How To Get Roaches Out Of A Car And Keep Them Out

You can bid your car-roach problem goodbye.

Car infestation can be a severe problem. How do you feel when you see a cockroach racing across your dashboard or roach droppings on your car seat? Irritated, annoyed? Something like that.

Furthermore, car cockroach infestation becomes challenging to control as time passes because the roaches multiply quickly and are very good at keeping out of sight.

So, do you want to eliminate those pests from your car and ensure they don’t come back again? Then, this post is what you need.

In this post, you will understand why roaches infest cars, different methods to get rid of them, and how to prevent them from infesting your vehicle again.

How To Get Roaches Out Of A Car And Keep Them Out

Common roach hideouts in cars

Cockroaches are survivalists, i.e., they’ll do anything to survive. They will swiftly locate hiding places, devour kitchen scraps, and quickly increase. The undersides of the seats are cockroaches’ preferred hiding spots in cars since there are often food crumbs there.

The glove compartment, center console, doors, air conditioning unit, door interiors (door panels and pockets), speakers, under seats, under floor mats, seat cushions, boxes and bags in the car, and trunk are other places where roaches might be found.

Moreso, roaches can lay eggs here and hide during the winter, which is a somewhat ideal environment for them.

Why do roaches infest cars anyway?


Roaches love to hide in warm, dark, and cozy places. This is true for any area that provides food or food waste access. Cockroaches can find food in the waste found in cars or trucks.

Furthermore, roaches will also find your car a desirable target if it has a bed, as is common with campers. Leftover food wrappers, cushions, and blankets will provide the perfect habitat for these hardy bugs.

Here are some of the reasons why roaches infest cars:

Food source (food crumbs)

So, it is no surprise that cockroaches find car conditions excellent for dwelling. These insects favor a warm, dark, wet environment with easy access to food.

Cockroaches will be drawn to the trash many automobile owners leave in their vehicles for an extended period. In addition, owners will dine in their cars and leave food crumbs in addition to the trash they leave behind.

And since cockroaches are omnivores and consume meat and vegetables, the food particles attract them. So if you have had a sudden appearance of cockroaches, this might be the reason!

Favorable Environment

Cars with warm, dark places to hide will also be infested with roaches. Why? Because most of the living conditions that cockroaches seek can be found inside an automobile.

Cockroaches come in a variety of kinds, and they can live in a variety of habitats. However, the subtropics and tropics have a higher concentration of them.

Most roaches will reside in the undergrowth, where decaying branches and leaves are left to lay. They are given the warm, humid, and the gloomy habitat they love.

How do you get rid of cockroaches in your car?

cockroach trap

Firstly, you must realize that roaches are incredibly skilled at infesting and hiding. So, you can expect them to put up a resistance (i.e., find a way to outsmart your methods) if you are serious about getting rid of a roach infestation.

However, here are some effective methods to try when eliminating roaches:


This choice is obvious and straightforward, vacuum the interior of your car using a hand vacuum. Remove all rubbish, then clean the entire space.

That includes all of your automobile’s garbage, including food waste. Remove the seat coverings, lift the mats, and start the vacuum. Or, even better, take your car to the car wash for proper cleaning.

This guarantees that the cockroaches won’t return once you get rid of them. After completing this, you can use insecticides to ensure cockroaches won’t survive in your car.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth’s ability to be both an insecticide and preventative measure (that can repel roaches) is one of its best features. Although it might seem too good to be true, Diatomaceous Earth controls roach infestation.

Diatomaceous earth degrades and drains vital nutrients from a cockroach’s exoskeleton, effectively absorbing all the water, oil, and fat from the cockroach as they touch it.

So, the cockroach suffers from severe dehydration as a result and dies. However, you should note that the roach only dies after a while, not immediately, when it comes in contact with diatomaceous earth.

Boric acid

Boric acid is one of the best methods for getting rid of roaches. The steps are the same as diatomaceous earth: apply the powder to the car’s floor, and when the cockroaches pass through it, it kills them from the inside out.

Depending on how many you have, it can take a few days or weeks for all roaches to leave. Just be sure to dispose of all dead roaches you find swiftly. Leaving the dead insects can serve as a food supply for roaches since they are easy to devour.

Caution: avoid using boric acid if you travel with children or pets. It can be hazardous to humans and animals if enough of it is consumed.

Cockroach bait/traps

Locating the source of the infestation (i.e., roaches hideouts or a breeding ground) is one of the challenges in managing a car infestation. And even if you know where they are coming from, applying the right product to solve the issue might be challenging.

Quite interestingly, cockroach baits leverage typical cockroach behavior to get around these difficulties.

The baits consist of food that cockroaches find appealing plus slow-acting pesticides. You don’t need to locate their hiding spot by putting bait in areas where cockroaches are active; they will come across it while foraging and eating it.

The baits take several hours to take action, allowing foraging cockroaches to return to the harborage before the bait’s toxicity becomes apparent.

This further enhances the bait’s success. Infected cockroaches begin to vomit, and their vomit and feces have trace levels of the insecticide. Since baby cockroaches adore feces and vomit, they also ingest the insecticide, and the entire cockroach population is killed.

Car fumigation

At this point, you may ask yourself, “Can I fumigate my vehicle the same way I fumigate my house?”

Yes, you may use the same fumigation methods to get rid of roaches in your car as you do in your home.

Several pest control firms professionally perform pest fumigation treatments to guarantee that your car is clear of pests.

While professional pest fumigation is recommended, you can also fumigate your car.

It involves using gaseous chemicals to kill all the roaches inside a car. For several hours, you won’t be able to get into your vehicle because this treatment is typically intrusive.

Professional pest control

pest control

You can use any of the steps above to kill roaches in your car doors (and every part of your car). However, you can also choose to employ the service of a professional pest control company (also called an exterminator).

This option has a couple of advantages over other options: one, it’s fast, it’s effective, and it eliminates the risk that comes with exposure to chemicals since you won’t be handling any chemicals yourself.

Final thoughts: keeping roaches out of your car.

After getting rid of the cockroaches in your car, you should also ensure they don’t return to your vehicle. You can ensure this by carrying out the following steps;

  • Try to keep your car’s interior clean; you should take it for a thorough wash at intervals.
  • Endeavor to keep your car windows and doors closed.
  • Remove all potential roach food sources and quit eating in your car, and if you do, clean up all food crumbs that may have dropped in your car.
  • You should also inspect your luggage before bringing it into your car.
  • You should thoroughly inspect your cars after visiting a hotel or campsite.

So, get to work, and keep those six-legged invaders out of your car – for good.

Good luck.


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

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