How To Get Rid Of Roaches In Your Car – 8 Methods

Do you know what might be the worst feeling in the world? When you open a car to find that roaches have invaded. They crawl into every nook and cranny, spread disease, and can be a real challenge to remove. In this article we’ll be taking a look at how to get rid of roaches in your car!

how to get rid of roaches in your car

On top of that, roaches are some of the most resilient creatures in the world. Their tough exoskeleton provides a layer of armor, their lightning-fast speed makes them difficult to catch, and their ability to feed on almost anything makes them some of the best survival experts.

A roach getting in a car can end up in war. You’ll have to outwit and outmaneuver them. If you don’t know what you’re doing this is no easy task.

But if you have some knowledge about how to get rid of roaches in a car, you can bring the battle to an end in no time. By understanding how roaches get inside your car and following a few simple steps to get rid of them, you can clear out any infestation.

Know Your Enemy: Roach Getting in Car

Before we begin to get rid of roaches in your car, it’s crucial to understand what you’re going up against. As Sun Tzu put it, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

What does this mean when a cockroach gets in a car? It starts with knowing your enemy, the roach, and ends with knowing what steps you can take to get rid of them. We’ll go over both.

Common Types of Roaches in the United States

There are thousands of species of roaches throughout the world, but around 70 live in the United States. Three of the most common are the brown-banded cockroach, American cockroach, and the, last but not least, the German cockroach.

Even though their name doesn’t suggest it, American cockroaches inhabit most of the world. They are around 1.4 inches (35 mm) long and are a shiny red-brown. They have wings to fly short distances but usually opt for running instead.

One of the worst things about American cockroaches is that they glue their egg sacks in areas where they live, especially when food and water sources are nearby. Fermented foods are one of the most attractive meals for cockroaches.

Brown-banded cockroaches have only been in the United States since the early 1900s, but they have done a great job making it their home. Warmer climates are the preferred home for this small 0.4-inch (10 mm) roach. Like many insects, they can spread disease by carrying pathogens on their legs.

German cockroaches are the most prevalent because they are proficient at reproducing. The female carries the egg case until they are ready to hatch, when anywhere from 20 to 40 roaches can come out at once.

They tend to be light brown and about a half-inch (13 mm) long, preferring hot and humid climates. If German cockroaches are your problem, you need to act fast. Otherwise, the infestation could grow out of control.

Why Do Roaches Go in Cars?

Did you notice anything about all three of the roaches? They all prefer warmer climates and want to be close to food, especially if fermented, and water.

If you have an infestation, your vehicle is probably giving the roaches one of their needs – this could be warmth, food, or water. By providing any of these, you have placed a big welcome sign in your car.

It might be small crumbs (or many fries) stuck between your seats and the center console. Or perhaps you have some leftover wrappers somewhere in the backseat. A spilled bottle of water and an old lunch bag in the trunk would be similar to a holiday feast for roaches.

Roaches are omnivores. They’ll eat anything from rotten meats to fresh fruit but are particularly attracted to sugar-filled foods, high-fat items, and anything with a strong odor. But even just open water can bring them in your car.

Bottom line, if you have a roach infestation in your car, you might be providing them with warmth, food, or water.

How Do Roaches Get Inside Your Car?

Discovering how roaches get inside your car can be a real challenge. Of course, leaving your doors and windows open provides them with easy access. But that’s not the only way of roaches getting in cars.

Cars are full of hidden areas. After a roach climbs your tires, it can spend a lot of time and effort looking for the best place to hang out. It might locate an air vent and make its way inside of your car through there. Or it might make your trunk home if there is a reason to do so.

One step to stop a roach from getting into a car is to ensure you close all the doors and windows. It’s also helpful to avoid parking in areas that you know have roaches nearby.

8 Methods On How To Get Rid of Roaches in Your Car?

Alright, it’s time to get down to it. Let’s go into battle with this noteworthy enemy without going scorched earth. You could get rid of cockroaches in your car by running it off a cliff, but that’s not the best method.

Instead, let’s go through a series of steps to stop roaches from getting in a car. There are many roach killer methods for your car, and it’s up to you to determine how far to take it.

Here are the main ways how to get rid of cockroaches in a car:

  • Thoroughly clean out your vehicle.
  • Lay down some diatomaceous earth.
  • Use borax or boric acid.
  • Create an internal bomb using baking soda.
  • Set glue traps.
  • Place some bait or IGR inside your car.
  • Hire a professional.
  • Why not use bug bombs.

1. Deep Clean

The first step in treating any roach infestation in your car is to get rid of anything that might be attracting them. It’s not easy to remove heat from the equation as using your car will create engine heat. But you can remove all food and water.

Just like a roach infestation in your home, the best way to get rid of roaches, is taking away their food source.

Start with a thorough deep cleaning of your vehicle – this means that you don’t only want to take out all visible trash, food, and open water sources, but you’ll also want to go a step further.

