How To Get Rid Of Black Ants In Car?

You're getting ready for a drive but see something that looks like a moving black cloud in your car. Upon closer inspection, it's a swarm of black ants. So now you're thinking about the best way to get rid of black ants in your vehicle. We researched possible solutions for this predicament for you, and here's what we found.

Different options are available to kill black ants in your car. Some of these possible solutions are:

  • Chemical insecticides
  • Baits
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Orange oil

You can also use preventive actions to reduce the risks of black ants infesting your vehicle. Continue reading as we tackle these precautionary measures. We’ll also talk about the ways to kill these insects in your car in greater detail. Without further ado, let's get into it!

A big black ant eating leaf, How To Get Rid Of Black Ants In Car?

How Do I Find The Ants' Nest In My Car?

It's a good idea to attack the source of the infestation as opposed to using your resources to kill scattered black ants in your car. So, finding the ants' nest is the first step to getting rid of these pesky critters.

A horde of ants on top of a car

Here are some ways to help you locate the black ants’ breeding ground in your vehicle:

Follow The Line

Up close photo of a black ant eating leaf

Ants are often systematic creatures that use systems to create order in their colonies. One example is their use of pheromones to lead their fellow ants to food sources. Follow the group of marching black ants, and you’ll most likely see the nest in your car.

Find Food

Like humans, ants, particularly the black variants, find food attractive. In particular, black ants might find themselves lured to foods like:

  • Carbohydrates (e.g., crackers, pasta, and cooked rice)
  • Proteins (e.g., meat and certain dairy products)
  • Sweets (e.g., candy and fruit juice)

If you’ve been eating in your car and have been dropping food, chances are you’re going to invite black ants into the vehicle. Find the crumbs or clumps of food, and you might find the group of ants.

Turn On The AC

Black ants may take shelter inside your car’s cooling system during hot weather. If it’s hot outside, turn on your vehicle’s air conditioner. The chances are that the ants built their nest in the AC if you see the bugs being flung from the vents.

What Can I Use In My Car To Get Rid Of Ants?

Microscopic photo of a black ant

You have different options to use to eliminate black ants in your car. In this section, you’ll learn some possible solutions to help you get rid of these bugs in your vehicle:

Chemical Insecticides

After finding the black ants’ nest in your car, a quick spritz of your preferred insecticide can end their lives almost immediately. But keep in mind that pesticides, particularly the spray-on variants, may not be eco-friendly solutions.

The manufacture and use of pesticides often use systems that promote harmful effects on the environment. Also, frequent exposure to synthetic pesticides, particularly those that use harsh chemicals, can cause health issues like:

  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Rashes
  • Stinging eyes

If your black ant problem isn’t significant, you may still use synthetic pesticides without bringing significant harm to yourself and the environment. But make sure to practice proper safety protocols when doing so.

For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the following tips when handling insecticides:

  • Read the label. Trustworthy manufacturers often print safety precautions on their products’ packaging to help protect their customers from potential harm.
  • Wear protective equipment. Some examples include a respirator, gloves, and long-sleeved clothing as you’re spraying insecticide.
  • Turn off the air conditioner.

Click here to see this insecticide on Amazon.

Watch the video below to gain additional insight on the proper and safe way to use an insecticide:


Commercially-produced baits can be a good alternative to using harsh pesticides in killing black ants in your car. However, these products can still contain harmful chemicals that can bring serious harm when ingested accidentally.

Some of the safety practices you should follow when handling black ant baits are:

  • Only use synthetic baits outdoors. So, place the lure and poison outside to prevent fumes from building up inside the car.
  • Wash your hands with soap immediately after use. Direct contact with the product may result in some irritation to the skin.
  • Keep animals and children away from the vicinity of the vehicle while using the bait. Harsh chemicals might be in the product, causing serious health concerns when ingested.

Click here to see this liquid ant killer on Amazon.

You can also watch the video below to learn how to use ant-killing baits properly. Take note that this clip doesn’t include using insect baits in, on, or around cars, but the concept should still be similar:

Dawn Dish Soap

Generally, Dawn is a liquid detergent commonly used to clean dishes and other materials. But you can also use this cleaning product to kill black ants in your car. The steps for this process are:

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Dilute Dawn dish soap with water in a spray bottle container. Make sure that the ratio of the two liquids is 50:50.
  2. Seal the spray bottle and shake the liquid to form the mixture.
  3. Spray the solution in your car, especially onto areas with black ant clusters.

Click here to see Dawn dish soap on Amazon.

The reason why this solution can work is that Dawn dish soap can break down the exoskeleton of the ants. Also, the mixture can help clean your vehicle's cabin, allowing this procedure to aid you in solving two issues.

Don’t forget to dispose of the solution properly. Although it’s less hazardous than using chemical insecticides, Dawn dish soap still has a fairly low eco-friendly rating.

Orange Oil

Also called orange essential oil, you can purchase this product from a reliable retailer or make a batch using DIY techniques. But choosing the latter option can be quite tedious since you need to collect the condensation from simmered orange peels, which can take a long time to complete.

Once you have the oil, you only need to spray locations in your car that have black ants. The orange oil should help get rid of these pesky insects. Plus, leaving this essential oil in your vehicle's cabin will make the space smell citrusy.

Click here to see orange essential oil on Amazon.

How Do I Keep Ants Out Of My Car?

Car auto detailer using a vacuum to clean the car seat

Aside from getting rid of black ants in your car, you can also apply preventive measures to ensure these bugs don’t find your vehicle appealing as a new nest. Some of these techniques are:

  • Don’t park on or near an anthill. Doing so can agitate the black ants, causing them to come up from their nest to gain access to your vehicle.
  • Keep your car’s interior tidy. Throw food items and their packaging away after consumption.
  • Clean your vehicle’s cabin frequently. Make sure to clean your car’s interior at least once a month to prevent garbage from attracting black ants and other insects.

Final Words

A big black ant eating leaf

Baits and chemical insecticides are a couple of fast-acting solutions to get rid of black ants in your car. If you want a less hazardous approach, choose to use orange oil or a Dawn dish soap solution. Make sure to follow the proper safety guidelines to reduce the risks of possible health hazards when using some of these insect-killing solutions.

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