Know How To Get Rid Of Ants In Car Fast In 6 Easy Ways!

how to get rid of ants in car

Let’s picture what must have happened. You step into your car headed for some work, and you see a colony of ants greeting you! That’s not all! From what you see, it seems like they have been there for quite some time now and quite conveniently have set up their home. Shocked?? Well, it’s all because you perhaps left a host of juicy food items in your car or maybe not cleaned it in a long time. As you scramble the search engine looking to know how to get rid of ants in car, your search ends here! 

This content will highlight the strategies to get rid of the ants in your car, give you a glimpse of the remedies you must not use, and show you a handful of ways to prevent ant infestation in your car. Here are the details – 

What are the signs of ant infestation? 

ant infestation in the car
Image Credit: Country Diaries

There are several hacks to get rid of ants in the car, but before getting into that, let’s check out the signs of an infestation in your car. The signs are – 

  • If you notice an army of ants either in the parking area, your car, or even a trail left behind – be assured of an infestation nearby (which, if not in your car, will soon reach there). 
  • In case you find ant mounds in your garbage area, your parking space, or any other area with which you have direct contact. 
  • Did you notice old ant wings as you dust your car? Then there’s a chance that your car has been infested. 

How to get rid of ants in car easily? 

With us as of now? Then you have already picked up the signs of an ant attack! So, how will you combat that? Here are the tricks for the same – 

1. Completely cleaning and vacuuming your car 

vaccuming the car to remove ants
Image Credit: Any Pest

The first step to deal with ant infestation in your car is to completely clean and vacuum the car. Start by emptying your car and giving it a good clean. Throw away the food crumbs, clean the juice spills, and vacuum the crevices and cracks of your car thoroughly. If there are specific wet areas, then either dry them up with a paper towel or a hair dryer. Ensure that there is no food source left in the car. 

2. Wash out the ant trails 

wash out ant trails
Image Credit: The Spruce

Do you know of the concept of pheromone trails? As per the tradition, the scout ants find the food, and the worker ants carry them back. Therefore, it so happens that the scout ants leave a trail behind, which the other ants follow (that is how they are led to your car). It’s time to wash out the trails – completely! 

To wash it out, you will need to blend white vinegar and warm water (50/50 format) and wash that ant-infested area with this solution. After that, just leave it to air-dry. 

3. Use an insecticide to spray the tires and entry points of the car 

wash your car tires to remove ants
Image Credit: Digit Insurance

You may already know that the ants get into your car by climbing up the tires. Hence, if you wish to figure out how to get rid of ants in car, by stopping their entry, you will have to use insecticides like concentrated Bifenthrin or any such noted chemicals. These chemicals affect the exoskeleton of the ants, thereby killing them. 

4. Diatomaceous earth is of great help 

diatomaceous earth to remove ant trails
Image Credit: Healthline

For the uninformed – diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic and natural product that helps kill ants. When it is spread over the ants, or even if they walk over the same, their exoskeletons (which is their protective cover) get damaged, and they die. Sprinkle this in the car and leave it for a day or two. 

After you have vacuumed the diatomaceous earth out of the car, you can sprinkle baby powder or even cinnamon powder to prevent those ants from coming back. 

5. Try out DIY sprays 

DIY spray to remove ant trails
Image Credit: Hello Nest

DIY sprays are of great help when it comes to removing ant swarms from the car. You may use – dish soap or orange oil to create such DIY solutions. For the record, there are degreasing agents in dishwashing soaps. They help to break down the ant’s exoskeleton, thereby reducing its survival rate. 

As far as – orange oil is concerned, it is packed with a concentrated version of D-limonene that is a known repellent. Therefore, you can prepare DIY solutions using these chemical components. 

6. Essential oils spray also removes the ant swarms 

essential oils spray to remove ants from car
Image Credit: Martha Stewart

Wondering how to get rid of ants in car with essential oil? Let’s brief that out for you – 

You do know about the range of benefits that essential oils have – from its support in your hair growth to its benefits for the skin. In this case, however, it exhibits its qualities a bit differently. The aroma of essential oils interferes with the receptors of the ants and blocks them. Hence, the ants cannot smell the pheromone trail left behind, or even in some instances, they are entirely left confused. Also, you can spray the essential oils on them directly, which would kill them off! 

The essential oils used in this case are – peppermint oil, lemon oil, tea tree oil, and clove oil. You do not need to blend it with a carrier oil for this. Rather, take a cup of boiling water (250 ml) and put 5-7 drops of the essential oil in it. Shake it well, and spray on the infested areas, as well as the surroundings, to prevent future infestations. 

Which techniques must you avoid? 

ant bait for killing ants in the car
Image Credit: The New York Times

If you have read the above-mentioned hacks, then be assured that trying any of them or even a couple of them in succession will result in your car being out of the ‘ant-zone.’ But there’s one trick that many would suggest, and supposedly works really well – but it is better to avoid. Using ant traps! 

Ant traps or baits, in most cases, are sugary treats that are placed to lure the ants.

Though more than often, it works well, and you can get rid of the infestation at a go – at times, it backfires. In fact, it lures more ants into the car than you can handle and exacerbates the situation. So, in your to-do list of how to get rid of ants in car it’s best to avoid this format. 

How to prevent future infestation? 

clean your car to prevent ant infestation
Image Credit: Digit Insurance

As they always say, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, it is better to note down how you can prevent ant infestation in your car in the future. Here are the ways – 

Note 1: Keep your car clean. Whether it is the food crumbs or the coke spills – keep them far away from your car. 

Note 2: You could also park your car under the sun, specifically in a place that is far from garbage dumps or ant attack zones (in the dark or near previously infested places). 

Note 3: Make use of your car’s heater since it helps in reducing the infestation. Apart from that, vacuum it thoroughly once in 6 months to keep it clean of pests. 


Assuming you have been reading this article, you have a fair idea about how to get rid of ants in car and which techniques not to apply. As an aware individual, you must pick those that suit your demands and requirements. That said, cleanliness is the key to success, and it is best to get your car cleaned and checked twice a year. Did you like this know-how guide? Then, stay tuned to this website for more! Scroll down for a quick fact-check! 


1. How can an ant infestation damage your car? 

For the unversed, if your car has an ant infestation and you do not treat the same at the earliest – then the red imported fire ants and carpenter ants (they are the hardier members of the family) can chew through the wires and disrupt the foam settings of the car. This, if not checked well in time, can lead to a short circuit in the car.

2. Which types of ants can infest your car? 

It is mostly common ants that you will find in your car. Apart from that, pavement ants, red imported fire ants, pharaoh ants, and Argentine ants are the most common ones that are found infesting your car. 

3. How long can ants live in a car? 

For the record, ants have a comparatively long life. Since male ants only reproduce, they have a lifespan of a couple of days to a maximum of 2-3 weeks. As far as worker ants are concerned, they live up to 4-5 months, while the Queen ants could live up to 30 years. But they might leave that place if they do not get the required food and water. 

4. Will ants go away on its own? 

Technically speaking, ants showed up in your car because of food. If they do not find food or any drink in the future, they might go away on their own. However, they will leave a trail behind. Hence, rather than waiting, cleaning the car is better. 


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