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What Pests May Be Lurking Inside Your Vehicles

Although many of us are outdoors at the weekend, making sure that our pride and joys are sparkling clean and ready to impress the neighbours. Often, the interior of vehicles doesn’t get the same treatment, which may lead to some unexpected issues for you. Pests get everywhere and infestations can rapidly spread, even in the most unlikely of places.  

Between having kids in the backseat of a car scattering crumbs around, to transporting a top antique found at a local auction, taking your beloved pet to the vets, or bringing home a purchase from a garden centre, may all lead to you having to deal with an infestation within your vehicles. 

This blog looks into common pests found within cars and vans, what to do if you discover pests, and preventative measures you can take to stay pest-free.  

someone is vacuuming a very dirty footwell of a car

Common pests found within vehicles


Though spiders can normally cause us no harm in the UK, they may if we are travelling along at fast speeds, giving us an unexpected fright when behind the wheel. Spiders typically go where there is a food source, like those crumbs we mentioned earlier, or when a vehicle isn’t frequently used, which may be the case for many who now work from home. 

Luckily, by decluttering indoor spaces and removing webs from areas such as car doors and behind wing mirrors can keep them at bay. Pay close attention to dark corners of your vehicle when cleaning. You may also consider using essential oils. Not only will it make your vehicle smell delightful, but using scents such as lavender, peppermint, citrus, or rosemary when cleaning inside can act as a repellent.  


Garages are the perfect hiding space for mice who are seeking shelter through the winter months. Quite often, mice may find their way into an even comfier space…that’s right inside your car. Unfortunately, if this is the case, you’ll need to address this problem fast, as these pests can be one of the most destructive. Not only can they destroy your car’s upholstery, but they have been known to gnaw through engine wiring as well. Worse, they reproduce at an exponentially quick rate, so before you know it, you might need a sign in your window for having ‘babies on board’. 

Typical signs to look out for are droppings, nests or shredded objects, and signs of gnaw marks. 


As a nation of pet lovers, we are often out and about in our cars with our furry friends. Whether going on holidays, a nice long walk, or that dreaded trip to the vet, we love them by our sides. However, sometimes pet owners may not have noticed that their pets may have picked up fleas along the way, leading to us now having an extra problem of having an infestation in our cars. 

Treating fleas effectively can be a challenge, and it will require a consistent approach to ensure that the fleas and their eggs are all dealt with. Not only will you need to address removing them from your vehicle, but you’ll need to treat your pet, and most likely your home too. 


We’ve all been there in our homes or gardens when you notice a trail of ants marching along on mass. However, with dark carpets in our vehicles it may not be so obvious to spot.

Being the size that they are, ants have no problem entering our vehicles. The good news is that ants aren’t looking for a permanent home within your vehicles; they are simply on the hunt for a food source, or you may have parked on a nest. Although, this doesn’t make it any less of a frustrating problem to deal with. 

If you keep your cars generally clean inside, you shouldn’t find yourself with a problem. Small infestations can be treated in the same way you would in your homes, but with larger infestations, you may need a professional ant control service to help remove the issue. 


Wherever you discover a cockroach, it’s never a good thing, and it’s a problem that will need swift action. 

With cockroaches being drawn to warm and dark places, cars are an ideal space for them to set up home. They have the ability to hide pretty much anywhere within your vehicle and can be very tricky to remove. Not only are they destructive and will eat their way through your upholstery, but they are extremely unhygienic as well. They carry bacteria and harmful pathogens, including salmonella, and can even trigger asthma and allergies in some people. So, it’s of paramount importance that infestations are dealt with promptly with professional cockroach control

Cockroaches give off a musty smell and make almost a hissing sound. If you suspect you have an infestation, it’s best to call in professional help. 

Carpet beetles

Carpet beetles feed upon fabric, so car mats, a blanket or a spare jacket left in the boot of your car are where you’ll find them lurking. They prefer the dark, so you may not spot them during daylight hours. In appearance, they are black with yellow, white, or brown patches across them. They are harmless to humans and easy to treat with a good vacuuming of the car, especially cleaning around crevices in fabric. 


Because of their name, many people believe that bedbugs can only be found within bedrooms. This is false, even recently with the bedbug outbreak across Europe, infestations were found across public transport too

Bedbugs may hitch a free ride in all manners of ways, through second-hand furniture and antique items, as well as physically by person. Alternatively, if you do have a bedbug problem in your home, to begin with, then if you were moving house or transporting an item yourself elsewhere, that’s all it takes for them to find their way into your vehicle and spread quickly. We recommend bed bug removal through a professional treatment be carried out. This insect is very difficult to treat, and DIY tactics will rarely solve the problem.

Ways to keep vehicles pest-free

There are some really simple precautions that you can take to ensure your vehicle remains pest-free. These include:

  • Keeping cars clutter-free. 
  • Vacuuming and cleaning inside your vehicle thoroughly. Pay close attention to upholstery, carpets, in-between seats, and the dashboard.
  • Think about where you park your car. Check you aren’t parking on an ant nest, cut back any overgrown trees you may park beneath, and inspect garages for signs of rodents. 
  • Check that the rubber seals around the doors and windows are in good condition and replace them if necessary. 
  • Remove any food leftovers.
  • Clean surfaces with a disinfectant solution.
  • If you have an infestation, such as fleas or bedbugs, remove and replace floor mats and seat covers. 
  • Wash your car’s exterior. Thoroughly wash around doors, wing mirrors, tyres and wheel wells. 

What to do if you discover an infestation 

Though some infestations can be treated by yourselves, others will need the help of a professional to eliminate the problem fully. Our work is fully guaranteed to provide you with total peace of mind. Get in touch if you find yourself with a pest problem in or around the Nottingham area, and we can ensure your vehicle is pest-free. 

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