How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Car: 5 Ways Guaranteed to Kill Ants in Cars

For the sake of yourself and all the drivers on the road, it’s imperative you learn how to get rid of ants in your car. Stat.

Outside of an actual ant farm, there aren’t too many places where you want to find ants. If they are out in your yard, you may be willing to settle for an uneasy truce.

But once ants start to come inside your home, the deal is off. You’re going to want to get those ants out of your living space as quickly as possible.

But a home isn’t the only place an army of ants can quickly invade. It may never have occurred to you before, but it is possible to start finding ants inside your car.

The Dangers of Having Ants in Cars

Upon finding ants in your car, your initial sense of surprise at the insect’s ingenuity will quickly turn to revulsion and hatred. After all, the last thing you need on a long drive is to feel the itchy sensation of ants crawling all over you.

Worse, some ants can even cause damage to your car. The relays and wiring of your car can be attractive to ants, and by climbing inside these areas, the ants could cause a short circuit.

It’s not like the ants are trying to damage your car. But when you see a mechanic’s bill for fixing a short-circuit in your car’s electronics caused by insects, it won’t be very much consolation to you to know that.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Car

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to reclaim your vehicle. Here’s how to get rid of ants in your car – and what you definitely want to avoid.

Vacuum the crumbs

Yup, the first thing to do to get rid of ants in the car is to remove their primary motivation for moving in in the first place: food.

And that means, vacuuming to remove clutter and food scraps.

Ants are one of the most diverse species on earth, so it can be hard to make generalizations that apply to all of them. But in general, ants won’t go anywhere that doesn’t have something to offer them. They’re selfish like that.

So if you are seeing ants in your car, and it’s more than one single ant that just got lost and found its way inside somehow, there’s a reason for that.

Cars are fairly inhospitable places for insects. Metal and plastic make poor nesting material for ants, so it’s very unlikely that ants will actually build a nest inside your car. It’s much more likely that they have found a food source in your car and told their clan about it, with the result that your ride has become a buffet for insects.

The best way to prevent this is also one of the cheapest. Clean your car. Remove all clutter, paying particular attention to food wrappers or drink containers. Most ants have a real sweet tooth, and even a few drops of soda residue in the bottom of an otherwise empty can will attract them.

So get rid of all that fast food debris. After all, it’s a good excuse to do something you probably have been meaning to do anyway.

Once you’ve removed all the garbage from your car, vacuum thoroughly. You can use your home vacuum, but you may find the job gets done more quickly and more thoroughly by using the high-powered vacuum at your local gas station.

Either way, make sure you get into every nook and cranny of the car that you can reach. Part of what makes cars difficult to treat for ants is that there are so many places where food can end up. Check under seats and in the trunk. It’s very easy for fragments of food to slip down between car seat cushions and end up hidden from view.

Often, removing the food source is enough to persuade the ants to leave your car alone. But if you have a persistent problem, you may want to look into some more aggressive treatments.

Use Ant Bait for Cars

Most likely, the ants come into your car to eat. So why not give them something to feast on? Only this won’t be a delicious neglected half bagel or the remnants of an air-dried big Mac.

No, we’re talking about poison here, folks.

The principle behind ant bait stations is simple. By combining a food source that is attractive to ants with a slow-acting poison, ant bait stations ensure that the ants will bring the poison back to the nest and feed it to the Queen and the young ants that are developing in the colony. In this way, the whole colony can be significantly reduced or even eliminated.

Be aware, though, that bait stations aren’t intended to trap ants. Instead, the idea is to let the ants find them and report back to the extended family, who will then come and feed on the bait themselves.

This can take time. Bait stations aren’t designed to work fast, but they can be very effective at getting rid of ants long-term.

Go for Natural Ant Killers

The active ingredient in ant bait stations is generally harmless to anything other than ants. However, you may not feel comfortable with the idea of using chemical pesticides of any kind, especially if you have children that are often in the car.

In that case, there are a couple of more natural ant killer options you can try. Like what, you ask?

Boric Acid

Boric acid has been around for ages as a household cleaner. But it’s also an effective ant poison.

You can dust this powder over the carpets of your car, and anywhere the ants will come into contact with it. When the ants clean themselves, they will ingest some of the boric acid and become poisoned by it.

Diatomaceous Earth

Another natural ant killer is diatomaceous earth. This dust acts as a physical barrier that lacerates the ant’s exoskeleton and causes them to dehydrate.

Just as with boric acid, you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth throughout your car. It’s harmless to people and pets, but it will kill any ants that walk across it.

Check your parking spot

The ants had to get into your car somehow, right? Take a look at the space where you usually park your car. Is there an ant nest nearby? Is it close to trees? If possible, consider parking your car somewhere else, where the ants can’t find it.

If that’s not an option, you could treat your parking space with some ant killer granules like these. These granules are weather resistant, and create a barrier around your vehicle that will kill ants that try to cross it.

They are easy to use and provide long-lasting residual control that can get you through the summer with an ant-free car.

Secure entry points

Unlike a house, a car has limited points of contact with the ground. If ants are getting inside your car, it’s highly likely that they got there by climbing up the wheels.

So treating the wheels with an ant killer like this one is a very effective way to keep insects out of your vehicle.

Not only will this treatment kill any ants across it, but it will also eradicate the trails ants use to follow one another to a food source, so that they will have a much harder time finding their way into your car. Think of it like a cloaking device.

What About an Ant Bomb for Car Use?

Once you see ants crawling around inside your car, the temptation is to go straight to the nuclear option. Bug bombs are devices that release pesticide in airborne clouds to quickly fill an area with a contact poison.

Since cars are basically small contained areas on wheels, you might be tempted to try an ant bomb to get rid of the ants in your car.

But it’s not a good idea. While bug bombs can be effective at killing any ants that the poison comes into contact with, more ants will soon move in to take their place, especially if you haven’t solved the issue of food and entry.

Besides, because cars are such enclosed environments, any pesticide used can linger long after the treatment is over. Chemicals can bind to the fabric of your car’s upholstery and continue to be active for weeks.

Do you really want to be driving in your car with the windows up while residual pesticide is in the air? It’s not a good idea. Especially when there are better options available.

If you’re unlucky enough to find ants in your car, your first reaction may be surprise. But don’t worry. While ants can be tough to get rid of, with the steps above, you’ll be driving ant free again in no time!

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