Ants In Car – Causes And Solutions To Infestation

Are you battling with ants in cars?

Here is a practical guide to preventing their entry and removing them from the dashboard and other areas of your car.

Ants are among the best traveling insects on Earth. They journey long distances in search of food and shelter, also to find nesting areas to start new colonies.

Most people are used to seeing ants in the home, trash bins, or just crawling on trees. But they can also make their way into your car.

If you’re having this problem then keep reading, as we will be discussing ant infestation in cars.

Dealing With Ant Infestation In A Car

An ant-infested car can be a real pain in the neck, it really can! Several species of ants deliver hard bites when they feel threatened. These bites are not only painful, but they can also leave you with sores on your skin.

Ants In Car Dashboard

This is something you wouldn’t want to experience while driving. The sudden sharp pain can cause you to lose a moment of concentration and it could lead to road accidents.

For this reason, an ant infestation in the car must be attended to quickly, as something that seems so irrelevant can lead to a tragedy.

Causes Of Ants In Cars

Don’t be shocked if you find ants in your car, there are many reasons for this. Below, we will list the possible causes.

You Eat In The Car

Stopping by to pick up a burger and eating it while you sit in your car seems like a harmless habit right? Wrong!

This is because crumbs from the food can trickle down to your car floor, thereby providing food for these hungry pests.

Ants are excellent scavengers and can pick up a trail of crumbs and pounce on it with ease. So leaving your car with crumbs of sweet-tasting foods or drinks is a clear invitation for ants to invade.

It wouldn’t take days for ants to discover the food crumbs or drink smears in your car, sometimes they will appear in just a matter of hours.

You Do Not Clean Your Car

This is closely related to the first cause of ants in your car mentioned in this article. Eating in your car and not cleaning up afterward will leave food behind for ants.

As we mentioned before, ants are very good scavengers and they don’t mind going long distances to look for food. If your car isn’t cleaned after you eat in it, then it will be only a matter of time before ants invade.

You Are Parked Close To An Anthill

The case may be that you do not eat in your car, or you clean up after you do. However, you can still get ants in your car if you are parked directly over an anthill or beside it.

Since ants are very active insects, they will move to new locations in search of food and water. If your car is parked close to their nest, then they will explore the option too.

You Are Parked Close To Shrubs Or Garbage Piles

Old wood stumps, bushy shrubs, and garbage piles are among the favorite spots for ants to scavenge. If your car is parked close to any of these, then chances are they will make their in to see what they can find.

This may cause you to face any problems even in a brand-new car.

Solutions To Ant-Infested Cars

There are two means by which you can keep ants away from your car.

  • Prevention
  • Removal


Thankfully, these crawling pests can be prevented from entering your car. All you need to do is follow the simple tips we will list out below.

Do Not Eat In Your Car

Understandably, you may be hungry while out on the road, but eating inside your car would put you at risk of having ants trooping in.

If you feel like taking a snack while driving, then you should eat right at the restaurant or shop where you got your food from.

If the retailer does not have a sitting area (like a drive-in restaurant), then you can lean on your car while you eat. But avoid eating inside at all costs.

Practice Regular Cleaning

If there are crumbs of sweet foods in your car for ants to eat, then they will oblige.

However, practicing regular cleaning habits would get rid of all the crumbs and liquid smears that may have gotten under your carpet or on the seats of the car.

To ensure your car is crumb-free, you can get a mini vacuum cleaner and go over every corner of your carpet and car seat. Make sure you raise the carpet so you can vacuum all the crumbs that may have made their way under.

You should also raise the seats and do a thorough vacuum beneath them.

After vacuuming, get a clean rag and some liquid soap to wipe off the dashboards, gear lever, hand brakes, seat belts, and any other plastic or synthetic material that can be found in your car’s interior.

If you’re not up for cleaning your car yourself, then you should drive to the car wash and have them do it.

A professional car wash service will do an excellent job of giving your car a thorough clean. They have much better cleaning tools than you do and they can get to the tightest corners of your car’s interior.

Remember, food crumbs can trickle into the tightest spaces, and so can ants. A steam hose will reach all these hidden or tight spots and rid your car of unwanted crumbs and liquid smears.

Do Not Park Near Anthills

If you’ve experienced an ant bite while driving, then you should do all you can to prevent that from happening again. One of the things you must do is to avoid anthills when you are searching for a place to park your car.

Anthills can be found almost anywhere, but mainly in areas where there are soil and plants. If you live in a rural area, then you will have a lot of these around.

Take a quick look around before you park your car to make sure you are not parking over or beside an anthill.

City dwellers wouldn’t have too much to worry about regarding parking close to an anthill, this is because basically all the roads and sidewalks are in pure concrete and gravel form.

Do Not Park Near Heaps Of Old Wood Or Garbage Cans

Similar to parking close to an anthill, parking near a heap of old, decayed wood or a garbage can will also put your car at risk of being invaded by scavenging ants.

In their quest for food, they may exit the heaps and enter your car.

Observe your surroundings before you park your car.

Removing Ants From Your Car

Are you looking at getting rid of ants in your home or car?

If you did not take preventive measures against ants and they have already made their way into your car, don’t fret. There are simple steps you can take to get rid of them.

Follow the tips below.


If you notice a bunch of ants wandering around your car floors or seats, all you will need to do is get a hand-held vacuum and suck them all up. In doing so, you will also be sucking up the food crumbs that attracted them in the first place.

After you have sucked up the visible ones, raise the carpet to see if there are others beneath. If you fond any, suck them up too.

The smaller the vacuum you use the better, considering that the crawl spaces in your car are tight and you will need something that can fit in as effectively as possible.

Use A Chemical Insecticide

One of the most effective means by which you can remove ants from your car and even kill them is by using a chemical-based insecticide.

They are sold commercially in stores and you can visit a pest control store near you to get one.

Be sure to follow proper precautions when using a chemical-based insecticide. Make sure you keep your windows up and sealed and make sure the car is empty when you spray.

A chemical-based insecticide will kill ants within minutes. Spray under the car seat, and the rug or carpet. Raise the seats and also spray behind them to make sure that you get the ants in any spaces they might be hiding.

After spraying, wait for about an hour then take the windows down and open all the doors so the fumes from the insecticide can exit the car.

Also, you will need to put on a facemask to guard your nose and mouth against the fumes of the insecticide.

Ant Fogger For Car

You can purchase Raid Deep Reach Fogger. This product permeates every crevice and kills all ants in a car and will continue to kill any ant that enters your vehicle even weeks after the initial application.

Use Peppermint Spray

Ants do not like peppermint, so you can make a quick peppermint spray to repel them from your car. You could also buy a bottle of peppermint essential oil and sprinkle it around your car’s interior to drive them away.

Here are some other homemade killer recipes for ants that also work.


To deal with an ant infestation in a car, follow the tips suggested in this article.

Good luck!

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