No matter what kind of bug you find in your car – ants, spiders, cockroaches, beetles, or other terrible creatures – you have to find a way to get rid of it! If you see one or two bugs, this is not a tragedy. But when you find a flock of bugs and roach, you can get scared! And we understand your feelings. But you don’t have to destroy your car or change it to a new one. There are some precautions which can help you to kill the bugs and keep your car vermin free. It’s not difficult because – in most cases – you can fight them by yourself, without the help of a specialist in disinsection.

In the beginning, let’s check how the bugs get into your car and how to prevent it.

eating inside the car is one of the reasons to get roaches
eating inside the car is one of the reasons to get roaches

Why are there any bug and roach in your car?

It’s easy to understand – the bugs like being where people are! That is why bugs roaches like houses and cars. The cockroaches look for shelter, water, and food, so if the bugs find this in your vehicle, this place can be its’ dream house.

What kind of bug and roach can you meet in your car most often?

  • Cockroaches
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Bet bugs
  • Beetles

Generally, a lot of bugs and roach or pets appears as single, for example – spider. But the spider needs to eat something, so if you find it in your car, you may find the other insects. Insect attracts the insect, especially if the spider is hungry! But the kind of bugs in your vehicle depends on many factors, for example, the season, weather, and air temperature – some of the bugs will try to protect themselves from the cold outside, some of the bugs will look for heat protection. But cockroaches can attack your car regardless of the weather. If the cockroaches find food, water, and security in your car, you will have a huge problem.

But how do they get into the car?

How do the cockroaches get your car?

How? Somehow – no holds barred! Be sure that bugs and roaches will find a way to get in. The most  common ways to get into the car:

  • Through the open window. Well, it’s not a surprise. Open windows tempt not only thieves but also bugs. But what are the insects, if not some kind of thieves…?

Good advice: if your car stands in the parking for a long time, better roll up the windows, because the cockroaches can enter your car the easy way.

  • On your clothes and in your things. If you meet some cockroaches, you will move them on your baggage or your clothes to your car almost certainly. Bugs are very clever and can hide in different things and places, like groceries, clothes, and everyday items. It doesn’t matter if you buy it or borrow it. Unfortunately, the bugs lay eggs in this thing, and one, two bug and roach can change into a whole colony of the terrible insects! Yes, also in your car.
  • Small openings in the vehicle. All the openings – like cracks or holes in the windshield, door gaps, and damages of car chassis – are some invitation for the bugs.

You have to admit that leaving the windows open can cause dire consequences. If your garage or another parking place is clear, you probably won’t meet any uninvited guests. But if your car stands in a dirty, cluttered place full of rubbish or organic matter, leaving the windows open can be used by the insects. You can expect a plague of cockroaches or other bugs! So make the right decision and choose between good air circulation and the private “minizoo”.

Where can you find the bugs and cockroaches in your car?

If you want to get rid of the bugs and roach, you have to find them. But where should you look for? Firstly, check the places that are safe and full of food. The cockroaches like to live where they have perfect living conditions. Be sure that your car has a lot of places like this and there is a great hide. Check:

  • The inside, especially under the seats, on the carpets, and between the seatback and the seat. There are places where food falls and agglomerate. Every dirt and rubbish can be the bugs’ house: food crumbs, wrappers, straws, plastic, pieces of paper, dirt. And even blankets – if you keep them in the car – can become the perfect place for cockroaches to live.
  • Dark and warm places. Door interiors, carpets, area between floor mats and floors, the center console, car lockers, car speakers, and even car ventilation system – these places are potential hiding places for insects, bugs, and cockroaches. Don’t forget to take a look at this.
  • Car door panels. We often left food packages in the doors’ pockets. That is the best occasion for the bugs because they like the rest of the food lying there. And, additionally, they have good protection.
  • Carpets. That is always a place full of dust and crumbs, so some bugs like to live here, destroy the fibers, and lay eggs. That is the best way to have a little colony in the car!

Leaving food in glove box is a reason to get roaches
Leaving food in glove box is a reason to get roaches

Why it’s so important to get rid of bugs and cockroaches of you car?

A lot of bugs cause no problems, but some of them could destroy your car and have health consequences for you and fellow passengers. Carpet beetles, bed bugs, and – mainly – cockroaches are the worst because they attack your car and destroy it. Same as your health because of leaving bodily fluids and feces, full of many types of bacteria. The best you can do for yourself and your car is to remove these harmful creatures from the vehicle.

How to remove bugs and cockroaches from the car? Complete guide in six steps

Okay, we understand that you want to make it as fast as possible. It’s obvious. But there is one thing more important than speed – and this is accuracy. You need to make it carefully to be sure that you remove all the unwanted guests like cockroaches or carpet beetles. Make sure that you do your best and follow all six steps carefully and sequentially.

  1. Check the car interior carefully

Before taking any action you need to check the inside of your car carefully. You can find insects such as cockroaches and other bugs, as well as their eggs and larvae. Search for creatures alive and dead bugs too, and even their secretions (which may look like coffee grounds and look inconspicuous). Carefully check all potential insect hideouts.

