Ants are very common insects, known for their persistence and hard work. They are fascinating creatures, and you find yourself interested when you come across them. This interest can surely die down when you realize they have made a home from your car.

Ants can cause a lot of destruction over time, and it can be not very pleasant when they take up ample space in your vehicle. Ants will always split into groups to make a new nest nearby, and the primary thing that draws their attention is food. So, you likely have food crumbs all over your car, and it needs to be attended to immediately.

Nobody wants to have ants crawling up their hands or legs when driving; it is essential to get rid of an ant infestation in your car. Once you realize that there are ants in your car, the next step is to determine the specific ant species. This will help you to deal with the problem appropriately. Keep reading for more information on how to get rid of ants in a car.

Best Way to Get Rid of Ants in Car

Park your Car Properly

Where you park your car is an important factor to consider when getting rid of an ant infestation. This is the first step to put into action because once you get rid of the ants in your car, they will come back again if your car is parked next to a tree or an anthill. This will become a never-ending cycle for you if not treated appropriately.

Clean and Vacuum your Car’s Interior

A car owner should make sure that their car is clean. The first thing to do is to get rid of all the dirt and trash (wrappers) in your vehicle, as these things can attract ants. The second you notice a trail of ants in your car that does not seem to be going away, you should immediately clean your vehicle.

Ants are tiny creatures, so focus on the small spaces in your vehicle, such as the air vents and in between the seat gaps. If you are the type who loves to eat in your car, keep in mind that ants are attracted to food and sweet things. The best way to get rid of food crumbs in your car is by vacuuming thoroughly. Once you are done, use a cleaning rag to wipe the seats and other parts of the interior.

BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum
Images courtesy of BLACK + DECKER

Use Ant Traps or Killing Spray

Another method you can try to get rid of these pests is by setting ant traps, using ant bait, or applying an ant-killing spray. You should do this after you clean your car as an additional measure if you find out you have not gotten rid of them completely.

Ant baits serve as a long-term measure of getting rid of the ants in your car. Set up poisoned food for the ants in your car to take back to their colony; they will feed their queen with it and eventually kill the nest. You can also set ant traps under the seats or wherever they are likely to be to capture them.

Lastly, the ant killing spray works well when you see the ants passing through in your car. Once you spray them, they will die within seconds. If you are lucky, you might kill all the ants in your car at once.

Images courtesy of SCJohnson

Try Using Essential Oils

An essential oil spray is an effective way to get rid of ants in your car; it is similar to orange oil as they work in the same manner. This oil spray serves as an ant repellant because it has an intense, heavily concentrated aroma, affecting the ants’ scent receptors.

When you apply this oil in your vehicle, you mess with the ants’ scent receptors, and they can no longer pick up the pheromone trails left by other ants. So, they leave your car to somewhere else in search of food.

You can either purchase an essential oil ant spray or choose to make your own. You need hot water, lemon oil, dish detergent, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. When your oil is ready, pour it into a spray bottle and spray directly onto the ants or in different areas of your car for effective results.

Images courtesy of Chelsea Gates

Clean your Car’s Exterior

Ants can also hide in the exterior parts of your car, such as the engine area and under the hood, so you should not overlook these parts. Your tires connect your vehicle to the pavement, and it is through them that the ants gain access to your, so they need to be cleaned.

Ensure to wash every nook and cranny of your car’s exterior as ants are tiny and could be hiding anywhere. You can choose to do this yourself or hire a professional. Please pay more attention to your tires and wheels; treat them chemically to prevent ants from gaining access to them because washing them alone will not give the desired results.

Images courtesy of Luca Nicoletti

Best Ways to Prevent Ants from Entering your Car

It has been established that the primary reason why your car will attract ants to the vehicle is because of food particles and trash. The best way to prevent these pests from infesting your vehicle is to stop eating in your car.

If that is not something you can handle, try your best to take out the garbage in your car at the end of every day. This includes food wrappers, papers, and all other kinds of debris. You should also make sure to clean your car at least every week.

Set a day aside every week to clean the interior and exterior of your car thoroughly. If you are too busy, you can pay to get it done by a professional. Use a vacuum to get rid of food crumbs and debris that attract ants.

Images courtesy of Oliur


An ant infestation in your car will eventually become a nuisance over time, no matter how much you try to ignore them. They can be a huge distraction and could end up damaging your seats. Luckily, the methods written above are excellent ways to get rid of them.

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Pavlo Prannyk
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