How to Get Roaches out of Your Car

Nothing is worse than finding yourself trapped in a car with a cockroach. This drove me to ask a question I never thought I’d ask “how to get roaches out of my car?”

To save you the trouble, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know how to get rid of roaches in cars fast.

Why You May Be Having Roaches in Your Car?

There are plenty of reasons for roaches to find your car an excellent ground for living and breeding. These reasons can be summed up in a simple formula.

Food Leftovers

Roaches are simple pests that spend their lives searching for food and shelter.

The most basic reason for you to find them in a car is that they can find food leftovers in your car.

A habit like eating in your car can be a huge factor for luring roaches into your car. No matter how careful you are, even the tiniest bits of crumb can be enough for roaches. In fact, roaches can survive for weeks without food.


Roaches also search for a safe breeding ground, which makes a car a great shelter. They need a place that’s warm and humid to multiply and prosper.

Additionally, cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, which means that they prefer to feed and live in the dark.

If you think about it, cars are usually empty at night. This means a safer time for roaches to hang out and search for your leftover food.

Also, roaches prefer to live in places with tiny crevices and holes so they can hide out of sight. That’s another reason why your car can be an ideal place for roaches if you aren’t careful enough.

What Are the Risks of Having Roaches in Your Car?

While cockroaches are a nightmare in themselves, having them in your car is a whole new level of nuisance. Not only are they disgusting, but they’re also a major health hazard.

Roaches Carry Serious Diseases

Roaches live mainly in the sewers and around dirty dumpsters. They’re drawn to any exposed food even if it’s rotten. They crawl around toilets and moldy gaps.

As a result, their bodies are smeared with all kinds of potentially dangerous microbes. Roaches can be accountable for the transmission of many diseases to humans and other animals.

For example, roaches carry Salmonella Typhi, which is a harmful bacteria that causes typhoid fever. Roaches can also cause severe bloody diarrhea, which is known as “dysentery“. This disease is also transferred by the bacteria they carry.

Additionally, roaches carry viruses too. Among the most dangerous viruses they carry is the poliovirus, which causes paralysis in children’s limbs.

They also carry dangerous strains of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. These bacteria can cause a lot of infection with life-threatening complications, including urinary tract infections and pneumonia.

Roaches Can Trigger and Worsen Allergies

In addition to diseases they cause, roaches can also shed-off some parts of their bodies. These parts contain some allergens that can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms.

Roaches Cause Major Distraction to the Driver

Katsaridaphobia” is the fear of cockroaches. It’s no secret that roaches are among the most feared things around the world.

There can be plenty of space to run if you spot one in your house. Yet, if you’re chronically afraid of them and you find one while driving, this can be a recipe for disaster.

How to Get Rid of Roaches in Your Car?

With all these hanging risks, it’s crucial that you get rid of these tiny critters. Here’s a list of some practical remedies to eliminate them.

Cleaning and Keeping the Car Clean

As I previously mentioned, roaches are mainly drawn into your car because of shelter and food. If you take away both of them, they have no option but to seek shelter elsewhere.

Roaches are omnivorous insects, this means that they can eat starchy food, meat, and almost all kinds of food. However, they can also eat any decaying matter, including hair, paper, and glue.

A good place to start is by getting rid of all the clutter and mess in your car. If you remember, cockroaches always seek shelter within clutter and tiny pieces of garbage.

Prepare a large garbage bag and collect any unneeded items you left in the car. This includes empty soda cans, food wrappers, and pizza boxes.

After that, you have to take care of all the little crumbs and food traces in the car. You can do this by vacuuming the car thoroughly.

You can use do this at your house using your own vacuum, or head to a car wash for a more professional cleaning.

If you’re going to do it yourself, you should start from top to bottom, as some bits may fall to the floor while you clean. This way, you can take much less time vacuuming the car.

After initial vacuuming, make sure that you inspect every tiny corner. It’s very easy to miss tiny bits of food. If you found some, make sure you run a follow-up vacuuming session for good measure.

Don’t Eat in the Car

If you mind spending more than one or two hours daily to clean up your car all over again, you need to stop eating in the car.

However, if you’ve done your homework right, there’s no need to make it all go to waste by eating in the car the next day.

You might think of this as a prevention method, and it can be. However, if you cleaned your car with a vacuum, you may still miss a couple of tiny spots. These small bits and crumbs might be even difficult for professional cleaners to reach.

