Ants are these ubiquitous creatures that seem to find their way virtually everywhere.
Your chances of having ants in your car are pretty slim but it’s not unusual to encounter these creatures either in your interior or somewhere in your hood.
Let’s say you’re unfortunate enough to have ants lurking on your beloved ride, what can you do?
This article will tackle on the ways on how to get rid of ants in car.
Why Are There Ants In Your Car?
As you may already know, ants are attracted to everything sweet and sugary.
Unless your car somehow has a kitchenette for a cabin or just rolled out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, there are other reasons why these tiny creatures have found their way in your interior.
Here are some of the reason why there are ants in your car.
Of course, why else do you think they’re in your car? Ants are perpetually attracted to food, even to the smallest pieces particularly something sweet.
Once you leave your lunch unattended in your dashboard for hours, it’s like firing a flare for all the ants to see.
Ants are somehow sensitive to food, and they are easily attracted to it, especially if it’s stagnant and hasn’t been moved for a while.
If you constantly leave your sandwich on your car seat, you probably might see a long row of ants swarming all over it. In worse cases, ants might have considered your car as a permanent food source.
It’s important to not come to that point.
The primary thing you can do is to maintain the cleanliness in your car in terms of leftover food.
Remember, even the smallest crumbles can already attract these creatures. Drink fizzes can also be an attraction – do NOT spill any sweet drink to your floors or cup holders.
2. Accidental Parking
There are also cases where food is not to blame. In that case, it might have been an accidental or (somewhat) careless parking.
You probably parked on an ant hill. You might also be unlucky enough to stop your car under a tree with lots of ants on the leaves.
If that’s the case then there’s really nothing to worry about if you have no food on board. Ants will take this as an opportunity to hunt for food. If they don’t find what they’re looking for, then they will peacefully leave eventually.
Why Is It Important To Get Rid Of Ants In Your Car?
1. Inside Your Car
While it might be harmless to have these creatures go with your ride, ants are pretty annoying and can cause disturbance while you travel.
They are a threat to your comfort as well as your passenger’s since they can bite your legs, arms, and even your face.
There are some countries who believe having these totally harmless black ants on-board are sign of good fortune; however, having red ants on the other hand can cause pain and is really an indication of misfortune.
When bitten, you can be totally distracted while driving, causing potential accidents. Imagine the dire scenarios that could possibly rise just because of a simple ant bite.
2. Under The Hood
When it comes to under your hood, too much ant population can cause some minor issues concerning your engine.
For instance, ants can slowly nibble on your system wirings. In worse cases, larger termites can bite your wirings to their core.
If ants settle in your car, they could evolve and turn bigger than the first time they stayed there.
There are chances these creatures will eventually come to your oil pump, causing blockage and other potential damages.
Bottom line – your car will be less efficient and expect slight-to-medium engine problems.
With all these in mind, it’s highly imperative to get rid of ants in your car.
Ways Of Getting Rid Of Ants
1. Car Wash
The best thing you can do is have your car washed. Ants are not a fan of water. If you haven’t get your car washed for some time now, then it’s your opportunity to do so.
A good wash, followed by vacuuming all interior parts can do so much in terms of eliminating these tiny creatures. Give special attention to the floor where all food debris might accumulate. Have your cup holders checked too.
2. Drive More Often
Apart from left food, ants will also consider a stagnant car as a good place to settle.
Ant invasion usually takes place in the so called “garage queens” – a kind of fancy term pertaining to neglected cars. It’s good to drive your car from time to time.
These little arthropods will not be attracted to a car being used at least thrice a week.
So another solution is to drive your car more often. Not only that you’ll eventually get rid of ants, you’ll also remove your car from the list of probable candidates for an ant invasion.
If you are in a congested city where heavy traffics are imminent, it’s ideal to have your drive sometime in the weekend.
3. Park Responsibly
Another effective thing you can do is to start being aware of where you park. Stop your habit of parking wherever you see a vacant space. It’s good to check the spot first before going for it.
If you happen to commune somewhere in the countryside or wherever nature is, you should be more vigilant of anthills.
It’s actually a common sense not to park beside an anthill, unless it’s your purpose to invite ants in your ride.
You should refrain from parking under a short tree where its lush leaves will come in contact with your car roof.
Ants could have nestled in most of those leaves and having them in contact with your car roof is like a go signal for swarming another place.
It’s good to park in shade but make sure no part of your car gets in contact with any part of the tree.
Otherwise, expect raining ants.
3. Less Take Out
We all know how much busier our lives have become that we usually take refuge in drive-thrus when it comes to our meals.
Well, the culprit is not actually the take-out food but rather the ‘act’ of eating the food right inside your car. The point here is to refrain making take-outs as a habit.
Take time to eat in a real restaurant or in your dining room itself because it’s there for a reason. The more you eat inside your car, the more ants will be attracted to it.
DIY Step By Step Guide Of Getting Rid Of Ants
Step 1 – Eliminate food scraps
Here we go again with take outs. It would be more beneficial if you also love taking care of your mess as much as you love eating take-out foods.
Remove all your food scraps from boxes of donuts to Starbucks cups. Even a single burger wrapper is already enough to attract ants.
Step 2 – Vacuum Your Car
Now that you’ve taken care with larger mess. It’s time to vacuum your interior to eliminate all the little crumbs and dirt debris.
That biscuit you ate a while ago surely have its crumbs somewhere on your floor. That chips your kids ate yesterday might have its debris somewhere in your car seat.
Make sure you tackle every inch of your car upholstery and floor carpet.
You can also clean deeper by removing your rags/mats and inspecting underneath your seats. You might also want to wipe your cup holders clean. If your car has a trash bin, give attention to it.
Vacuum everything so the bread crumbs and any other remnants of the previous food that made into your car will be gone. Don’t forget your dash!
Step 3 – Tire Treatment
Ants aren’t innovative enough to make ladders and they sure can’t fly. So obviously, the only way they got into your car is crawling through your tires.
How else do you think they got inside? Tires are the only part of your car that has a direct contact with the ground.
You can buy a strong pesticide since you won’t be able to smell it inside. The pesticide must have a sprayer or a nozzle. This is to ensure you have total control on where you want to apply it.
Start spraying on the edges of your tires and mags, but refrain spraying on your brake pads. You can also spray it below your door.
Step 4 – Ant Baits
After dominating the exterior, it’s time to tackle your interior. It’s not advisable to spray inside so you’ll have to deal with other means. The best way is using ant baits or ant bombs.
There are lots of cheap ant baits you can buy. Simply lay it on your flooring and let it do its job.
You can also put them inside your compartments and under your seats to be more secure. The ants will surely be attracted to these baits leading them to their death.
Step 5 – Clean Garage & Change Parking Space
While this one is optional, you can try cleaning your garage because there might be an ant colony developing somewhere.
But it’s a rare occasion. Further, you can change the usual parking space you use when you go to work. There might be an ant hill nearby, making your car a daily victim of ant invasion.
Ants are actually friends as they contribute to the balance of our ecosystem. However, they just aren’t smart enough to know your car is not the right place to settle, leaving you no choice but to deal with them.
So it’s up to you to make precautions on how to prevent them from climbing to your car in the first place. And if you’re already experiencing issues relating to them, it’s best to know the ways on how to get rid of ants in car.