Pests love cars for the same reason they love warm houses. Cars provide shelter against the elements, keep them safe from natural predators, and might have food sources from the crumbs you leave on the floor. But of course, no one wants to drive in a car with insect passengers in it.

Here are a few strategies to eliminate current pests in your car and keep it pest-free from now on:

1. Go through a car wash

Drive through a high-powered car wash to get rid of bugs that might be hiding in your bumper, wheels, and other exterior parts. If the infestation is inside the vehicle, however, consider calling a licensed pest-control service.

2. Vacuum your car

Get your vacuum cleaner and go through every inch of your car’s interiors, especially the hard-to-reach areas. Vacuuming will get rid of the crumbs that can attract bugs, as well as suck up any tiny critters that might already be present in your car.

3. Use insecticides

After giving your car a good wash and vacuum, you need to use insecticide or lay out traps to get rid of any remaining bugs. There are several types of insecticides and traps that you can choose from, such as sticky traps, bait traps, insecticide strips, and fumigation, to name a few. However, be careful when using harmful chemicals in your car. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and keep the products away from children and pets.

4. Buy insect repellents

Put up insect repellents inside your car to drive away pests. There are both chemical and organic insect repellents available, and what will work best depends on the type of pest you’re dealing with.

5. Wipe your interiors

With a clean rag and some disinfectant, wipe your dashboard, inner windshield, handbrake, stick shift, and other hard surfaces inside your car to get rid of bacteria, oils, and dirt that can attract pests.

6. Avoid eating inside the car

Even when you are super careful while eating inside your car, there’s always a risk of dropping a crumb or two. Thus, to avoid attracting pests to your vehicle, avoid eating inside it as much as possible. If you must eat, use a tray and clean up your trash right after. You might also want to keep a hand vacuum nearby to get rid of crumbs that you might have missed.

7. Change your seat covers

Synthetic leather seat covers accumulate more sweat and dirt, leading to a more attractive habitat for pests. Use fabric seat covers or protectors instead.

8. Don’t leave dirty clothes in your car

Pests love certain odors, especially unpleasant ones. Don’t leave your dirty gym clothes inside the car or drive while wearing dirty clothes. If you can’t avoid driving while sweaty or wearing dirty clothes, clean the seat as soon as you get home so that the smell doesn’t seep in as much.

9. Watch where you park

blue car parked

Be mindful of where you park. Some spots can be more prone to pests than others, such as underneath infested trees and stagnant pools of water. When you get out of the car after parking, check if insects are crawling around near your spot. If you see a trail of ants nearby or a hive on a tree, find somewhere else to park.

10. Seal cracks

Tiny pests can get through cracks and holes in your car’s body. And if these entrances are bigger, you can even find a rodent making a home in your car.

Inspect your car every once in a while to ensure there are no entrances for pests to get through. Then, block out pests from entering your car by sealing cracks and holes from inside and outside the vehicle. During your regular tune-ups, it’s also a good idea to ask the mechanic to look for any possible points of entry that you might have missed.

11. Steam your car

Bed bugs are resilient pests, and washing your car might not be enough to get rid of them. If you’re dealing with this problem, steam clean your car to exterminate them once and for all. At the same time, you’re also making your vehicle smell fresher, which makes it killing two birds with one stone.

Pests are not only annoying, but they can also put your health and safety at risk. Hence, if you’ve seen one or two pests in your car already, take the necessary steps to get rid of them and prevent an infestation altogether.


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