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A Roach in Car: Should I be Worried?

It is no secret that cockroaches are the bane of every homeowner’s existence. They are disgusting, they can carry harmful bacteria, and they can make your home uninhabitable if left unchecked. But did you know that roaches also love to infest vehicles?

To get rid of roaches in your car,

Step 1: Identify the level of infestation

Step 2: Mobilize the roaches from hiding by parking your car in the sun to raise its temperature or manually remove mats, wrappers, or loose items.

Step 3: Kill roaches using gel bait, insecticide spray, or boric acid.

Step 4: Prevent roaches from getting into your car by regularly cleaning your car, using roach repellents, and using IGR spray to prevent baby roaches from maturing into adults.

Getting rid of a roach in the car should not be taken lightly, as these pests can cause damage to you and your vehicle. If you want to kill the roaches inside your car, there are some things you can do! Get ready for a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of these nasty creatures in your car! It’s easier than you may think.

Tired of cockroaches? Invest in only these products and follow the guide to eliminate roaches!

Use these products, and you will be roach free in less than a week.

1. Advion Cockroach Gel Bait (Review)
2. Gentrol IGR Point Source (Review)

Other Products to try:

1. Combat Roach Traps (Easy than gel baits)
2. Hot Shot Foggers (To kill in masses – 95%)
3. Pet Safe Killers (Uses Essential Oils)
4. Ortho Defence Outdoor Roach Killer (Prevent Roaches)

How Roaches get in your Car?

Roaches are attracted to a car that lacks cleanliness with ample food crumbs, wrappers, and loose items lying around the floor. In addition, a bad-smelling car is more likely to attract roaches than a car using air freshener sprays.

The roaches get into the car via,

1. Windows

The most common way for cockroaches to get into your car is through the windows. If they are not properly sealed, roaches can easily crawl in and make themselves at home.

2. Air Vents

The warm engine provides a perfect place for the roaches to live and breed, attracting them. Once they enter the hood, they can quickly spread throughout the car ventilation system and enter through the air vents.

3. Groceries and Luggage

Roaches are attracted to groceries inside stores. Unknowingly they can get inside your groceries or luggage and be brought inside the car.

4. Via Pets

Roaches can also find their way into your car by hitching a ride on your pets. So, If you have pets, especially dogs and cats, roaches may be hiding out in their fur and unloading inside the car.

Cockroaches Hides inside the Car at Number of Places

Cockroaches are clever enough to hide at many locations and concurrently reinfest in case of extermination. Therefore, if you fail to mobilize roaches from hiding, most likely, you will fail to exterminate them completely.

Roaches can hide at several places inside the car including,

  1. Inside the car’s air filter including the ventilation system
  2. Gloves box
  3. Under the mates
  4. Inside the armrest compartment
  5. Under the seats
  6. Sound system
  7. Door storage compartments

I saw one Cockroach, Should I be Worried? Read this interesting article to know more.

Getting Rid of Roaches inside the Car

Cockroaches can be a real nuisance, especially when they start invading your car. If you’re having trouble getting rid of them, here is the comprehensive method to get rid of them quickly.

Step 1: Identify the level of infestation if you spotted a roach in car

The first step is to identify the level of roach infestation. If there are only a few roaches, you can try killing them using an over-the-counter bug spray. However, if the infestation is severe, you will need to take more drastic measures.

Step 2: Mobilize the roaches from hiding

The next step is to mobilize the roaches from hiding spaces. Once you have located all areas where cockroaches are present, remove any loose materials and make sure that there is nothing available for them to hide under or behind. You can also close the windows of your car and park it in the sun to build heat.

This will not only mobilize them but help them kill quickly.

Step 3: Kill the Roaches

After you mobilize the roaches from the hidden places next step is to kill them. Several methods are available to kill a roach in car.

Method 1: Using Gel bait to get rid of a roach in car

Using gel bait is probably the most effective method to kill roaches inside the car. I recommend using Advion Gel bait because it is easy to use and safe around pets.

You need to apply a small proportion of gel bait at different places inside the car, especially inside the glove boxes, under the seats, and around the doors.

Next, wait for a few days before cleaning it. Cockroach chalk is also a type of bait used to kill roaches.

Method 2: Using insecticide spray

Insecticide spray is probably the fastest method to kill roaches inside the car. The smell and not being active against eggs are the only downsides.

After you mobilize the roaches, spray thoroughly inside the car with windows closed and leave the car under the sun for 30 minutes. You will be amazed by the results.

Method 3: Using Hair dryer

A hairdryer is another cheap method to kill roaches. Most hair dryers can blow hot air reaching temperatures up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to kill roaches.

I’m not particularly eager to use a hairdryer because it needs a power source, and you need to target hot air directly onto roaches which are most of the time not achievable,

Method 4: Using Boric Acid

People often ask, Does boric acid kill palmetto bugs and roaches? Yes! Boric acid is an effective agent and has very low toxicity. This makes it safe to use around pets and children inside the car, though you should avoid breathing the powder in.

You need to sprinkle it around different places inside the car and wait for a few days. Boric acid works like gel bait but is messy to use and slow at exterminating roaches.

Step 4: Prevention

Prevention is better than cure stands true for roach infestation of the car. I have extensively explained how to prevent roaches from getting inside the car in the blog below.

Do you know small roaches are very difficult to exterminate? Read, Small Roaches: How to Identify and Get Rid? to get a complete insight.

Preventing Roaches from Getting inside the Car

Exterminating roaches inside cars is often difficult, and therefore, it is better to prevent a roach infestation from the start.

Moreover, do you know that you are least likely to get a handsome amount of money from reselling a roach-infested car?

Follow these tips, and you will never see an infestation,

Keeping windows and Door Closed

As already mentioned, roaches enter the car primarily via open windows and doors. It is essential to keep them closed when not in use.

Moreover, sometimes a broken door or window seal lets in roaches. Therefore, make sure the windows and doors are appropriately sealed. If not, try fixing them soon.


Because roaches love to live in dirty places, the first step is always cleaning up your car! Get rid of any food crumbs or wrappers that might be lying around. Pay special attention to the crevices and corners where roaches like to hide.

Get a can of compressed air and blast out any crumbs or dust bunnies that have settled in the vents. Get rid of all trash so roaches don’t have anything to feed, and vacuum clean your car thoroughly!

Using Roach Repellents

A powerful tool to use is Natural Roach repellents in the form of essential oils. These are chemical-free and safe for your car but will leave a strong scent that roaches don’t find very appealing!

Intermittently Parking your car in the Sun

Roaches cannot stand the heat and will start to gather in the corners of your car. Get rid of them by using a blow dryer or simply leaving it there for at least a few hours.

A heat built will most likely be enough to kill cockroaches on a sunny day.

Using Sticky Traps

You can also use sticky traps to catch roaches. Get rid of the pests by placing a couple under your seat or wherever you have seen them before. The adhesive is very strong and will trap any roach that comes into contact with it, allowing you to get rid of them all at once!

Using Insect Growth Regulator Spray

This is a new and very effective method. The IGR spray prevents roach nymphs from transforming into adults. If roaches somehow manage to get inside the car, they still will fail to nest and multiply when using IGR spray.

All you need to do is intermittently spray around different places inside the car after every three months.

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