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It can seem almost impossible to rid your car of these pesky insects once they have made their presence known. Are you currently having trouble getting rid of the ants in your car? Below are a few ways to exterminate them for good.

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Prevent Further Infestations

Ants love stale food, like the fries you did not end up eating three days ago that fell in the back of your car, or the crumbs for your dinner on-the-go last week. If you have the tendency of leaving your car parked with the windows rolled down, it is almost as if you are just asking those ants to come into your car for an all-you-can-eat buffet. Make sure that your windows are rolled up when you park. It also helps to take notice of the places you park. Are you parking near anthills or areas that ants like to hang out? Avoid these areas if at all possible.

You can also prevent future infestations by removing any old food bags from your car, and throwing away food trash as soon as you’re finished with it. Of course, it would be most ideal to abstain from eating food in your car at all, but that can be fairly inconvenient. Instead, pay more attention to the trash that piles up, and actively work to keep the food-related waste to a minimum.

Clean Out Your Car

First, vacuum up all of the crumbs and other particles of food that are attracting all of those pesky ants into your vehicle. Pay special attention to vacuum in the cracks of seats and air vents, under floor mats, and underneath seats. If you have spilled something sticky or sweet recently (or not so recently) such as a soda or other sugary drink, you will want to spot clean these areas immediately. Nothing attracts a whole farm of ants like a sweet, sticky mess of sugary goodness.

It may be extremely useful to shampoo the entire interior of your car at a self-service car wash. Not only will you be sure to vacuum out the food, but you will also get rid of the smells that may be attracting the insects without your knowledge. This is a small step that can make all of the difference in the world.

If you have done all of these things to clean out your car and still cannot seem to get rid of the ants plaguing your life, it may be time to start an investigation. Is there a month-old sandwich in the back corner of your trunk? Did you spill a soda all over your air vents? There obviously is some sort of root cause to all of your ant woes. It may be necessary to pull out a Q-Tip and really clean out your vents, and it would be wise to go through every square inch of your car and check for any hidden attractant.

Finally, use interior automotive wipes, and give the whole inside of your car a nice cleaning. Not only will this get rid of any residue on the hard surfaces in your car, but it will also leave behind a nice, fresh smell.

Natural Remedies

If you have completely cleaned out your car from bumper to bumper and have not been leaving food in it and you are still experiencing issues with an ant infestation, it may be time to go to more extreme measures.

It is best to start with a few non-toxic options. Line your floorboards with double sided tape so that the ants are stopped dead in their tracks. If you do not want to put a sticky substance on your floor mats, then place cardboard that has been covered in double sided tape on top of your floor mats. You can also use a few in-home ingredients to ward off the insects. Ants have an extreme aversion to mint, salt, and pepper. Simply sprinkle any of these around your car, and you are much more likely to send all of the ants running for the hills. The biggest benefit of the mint is that it will naturally act as an air freshener!

Another way to ward off those diligent ants is to put a small amount of diatomaceous earth around the doors of the car. This is still a fairly non-toxic option. Simply let the dirt sit in the car for around 24 hours. Then, before driving, you can either use a damp cloth to wipe up the earth or a shop vacuum. If you do not have a shop vacuum, stick to the use of a damp cloth, as the diatomaceous earth can ruin the motor and filter in a regular, household vacuum. This option is extremely effective, as the earth will hurt the ants, but is not particularly toxic to humans (as long as it is not ingested of course).

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Ant Bait and Ant Traps

Sometimes, it just takes much more muscle than a natural home remedy can offer. In these cases, you may have to go to an even deeper level of extermination. It is extremely important to be careful with any product that could be toxic to humans or pets, and if you choose to use these products, make sure that they are out of reach of dogs or children.

You can purchase ant bait from the store, and set it up in several places in the car. Before choosing to put these stations in an enclosed space, it is absolutely crucial to read the label and make sure that it is safe for you to do. Only use this bait when you are not driving your car, such as overnight. It is probably the safest option to avoid toxic bait at all costs, but especially if you have children that ride in your car frequently.

Any lingering ants will be enticed by the ant traps. Hopefully by combing the baits and traps, your pests will be no more.


Ants can cause serious car woes. The are most definitely a distraction while driving, particularly for those that have aversions to insects. In fact, there are few things more unpleasant that feeling the constant pinch of an ant bite while on your commute to work. If you are careful to prevent future ant visitors and clean your car thoroughly to rid it of attractive food and crumbs, you are sure to be rid of your unwanted carpool buddies in no time.

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Hate Having Ants in Your Car? Get Rid of It Now!