Dealing with a cockroach infestation at home is already a huge headache as it is. You have to worry about the health consequences of any potential bacteria and viruses they carry around in their feces. You also have to create a game plan for killing them. Plus, they’re super creepy, too!
But nothing is worse than discovering a live cockroach while you’re driving in your car. Not only is it startling and can cause a road accident for you and your passengers, but you’ll also be stuck with this frightening insect in such a small space.
Dealing with a roach getting into your car can be stressful. There are tons of nooks and crannies in a car where they can hide for longer, like in your glove compartment, trunk, or engine. Today, we’ll talk about how to handle this sticky situation and get rid of that pesky roach in your car for good.
How Do Cockroaches Get Into Your Car?
1. You left your windows or doors open
If you leave your car window or door open, even just for a few seconds, a roach or two might slip into your car without you realizing. If you leave behind some food crumbs, wrappers, or empty soda cans in your car, a roach might be attracted to the area and seize the opportunity to get inside.
Try not to leave your car doors and windows open, especially if you’re in an area where you know there might be roaches nearby.
2. They got in through small spaces and vents
Cars have plenty of crevices and crannies where cockroaches can easily crawl in. If your home has a roach infestation, some of them might find your car in the garage and get into the vehicle through your air conditioning vents, wheels, engine, and other small and tight spaces.
3. You parked near a roach-infested area
Parking next to trash bins or places that are dark and damp can also be risky. Parking near dirt paths also increases the risk of seeing a roach in your car. Roaches love staying in places like these. If they see an opportunity to enter a car for food or shelter while no one’s inside, they’ll do it.
4. You or your pet accidentally carried them in
There’s also a small chance that you or your beloved pet accidentally brought cockroaches or their eggs into your car. Perhaps there was a roach or a few eggs on your shoe or your dog’s paw.
As soon as you and your pet enter your car and put your feet on the floor mats, you might have brought the cockroach to its new home.
This can also happen with infested clothing that you wear when you get into your car. Loading big boxes of items into your car can also bring a roach inside if the boxes have roaches and you weren’t aware of it.
What to Do When You Discover a Roach in Your Car
When you discover that there’s a cockroach in your car, your kneejerk reaction might be to scream and hit the brakes. But you need to do your best to stay calm and address the situation without freaking out. Otherwise, you could get into an accident on the road.
Here’s exactly what to do when you realize there’s a cockroach in your car while you’re driving it:
- Don’t panic. Look for the nearest place you can stop and safely pull over. You can do this in a nearby parking lot or gas station. Keep your eyes on the road until you are in a safe spot without other cars nearby.
- Get out of the car and leave the windows and doors open. This gives the cockroach a chance to leave your car unscathed.
- If you see the cockroach, you can try to swat it with an insect swatter or a rolled-up magazine. Guide the roach outside the car to make sure it gets out. If you keep a portable vacuum cleaner in your car, you can use that to scoop up the roach and release it outside. Don’t attack the roach with bug bombs or insecticide sprays. Remember, you’re going to go back into the car and stay in that enclosed space for a while, too. Insecticides can be toxic when inhaled and can result in coughing, difficulty breathing, and even heart problems.
- When the cockroach is finally out, get back into the car and continue driving. Exercise caution, as you never know whether there’s still another one of these pests hiding somewhere in your car.
- When you get to your destination, do a quick inspection of your car to see if there are any other roaches inside. Clean up your car to ensure there aren’t any leftover food debris and garbage inside it. If you see any cockroach droppings, clean it up immediately.
How to Keep Roaches Away from Your Car Moving Forward
Just because you got the roach out of your car, it doesn’t mean you’re completely safe moving forward. There’s a reason the cockroach was attracted to your vehicle to begin with. You need to ensure it doesn’t happen again with these preventive measures:
1. Always keep your car clean
Cockroaches love to linger in places with lots of garbage and food sources. If you have a messy car with tons of food debris, trash, and clutter, a roach will happily make it one of its new favorite hiding places.
Regularly clean your car interior and throw out all the trash and leftover food in every crevice and cranny of your car. Vacuum your seats and floor mats to get rid of crumbs and clean up spills from drinks right away.
Consider making a no-eating-in-the-car rule. Make it a habit to dispose of your trash every time you get out of your car.
2. Park in clean, well-lit areas
You’ll also want to avoid parking your car in dark, damp, dirty areas, like right beside trash bins in a tiny, unclean alleyway. Instead, look for well-lit spaces under the sun. This keeps roaches away since they hate the heat and love being in cool places.
3. Use roach traps to catch them
If you are seeing roaches again and again in your car, you might have a minor infestation. You can use roach traps to catch and kill these roaches. There are plenty of roach traps and bait stations designed specifically for cars.
Place your traps and baits strategically in your car. Make sure they won’t fall over while you drive. To be most effective, position them near the areas cockroaches might frequent, like under the seats, inside the trunk, and in your glove compartment.
Check on the traps and baits regularly to see if you’ve captured any cockroaches. If you have, clean it out and replace it immediately to see if you can catch more.
You can also make your own roach traps at home with a few materials you likely already have in your kitchen cupboard. Here’s a DIY tutorial on how to make one from scratch:
Not a fan of roach traps? You can also use other substances to try and kill the roaches in your car, like boric acid, diatomaceous earth, an insect growth regulator (IGR), and more.
4. Make sure your car is well-maintained
Stay up to date with your car’s maintenance to ensure there aren’t any leaks in your car that could attract roaches. Cockroaches love moisture, so if you have a leaky car, they may try to go near it and enter the vehicle.
You should also ensure that there aren’t any cracks and open gaps in your car’s exterior and interior. Seal all the potential entry points the roaches might come in through. If you have damaged window and door seals, you’ll want to have them repaired or replaced immediately.
5. Deter the roaches with strong smells
To keep cockroaches away for good, repel them with strong smells. You can experiment with diffusing citrus or peppermint oil in your car, or maybe leave a few bay leaves in the glove compartment. These overpowering odors are sure to deter roaches from staying in your vehicle.
Finding out that a cockroach has gotten into your car can spell disaster for you. You risk freaking out if you see it while driving, which puts your road safety at risk. And even after it hides in your car’s small spaces again, you’ll still be anxious about it popping back up to startle you.
So, as soon as you realize that a roach has gotten into your car or truck, it’s important to spring into action right away. If you’re driving, do your best to stay calm until you can pull over and open all your windows or doors to let the roach out.
After this incident, keep roaches and bugs out of your car for good by keeping it clean and well-maintained. Avoid leaving food scraps and trash in the car and always park in well-lit areas away from garbage cans. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a roach while you’re driving again.