How To Get Roaches Out of Car?


Cockroaches can be immensely annoying, and they seem to be everywhere, from houses to clothes and bags, and even cars! A roach infestation in your car may be a scary, unexpected experience, but these bugs aren’t impossible to get rid of, even without the help of an exterminator.

Here are ways to get roaches out of your car for good:

  1. Inspect your car carefully.
  2. Clean out your car and dispose of clutter.
  3. Vacuum the car thoroughly.
  4. Choose a roach-control option and set it up.
  5. Detail your car by using steam cleaning.

In this article, you’ll find out why roaches may be in your car, if they’re dangerous or harmless bugs, how to get them out, and how to keep them out of your car. Keep reading.

1. Inspect Your Car Carefully

To draw up your roach “battle plan,” you need to get the lay of the land and assess the extent of the infestation. Carefully examine all the contents of your car. Pay attention to the tiny, hidden places that have the potential of breeding roaches—underneath the seats, the door pockets, inside the vents, the trunk, and floor mats.

Look out for indicators of roach presence like tiny droppings, egg cases, or a stale stink in these places, and take note of them so you can pay particular attention when going through the following steps.

2. Clean Out Your Car and Dispose of Clutter

A roach infestation is a nook-and-cranny problem, so the regular, overall cleaning and dusting won’t do. You have to dive into the corners and take out the dirt in them, usually by hand. Everything from paper waste, plastic bags, food crumbs, and random tidbits all have to go.

Keeping clutter in your car increases the number of potential roach-breeding spots, so take out all of the old receipts, newspapers, bags, books, and everything else that doesn’t have to be there.

3. Vacuum the Car Thoroughly

There are tiny crumbs and dirt that you’re cleaning, no matter how thorough, can’t possibly get to. That’s where vacuuming comes in.

You could use a hand vacuum, but a long-nosed one is preferable because it helps you reach the crooks more effectively. Vacuum everything, even the things you’ve already cleaned.

Take out your car seats if you can; it’ll help you reach the floor and carpets more easily. Be sure to open the doors and windows while doing this so all escaping roaches can get out freely.

Read: What Cars Have Best Autopilot?

4. Choose a Roach-Control Option and Set It Up

Roaches are very stubborn, and that means cleaning and vacuuming alone won’t get them out permanently because they always find a way to stay or keep a couple of eggs behind. After your car is cleaned and vacuumed, choose how you can effectively kill the roaches and eggs that may remain in there. 

There are several natural and chemical options for getting rid of cockroaches, all of which have pros and cons. You could pick whichever seems like the best fit for you. Here are the ways to get rid of cockroaches:

  • Use roach bait stations/sticky adhesive traps. They only capture foraging roaches, so it may take a while before the cockroaches are all gone. If you have children, you have to be extra careful with the bait stations. If the infestation is very extensive, you could combine an insect growth regulator with the baits for best results.
  • Try boric acid. This method is quite effective, especially when you use food (as bait) with it. Be careful, though; boric acid can be dangerous to humans and pets when eaten or deeply inhaled.
  • Consider using insecticides/bug bombs. Insecticides or bug bombs are generally effective for killing roaches. However, they could make the air in your car toxic and discolor your car’s upholstery. Only opt for an insecticide if you can do without your car for a few days while the toxicity reduces. Even then, take some time to blast the air conditioning for about 10 minutes before hopping back in.

Read: Why Car Makes Noise When Turning at Low Speed?

5. Detail Your Car by Using Steam Cleaning

The roaches may be gone, but the dirt and bacteria they left behind aren’t. Don’t worry; you can try steam-cleaning to help you remove dirt and bacteria. Steam-cleaning can easily remove any residue of the chemicals you may have used for exterminating the roaches.

Once steam-cleaned, your car will be safe for you—and smell fresh, too!

Read: Why Car Won’t Start but Battery Is Good?

Roaches Stay in Your Car Because It’s an Ideal Breeding Ground

Most insect infestations are dependent on weather conditions, but roaches are very resilient. They stay active and continue to breed all year round, so they’re always searching for sources of food and shelter, preferably in dark places.

Cars have hundreds of crevices that can offer shelter to the occasional stranded roach and the colony it’ll form when it reproduces. 

Cockroaches can hide nearly anywhere—in the glove compartment, under the seats, in the vents, or even in the beverage holder—and they can lay eggs to reproduce there as well. 

They’re dorso-ventrally flattened, meaning that the average roach is flat enough to fit into openings that are so tiny you may not even realize that they’re there. 

Roaches are adapted to be surprisingly crafty. That means they can get in through any possible means. They could hitch a ride on any item you bring into your car or crawl in through an open window if you park in a dirty area.

A major attraction for roaches is food. When you eat or put waste from food in your car, tiny bits of food or spilled drinks could fall into corners, creating the ultimate thriving space for roaches.

Read: Why Car Overheats?

Are the Roaches in My Car Harmless?

The cockroaches in your car are far from harmless—they’re dangerous. The World Health Organization describes roaches as “unhygienic scavengers in human settlements.” They’re carriers of over 30 species of bacteria, including those that cause intestinal diseases like diarrhea.

Other diseases that roaches can cause humans are dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera.

Roaches have filthy habits and bad smells, and they could be asthma triggers. They’re also allergen sources. Some people may become allergic after frequent exposure to them.

The legs of cockroaches have heavy spines they can scratch you with, and those scratches can also become infected.

How To Prevent Roaches From Getting Into Your Car?

Nobody likes having roaches in their cars. Because roaches breed quickly, you want to ensure they don’t have good reasons to enter your car in the first place. The following discusses what you can do to prevent roaches from getting into your car:

Keep Food Away From Your Car

It’s inevitable to have tiny crumbs fall off when you eat or to have your drink cup tilt ever so slightly and spill over a couple of drops. These tidbits are enough to attract roaches and start an infestation, so it’s safest to keep food away from your car as much as you can.

If you have to eat there, thoroughly clean out your car right after, so the crumbs don’t get left in for long.

Keep Your Car Parked Away From Bins

Roaches thrive in bins, and that’s putting it lightly. If you park your car next to a bin, especially an overflowing one, roaches will likely try to crawl in and make your car their new home. It’s best to avoid parking near bins, dumps, and other high-potential roach enclaves whenever possible.

If you have to park your car near the bins, make sure you don’t leave any food in your car.  Perhaps, you should check your car for any signs of roaches the next day. 

Maintain a Regular Routine of Cleaning and Decluttering Your Car  

The more clutter you have in your car, the more potential hiding and breeding spots for roaches. If it doesn’t have to be in your car, don’t store it in there. You could get a plastic case with an airtight lid for things you have to keep in your car, so they’re kept organized and safe from infestation.

Close All Vents Firmly

Roaches can crawl in through windows and open doors, so keep your car as well-closed as possible. Make sure that your car windows are rolled up all the way and tightly locked once you’ve parked your car.

Little roaches can sometimes get in through the external access point of the air conditioning, so when you leave your car, be sure to close all your vents as well.

Read: Why Car Windows Fog Up?


A roach infestation is a nasty problem, but the good news is that it’s a problem you can solve. It’s a lot of hard, thorough work, but having your car free of the nasty pests is definitely worth it!

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