Car Care

How to Get Rid of Roaches in Your Car?

With their accessible entryways and small spaces, cars are the perfect breeding grounds for cockroaches. There’s nothing worse than driving down the street while an American roach slowly crawls up your leg. 

If you’ve ever dealt with roaches in your house or apartment, you know they’re pesky buggers that are hard to kill. These insects can even live an entire week without their heads. 

A roach sighting in your car usually means there’s more than one, so it’s always a brilliant idea to take defensives measures right away.

To get rid of roaches in your car, you should either hire a professional exterminator or try effective DIY remedies, such as setting up gel traps under the seats and completely fumigating the interior of your car. If you have a significant roach problem, you may need to try various techniques before getting rid of the creepy crawlers.

Want to learn more about how to get rid of roaches in car? We’ll tell you all you need to know to reclaim your vehicle from these dreadful bugs.

Hire a Professional Bug Exterminator to Get Rid of the Roaches

Sometimes the best option is to hire an exterminator to take care of the job. Exterminators don’t just kill and prevent bugs from entering your home; they can also treat your car, SUV, truck, and motorhome. An exterminator will have industry-leading chemicals and tools to kill roaches in every crevice of your vehicle. 

When you kill roaches in your car, you must get every single roach. Depending on the species, a cockroach can lay up to 50 eggs at a time. So, if you miss just a few roaches, your problem can grow exponentially. 

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Exterminator for Your Car?

You can expect to pay between $100 to $300 to have an exterminator treat your car. This route is more expensive than DIY remedies, but it’s less work for you and improves the chances that there will soon be no sign of roaches inside your car.

Sprinkle Baking Soda and Sugar in Your Car

Using good old-fashioned baking soda and sugar can do the trick. It’s also a go-to option for environmentally-conscious drivers who don’t want to spray toxins inside their vehicles. The downside to baking soda is that it is a bit messy, but it doesn’t cause any havoc that a vacuum can’t clean.

Baking soda mixed with sugar creates a sweet yet deadly treat for cockroaches. The two ingredients cause the roach’s guts to expand, resulting in a quick death.

Before taking this approach, you need to identify where the cockroaches are in your car. If their nests are confined to a few areas in your vehicle, using the baking soda and sugar concoction works well. However, it doesn’t hurt to go overkill and sprinkle it all around your car. 

How Do You Clean Baking Soda and Sugar in Your Car?

When you’re ready to clean up the baking soda and sugar mixture, the first step is to vacuum your car thoroughly. Vacuuming won’t get rid of all of it, but it will clean up most of the mess. After vacuuming, wipe the interior of your car with a solution of three parts warm water and one part white vinegar. For best results, you’ll want to use a heavy-duty sponge. 

Buy Cockroach Gel for Your Ride

Gel is a popular approach for all sorts of insects – cockroaches, beetles, ants, and spiders. When it comes to killing cockroaches (AKA “palmettos”), you have two choices – gel strips and gel tubes.

Gel strips are a better option for a car because they aren’t as messy. On the other hand, gel tubes work best when you apply them to hard surfaces, making it easy to clean the leftover gunk.

Many vehicle owners prefer gel strips because they’re cheap, easy to use, and long-lasting. Strips can work for a while – many of them are still effective after several months. Not to mention, you normally get five to ten strips in each package. Carefully place the strips underneath your sets and where the roaches’ nesting grounds are.

How Do Cockroach Gel Strips Work?

Think of cockroach gel strips as mouse traps. The gel strips contain food and formula that the cockroach can smell. The firm gel will paralyze the cockroach in place, eventually killing it. Once the roach makes its way to the strip, it will get stuck and no longer move.

Spray a Roach Killer

To make sure you kill every roach in your car, you use gel strips and spray roach killer. Most of the sprays available are “multi-insect,” meaning they kill ants, flies, and cockroaches. Before buying a spray, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s for indoor use.

The caveat to spray is that most only kill on contact. You can’t just aimlessly spray roach killer around your car and expect all the roaches to drop dead. However, using roach killer is effective if you can pinpoint where the majority of the cockroaches are nesting in your car.

Unless you want a chemical-like smell lingering in your car for weeks, you should buy an odor-free spray. Some sprays even have a fragrance that masks the smell of any chemicals in the product. After using one of these roach killers, you should open all the windows and all your car to air out before driving it again.

Vacuum Your Car 

Cleaning your car with a vacuum is a way to get rid of both dead and alive roaches. It’s best to use commercial-grade vacuums available at gas stations and car washes – not your own vacuum. These vacuums have a much stronger suction and are more likely to kill the roach when it gets sucked into the vacuum hose. Moreover, it’s much more difficult for a cockroach to escape a commercial vacuum. 

