during a car servicing etc. Air conditioning vent is also another common entry point for roaches.

Cockroaches gets into the car for either food, water or shelter, hence if you often eat or drink inside the car, or park near garbage or drainage area, chances of getting a roach invasion is high.

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Car

1) Clean up the car

The first and perhaps the most important step is to clean up clutters, rubbish and eliminate all food/ water source in the car. Vacuum the car mat, under the mat, inside/ between the seat; paying special attention to food crumbs. Also be sure to wipe the interior of the car, paying special attention to any sticky spills.

2) Set up Roach Baits

With the car cleaned up, it is time to poison the roaches with some roach baits. Place baits under the seats, in the boot or at any areas where you’ve spotted them previously. The idea is for them to consume the baits and take it back to share, in the process killing its nest. (see the best roach baits here)

Once baits are set, monitor to ensure that the roaches have actually taken them (you should be able to see the quantity reduce or that the baits actually scatters).

Note: If bait was placed on seats, be sure to clean them before sitting. Roach baits are poison when consumed.

3) Set up Roach Traps

Black Flag Roach Motel Insect TrapOnce you are certain they have taken the bait, it’s time to set up some gel based roach traps. Again, place the traps under car seats, boots or any areas where you’ve seen them before. (see article: best roach traps)

The good thing about the roach trap is that you can pretty much set them up and check on them on and off. It is also a very good practice to set them in the car to catch visiting pests.

Note: We don’t not recommend using roach killing methods like Diatomaceous Earth or Boric Acid as they might get into the air condition system and gets airborne and ingested by pets and kids. Likewise for insecticides, fumigation and fogging as the treatment area is too small and the chemical are airborne and toxic.

4) Engage the professionals (if needed)

For more extreme cases, definitely consider engaging a professional to help fumigate the whole car.

[May: please don’t think that parking your car in the hot sun can bake and kill the cockroaches. It simply doesn’t work.]  

Commons roach hiding places in car

Here are some of the most common hiding places in your car that roaches likes to take shelter. Do go through these spots to help find and get rid of them.

Spare Tire Area – Open up the boot and locate the area where spare tire is stored. Remove the spare wheel and see if you can see any traces of cockroaches. You can use roach spray, vacuum or simply use wet tissue to crush and wipe them off.

Under the seats – Definitely check under the seats for roach shell or eggs. As mentioned earlier, roach traps can also be placed to help catch and trap them.

Inside the speakers or air con outlets – For these, you’ll need to use a vacuum to do the work. That said, chances are pretty slim that you’ll be able to catch them from outside (hence setting roach baits and traps are essential).

How To Keep Roaches Out Of Car

Now that you have successfully gotten rid of roaches in the car, it’s important to actually keep them out. Here’s how to actually reduce the likelihood of getting roaches in the car:

1) Maintain Car Cleanliness – As with keeping roaches out of your home, the very first thing to do is to create the clean environment that roaches don’t like. Regular vacuuming, wiping and most importantly eliminate any food source will not only keep roaches but also other pests out of the car. Also make sure to clear out trash and garbages at the end of the day (do not leave any trash overnight).

2) No Eating Inside The Car – This is perhaps THE most important preventive precaution you can take to keep roaches out of the car. This can be challenging when you have kids and pets, but it’s essential as food is the biggest factor the persistent roaches decides whether to start a family in your car.

3) Be Mindful Of Where You Park – As much as possible, refrain from parking near drain openings, sewage area, garbage collection area and trash bins where roaches thrive.

4) Shut all entrances – After parking, ensure all windows are up, all doors are shut and if possible, also close the air conditioning vents.

Natural ways to get rid of roaches in cars

There are many natural ways to repel cockroaches and here are some of the most common ones for use to keep roaches out of the car:

Pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius) – One of the most common natural roach repellent for car is the use of fresh pandan leave. Simply purchase a bunch of these from the wet market and tie them in bundle before placing below the seats and in the car boot.

Note: Be sure to wash the pandan leaves before use, and to remove/ replace them once they have dried up or they will attract lizards and spiders.

Neem oil – Simply drip a few drops of Neem oil on a tissue or cotton, and leave it inside car.

>> Related article: Natural Roach Killers & Pet Safe Roach Killers

Dangers Of Having Roaches In Car

As with why roaches invades your house, cockroaches venture into your car in search for either food, shelter or to reproduce (i.e lay eggs). Unlike spiders or ants, roaches can transmit 30 over types of bacteria of which most can cause serious health issues.

Other than invading the space, they can cause hygiene problems by leaving behind cast skins, feces and other bodily fluids. If actions are not taken immediately, the hidden spaces in the car can soon become a breeding ground for them..

Final thoughts

Depending on the level of infestation, it may take as long as few days or even weeks to slowly get rid of the roaches. The key (as with any pest problems) is to be consistent in keeping the car clean, cutting their food sources and place the bait and traps strategically.

Note: Sighting of cockroaches in the day could be a really serious problem as they mostly search for food in the night. If they are out during the day, the roach infestation level can be getting out of hand.

Make sure to monitor the situation and give more thoughts to what could you have done to attract the roaches in the first place (i.e Is it where you are parking at home or in the office?). By acting fast and being consistent in keeping the car clean, it is very possible to get rid of roaches from your car and keep them out for good.

Are you facing roach problems in your car? What methods have you tried that are effective? Feel free to leave a comment to share with us.