7 Fast Ways to Remove Cockroaches from Cars


Getting cockroaches in your car is not as unusual as you’d think because many people eat on the go these days. In this article, we’ll show you how to get rid of roaches in your car.

Cockroaches are perhaps the most resilient bugs on the planet. They run fast, hide in the tiniest of crevices, and seem to be unaffected by most attempts to get rid of them. What makes them so hard to get rid of is the fact that no matter how clean you keep the area, they can survive on the smallest spec of food, including crumbs on and under your car or truck mats, which is where we’ll focus our efforts.

Take action toward exterminating cockroaches as soon as you find one in your vehicle. Not only do they reproduce fast, but they can scare you while you’re driving. Imagine feeling a cockroach climbing up your leg while you’re on the interstate. This could easily turn into a dangerous situation.

Person had a roach crawl up their leg while driving
While this person was driving, a cockroach crawled from their vehicle floor up their leg. This could easily make you jerk your steering wheel. Avoid this situation by addressing roaches in your vehicle as soon as possible.

You can skip to a section via the table of contents and please ask questions in the comment section below.

Why are there roaches in my car?

How do roaches get in your car

What does NOT work for getting rid of roaches in your vehicle

Citrus sprays or vinegar don’t get rid of these pesky bugs. Most insects do not like the smell of citrus or strong smells such as cinnamon or cloves, but that is not enough to deter them. Another substance people often use is boric acid. In the home this is fine, but in the car, it is too messy and in such a confined area it may have some adverse effects on people or pets if absorbed into the mucous membranes of the nose or throat. Foggers and bug bombs are also not a good idea to use in such a small space.

How to effectively get rid of roaches in cars

Remove items that cockroaches can hide under

Remove mats, rugs, and anything else that is removable from your vehicle. The barer, the better.

It may seem like a shame to take out decorator floor mats you just bought, but they often hinder consistent vehicle cleaning. As you remove them, be prepared for possibly seeing some cockroaches scurrying for new hiding spots.

If you want, you can keep a rolled-up magazine or newspaper handy to swat at any roaches you see when removing your floor mats and other removable items from your car. Don’t worry, though, if you don’t kill every cockroach you see during this process. We’ll get them later.

Vacuum thoroughly to remove any food crumbs

Vacuum your whole car, front to back, at least once a week.

The easiest way to do this is to take it to a hand car wash and use their attachments that get into tight corners. If you have a vacuum at home that will work well for this, feel free to use it.

Your goal here is to remove any food crumbs you may have unintentionally spilled in your vehicle. Even small amounts of food crumbs can attract cockroaches to your vehicle (assuming they find a way in).

Make a “No Eating in the Car” Rule

Allowing yourself or guests to eat in your car will invariably guarantee that crumbs fall to the floor no matter how careful you are. If you do not vacuum these up immediately, the cockroaches will continue to have food to keep them alive and if they remain alive they will keep breeding and their infestation in your automobile will continue to grow. Obviously, we do not want this, so it is simple to enact a “Not eating in the Car” rule.

This is a tough one because a lot of people eat in the car on the way to work, to after-school activities, and to school events. Busy schedules make it a necessity to eat on the run and that means a lot of empty sandwich wrappers and crumbs that are often left behind in haste. Try to eat before getting into the car, or if you have to, bring a lunch box to eat in and throw away trash immediately.

Bait and Traps

A safe way to use roach bait in a confined area is to set them out at night. People often think that the heat from a car being parked in the sun all day would kill them, but roaches are actually nocturnal and sleep during the day. Also by setting them out in areas such as in the trunk, under the seats, and on floorboards, you will have a better chance of trapping or baiting them when they are the least likely to be disturbed. Glue traps are quite effective for capturing them. For safety, simply remove the traps and bait in the morning before anyone gets in.

How to fumigate a car for roaches

How to prevent cockroaches from reinfesting your vehicles

Keeping roaches away is a lot easier than getting rid of them again and again. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to avoid a re-infestation is to be diligent about keeping the car clean. Remove trash immediately and vacuum frequently.

To avoid having these little critters come back again you’ll need to keep the car in pristine condition. Besides implementing a “no eating in the car” rule, make sure everyone takes their backpacks and bags with them when leaving the car. These guys like to travel back and forth from place to place and hitch a ride in whatever they can. Now that you know how to get rid of roaches in your car, you’ll be better equipped at dealing with them in the future in other areas.

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at NeverPest.com. I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.


  1. Now I don’t think I’d let my car get that bad but I have forgotten to clean it for a little bit at times. If it does get bad in the future, I’ll just be sure to have it cleaned professionally. That way, I can be sure that the roaches would not come back in any way, shape, or form.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.