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How to Get Rid of Ants in Car in 5 Simple Steps

Ants seem to find their way to almost anywhere in the house, even your car. Wherever there’s a sweet-smelling food or actually, any food at all, there are ants. And though these ants do not necessarily bother you per se, they can get pretty annoying crawling all over your legs or arms.

how to get rid of ants in car

As for your car, they are not necessarily the worst pest you can experience. However, when they get to your engine (a lot of them), they might cause minor problems to your car’s performance. If they get to your oil pump, they might cause blockages and all. They might even nibble on your wirings (these nibbles can get worst if they’re termites).

Before these ants evolve and become bigger, you must terminate them. Today, we will be teaching you simple ways on how to get rid of ants in car. We also included possible causes and worst case scenario effects of ants staying in your vehicle.

Why are there ants in my car?

Just as we said earlier, ants go wherever there is food. You might wonder why ants keep flocking to your car even when you’ve vacuumed the car seats. Ants also tend to swarm in your car even after cleaning it well. But then, even the slightest crumbles, stains or smudges can attract them.

But if you are already running out of ideas as to how or why ants are present in your car, here are possible reasons:

There are no foods. It might just be accidental

You might’ve accidentally parked on an ant hill or under a tree with a lot of ants. Those ants can just leave your car without having to do anything drastic. Ants take this kind of opportunities to search for food. And if they don’t find any, they will leave. Inevitably.

parked under trees

Leftover food crumbles, drink fizzes and the like

Be careful not to leave your lunch sandwich unattended in your car. Leave it there for even just a few hours, and you might already see a hill of ants swarming all over that sandwich. Also note that if this keeps happening, ants might see your car as a permanent source of food.

leftover food

Even traces of groceries at the back seat of your car or compartment might be seen as possible sources of food for ants. Lesson: Be careful. Be food conscious.

What else can they do to harm me or my car?

Aside from crawling all over your arms, face or legs, they can bite you while you are driving. This might be an overstatement, but do note that large ants’ or red ants’ bites are painful. Painful enough to distract you from your driving. And this can cause potential accidents.

Another effect is again, your car’s engine, wirings and all. There are a lot of these cases. As little as they are, an army of ants can cause some auto-electrical damages. They do not necessarily have to be huge. These are not termites or red ants we’re talking about. Just an army of your common garden ants.

electricity wire

Ants particularly like your relays, wiring insulation and components. Though these damages are not the irreparable kind, they can get pretty costly. Auto electrical repair work or replacements are expensive.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Ant pesticide – This is the most important item that you’ll need. Buy one that comes with a nozzle or a sprayer. You’ll be applying this to your tires which will be further explained later.
  • Ant traps – Similar to the pesticide, it’s an effective way to kill ants. The catch here is it’s odorless, and it lets the ants come to their poison. This is great to use for the interior of your car.
  • Vacuum cleaner – The good old vacuum cleaner would be nifty to use when cleaning your car’s upholstery.

5 Simple Steps

Step #1: Remove crumbs and food scraps

If you like to ordering takeouts or going through drive throughs, then you might have a habit of keeping cups of sodas or boxes of donuts in your car. Even burger wrappers and paper bags can be a culprit for ants. It doesn’t take a genius to know that wherever there’s food, there will be ants.

If you’re familiar with the Pimp My Ride show, the first step that the technicians do there is to remove all of the trash in the car. That’s something that you ought to do too. It’s dirty stuff, but this step is by far the most important.

trash in your car

You can spray a lot of insecticide or whatever (which we will be discussing in a while), but if you don’t keep your car and its upholstery clean, then ants and other insects will just keep on coming.

The passenger seat is, and the cup holders near the driver’s seat are the common areas that have trash. However, be sure to check under the seat as well. Remove the rags and inspect if any candy wrappers are hiding beneath it.

If you like to invite a lot of people for a ride in your car, there’s a chance that there are candy wrappers and bubble gum remnants stuck in the backseat’s edges and cracks. Double check it if there are any. Also, check the small trash bin of your car if it has any.

Step #2: Use of a Vacuum Cleaner

use of a Vacuum Cleaner

After you’ve done the picking and throwing, it’s time to use a little technology to help you out.

There might have crumbs in your car. Be it bread crumbs or small shards of candy; there could be a lot of remnants in your vehicle. Typically, this will be hard to clean without a vacuum cleaner.

You want to target the seats and mats with the vacuum. Moreover, try to run it around your dashboard as well. However, the most important area to target is the under seat as usual. This is because it’s one of the areas in your car that’s hard to reach.

Step #3: Treat Your Tires

Unless somebody released a box full of ants, tires are the only pathway where ants can enter in your car. This is because the tires are the only part that is in direct contact with the ground. Ants aren’t innovative creatures to go to your cars by other means, so your tires are their only option.

With that said, this makes your battle with these little pests easier. If there’s no backdoor to go through, the best way to take them out is to kill them at their front door.

Using a chemical pesticide is the best way to go. Since you won’t smell it inside, it’s safe and advisable to use the strongest pesticide you know.

Make sure your pesticide has a nozzle or a sprayer. This gives you maximum control of where you’re applying. Also, target the tires and the mags. There could already be hidden ants inside your wheel. However, try to avoid the break pads in your wheel. Just apply it on the edges of your wheel.

Step #4: Lay out ant bombs

Spraying pesticide inside your car is unwise. It can give off a bad smell that can be there for days. Hence, it’s more efficient to lay out ant bombs or ant traps to adequately secure your car from these pesky critters.

There are a ton of cheap products out there that you can try. This linked product above is just one of the many famous brands that you can buy. When laying it out, be sure to place them on your car’s flooring since it’s commonly where ants are.

Put them under the seats and inside the compartments of your doors. If there are ants in your trunk, then set the ant traps there as well. Ants will be attracted to this and will eat this poison that will effectively end their life.

Step #5: Change parking locations (optional)

change parking location

Going back to what we previously said, ants can only come from outside your car. Hence, your parking lot might be infested with ants. If you’re parking beside a sidewalk, there could be ants coming from canals.

It’s even ideal if your car is near the trees or bushes. If you have an option to park elsewhere, then better do so.

To Sum It Up

Maintaining your car’s engine, interiors and exteriors is not enough. An all out full tender loving care is what will keep your vehicle in top shape and best performance. It’s also imperative that you clean it (or get it cleaned) now and then. Especially the car seats.

If you like eating inside the car or bringing food with you, then beware of the crumbles, stains and all. You might not see them, or you might feel that you’ve already cleaned enough, but check again. It might also help to know what kind of ants you are dealing with.

You can never “over clean” a car interior. The effect of car ants in your daily routine is not simply limited to just biting you or crawling all over you. It’s important that you fight them off before they do something even worse than bite your arm.

Always remember, prevention is better than cure!