Most people associate pests with homes. But any living area for humans can also be attractive to pests. One such example is your personal vehicle. Cars, trucks, and other automobiles provide the shelter pests look for, as well as the food and water they need to survive.
Some pests, like spiders or flies, might invade one at a time, taking advantage of an open window. But others, like ants and bed bugs can invade by the hundreds, and if you have bugs in your car and want to get rid of pests like roaches, ants, and bed bugs, this resource is for you! Lets get started.
Common Pests in Cars & Car Pest Control
To an insect, your car is essentially no different from your home. It’s a warmer space with places to hide that provides protection from predators and possible access to food. As a result, almost any pest can find its way into a car. Some of the most frequent invading insects include:
Ants – An ant infestation in a car is usually caused by a food source such as leftover food or a spill. Ants can smell food from several meters away and enter the car through a small crack to reach it. If your car is regularly parked near the ant colony, ants will be able to remember it, and it can provide an ongoing food source if not properly handled. You can also get rid of ants in a car naturally.
Roaches – You will most often find cockroaches in a car when they have a source of food, such as leftover crumbs, and water. They can crawl in through tiny cracks or be carried in on clothing or belongings. Roaches are known to carry bacteria and cause diseases like salmonella. They can survive off very little food, so a cockroach infestation in a car can grow quickly, even if you clean.
Spiders – Most spiders are harmless to people, and can be killed or captured and removed if you find one in your car. If you are frequently noticing spiders in your car, this can indicate a presence of other bugs that are serving as their food source, or a more significant problem with local pests in general.
Bed Bugs – Despite their name, bed bugs can be found in locations without beds, including your car. Bed bugs feed off of your blood and are one of the few pests that can be sustained in even the cleanest cars. They prefer feeding at night but have no problems feeding in the day, and they often hide so well that those with bed bugs in their cars rarely know they’re there.
Carpet Beetles – Carpet beetles are a unique invading bug. The larvae for these beetles eat natural fibers, such as wool and leather found in cars. Larvae can eat holes in seats and flooring, and can also irritate the skin. Adult carpet beetles feed on pollen instead of fibers, but their presence in your car could mean eggs or larvae are nearby.
Once inside, each pest’s behavior depends on the insect. They all require a continuous source of food, and will often leave a car if food is no longer available. Most regularly used cars, however, can provide the sustenance that pests need, making it possible for the infestation to last. Because pests are also survivors, abandoning your car is not only impractical for your life – it may not even be enough.
How to Get Rid of Roaches, Spiders, Ants, and Bed Bugs in a Car
Bugs typically find their way into your car by climbing in through a crack or open window or by clinging to the rider’s clothing or belongings. Bugs will often come in to escape the elements, but an infestation can happen at any time of the year if your car has food and a way to get inside.
Taking these preventative steps can make your car less appealing to bugs and reduce the risk of an infestation:
Keep Windows Closed – When the car is parked, keep windows rolled up. Even a small gap can be enough space for most bugs to enter through.
Remove Food and Drink Containers – After eating in your car, the smell and residue on the containers that held your food can attract pests.
Clean Up Spills – As soon as possible, clean up any food or drink spills. Use a gentle cleaning solution and cloth on plastic surfaces, and carpet shampoo for floors and cloth seats to remove any residue.
Vacuum Regularly – Vacuuming removes stray crumbs that could be a food source for pests. It can also catch pests like ants and bed bugs to keep the population under control.
Check For Hitchhiking Pests – Before loading your car, check all boxes, bags, and luggage for any pests that may be riding along.
Get a Car Wash – A regular car wash can remove any pests living outside, like spiders before they can make their way into the interior.Many of these steps can be enough to remove insects that have invaded your vehicle. Cleaning spills and crumbs eliminate the bugs’ food source, forcing them to go elsewhere. Vacuuming can physically remove bugs and their eggs, though some pests – like bed bugs – are very likely to need additional support.
Professional Pest Control May Be Needed
A single bug in your car is often not a cause for concern, and you can simply remove it with a napkin. But consistent pests in the car – or an infestation of one type of pest – indicates a much larger problem. If you find your car overrun with ants, cockroaches, carpet beetles, or other insects, professional pest control can help you exterminate them.
A single-vehicle pest control treatment can cost anywhere from $100-$250 depending on the type of treatment needed.
Many reputable pest control companies will include your vehicles in your home plan if you request it.
At Nextgen Pest Solutions, we use a range of techniques and treatments to eliminate pests. Each solution is tailored to the type of pest invading your car with options that include traps, insecticides, special vacuums, and more. All of our methods are eco-friendly and safe for use inside your vehicle.
If you’ve noticed strange pests, like little black bugs in your car, but aren’t sure what pests you’re dealing with, our pest control professionals can also identify the pest and use their knowledge to find every spot bugs are hiding.
Removing Pests From Your Vehicle with Cryonite (Freeze Treatments)
To remove common pests from a car’s interior, trunk, or even engine area, Nextgen Pest Solutions offers cryonite treatments, also known as freeze treatments. We use a special cryonite nozzle to direct carbon dioxide gas, chilled to negative 140 degrees, toward any spot a bed bug might be hiding. The CO2 kills the bugs instantly without damaging the interior or electrical fixtures of your vehicle.
Contact Nextgen Pest Solutions to Remove Bugs in Your Car
If bugs have invaded your car and can’t be removed through simple cleaning alone, Nextgen Pest Solutions is here to assist. We can apply treatments that eliminate bugs completely and make your car unattractive for future pests. Give us a call at (470) 336-4315 today to learn more about what we offer and get a free quote for your vehicle pest control.
All of our content on this website as well as our pest control training is written or reviewed for accuracy by Joe Jonovich. Joe has a Master’s Degree (2004) from the University of Florida in Entomology (that’s fancy for a bug scientist). Joe has over 25 years in the pest control industry. He has owned his own business, worked for manufacturers, and worked for other large pest control companies as Director of Education and Training in the past.
Joe, is also is one of the course instructors for the University of Florida’s Pest Management University, whose courses are held at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) in Apopka, Florida. There he trains the leading pest control companies on the latest research and cutting-edge techniques.
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