These tiny bits and dried spills can be enough to sustain cockroaches for days. However, roaches might tend to explore outside the car if they find that the constant supply of food has stopped.

This makes not eating in the car a good starting method to get rid of roaches. This method is ideal in the case of a wanderer roach that’s still searching for a place to live and lay its eggs.

Using Diatomaceous Earth or Boric Acid

If you ever came across the best home remedies to get rid of roaches, this option would be the first!

While these methods work very well in your house, you can use them to get rid of roaches in your car as well.

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made of tiny fossilized aquatic creatures known as “diatoms”. This off-white substance looks like talc powder. As innocent as it may seem, this powder can destroy some insects from the inside out.

Whenever a roach touches this powder, it comprises the waxy coating in its exoskeleton. The reason behind its potency is its shape under the microscope.

When zoomed in, diatomaceous earth looks like tiny shards of glass. These tiny pieces puncture their bodies and work under their skeleton. It then dehydrates the roaches to death.

The best thing about diatomaceous earth is that it’s totally safe for humans and mammals. It’s even used on dogs to eradicate fleas!

On the other hand, boric acid works by sticking to their bodies. This acid is toxic for the roaches and can destroy their nervous system. When a roach dies, other cockroaches can eat it. This transfers the boric acid from the dead road to the live ones.

This spreads the boric acid between all roaches and kills them all. However, it’s still better to get rid of any dead roaches because other roaches can smell them. This drives more roaches into targeting your car.

While diatomaceous earth is safe for humans, boric acid is dangerous to be ingested in noticeable amounts.

For that reason, it’s important that you vacuum the car carefully after using boric acid. You should also be wearing a face mask, so you don’t inhale the power while vacuuming it.

Using Traps or Bait

If you want a method that’s more effective than diatomaceous earth and boric acid, you can use baits.

There are many advantages to using this method. For example, it’s quick, affordable, and efficient. Additionally, you don’t have to do a lot of cleanups once it has done its job.

Baits are offered in many forms, but, the most effective one is the sticky type. When roaches walk on it, they get stuck to it and eventually die.

To place the bait correctly, apply it to the places near the roaches hide. It shouldn’t take too long before the curious roaches explore the new supply of food.

The only concern regarding traps is that the glue can be toxic, so it’s dangerous to keep it around pets and children. Luckily, since most roaches become active at night, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Using Fogger/Bomb for Roaches

As you can notice, these methods are sorted according to the severity of the infestation. So if all the previous methods don’t work, you should give foggers a try.

This method is highly effective because it produces toxic gases that spread in every corner of the car. These toxic gases can kill roaches in minutes. Yet, you should leave it for 30 minutes or more so you can make sure that all roaches have died.

You need to know that this method is toxic and should be used as a last resort if all the other methods don’t work. The produced fumes are highly toxic to mammals, so it can pose some danger to your pets as well.

After using the bug bomb, you should make sure that you vent all this toxic air out of your car. You can also use fans or the car’s AC to speed up the process while opening all the car doors. This ventilation process is extremely crucial for your safety.

It’s also better to leave this task to a professional, so you can make sure that no toxic traces are left in the car.

Preventing Roaches from Coming Back

Now that you know how to get roaches out of the car, it’s time to prevent them from coming back again.

Avoid Eating in the Car

Once again, the number one reason for roaches to ever come back would be food. Make sure that you eat the food while it’s in its wrapping. Also, once you’re done eating, it’s essential that you seal the wrapper tightly and throw it in the nearest trash can.

It can be a bit difficult to not eat in the car on your first days, but you’ll slowly get used to it. If you have to eat in the car, then you need to make sure that you be extremely careful not to drop any bits here and there.

As a safety measure, you should do another layer of follow-up vacuuming whenever the chance presents itself.

Keep the Car Clean

As I said, roaches can eat just about anything organic. This means even takeaway cups and cardboard can also lure roaches into your car.

Consider having a weekly or monthly clean-up. You should also avoid leaving unnecessary clutter in the car.

Don’t Park Close to Area with Roach Infestations

Even if you keep the car clean, you might expect some curious visitors if you park the car near sewers and drains.

As a smart measure, avoid parking your car near places that have a reputation of roach infestation.

Final words

Here is my simple and complete guide on how to kill roaches in a car. As you can see, cockroaches in cars can be a major health hazard.

For that reason, it’s important to follow my guide carefully when you’re dealing with them to avoid injuring yourself or anyone around you.