Going out to your car one day and suddenly noticing that there are ants inside will likely be a shock. You might even be a bit grossed-out if you are the type of person who really dislikes bugs.

You’re probably wondering, “why are there ants in my car?” It’s normal to sit there and wonder what could be going on or what you did wrong to cause this to happen.

Don’t fret because you can actually solve your ant infestation issue without it being too big of a deal. There are options for eliminating the ants and figuring out why the ants are there won’t be tough either.

Keep reading to learn about why ants will show up in cars as well as what you need to do about it. Once you’ve read through all of the information, it’s going to be substantially easier to handle issues like this.

Why Ants Go Inside Cars

Ants go inside cars because they are looking for food that they can bring back to their colonies. If you have found ants inside your car, then there are really only two good reasons why that can be.

The first reason is that the ants are looking for food, and they’re just checking everywhere that they can gain access to. If your car is clean, then the few ants that made it inside your car will likely leave on their own because there is nothing of interest in your car.

If your car has many ants inside, then that might be an indication that there is food in there for them to try to haul back to the colony. When you don’t take the time to clean your car well enough, it’s possible that many food crumbs and other things can wind up on the floor.

When this happens, it’s going to be like a beacon that will attract ants in the area. Ants are wired to seek out and scavenge for food, and if there is food to be found in your car, then they’re going to find a way in.

Sometimes you might even notice ants that seem like they’re coming from your dashboard somewhere. This could be because they are exploring inside the glove compartment due to food that you left in there or food particles that you left behind.

Do you remember that pastrami sandwich that you left in the glove box last Tuesday? Well, that’s something that the ants are going to gravitate toward for sure.

Now you should have a good understanding of why you might find ants inside your car. You might not have left food in your car, but you might not have cleaned up food crumbs as well as you should have.

Read on to get more information about what you can do to fix ant problems like this. It’s going to be pretty straightforward, but it’s definitely best for you to have a clear understanding of the steps that you need to take.

Take the Time to Move Your Car

Taking the time to move your car to a different spot might actually be appropriate. You see, it’s possible that you parked your car close to an anthill, and this might be making it too easy for the ants to move in and out of your vehicle.

Moving the car to a different spot will make it less likely that you will have issues. This is especially true once you have taken further steps to eliminate the ants.

After moving the car, you might wish to look around the area where your car was parked. Do you see any anthills or signs of ant activity?

If you do, then you can take steps to eliminate the ants if you want right now. Many people eliminate ant hills by pouring vinegar water mixtures down the entrances, but you can also use commercial products.

It really just comes down to whether you want to use chemicals in the area or not. Some people are wary of chemical-based insect-killing sprays because of the damage that they might do to plants.

Regardless, you should know that it’s a good idea to look for ant colonies and anthills near where you park your cars. Identify the threat so that you can eliminate it either right now or later.

Remove Trash From Your Vehicle

The next step is really just going to involve taking the time to eliminate all of the trash from your vehicle. Lots of people spend many hours in their cars each week, and you might even eat breakfast or lunch in your car.

If you aren’t being careful, then you could wind up leaving things such as food wrappers behind or other types of debris. Over time, this can make your car look pretty junked up, and it’s also likely going to attract bugs such as ants.

You want to begin the process of alleviating this ant issue by removing any and all garbage that you can find in your car. Grab a large trash bag and simply throw things out as you work your way through your vehicle.

Remember to check for random trash in your glove compartment or other areas that you might easily forget about. Clean out your trunk as well just in case there might be something in there that is attracting ants to your vehicle.

Once you’ve done this, your car is going to be significantly less interesting to the ants. You won’t have so much stuff cluttering your car any longer either.

In the future, it’s going to be best for you to try to keep your car free of junk. If you’re going to continue to eat food in your car because you need to during your commute to work, then you should be vigilant about taking your trash to a nearby receptacle at your place of work.

So long as you get into the habit of removing trash from your car on a daily basis, you aren’t going to have to deal with issues like this quite so much. It really is just about being more careful and understanding the consequences of letting clutter build up in the car.