Don’t use a vacuum as your first attempt to rid your vehicle of roaches. You should first set gel traps, spray roach killer, or fumigate your car before you take a vacuum to your ride. As you know, the vacuum hose won’t reach every area of your vehicle, including spots where cockroaches are nesting. 

At some point in your roach-killing journey, you’ll surely want to use a vacuum to clean your car. The vacuum won’t instantly kill the roach, but after it’s inside the vacuum long enough it will eventually die of dehydration or starvation. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you could ask to have your car detailed (you may want to give them a heads up about the roaches, though). 

Fumigate Inside Your Car

There are many places in your car that a roach spray or gel trap won’t reach – that’s when a fogger comes in handy. A deep-reach fogger is a way to “fumigate” your car and kill nearly every roach. You can either buy a product yourself or hire an exterminator to fumigate your vehicle.

Most foggers will cover around 600 square feet of space – perfect for a car. To trigger the fumigation, you usually have to hold down a button or twist the cap. Don’t stay in your vehicle while the fogger does its work. You’ll also want to make sure all the windows are up for maximum effectiveness.

The best part about fogger products is that most won’t stain or leave any residue behind in your car. There may be a slight smell; therefore, you should open all your windows (after the fogger empties) to air out the vehicle. Many of these roach killers continue to kill for a couple of months; they’re not just a one-time solution. 

Should I Hire an Exterminator to Fumigate My Car or Do it Myself?

You should buy a product to fumigate your car and then hire an exterminator to do it if you still have a roach problem. Most fogger products only cost between $10 to $20, so they’re worth trying before hiring an exterminator and paying $100 or more. 

How to Keep Roaches Out of Your Car?

Roaches are notorious for being hard-to-kill. Homes, cars, and apartments can all turn into nauseating roach breeding grounds.

To keep your vehicle from becoming infested with cockroaches, you should take a few preventive steps to keep them out of your car in the first place. As with most bugs, preventing roaches is much easier than killing them, unlike other car bugs.

Don’t Leave Food Inside Your Car

Never leave food inside your car, especially food that’s not sealed. Even better, don’t eat in your car. If roaches find their way inside your car, they won’t survive without a food source. If you spot even one cockroach, you should deep clean your vehicle.

Inspect Your Car for Points of Entry

Roaches are infamous for their ability to squeeze through tiny cracks. You should thoroughly inspect your car to ensure that there are no easily accessible points of entry. For example, doors and windows that do not shut all the way are a great way to welcome roaches into your car. 

Always Keep Your Car Clean

If you live in an area that’s suspectable to roach issues, it’s always critical to keep your car spotless. As mentioned, never keep food inside your vehicle. You should also avoid leaving items inside your car that could carry roaches – clothes, blankets, and pieces of furniture from inside your house. At a minimum, you should vacuum your car every two weeks and clean out any items left in the vehicle.

Place Roach Traps in Your Car Year-Round

Preventing cockroaches isn’t a one-and-done task. You should set gel traps in your car throughout the year, just in case a stray roach finds its way into your car. Maintaining traps is especially important in warmer climates because cockroaches can stay active if the temperature is at least 50 degrees or warmer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to learn more about how to get rid of roaches in car? Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions.

How Long Do Cockroaches Live?

Cockroaches can live for about 1 ½ years. But just because they have a short lifespan doesn’t mean your roach problem will go away. The average female American cockroach can lay up to 1,400 eggs in her lifetime.

What Climates Are Prone to Roaches?

Climates that are warm and humid year-round tend to have more cockroaches. For example, in the United States, states with serious roach issues include Texas, Louisiana, and Florida – all muggy and hot states. However, you will find cockroaches in states further north, such as Michigan and Minnesota. These states have continental climates with warm summers and freezing winters.

What is the Most Difficult Roach to Kill?

The consensus is that the German cockroach is the most difficult to kill. It also wins the award as one of the worst roaches. These roaches are challenging to see, and they are speedy.

Can Roaches Get Inside My Dash?

Yes, roaches can get inside your car’s dashboard. If you think you might have roaches inside your dash, then the best solution is to take your vehicle to a professional exterminator. 

Do Cockroaches Eat Car Wires?

Fortunately, roaches will not eat the wires in your car. However, because the wires are warm, they may attract roaches. It’s not uncommon to see roaches nest around areas with wiring, including areas not visible to the eye.

Do Cockroaches Bite?

Yes, roaches bite, and that’s why you never want them inside your car. Cockroaches love to feast on your fingernails, feet, and hands. Bites are often painful and cause skin irritation (similar to a mosquito bite).

Cockroaches: Your Worst Enemy

Let’s face it, no one likes roaches, especially when they get in your car and it feels like a nightmare trying to get rid of them.

Fortunately, there are various remedies, both DIY and professional, to kill those nasty buggers. Albeit getting rid of roaches can be tricky, depending on the severity of the invasion, a few simple practices can keep roaches out of your vehicle altogether. 

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