Roaches in my car at night, what do I do? I understand how unsettling it can be to find cockroaches in your car. These critters are not only creepy but they also spread germs and can damage your belongings. What’s worse is that they are rarely alone. A single female cockroach can lay up to 30 eggs at once, so if you have seen more than one around, you likely have many more lurking around.
So, what can you do to get these annoying bugs out of your car and keep them from coming back at night? This guide will explain why you have these critters in your car, where they nest, as well as how to quickly get rid of cockroaches in your car overnight.
Roaches in My Car at Night
Roaches in your car at night can be a distressing and unhygienic problem. These nocturnal pests are attracted to food remnants or spills inside vehicles. Usually, you need to vacuum the car and focus on areas such as under seats and in crevices, to remove any crumbs or debris. You can also use roach traps or natural deterrents like bay leaves or cucumber slices.
Once the problem ends, regularly clean and inspect your vehicle, especially if you eat inside, to prevent future infestations. You need to check your parking spot too, and make sure it is in well-lit areas and avoid leaving windows open.
Should I Be Worried if I See a Roach in My Car?
You should be worried if you have roaches in your car. Roaches are harmful and can carry diseases. They also leave behind droppings that smell bad and can make you sick. Diseases linked to cockroaches include dysentery, listeriosis, streptococcus, gastroenteritis, giardia, E. coli, and staphylococcus. Also, some people are allergic to cockroaches, which can cause skin irritation or breathing issues.
Cockroaches can also chew on your wires and nest in car seats. They might not ruin things as quickly as termites, but a large group of cockroaches can damage your car.
Another problem is that cockroaches can attract other pests like rats. Rats are drawn to the smell of cockroach droppings which can cause even more damage to your car, such as eating the wires.
What Attracts Roaches in Car?
Roaches are attracted to a car primarily for food particles and spills, which are common in vehicles where people eat or transport food. Even small crumbs or residue can be enough to attract these pests.
Secondly, roaches seek shelter and warmth, which a car can provide, especially if it’s parked in a warm area or receives a lot of sunlight. Clutter in a car, including papers or clothes, can also offer hiding places for roaches. If your car is not used frequently and remains stationary for a long time, it can become a habitat for roaches.
How roaches get into your car in the first may not always be because your car is dirty. Roaches are good at crawling through small spaces. They have flat bodies that help them fit through tiny gaps in search of food and shelter. Common ways cockroaches enter cars include:
- Broken window seals
- Exhaust vents
- Front grills
- Air vents
- Electrical outlets
- Engine blocks
Do cockroaches like certain conditions? Yes, they do. While they can show up even in clean cars, there are things that make your car more inviting to them, such as:
- Moisture, which is a big problem in winter or in cars that aren’t well-ventilated
- Spilled drinks
- Food crumbs
- Perfume, makeup, or other cosmetics
- Cardboard, paper, or newspapers
- Dirt and grime, like sweat, oil, and dead skin
- Peeling leather and exposed adhesives
Where Would a Roach Nest Be In a Car?
If you find one cockroach in your car, there might be more hiding. They can squeeze into almost any space, but their favorite hiding spots are:
- Under footmats
- Inside any clutter like takeout boxes, books, or bags
- Above footwells
- Around the engine
- Cracks and crevices
- In air vents and HVAC systems
- The trunk
- Near the rear window
- Glove compartments
Cockroaches like snug spaces where they can be close to other objects. So, when searching, look in tight spots and be ready to find groups of them.
How Do I Get Roaches Out of My Car Overnight?
Dealing with roaches in your car can be a bit unsettling, but don’t worry, there are simple ways to tackle this. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you eliminate these unwanted guests effectively:
Start with a Vacuum
First, grab your vacuum cleaner and vacuum every nook and cranny of your car’s interior. Make sure to park in a spot where you can easily access the whole car and open all doors and windows for better ventilation.
Also, wear a mask and gloves for your protection. If you can, use a handheld vacuum to reach tight spaces more efficiently.
Clean the Car Thoroughly
After vacuuming, it’s time to give your car a good wash. Use soapy water and disinfectant wipes, paying special attention to areas you frequently touch, like the steering wheel, dashboard, and pedals. Clean up any food spills or greasy spots too.
