During the winter bugs are looking for any possible shelter they can find, and your vehicle could be the perfect spot. The warm engine could attract them, and vehicles that rarely get driven are an even better home base for overwintering pests. Bed bugs, ants, roaches, spiders – just about any insect can get through cracks and cause a major infestation inside a car.
No one wants to ride around in a bug mobile, including our pest control technicians. They’re always on the lookout for hitchhiker insects since they’re around bugs all day long. Here are the steps our technicians take to get rid of vehicle pests.
Step #1 – Give the Vehicle a Good Once Over
You need to first identify the type of pest you’re dealing with, where they’re located and the extent of the infestation. Also take a look around the spots where you regularly park at home and work. There’s a good chance you may find an even bigger issue in close proximity to where you park.
Step #2 – Take a Spin Through the Car Wash
Sometimes bugs are hiding on the exterior as well in the fender, bumper, wheel wells, etc. Taking a spin through a high-powered car wash will blast the bugs right off.
Step #3 – Vacuum Every Nook and Cranny
A simple and effective method for removing the bulk of the bugs is vacuuming. This is particularly true if the vehicle has cloth upholstery. In addition to getting rid of the insects themselves, vacuuming will also clean up food crumbs that could attract bugs. If bedbugs are the problem it’s also a good idea to steam clean the upholstery and flooring.
Step #4 – Use an Insecticide or Traps
Once the majority of the insects are gone it’s time to get the bugs that are still hiding out in your car. Often this requires the use of an insecticide or trap. Five of the most common options include:
Bait Traps: These can be placed around the vehicle to lure insects in and expose them to insecticide. It’s a good solution if ants or roaches are the problem.
Sticky Traps: Another option (that could get messy) is to strategically place sticky traps around the vehicle. This is usually recommended if the car is going to be parked for a few days.
Diatomaceous Earth: This powdery mineral is effective at killing many types of insects. It’s safe for humans and pets so there shouldn’t be a concern to use it in your vehicle. Sprinkle it around the car, then after a few days vacuum the car out again.
Insecticide Strips: Instead of using a messy spray, you can find insecticide strips at home improvement stores. In the small confines of a car, insecticide strips are a good alternative since they can be placed in the car overnight to kill pests while you sleep. The insecticide will disperse from the strip over several hours.
Fumigation: The same fumigation techniques that are used in homes can be used for cars as well. A pest control company will put a fumigation treatment in the vehicle, seal it up and cover the car with a tarp to kill every insect inside.
Step #5 – Take Preventative Measures for the Future
Once you’re rid of the insects it’s important to take a few preventative measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- Keep food out of your car and clean up crumbs immediately.
- Pay attention to where you park. Avoid parking under trees, and opt for a spot on concrete rather than dirt when possible.
- Check items before loading them up in your car. Plants are the biggest culprit, but bugs can also hitch a ride in boxes, backpacks, grocery bags, etc.
If you take the steps above and still have bugs in your vehicle or they return within a few days, give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. a call. Our Alabama pest control company specializes in residential and commercial properties, but we may be able to help you eradicate insects from your car as well!