How to Get Rid of Roaches in Car

Imagine driving your car to work when you suddenly discover a cockroach crawling under your brakes and slowly moving toward your leg. Unfortunately, that’s not a sight anyone would want to witness or even imagine, but roaches can live and thrive in your car. 

Yes, if the environment suits them, and they don’t take long to multiply and may make your vehicle their safe home. But, obviously, you would never let that happen, so what is the best way to get rid of roaches in the car? This article will help you explore just that and more, so keep reading. 

Why Do Roaches Enter Your Car Anyway?

There is a simple answer to this question, and that is food. Roaches enter your car to consume the food spills or crumbs you might have left in your vehicle and forgotten to clean. 

Additionally, these pests also demand shelter, and there is no better home than your vehicle. Since your car has many hiding spots such as under seats, seat cushions, and floor mats, roaches consider this place a perfect home that offers a dark and warm environment necessary for survival. 

Interestingly, a cockroach can easily survive a temperature up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a temperature more than that may be too unbearable for them. 

cockroach car steering wheel

If you live in a country with a hot climate, your car might be too hot for them to survive in. However, also know that roaches usually hide under floor mats or seat cushions, and these spots are generally cold or have an average temperature. 

Similarly, a freezing car can also kill roaches. Since they are cold-blooded creatures, roaches fail to regulate their interior temperature, so they may find it hard to survive in a freezing environment. However, it is also important to note that roaches are pretty adaptable. 

You might find them changing their habits in even the most extreme environment. For example, they often tend to hibernate in winter, so they can find a warm home under the cushions of your seat and may not come out during the entire season. You may soon have a nasty smell of cockroaches in your car and it’s imperative to remove them as soon as possible before they multiply.

How Do Roaches Get In Your Car?

Unless somebody doesn’t deliberately slip a cockroach in your car, it usually finds its way in because of your mistakes. For example, you may sometimes forget to close your car’s windows, inviting roaches to enter your vehicle conveniently. And in most cases, they might enter through various gaps that you may have never noticed before. 

Below we have mentioned some common ways these creepy crawlies make their way in your car. 

Open Windows

As briefly stated above, sometimes you might be so busy that you may forget to close your car’s windows after parking it in your garage. This is an excellent opportunity for roaches to escape in your vehicle, especially if they fly. To avoid that from happening, make sure to keep the windows and doors closed at all times or otherwise prepare yourself to deal with these insects. 

Through Carried In Items

Since roaches like and strive in dark and warm environments, they might be present in your luggage bags, suitcases, and even shopping bags, without you realizing it. Imagine carrying a cockroach in your car with all your necessary belongings. Sounds disgusting, no?

However, that is very much possible, and to prevent that, make sure to clean and check every item that enters your car twice before you adjust it in your vehicle. 


Even if your windows and doors are always closed, roaches can easily slip through small gaps in your car. For instance, many vehicles often have cracks in their entrances or holes in the lining of their windshield, making it easy for roaches to slide in. 

In most cases, you might find roaches in the trunk of your cars as well. So how do they get in there? 

Through the trunk’s soft lining or your belongings, such as luggage bags, bugs can enter the trunk and settle in quite easily. And since a car’s trunk is a warm and dark place, cockroaches don’t take time to adjust themselves. 

How to get rid of roaches in car

Are Roaches Dangerous?

Think again if you have found a roach in your car and plan to let it live. Unfortunately, cockroaches are dangerous pests. They might not look harmful and may be afraid of you as well; they have every ability to transmit bacteria that may create health problems for you. 

They carry pathogenic bacteria that can easily be transmitted, spreading infections and diseases. Additionally, roaches aren’t safe for your belongings. They can eat up the car’s covers or any pieces of clothes that you might have left on your seats. 

What’s more, the surfaces that cockroaches infest are quite unsafe. These pests leave their body fluids, skin castings, and feces behind, making your car’s surfaces dirty and dangerous for you. 

Since roaches don’t take time to breed and multiply in an ideal environment, they might grow in front of your eyes within your vehicle. So, instead of ignoring them, take action as soon as possible. 

Different Ways to Get Rid of Roaches Living In Your Car

Since your car is your safe zone, having another species or a pest isn’t something many of you may want. But unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to spot a roach and hit it with a hard thing before it gets killed. This method is not only ruthless, but it is also impossible in many cases. 

So, how can you ensure that your vehicle is roach-free for good? Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get this job done. 

Think Like a Roach

Do you mind being a roach for a few minutes? If this strategy can help you find the pest, there isn’t any harm in doing that. By thinking like a roach, you can easily identify the places where the pest might hide in, making it easy for you to plan an attack. 

We often have many crumbs and food particles between the car seats. Roaches find that place a perfect destination for nesting, so inspect that area first. 

Since the place under floor mats also has food particles and a warm environment, roaches may also find that place appropriate to breed. Lastly, check your car’s trunk with many compartments or storage areas where the bugs can easily survive. 

