How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Car Once and for All

Here, we discuss the types of ants that can infest your car, the ways you can get rid of them, and measures to take to prevent future infestation
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Last updatedLast updated: February 02, 2022
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Did you just sit in your car and feel something crawling all over you? This probably means that your car has been infested by some insect. Cars can often get infested by ants which can cause a nuisance for many people.

Ants can often find home in your car and then multiply in number. They can not only be annoying but can also be dangerous to your car in some cases. However, today we are going to help you get rid of this problem once and for all. With this article, you can learn how to get rid of ants in cars in different ways possible. So, let’s just dive right into it!

What Kind of Ants Infest Your Car, and Does It Matter?

Cars can often get infested with ants for many reasons. The most common reason for the infestation is usually when you park your car near anthills or any grassy area. Often, the foragers can reach your car and help the ants move in. An ant infestation can also happen when you place something in the car which already carried them. This can include things such as old food, rubbish and so on.

Before dealing with the infestation itself, it is important to see what kind of ant is infesting your car.

It can be important to know what you have to deal with so that it’s easier to get rid of them. For example, some ants can be resistant to pesticides while some can simply be taken care of by removing their source of food. Identifying the ant can help a lot with the removal. Here are some of the common kinds of ants that can infest your car:

  • Fire Ants: These are stinging ants that come with a three-part body. They can be recognized through their unique color.
  • Pharoah Trusted Source Pharaoh ant - Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus) The ant Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus) is commonly known as the Pharaoh ant. The name possibly arises from the mistaken idea that it was one of the plagues of ancient Egypt (Peacock et al. 1950). entnemdept.ufl.edu Ants: These ants are usually light brown or yellow.
  • Pavement Ants: These ants are usually black and brown. You can easily identify them as they often move in groups.
  • Thief Ants: These ants are mostly found near ant nests. You will often find them near food leftovers.
  • Carpenter Ants: These long-bodied ants can be found in different colors.

Once you have identified the type of ant that is infesting your car, you can begin the removal process.

Can Ants Damage Your Car?

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Car Once and for All

Finding ants in your car can be very damaging which is why you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. You might think of ants as being tiny or harmless, but that is not the case. Sugar ants, which are also known as common ants, might not damage your car as much. But they can cause severe discomfort when they crawl all over you, especially while you are driving.

Ants, such as fire ants Trusted Source Fire ant - Wikipedia Fire ants are several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis, which includes over 200 species. Solenopsis are stinging ants, and most of their common names reflect this, for example, ginger ants and tropical fire ants. en.wikipedia.org or the ponerine ants, are quite damaging to your car. These ants can nibble on the wires in the car, causing problems. This can even result in short-circuiting, which can be quite expensive to fix. Apart from this, the number of ants can grow very quickly which is why it is advised to keep that under control as soon as you find out that there has been an infestation. Ants can also often nest in cars which can cause damage to any internal insulation. Ants can even chew on your seats, causing the interior to get damaged. However, the good news is that you can easily prevent your car from such damage. Keep on reading to know how!

What You Should Do: Step-by-Step Instructions

If you find ants in your car, there are a few things that you can do to stop them. Here is a step-by-step guide to what you should be doing after an ant infestation in your car:

What You Will Need

When it comes to getting rid of ants in the car, you will mostly be needing cleaning supplies. Here is what you should have:

  • Car Vacuum: This will help you remove ants from any corner of the car
  • Surface Cleaner: You will be needing a surface cleaning to clean the surface of your car. This will help remove any food residue or sugary surface
  • Insecticide: This will help you kill any ant on contact. However, on its own, it is not recommended to solely rely on these for the removal. Insecticides can also result in toxic fumes inside your car
  • Ant Bait: This will help attract colonies of ants and then kill them altogether
  • Ant Fogger: This insect bomb can be placed in the car. It releases a chemical that reaches every part of the car and kills the ants. While this can be unhealthy for humans, it is also extremely effective. The only downside is that the fumes can remain in the car for a long time which is why you would need proper ventilation
  • Borax: Mix ⅓ cup of sugar with a tablespoon of water and borax. This will act as a natural insecticide. Soak a cotton ball in the borax mixture and then place it in your car. Ants will be killed after a few hours.
  • Cinnamon or Mint: Ants are repelled by the smell of cinnamon or mint which is why you need to place them in your car to get rid of them. The great thing about this is that this will also result in your car smelling great.
  • Vinegar: You can make a natural pesticide by mixing vinegar and water in equal amounts. Spray the mixture in your car to help get rid of the ants. Since vinegar can be quite acidic, make sure that you test out the mixture before spraying it all over the interior of your car.
  • Chalk: Outlining your car’s parking area with chalk will prevent any ant from walking inside.
  • Saline Solution: If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get rid of the ants in your car, then you can spray a mixture of salt and water to help get rid of the ants

