Driver's Guide

8 Steps to Permanently Remove Roaches from Car [Guide]

how to remove roaches from car

Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by Bernard Juchli

Have you ever gotten into your car and seen cockroaches running across the dashboard? It’s not only a bad surprise, but it can also be dangerous for your health. Cockroaches can spread diseases and leave allergens behind that can make it hard to breathe. In this guide, I will show you how to remove roaches from car permanently with a little work and a few simple tools and make sure they don’t come back. We start with the source of roaches’ invasion,  then use safe and effective ways to get rid of the pests. Say goodbye to passengers that creep you out and hello to a car that is clean and free of roaches!

How to Know if you Have Roaches in the Car

It is simple to tell that you have roaches in your car. You have to look out for droppings from cockroaches and nesting materials. Also, you will find roach egg cases that are dark brown in color and oval-shaped.

There are several species of roaches out there, and one such species could be living in your car. Generally, roaches have oval-shaped and flat bodies. Their bodies look oily on sight and when you touch (not advisable).

Roaches have 6 spiny and long legs for flexible movement on vertical and horizontal surfaces. Some species have wings, but roaches rarely make use of their wings.

Steps to Remove Roaches from Car Permanently

What is the fastest way to get rid of roaches in a car

It is possible to remove cockroaches from the car through DIY. It is cost-effective and you do not have to worry about infection while removing the roaches from the car.

  1. Relocate the Car

The first step if you want to remove roaches from car and get rid of them permanently is to drive the car out of its current parking spot. It is apparent that parking spots contribute to the infestation in your vehicle, and you should cease parking there. Most car owners pay little or no attention to the places they park their cars.

It matters a lot because you could be exposing your car to destructive insects and even rodents. If you have no parking alternative, then you have some work to do. You can’t resume parking in that spot after this DIY guide on removing roaches from the car.

  1. Clean the Parking Spot

The second step regarding how to remove roaches from car is cleaning the parking spot. It will only apply if you are okay parking your car there. However, if you permanently cease to park there, you have a petty cleaning job to complete.

For those who will continue parking in the same spot, be ready to continually battle it out with the roaches until they exit your environment. You should get mothballs or combine water, white vinegar, and a few drops of peppermint into a repellent spray. Since mothballs are solid with acetic acid, you will place them in strategic corners of the garage or parking space. For the white vinegar + water + peppermint solution, you have to spray around the parking spot. Endeavor to repeat this process at least once in 7 days.

  1. Leave the Car Open

While the car is in the open, you must leave all the doors open. If you have insect powder, sprinkle it around the car to trap roaches that will attempt to escape.

Beneath the hood of your car is likely to be the primary nest of roaches. Open the hood, the doors, and the trunk. If your vehicle has a sunroof, it should serve as an added advantage. After about 15 minutes, the interiors of the car would have been better ventilated and suitable for breathing. It is advisable to perform the cleanup during the sunny hours.

  1. Identify the Nests

To remove roaches from car and get rid of them, you must have to find the source, which is most like inside your car. Get yourself a pair of hand gloves and cover your nose with available nose guard. Inspect the car thoroughly for the possible nesting points. First, inspect under the hood of the car and the undercarriage.

If you have a way of using the mechanic’s hole to inspect the undercarriage, that will be better because the roaches could be nesting there. The trunk of the car is also a possible nesting point that you should not ignore. Finally, inspect the interior. The interior will be tougher to examine considering the complexities. If you own one of the cars with charming interiors, it should be easier to check.

To easily spot roaches nest in the car, trace their droppings. It can be under the carpets or any torn part of the interior. If possible, remove the seats.

  1. Apply Disinfectant

Using disinfectants is a principle concerning how to remove roaches from a car. Meanwhile, you do not want to apply the disinfectant without covering your nose. Also, keep the disinfectant away from skin contact; it will cause skin irritation or skin burn. For every spot, you find roaches droppings, apply the disinfectant and do not touch droppings with bare hands. Leave the car open for some hours for the disinfectant to react and kill the germs present.

  1. Vacuum Car Interior

You need a hand-held vacuum for this stage. If you have no vacuum cleaner, drive down to the nearest car wash. Inform the management that you intend vacuuming the interior of your vehicle. It should cost $5 at most to use the vacuum cleaner.