If you haven’t found the pest in the above places, look for door pockets, glove compartments, and the vents of your air conditioners, which are also potential hideouts. Exploring the exact location of the cockroach is imperative before you can execute your final strategy. 

American cockroach

Clean Your Car’s Interior

Since roaches survive on the food spills and crumbs in your car, you need to ensure they are no longer there. If not cleared up on time, food particles don’t take long to accumulate, which makes their cleaning harder with every passing day. 

So, make sure to give your vehicle a good clean-up. You can either use a hand vacuum cleaner or send your car to a car wash company. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get rid of roaches. 

If you are performing this task on your own, dump all the garbage that might be accumulating in your car for a long time. Also, clean out all the mats and car cushions properly, leaving no bit of food in your vehicle. Finally, use an insecticide to kill all the remaining cockroaches in your car. 

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Suppose you can’t bear the existence of an insecticide or any other chemical in your car. In that case, a natural way to get rid of roaches will suit you the most. Many people prefer sprinkling diatomaceous earth in the common hiding places of cockroaches. 

This product is often considered quite effective and is also non-toxic. Besides, it is a natural pesticide, which is not as potent as a commercial insecticide but does help decrease the number of these pests in your car. 

Boric Acid

Another roach killer in the market, boric acid, can get rid of roaches within minutes. And the best thing is that this product is human-friendly. It is usually found in skincare and beauty products that help curb acne, reduce fungal infections and calm down tired eyes. 

Here’s how you can use boric acid for your anti-roaches mission:

  • Sprinkle the acid, usually found in the powder form, on different areas of your car. 
  • Make sure you drop it in all their hideouts. 
  • Since roaches can’t digest this acid, they ingest it and die. 
  • Make sure you switch off your air conditioner and heater while conducting this task, or otherwise, the powder may spread in your car. 
spraying a cockroach with listerine

Roach-repellent Foods 

Yes, we are asking you to put some food in your car, but this time these items won’t attract the roaches. Instead, they will repel them, ensuring to kick them out of your vehicle. 

Roaches hate foods such as garlic, cucumber, and bay leaves. So if you spot a cockroach in your car, leave these food items, and witness the pests leaving your vehicle after a few days. 


Here is another chemical-free remedy that you can try. You can kill coaches with a mixture of soap and water. Then, spray the solution on them, eventually suffocating these insects to death. 

If you can’t locate a roach on a particular day, keep the solution in your car, and spray it on the bug whenever you spot one. 

Use Catnip As a Deterrent

Cats love catnip; however, roaches not so much. Catnip is a member of the mint family that cockroaches find quite disgusting and unbearable. 

Simply sprinkle the mint in different places in your car and let the pests run away from it. 

Use Gel Bait Traps 

Most experts recommend these traps because they catch roaches in many different ways. For instance, the bait helps kill a cockroach through poison. And when the same bug travels back to its community before its death, it spreads the poison to the rest of its fellows. 

Is a Roach Bomb Effective?

You might have come across a roach bomb while finding ways to deal with a roach infestation in your car. Unfortunately, while the product might have looked effective, it is pretty toxic and, at times, ineffective as well. 

For instance, a roach bomb is a flammable product, meaning that it contains aerosol, which, when dispersed in the air, can settle on the surfaces of your car, poisoning both the interior and exterior. 

Further, a roach bomb can cause many illnesses when used and inhaled. In addition, roach bombs are pretty ineffective compared to the dangers they possess. For instance, they don’t reach the small gaps in your car where the roaches might be hiding, making them useless in many cases. 

Prevent Roaches In Your Car 

Getting rid of roaches from your car is easy but still comes with many hassles. So, if you don’t have time to deal with these methods, make sure to use a few preventive measures, and don’t welcome these bugs in the first place. 

Here are a few ways in which you can do that:

  • Avoid eating food in your car. If you can’t help it, clean your car seats and floor mats right away. 
  • Don’t make your car your second home. Limit the items you carry in your vehicle and remove unnecessary bags from your car seats or trunks. 
  • Park your vehicle in areas away from drainage openings or sewerage lines. That’s where cockroaches are found. 
  • Finally, clean your car regularly and keep all the gaps and holes sealed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common queries on this topic. 

  1. Should I Leave My Car Windows Open While Spraying an Insecticide?

Yes, keep the car’s windows, and doors open after the application. This is imperative to remove all the fumes. 

  1. Can I Use Baking Soda to Kill Roaches?

Yes, baking soda mixed with sugar can kill roaches and control their breeding. Make sure to sprinkle the mix in various nooks and corners of your car. 

Final Takeaway

Whether in your car or your house, roaches are dangerous bugs that can spread many diseases. If you want to live a healthy life, get rid of them from your car. 

Please do so by identifying their locations and then using various chemical and chemical-free products to get rid of roaches. However, whichever method you use, make sure that it is effective but not toxic or unsafe for you. 

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