Step 1: Move Your Vehicle

The first thing you should be doing is to move your vehicle, especially if it is being parked near an anthill. This will remove the source of the ants; however, you also need to vary the fact that ant pheromones can still result in the rest of them finding the path to the car. This is why you need to move the vehicle as far as possible.

Step 2: Clean from the Inside

Next, you need to clean your vehicle from the inside. For thorough cleaning, remove any kind of trash that is lying around. After removing all the trash, get a car vacuum and run it all over the car. Make sure that you get into every corner. This will help you remove any type of food particle that can attract ants. The vacuum can even suck in most of the ants. Always make sure that you are vacuuming under the seats as well. Take a cleaner and a cloth and clean all the surfaces, in case there has been any spilled drink that could attract the ants. To remove ants from the car mats, read up on how to get rid of ants on the carpet.

Finish this step by spraying ant insecticide inside your car. After spraying, make sure that your doors remain closed and no one sits in the harmful fumes. The Hot Shot insecticide can keep on killing ants for up to 6 weeks after spraying.

Step 3: Clean from the Outside

After a thorough cleaning of the inside, it’s time to move on to the cars’ exterior. We will start off by cleaning the wheels as it is the most common point of contact between a car and any source of ants. Make sure that you clean the wheel surface carefully. Apply an ant killer to make sure that you have covered every spot. Then, wash the car as you would normally. But make sure that you clean all points of contact with the ground carefully. Finish the car wash with any wax coating that can add an extra layer of protection for your car.

Step 4: Get Rid of Ants in Car Vents and Engine

This step is probably the simplest one. Since they can’t survive too much heat, the obvious way to get rid of ants in the engine of your car is to run it for some time and let the heat kill the ants in the engine compartment.

Step 5: Put in an Ant Bait

If deep cleaning your vehicle does not help get rid of the ants completely, then try putting in an ant bait. Ant baits come in gel-like material that smells mostly like food. The smell of the bait attracts the ants to it and then they are killed by it. The Raid Ant Killer bait can kill ants for up to three months. Ant baits are generally safe to use as they don’t have any harmful fumes that can be harmful to your kids or pets.  You can find some of the best pet-safe ant killers in our review as well.

Ant Infestation Reasons, and How to Prevent It in the Future

To prevent any ant infestation in the future, you need to first understand the reason behind it. If you have a habit of bringing in food or not removing the crumbs, then you need to stop eating inside your car. This can make a huge difference while helping you prevent any future infestation. Even if you have to bring in food in your car, make sure that you clean your car properly afterward. If you park your car near any anthill, then you need to change your parking location immediately. Moving your car will prevent any entry. Make sure that whenever you park your car, your windows and doors are properly closed.

Make a habit of cleaning your car regularly, because if not anything, this will surely prevent future infestations. Regular cleaning can help prevent ants from multiplying in number and therefore, protect your car. If you are having trouble cleaning in cold weather, then read up on how to get rid of ants in winter.

If you are still finding it hard to get rid of the ants or if you are finding it to be too troublesome, then you can always hit up your local pest control company. Google for the nearest pest control center and hit them up for professional services. It is always better to act on time than to ignore this problem alone.

Final Thoughts

Now that we have listed all the possible ways on how to get rid of ants in the car, you need to make sure that you follow all the right steps to put an end to this problem. Just follow our guide and get your car back to yourself. Always know that the main thing that you should be focusing on is cleanliness itself. If you make sure that your car remains clean, then you can get rid of the ants in no time.

We know that this problem can get very annoying, which is why we have come up with different solutions to make sure that at least one works for you. If the problem persists, you can always call for professional help. Good Luck!

References

1.
Pharaoh ant - Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus)
The ant Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus) is commonly known as the Pharaoh ant. The name possibly arises from the mistaken idea that it was one of the plagues of ancient Egypt (Peacock et al. 1950).
2.
Fire ant - Wikipedia
Fire ants are several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis, which includes over 200 species. Solenopsis are stinging ants, and most of their common names reflect this, for example, ginger ants and tropical fire ants.
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