Having cockroaches in your car can be scary, but also very unpleasant. Cockroaches don’t usually live in vehicles, so finding one while driving down the motorway can be surprising. Although unusual, it is still possible for cockroaches to spread and cause a more serious infestation, given there are favourable conditions.
Fortunately, you can get rid of cockroaches in your car with several easy-to-apply methods, and this guide will teach you how.
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How do cockroaches get into your car and why?
Cockroaches can enter a car in a variety of ways, including:
- Open windows or doors: Some species of cockroaches can fly, so they can enter through an open car window or a crack, even if it’s tiny. Cockroaches can quickly enter your car if the doors are left open, as well.
- Items brought in from outside: Cockroaches can live in luggage, boxes, or even shopping bags that you bring into the vehicle. Unknowingly to humans, roaches could also climb on clothing or belongings and get carried into a car.
The exact reasons cockroaches invade our homes are the reasons they invade our cars: finding food, shelter, and laying their eggs.
Where do cockroaches hide in vehicles?
Cockroaches are highly skilled at finding hiding places in cars and houses, where they can breed and remain undetected. The areas where cockroaches usually hide in cars are:
- Car seats and cushions with folds and crevices;
- A car’s dashboard because it’s warm and cosy;
- A glove compartment, as it provides cockroaches with a dark, enclosed space to shelter;
- Under or between floor mats;
- The boot of a car, as the roaches can hide in the spare tyre compartment;
- Car air vents, which provide an easy entry point for cockroaches, which can then hide inside the heating and ventilation system;
Signs of cockroach infestation in car
Listed below are some telling signs that could give away whether there’s a serious cockroach infestation in your vehicle:
- Seeing many live cockroaches: A car infestation is easily identified if you see more than one living cockroach scurrying around your car’s interior.
- Cockroach droppings: A cockroach dropping looks like a dark, pepper-like spot. Look for these droppings around your car’s dashboard, steering wheel, seats, and floor mats.
- A musty smell: Cockroaches emit musty odours that can be particularly strong in enclosed spaces.
- Cockroach egg casings: A cockroach egg casing, known as oothecae, is small, brown, and capsule-shaped. You may also find these in the same area where droppings are found.
- Car upholstery or wiring damage: Cockroaches can damage car upholstery, especially leather seats, wiring, and other components.
When you suspect a cockroach infestation in your car, you should immediately eliminate the insects. However, removing cockroaches can prove to be difficult, especially if the infestation has spread to hard-to-reach areas. This is where a professional pest l controller could step in and quickly resolve the problem.
Steps to get rid of cockroaches in the car
Taking action quickly to eliminate cockroaches in your car is crucial. However, getting rid of this stubborn pest can be a challenge. Here’s how you can try and stop the infestation:
- Declutter: If you remove any unnecessary items from your car, you can reduce the chance of cockroaches getting attracted to your vehicle. These insects love hiding in clutter, so keep your car space clear of any items you don’t need.
- Clean inside the car: Vacuum the interior of your car thoroughly, paying particular attention to the upholstery, carpeting, and dashboard, where cockroaches are likely to hide. Use a disinfectant-containing cleaning solution to wipe down surfaces.
- Buy insecticide spray: If the infestation is severe, you may need to use an insecticide spray that is designed specifically for use against cockroaches in cars. Follow the instructions carefully and use the product, given that there’s good ventilation.
- Set roach traps and baits: Gel bait and traps can effectively remove cockroaches from your car. Place them under seats or in glove compartments where cockroaches are likely to hide. You can also make some yourself, using different non-toxic products. Mix baking soda and sugar and sprinkle it around your car’s interior. It is the sugar that will attract the cockroaches, and it is the baking soda that will kill them by dehydrating their exoskeletons.
- Diatomaceous earth (DE) is also an excellent non-toxic cockroach-killing product. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth throughout your car’s interior, concentrating on the areas where cockroaches may hide. You can also fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar, and spray it around your car’s interior. The smell of vinegar is also considered to deter cockroaches. Keep in mind, though, that whole eco-friendly, natural treatments may be less effective than chemical treatments, especially if the infestation is severe. Consider hiring a professional pest control service if natural methods do not work.
- Try deterring the roaches – Essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender are considered to be cockroach repellents. Mix a spray bottle with water and a few drops of these oils. Spray the oil around the interior of your car, or you can also use cotton balls soaked in the oil.
- Call cockroach exterminator: As mentioned before, roaches can be difficult to remove from cars, so consider consulting with g a pest control professional. A pest technician can help you identify the source of the infestation and recommend the most effective treatment.
The danger of cockroaches in your car
Cockroaches in a car can pose several health and safety risks, such as:
- Spreading of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that can make you sick. The droppings, shed skin, and saliva of cockroaches can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms.
- Damage to your car’s interior. Roaches can chew through the upholstery and fabrics in your car, leaving behind unsightly holes and damage that can be expensive to fix.
- Danger to the car’s functionality. Moreover, cockroaches can damage the electrical components of your car, including wiring and sensors.
- Unpleasant odour. The smell of cockroaches can linger in your car for a long time after they have been exterminated.
- Further infestation. Getting rid of cockroaches once they have settled in your car could turn into a nightmare. Their rapid reproduction makes it difficult to eradicate them and they could also attract other pests.
Preventing cockroaches from getting into your car
Keeping your car cockroach-free begins with prevention. You can avoid future infestations by keeping your car clean, removing clutter, and sealing any cracks or gaps where cockroaches may enter. A thorough inspection and regular car cleaning will reduce the chances of cockroach infestation.
Here are a few more tips that can help you prevent a future cockroaches infestation of your vehicle:
- Avoid eating in the car, as food is the number one attraction for cockroaches. Food residue or crumbs can attract roaches even if we eat carefully in the car.
- Again, regular car cleaning is one of the most reliable ways for car owners to keep their vehicles free of cockroaches.
- A humid environment, including water, attracts cockroaches, so wipe up spills within the car as soon as possible.
- Clutter, whether it is old receipts, piles of newspapers, cardboard, or sports equipment, is one place they like to hide. Try to keep your car as clutter-free as possible.
- Ensure you block primary entryways by closing vents, windows, and doors. The air conditioning vents of cars are one of the main entry points for cockroaches. Additionally, avoid parking near drainage openings, sewage drains, and garbage bins where roaches thrive.
The tips mentioned above will significantly reduce the risk of cockroach infestations in your car, still, there’s no guarantee your vehicle will not still be targetted by roaches at some point. You can always call a professional to take immediate action to minimise the health risks associated with roach infestations.
- Food, shelter, and laying eggs are all reasons why cockroaches invade cars and homes;
- Roaches may also get carried into cars through clothing or belongings;
- In addition to leather seats, cockroaches can damage wiring and other components of cars;
- Cockroaches can be effectively removed from your car with gel bait and traps;
- You can reduce the chance of cockroach infestation by inspecting the car thoroughly and cleaning it regularly;