Cars riddled with food and crumbs are not just unpleasant to sit in. Food in your car exposes it to ant infestation. Do you often find ants in your car? You can get rid of ants in a car using this cleaning method.
- Remove food and trash from the car.
- Thoroughly vacuum crumbs.
- Look for a nest.
- Set ant traps.
- Clean the interior with a homemade solution.
There is no one right way to get rid of ants in a car. If you are lucky enough, vacuuming and cleaning the interior will be enough. However, if that doesn’t do it, you will need to try some more extreme measures.
I’ll explain each cleaning method step-by-step. You can try and see what works for you. If you can’t be bothered with this, I recommend just going to a car detailing place and letting them take care of it.
Why Are There Ants In My Car
For some car owners, the answer to this question is obvious. The amount of leftover food is all they need to see. That isn’t always the case though. You can keep your car clean all the time, leave food once there, and get ants.
Ants are attracted to food. If you park your car in a spot where there are ants nearby, chances are the ants will be attracted to your car.
You may be thinking: My friend always has food in their car, why they don’t get ants? Well, food isn’t the only condition for ants infestation. The thing is if there are no ants in your parking spot, you won’t get ants in your car.
Ants also mark the path they take for other ants. So, even one ant in your car is something to worry about. Most people ignore the sight of an ant and later regret it. If you don’t clean your car as soon as you see an ant, more ants will come.
Can Ants Damage A Car
At first, it may look like that are ants are just nasty and a nuisance. But ants can cause some damage to your car. More so, they are a driving hazard. If they get on your hands while you are driving they will distract you.
Not all ants are harmful to cars. It depends on the species. Red ants and fire ants can eat through materials. They may eat through wires. This will mess with the electrical system. Furthermore, they can eat through wood and foam parts of the interior.
You can’t really know what the ants can do to your car and where they will form tunnels and nests. That’s why the safest choice is to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Getting Rid Of Ants In A Car
I already mentioned that there’s no one right way to do this. You can try several cleaning methods and see what works for you.
Remove Food And Trash
The first thing you need to do is remove all the leftover food in your car. Be thorough here. Check under the seats, basically, check every nook and cranny. Wrappers can also attract ants. The leftover residue on the wrappers is a food source for the ants.
There must be no food and trash when you clean your car. If you clean everything and you leave a single wrapper, the ants will come back.
Vacuum The Entire Car
Once you remove the trash, there will be crumbs left throughout the car. Even if you think you are not a messy eater, you have crumbs in your car for sure. All you have to do is just vacuum the car thoroughly.
It’s best if you use a vacuum with high suction power here. If the vacuum is not strong enough, those little crumbs stuck in the mats and the floor will not be picked up. And ants will come for those crumbs.
If you can’t get your hands on a vacuum, go to a self-service car wash. Those places usually have really powerful vacuum cleaners.
Look For Nests
Here’s where you will find out how bad the infestation is. If you are lucky enough, there won’t be any nests in your car. However, if the infestation persists long enough, there will be a nest in your car.
Check every nook and cranny for nests. Remove the seats if you can, check the trunk, and check the wheels. If you want to be sure that there are no nests, use ant traps. We will talk about traps in a minute.
If you find any nests, destroy them using ants spray or a mixture of Dawn Dish soap, water, and salt.
Clean The Interior
The vacuum cleaner will get rid of the crumbs but it won’t get rid of sticky and gooey stuff. Ants are attracted to this as well. That’s why you need to clean the interior with dedicated cleaning solutions.
- Remove the mats and clean them separately. Car meats cleaning guide.
- Clean the dashboard with a dedicated cleaner. Dashboard cleaning guide.
- Clean the seats. This guide can help you.
- Clean the floor. Here’s how you can clean the carpets.
By doing this, you are making sure there is nothing your car that ants can feed on. Consider taking your car for a full detailing if it’s too dirty.
[Related Article: 11 Clever Tips To Wash And Polish My Car Interior Fully]
Use Ant Traps & Ant Killer
Now, if the infestation is really bad, everything you tried so far may be unsuccessful. If so, you will have to be an exterminator. Ants can get in places that you can’t reach. So, no matter how much you clean the car, the ants will still live.
Instead of cleaning the interior, you can try setting up traps to draw out the ants and then killing them. This is relatively simple, you will need ant traps and an ant killer spray.
Set up multiple ant traps, and wait for the ants to come out. When they come out, spray them with the ant killer.
Wash The Exterior
To finish up, clean the exterior as well. You will find ants under your hood and around the wheels. The car wash soap and the water will drown and wash away the ants. Any reachable nests will be destroyed.
Call Pest Control For Help
Some car owners don’t really have the time or the energy to do all this. Also, seeing ants in your car after trying all this can be quite exhausting. To save yourself the trouble, you can call a professional to solve the problem for you.
Just call a pest control service, ask how much they charge, if it’s acceptable, let them eliminate the infestation.
How To Prevent Ants From Coming Back
- Keep your car clean.
- Avoid eating in your car.
- Change your parking spot.
Sometimes, parking your car in another spot helps. If there are no ants nearby the parking spot, you won’t get ants in your car.
- Remove ant nests near your garage and yard.
Related Questions And Other FAQs
Can Ants Survive In A Hot Car
It depends on the species but most ants can survive hot temperatures. Even if the ants can’t survive hot temperatures, they will just get out of the car and come back once it’s cool enough. Don’t try to remove ants by leaving the car out in the sun.
What Can I Spray For Ants
There are several homemade and store-bought solutions that you can spray on ants. A mixture of Dawn Dish soap, water, and salt in a spray bottle works. Mixing vinegar and water also can kill ants. Ant killer spray is the most efficient.