  1. Make the car clean

You have to clean your car and remove anything that may be food for the bugs like a scrap of paper, food bags, crumbs, hair, and anything a little organic. And remove all the things like carpets and blankets  – this is a good hide for the bugs. If you clean your car by hand and remove as much rubbish as you can, you make the next stage easier.

  1. Vacuum your car

That is a very important stage of car cleaning, so we cannot skip it. It will help remove anything that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye and couldn’t be removed by hand. Vacuum every corner carefully, especially the seats and floors under the seats, try to reach every place, even the most hidden and least visible. You have to clean your car and remove anything that may be food for the bugs like a scrap of paper, food bags, crumbs, hair, and anything a little organic. And remove all the things like carpets and blankets  – this is a good hide for the bugs. If you clean your car by hand and remove as much rubbish as you can, you make the next stage easier.

Check recommended vacuum for car wash and auto detailing

  1. The extermination

Here you are – the most important and the most anticipated step: the extermination of the bugs. Many people use chemical sprays or bombs, but consider using more organic, less harmful agents to kill cockroaches and bug larvae. If we combine this solution with steam cleaning, we can be sure that our mission will be successful.

Dirty car gives enough food for insects
Dirty car gives enough food for insects

Do you know why a bug bomb may not be the best solution?

Insect remedies in the form of sprays and bombs are highly toxic and flammable, and because they are aerosols, their effectiveness is limited. They can also discolor the upholstery and leave unsightly marks on it. In addition, we will not reach every nook and cranny with the spray, which may cause the bugs to run away to less accessible nooks and crannies and hide there. Then all the cleaning would get wasted! By cleaning the interior with steam, we will remove some of the harmful chemicals, but we will not get rid of all of them.

If, however, you have no choice but to use a chemical spray, choose a time when you can leave the car to air out for several days without getting into it. And take into account that it can damage the upholstery. Do not forget to thoroughly clean the air conditioning so as not to inhale harmful aerosols.

Effective and healthier biological controls

  • A gel bait can work in removing cockroaches, attracting insects, and killing them. Place it in difficult places – where all these insects can hide, for example, under the seats or in the trunk. What is important, the gel lure is safe for children and pets! The gel bait kills the cockroaches that eat it and is also shed by the insects when they return to the colony.
  • You can also use boric acid, which is one of the fastest ways to get rid of cockroaches and is also safe for children and pets that may come into contact with it. If you mix it with food scraps or crumbs, you tempt the bugs to eat it and, consequently, will die. Just put boric acid in the nooks and crannies of insects – and that’s it.
  • In extreme situations, you can use an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). When you mix it with the bait, it will encourage more cockroaches to eat the poison faster. It helps to remove cockroaches in one generation.
  1. Detail your car – use the commercial steam cleaner

After cleaning the car by hand and a vacuum cleaner too, and after removing the bugs with bait or other insecticides, it makes sense to clean the interior of the car with a steam cleaner. That will help remove bugs residue, bacteria, and all unwanted dirt. Especially if you decide to use chemicals, steam cleaning is essential and must be done before getting into the vehicle. Do this thoroughly, don’t forget to clean every nook and cranny as well.

With carpet beetles, the situation is a bit more complicated. Therefore, add a little vinegar to the boiler to help kill the beetles removed from the car. Instead of vinegar, you can also use a spray with cedar extract. You can also vacuum a sensitive area more than once – for better results.

Wash the car thoroughly and consider professional detailing to ensure complete vermin eradication. Take care of the exterior of the vehicle, not just the interior.

  1. Remove odor with the ozone generator

Let’s face it – bugs cause a stench in the car. The steam will remove most of the smell, but the stench can stay in some nooks and crannies. After removing the bugs and cleaning the car with steam, use an ozone generator to neutralize odors and remove all harmful bacteria.

Check Guide How remove odor smell out of car

Car interior cleaning with steamer after insects annigilation
Car interior cleaning with steamer after insects annigilation

Tips to prevent from returning cockroaches and bugs to your vehicle

  • Keep the car clean and regularly wash and clean the vehicle
  • Do not eat in the car, and if you cannot avoid it, try not to crush it and regularly vacuum the car interior
  • If anything spills, immediately wipe and clean it
  • Do not keep food in the car to avoid attracting insects
  • Vacuum the car under car mat and hard-to-reach places every few weeks
  • Avoid clutter – don’t keep what you don’t need in the car
  • Give your car Some TLC – when you clean the interior, don’t forget about the car body. Dirt on the outside will encourage bugs to come inside. Wash your car regularly, on your own, or in a professional car wash. Don’t forget about it!
  • Pay attention to where you parked. Avoid parking under the trees, but if you have to, check your car after that. The same if you put something in the car, such as a plant
  • Close your window so as not to invite and tempt insects
  • Use natural controls to discourages cockroaches and bugs – if you see a bug, use water and dishwashing detergent and spray it with this home remedy, have natural deterrents like garlic, bay leaves, and catnip in your car

But if this methods don’t help – consider professional fumigation.