Most of us turn our cars into natural extensions of our homes. Some of us sleep in it while many enjoy a delicious meal or a sumptuous snack on the go. Unfortunately, this also leaves behind food crumbs that can be irresistible magnets for ants and other food-foraging critters. If your car is now the second home of ants, here is how you can reclaim your vehicle from these social insects. Get rid of ants in your car with these simple steps:
Pick Up All of Your Trash
There is one good reason why there are ants in your car – they smell food. They know that the morsels of food in your car are enough to feed their colony. You may have an empty bag of your favorite potato chips. For you, this is already be empty. But for ants, the tiniest bit of organic material is a potential food source for them.
Hence, the very first thing you need to do is to get rid of all your trash. Pick up empty packs or containers of snacks and other food items. Soiled tissue paper and used beverage or coffee cups are all magnets for ants. So are burger wrappers, donut boxes, and Chinese stir-fry boxes. Remove anything that should not be in your car’s cabin. Look in between the seats and other tight spaces.
Give the Car a Thorough Cleaning
Get a powerful vacuum cleaner with crevice attachment. Make sure to vacuum every square inch of your car’s interior space. There are vacuum attachments that come with a brush head. Use this to agitate and remove food particles in your car’s carpet and upholstery. Make sure to vacuum through the tight spaces, crevices, and other locations in the cabin. Do not forget to clean the dashboard, the mats, the car seats, and under the seats.
Give the car a thorough body wash. Pay attention to the tires because this is the main gateway for ants to get inside your car. Use a power washer to spray the body, underside, and the tires of your car. There may be ants still hiding in any of the crevices in the car’s body or chassis. If you do not remove them, there is always a chance that they will get in touch with their friends and restart the ant invasion.
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Use Natural Remedies to Ant-proof Your Car
After removing ants from your car, it is important to take more concrete steps to prevent them from reinvading your vehicle. Before you start applying an ant-specific pesticide, it would be wise to start with natural remedies first. Here are a few suggestions:
Double-sided Adhesive Tape
Lining your car’s floorboard with double-sided adhesive tape can stop ants in their tracks. If you don’t like having sticky tape on your floor mat, a good alternative is to cover a cardboard with double-sided tape. Place this over the floor mat.
Mint, Pepper, or Salt
There is a general observation that ants don’t take too kindly to salt, pepper, and mint. Sprinkling any of these ubiquitous kitchen ingredients around your vehicle can help dissuade ants from ever invading your car again. The good thing with mint is that you also get a more natural air freshener to make your ride more pleasant.
This is a substance that is well-known for its ability to strip the protective layer of pests and insects like ants. Once diatomaceous earth destroys the ant’s protective exoskeleton, it can start drawing moisture from the hapless critter. It dies because of dehydration. It is interesting to note that ants also know if there is diatomaceous earth around. They try to avoid this substance as much as possible. Hence, you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the doors and other potential entry points of your car.
Apply Pesticides on the Car’s Tires
Unless ants have mastered the art of abseiling, the only way they can gain entry into the car cabin is through the tires. Think about it; this is the only part of the vehicle that is in constant contact with the ground. As lead ants scout for their next source of food, they can somehow sniff the presence of food crumbles in the cabin. They climb the tires and enter the car.
As such, spraying a pesticide that can kill ants on the tires should do the trick. If you are not comfortable about using pesticides or insecticides, a good alternative will be to dust the tires with diatomaceous earth. As already explained, this substance is never gentle on ants. It strips them of their protection and dehydrates them until they die.
Consider Parking in a Different Location
Sometimes, despite your best efforts of removing ants from your car, they still find a way to come back. In such cases, a good solution will be to park your car in another location. It is possible that the surrounding area of where you park is already infested with ants. Vegetation like trees and bushes are also good sources of ants. If you park your car near these objects, then it would be quite impossible to eradicate the problem.
The issue here, of course, is when you’re parking in your own garage. If such is the case, then you may have to address a possible ant infestation in your garage or house.
Use Ant Traps
As a last resort, use ant traps and place them in strategic places inside your car. Determine where they often enter so you can place the ant traps in these locations. It is also ideal to place ant traps in your garage so you can also address the issue of reinfestation.
Choose an ant trap that doesn’t emit any odor. You do not want any nasty odor to permeate your cabin while you’re driving. Pick an ant trap that attracts and kills ants in an instant. This is your best chance of getting rid of ants in your car.
It is almost impossible to eradicate ants. Keeping your car clean and observing some rules for eating inside the car can help minimize ant invasion.