Apply Boric Acid
Now, for the crucial step – using boric acid. It’s a natural pesticide that dehydrates roaches, making your car a hostile environment for them. A few things to remember:
- Lightly sprinkle boric acid around the car. Avoid clumping, as roaches will avoid large piles of the powder.
- Wear protective gear like goggles, gloves, and a mask, and follow the safety instructions on the boric acid packaging.
- Use pure boric acid without any additives.
- Be careful not to get boric acid near air vents to avoid a mess.
Consider Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is another substance that dries out roaches. It’s generally safer than boric acid, especially if you have kids or pets. When using it, wear protective gear and sprinkle it where roaches hang out, like under seats or in cup holders.
Spray Essential Oils
If your car smells because of the roaches, try using essential oils. They smell nice and can also help keep roaches away. Good choices include cedar, cypress, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, and tea tree oils. Just mix them with water before spraying, and avoid spraying on parts you use to drive, like the steering wheel.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda can help get rid of roaches in your car at night. Roaches won’t eat baking soda on their own, so you need to mix it with sugar. The sugar attracts the roaches, and the baking soda, when eaten, will eliminate them. Mix equal parts of baking soda and sugar, and put it in a small container like a bottle cap in your car. If sugar doesn’t work, try adding flour or peanut butter to make it more tempting for the roaches.
Put Strong-Smelling Herbs in Your Car
Herbs like bay leaves, basil, rosemary, mint, or lemongrass can repel roaches with their strong scent. Put these herbs in a nylon sock or wrap them in paper to keep your car clean. Choose a herb whose smell you enjoy, as you’ll be smelling it a lot.
Set Up Sticky Traps
You can buy sticky traps from hardware stores or online. They trap bugs when they crawl over them. These traps are good for seeing how big your roach problem is.
The more roaches you trap, the larger the infestation. But remember, sticky traps alone won’t solve your roach problem. They’re more for checking if your other methods are working. If you stop catching roaches, it’s a good sign that your efforts are paying off.
How to Stop Roaches in Your Car Permanently
The earlier steps I mentioned above are just basic. Now, let’s actually look at what you can use to eliminate cockroaches in your car at night permanently.
Advion 383920 Cockroach German Roach Pest Control is an effective solution I found for a major roach problem in my car. The car, previously owned by someone who didn’t clean it well, became a nightmare at night when roaches would swarm the seats. This product targets a wide range of cockroach species, including German, American, Australian, brown, smokybrown, Oriental, brown-banded, and Asian varieties.
I strategically placed the product in various spots in the car: under the dashboard, near the steering wheel, behind the center console, and under the seats after moving them forward. Also, I used bottle caps filled with the bait and distributed them around the car, including under mats and in the glove box. The results were impressive.
So, you have been dealing with a really gross problem recently – roaches in your car at night. It’s weird, especially if you have never eaten in your car, and it’s always clean, but for the past few months, you keep seeing roaches every time you get in. Totally disgusting.
So, in my case, I found the HOY HOY Trap-A-Roach. Got it delivered, set up a trap on the passenger side floor, and left it overnight. The next morning, I checked it and wow, it was full of roaches, like 20 of them, and that’s just in 12 hours! It was a bit gross to see, but really impressive how well it worked.
For dealing with roaches in my car at night, another method I use is placing roach motels tucked under the seats. When darkness falls, I place additional roach motels on the seats and dashboard to target those critters that prefer the higher ground. Don’t forget the trunk; it needs one too. A good rule of thumb is to use at least 10 of these traps simultaneously, swapping them out as they fill up.
This strategy is extremely effective against German cockroaches. These roach motels are glue traps with an internal attractant that seems to have a subtle maple syrup scent. Along with boric acid tablets, they’ve eliminated all the roaches in my car at night. The surplus traps can be handy around the house too.
So, that’s it—the permanent methods I use to deal with roaches in my car at night. It will work for you too. Just make sure to get any of the recommended pest control products to stop roaches from eventually destroying your expensive vehicle.
Read also: How to Overcome Fear of Cockroaches