Vacuum and Clean Your Car

To truly get your car where it needs to be, it’s going to be necessary to vacuum and clean the car thoroughly. This step might take a bit of time and effort, but it is most certainly going to be worth it.

The first action that you should take is to vacuum the car out using a shop-vac. Assuming that you have a good shop-vac, it’s going to be easy to vacuum out the car while reaching all of the crevices.

If you don’t have a shop-vac that is meant for things like this, then you can still use your normal vacuum to get the job done. Just grab an extension cord so that your vacuum will be able to make it out to your car.

It’ll be for the best if your vacuum at least has some type of hose attachment since you aren’t going to be able to vacuum out many parts of the car using a standard vacuum. Most modern vacuum cleaners come with house attachments, but you could try to use a handheld vacuum as well.

Handheld vacuums are convenient for getting small spills or messes off of carpeting, and many people use them in their homes. That could be useful to use in this situation, and many handheld vacuums are completely cordless.

Whatever you choose to use, it’s going to be necessary to go over the carpeting a few times. You want to try to vacuum deeply to really get things nice and clean so that you won’t need to worry so much about ants.

With this step finished, you might want to go ahead and clean your car using cleaning products now. There could be sticky parts of the carpeting due to spilling soft drinks, and it’s also wise to wipe off your dashboard just in case.

You can go through and clean the carpeting of your car using a special cleaner or soap that is meant for car carpeting. Once this is done, you’ll likely need to vacuum it up so that things can dry properly.

Note that some people clean their cars using simple dish liquid and water combinations. You can choose to do something like that or you can go out to buy specific products that are meant for cleaning cars.

Be thorough when wiping off your dashboard, center console, and cleaning out the glove compartment. This should help you to eliminate any leftover messes that you didn’t get while initially vacuuming.

Be Sure to Clean Your Wheels and Tires

Cleaning your wheels and tires might seem a little pointless to you, but it’s actually a great idea. Wheels and tires are what connect your car to the ground, and you want to deter ants from wanting to go near them.

If you treat your wheels and tires with cleaning products, then it’s going to be less likely that ants will try to crawl on them.

You can use cleaning products that are meant for wheels and tires to get them nice and clean. This type of treatment is a great way to keep ants at bay since they won’t like the chemicals that are being used.

Ants won’t be nearly as likely to try to crawl inside your car if you’re cleaning your wheels and tires semi-regularly. It might be a good idea to get into the habit of doing this every so often, and it isn’t going to be hard to do or anything.

It’s also just good to have wheels and tires that look really nice. If you want your car to look its best, then this is something that you might be interested in doing anyway.

Be as thorough as you can while cleaning your wheels and tires. Overall, this shouldn’t take a long time to accomplish, and it’s a step that you will not want to skip.

Consider Using Ant Traps

If ants seem to be a huge problem in your area, then it might be worthwhile to place some ant traps near your car or in your car. This is something that can kill ants and help you to move toward an ant-free life.

Generally, you’re only going to need to do this if the above methods weren’t enough to keep the ants from coming back. If you cleaned your car really well and are still noticing ants, then ant traps will likely be a good investment.

You can find ant traps at many department stores, and it’s also easy to order them from online retailers. Most of these traps can be positioned under your seats, and they’re really going to act as a good deterrent.

Capturing ants is better than having them roam freely in your car and pestering you. In all likelihood, things will not escalate to this point, though.

Consider Hiring an Exterminator

Finally, you could just hire an exterminator to help eliminate ants on your property. This is the best step to take if your property seems to have a significant problem with ants because it will get things handled swiftly.

Ant issues might not remain focused on just your car for too long if the ants are looking for food. It’s very possible that they could try to invade your home and become a bigger nuisance.

Professional exterminators can take the necessary steps to eliminate ants for good. They’re very good at finding anthills, and they have the right tools to exterminate the ants in a timely fashion.

You could take steps to eliminate ants on your property by yourself if you choose to do so. That would be a lot less expensive, but it would also take more time and effort.

Consider what the best option is for your property based on your budget and how much time you have to deal with the problem. If you think that calling in the professionals is the sensible choice, then you’ll be able to do so when you’re ready.

Author

I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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