Take out the floor mats and shake them out well. Vacuum every part of your vehicle that you can, using a thin hose attachment to get between creases, under seats, and into every space. Open the trunk and hood to remove anything festering, including spare tire or tool compartments.

By doing this step, you might make the infestation leave on its own. No easy food source makes any car a less attractive place to live for roaches and should be your first defense. This is the best way on how to get rid of roaches in your car, and you’ll also enjoy the benefits of having a cleaner car!

2. Diatomaceous Earth

If you’ve done a deep clean, but the problem of roaches in your car persists, it’s time to bring in offensive measures. To avoid using chemicals or treatments that can pose a hazard to human and pet health, let’s start with other remedies.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is pretty incredible stuff. Made from pulverized and fossilized algae, it acts as a natural insecticide for nearly anything with an exoskeleton. It’s also not harmful to humans or pets.

We recommend this Harris Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth!

Scatter some of the DE powder in your vehicle, especially in areas where you’ve seen roaches. When they come into contact with it, the fine powder damages their exoskeleton and dehydrates them.

You can then vacuum up the excess DE and remove any carcasses that might be left behind. This is another extremely effective method on how to get rid of cockroaches in your car, and it’s completely safe!

3. Borax and Boric Acid

Borax is another agent to combat cockroaches getting in a car. For this, create a mixture so that they ingest the borax.

We Recommend This Rockwell Labs Borax!

Combine three parts Borax with one part sugar, then carefully spread this in the infected areas. This is another effective method on how to get rid of roaches in your car, and it’s safer than traditional roach pesticides!

4. Baking Soda Bomb

This remedy for how to get rid of cockroaches in a car is a bit extreme but can be effective. Once again, take the baking soda and create your bait so the roaches consume it.

One common way to use baking soda as a roach killer for a car is to take a small number of chopped onions and cover them in baking soda.

When the roaches eat this mixture, it creates gasses inside of them, causing them to explode. Yes, you read that right. The roaches might explode, which can be a pretty disgusting thing to happen in your car. So use this one with some caution. Similar to this, you can also deter cockroaches using vinegar!

5. Glue Traps

If those remedies are insufficient, glue traps can be an effective solution for roach getting in a car. The benefit is that they are safe and pose little threat to adults, children, and pets.

We Recommend These TrapperMax Roach Glue Traps!

The downfall is that you need to place these carefully in areas the roaches go through. It’s best to use it in tight cracks or near the corners, but you’ll need to have some patience. The traps collect them over a few days when you’ll have to remove and discard them along with the roaches it traps.

6. Using Bait or IGR

The next level up in weaponry to defeat the roach enemy is with poisonous bait. These products are available in many styles, including bait stations often shaped like a tube and a simple gel that you can put down anywhere.

The bait consists of two things, similar to how the borax and baking soda methods work. First, something attracts the roaches, such as a type of food or scent mimicking one of their favorite foods.

roach bait for car

Second, the bait is filled with poison, so when the cockroach gets in a car and eats it, it dies. Unlike baking soda, this usually doesn’t result in an explosion.

Insect growth regulators (IGR) are another common way to tackle infestations. It is a solution often sprayed in affected areas and kills insects by disrupting their growth cycle.

The biggest downfall is that these baits can be poisonous to humans and animals. Be wary of using this around children and pets.

7. Professional Help

If all else fails, it’s time to bring in a professional. Most professionals can easily handle a roach in a car problem, and they do so often in three steps.

The first step is coming out to identify the problem. For professionals, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of how bad the infestation is, what exactly is behind it, and what they can do about it.

Once they have those answers, they can implement an effective roach killer for car strategy. This will often involve a trap or spray and may or may not be harmful to humans and pets. Discuss your needs with the professional.

Finally, most will follow up to ensure the infestation has been taken care of.

8. Bug Bomb

You might have noticed that a bug bomb is not on this list. That’s not an oversight.

Bug bombs were once popular and used in many areas, but now most experts agree that they are not worth the damage they create, especially in a small space like a vehicle.

A bug bomb releases a large number of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Those ingredients come to rest on nearly every surface and can cause damage to upholstery, electronics, and your health.

Can you bug bomb a car? While it is possible, the results are not worth it. Use one of the many other methods instead.

Stop Roaches Getting in Car: Wrap Up

Understanding how to get rid of cockroaches in a car means starting with knowing what roaches want – this is mainly in the form of heat, food, or water. Removing all of these items from your vehicle is the first step in getting rid of roaches in your car.

You can use a variety of natural remedies to battle roach infestations. Diatomaceous earth is a non-harmful power to scatter throughout your vehicle, borax can be used as a poisonous bait, and baking soda can create an explosive and possibly gross solution.

Finally, bring out the big guns when all else fails. Glue traps will cause the roaches to stick in place, while bait traps and insect growth regulators use poison to kill any infestation. If you still can’t get rid of the roaches, it’s time to call in the pros.

About The Author:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. His main goal is to provide accurate and helpful DIY tips to keep your home pest-free and how to identify different types of household pests!