Remove the carpets and everything possible from the car beginning from the trunk or cargo room. During this activity, cover your nose to prevent inhaling the infectious roach smell.

  1. Apply Novacide and Pyrid Aerosol

A commendable measure on how to get rid of roaches is the use of Novacide and Pyrid Aerosols. These would serve as home remedies to get rid of roaches in your car permanently.

The Novacide Aerosol insecticide kills roaches faster in the car; it is sustainable. Moreover, Novacide Aerosol contains an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) that sterilizes cockroaches and prevents them from reproducing.

You may as well use Pyrid Aerosol to combat roaches in your car. Spray the solution on the spots with nests of roaches and other openings you find in the car. After spraying Pyrid Aerosol, leave the car open between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

  1. Seal the Cracks

Sealing the cracks serve as a simple home remedy to get rid of roaches in your car. Look out for broken hoses and any channel connecting your vehicle components. Replace a broken gas cap to prevent roaches from wobbling into the engine apartment of the car.

How Do Roaches Enter the Car

First, understand that the presence of roaches in the car is your fault. Roaches do not nest in a car unless too little to no attention is given to the car. Simple actions such as not rolling up the glasses, leaving the doors open, and ignoring leakages attract roaches to the vehicle. As nocturnal insects, roaches would wait until its nighttime before they migrate and nest in your car.

how to get rid of roaches naturally

Moreover, if you are fond of snacking in the car, crumbs may fall off. After a week or months, these crumbs pile up into a bundle and make your car a grocery store for insects like roaches.

When you wake up another day, you may hastily enter the car, start the engine, and drive away. Because you do nothing to clean up the vehicle, roaches begin to feel at home. Guess what? Whenever you return and park your car, they move out to invite more friends for crumbs partying. The worse happens when roaches begin to breed rapidly in your car.

Where to Find Roaches in Your Car

Regarding how to get rid of roaches, you must know the places to find roaches in your car. To identify the particular nesting spots, you have to begin searching from under the hood. Park the car right under the sun and leave the hood open. Look out for droppings of roaches around the engine area and the radiator.

Proceed to the interior and begin by searching underneath the seats. If possible, remove the seats and be careful not to tear the fabrics. Inspect the back of the interior and look out for openings too.

The final place to search for roaches is in the trunk. If you have your spare tire in the trunk, you will have to remove it from the car and inspect it for roaches’ droppings.

Why You Shouldn’t Allow Roaches in Your Car

As earlier mentioned, roaches are too ferocious to live in your car. Below are some of the reasons why you should not allow bugs in your car.

Bad Ventilation

Roaches in the car mean bad ventilation and everyone in the car would feel uncomfortable. Moreover, people with weak stomachs will throw up easily. It is especially bad if you operate with ride-sharing apps; passengers would not find it pleasing.

Exposure to Infections

Cockroaches are disease carriers. Some of the diseases you are likely to contract from exposure to roaches in the car include the following:

  • Cholera
  • Leprosy
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Listeriosis
  • Typhoid fever
  • Dysentery
  • Salmonellosis, etc.


You should get rid of roaches in the car because the interior is no longer safe. Cockroaches will not spare eating up the fabrics and leathers that add beauty to the vehicle. Moreover, if roaches can access the glovebox, your vehicle documents become exposed to destruction.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Car Naturally

If you find insecticides to be irritating in the car, organic methods should be the alternatives to remove the roaches. Below are some organic home remedies to get rid of roaches in your car permanently.


Natural repellents are useful natural home remedies for removing roaches from the car. Some of the repellents include:

  • Neem
  • Garlic
  • Hedge apples
  • Lemon
  • Clove oil
  • Bay leaves
  • Cucumber
  • Mint

Make the organic repellents into liquids and sprinkle or place them in the car.

Diatomaceous Earth

An excellent organic way to remove roaches from the car is the use of diatomaceous earth. You have to sprinkle the powder on the spots you find the droppings of roaches. The powder kills insects with an exoskeleton and will also dehydrate the roaches to their deaths.


Borax or sodium borate will not be harmful when you use it as organic material to combat roaches in the car. Sprinkle the powder in the nesting spots and allow for some hours. When roaches wobble their way inside the powder, it will ingest and kill them.

Soapy Water

You may as well use soapy water to kill roaches in the car. When the detergent dissolves into the roaches, it clogs their pores and causes them to suffocate to death. You should apply directly to the nesting spot to increase the chances of killing enormous roaches.

Apple cedar vinegar

Apple cedar vinegar is acidic and can irritate the skin. Do not allow the solution to come in contact with the skin, or it will cause skin itching. You may dilute the vinegar with water before applying on sensitive parts of the car.

The above are the harmless and natural home remedies to get rid of roaches in your car. Make sure to remove the roaches before the roaches remove you naturally.

Things Not to Do While Removing Roaches from Car

Do Not Be Mask-less

It is advisable to use a nose guard or any alternative to cover your nose. It will filter the lousy ventilation and possible infections arising from nests of roaches in the car.

Avoid Bombing the Car

Never use bug bombs even if your car is aired out. The fume is poisonous and may affect you when you enter the vehicle. If your seats use fabric materials, you need to dry them before using the vehicle.

Do Not Abandon the Car to Heat

Leaving the car under the sun is effective for removing roaches from the car. However, it is not advisable to expose your car to the sun for too long.

How to Avoid Roaches Car Infestation

Clean the Car Thoroughly

Thoroughly cleaning the car is different from just wiping and washing. Consider giving your vehicle a thorough wash at least once a week.

Avoid Eating in the Car

It is usual for people to eat junk food in the car. Whenever you are done, endeavor to clean the chunks properly. When you ignore the junks on the carpet, you are doing roaches a favor. Eventually, they will become friendly with the car and decide to nest there.

Always Supervise Your Car

It is common that you just wake up in the morning, enter the car, and zoom off. You should consider cleaning the car early in the morning against leaving the house late.


Do You Need an Exterminator for Roaches in a Car?

You do not require roaches’ exterminator to remove roaches in your car. Consider the cost of hiring an exterminator and compare it with a simple DIY. If you are the kind that hates going close to roaches, hire an exterminator for the job.

What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Roaches in a Car?

Regarding how to remove roaches from car, the fastest way to do so is to keep the car clean. Purchase an insecticide with Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) and spray in the car. Regularly, use natural repellents like cucumber and garlic to keep the roaches off.

Can Roaches Live In Cars?

Yes, roaches can live in the car. If you are fond of eating in the car, you are making it more comfortable for them to survive. Roaches can also survive on the foods you leave open in the car. When you return to eat such foods, you become infected with diseases like leprosy and typhoid fever.

Can You Fumigate a Car?

Yes, you can disinfect the car. However, it costs more to fumigate a car. It is also advisable to fumigate your car after parking for long term. Fumigating the car is a principle ethic on how to get rid of roaches. Pay professionals to perform the task to keep your car roach-free.

Why Are There Roaches in My Car?

You parked in a roach-infested place and left the door open.

Why do roaches go in cars?

Roaches go into cars because they find what attracts them. If you do not have crumbs and chunks in the car, roaches will find survival tough. The case will be the reverse if you eat in the car often and litter it with chunks.

Can You Bug Bomb a Car for Roaches?

Yes, you can. But, a bug bombing a car produces a poisonous fume that is unhealthy to humans. Place the bug bomb in the middle of the car and another in the cargo room. Set off the bug bomb in the car and close all doors and windows. Make sure to lock the car so no one gets in for a while.

Final Thought

Removing roaches from the car is not all difficult. As in this article, it involves simple processes that rid cockroaches permanently. After removing the insects, always keep the vehicle clean.

The places you park the car matter. So, you would want to be mindful of the places you park your car overnight. Do not hesitate to clean your garage and remove any material that is not useful from the garage.


Bernard Juchli
Latest posts by Bernard Juchli (see all)
Written by
Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

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

Related Articles

How to Know if Dash Cam is Recording
Driver's Guide

How to Know if Dash Cam is Recording [10 Methods]

Last Updated on September 8, 2023 by Bernard Juchli A dash cam...

Do Dashcams Work When Car is Parked
Driver's Guide

Do Dashcams Work When Car is Parked?

Last Updated on September 8, 2023 by Bernard Juchli Do dashcams work...

Selling Car to Dealer Without Buying
Driver's Guide

Selling Car to Dealer Without Buying [What to Know]

Last Updated on September 8, 2023 by Bernard Juchli You can sell...

Can You Jumpstart a Car with a Bad Alternator
Driver's Guide

Can You Jumpstart a Car with a Bad Alternator?

Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Bernard Juchli Can you jumpstart...