Little Black Bugs In A Car – How To Get Rid Of Them In 7 Steps?

Given your car’s interior environment (warm, dark, and in some places, humid), your car can be a host to many different types of bugs.

But from time to time, you come across tiny black bugs that are oval-shaped and with a shiny hard shell crawling on your car’s foot mat and seats. 

You ask yourself – “What are these little black bugs in my car?” and “where do they come from?”

This guide will reveal answers to these questions. 

Plus, you’ll also find out why bugs get inside the car. And how to get rid of these little black bugs in a car, naturally. 

Let’s dive in.

Little Black Bugs In A Car – Revealed

Little Black Bugs In A Car

The most common tiny black bug that you see in your car is carpet beetles. 

Carpet beetles are garden pests that sneak inside your home and cars. Outdoors, carpet beetles will feed on the pollen, flower petals, and dead insects.

But why do carpet beetles get inside the car? 

There are two main reasons for it.

First, which is the most important reason, they enter human dwellings to lay eggs.

There are some things inside your home and, at times, in cars that draw these bugs inside.

And that is the material made from animal products.

Carpet beetles lay eggs on stuff made from animal products.

So, things made from fur, silk, wool, leather, and feathers are their top targets to lay eggs.


It’s because, after the eggs hatch, the carpet beetle larvae from the eggs feed on these materials and natural fibers.

And if your car upholstery is made of leather, then that draws them to your car.

The second reason, which is a mix of different reasons, is that when the outdoors becomes too hot or too cold, they look for a more temperate place to live.

Also, parking the car at a place with carpet beetles can cause carpet beetles in a car.

These pests get inside your car through open windows or the tiny gaps between the doors and the car’s floor.

Carpet beetles can easily sustain themselves inside your car and can even lay eggs. 

Later in the post, you’ll find out what keeps them alive inside a car, but for now, let’s find out if they can cause any damage in your car.

Can Carpet Beetles Damage Your Car

Adult carpet beetles don’t cause any damage inside your car and home. The University of Minnesota has confirmed it too.

But there’s a catch.

The larvae of carpet beetles do.

The larvae of carpet beetles can cause damage to your car’s floor mat, seat covers, fabric, and if there’s leather in your car, they’ll damage it too.

Carpet Beetle Larvae

And these larvae can attract wasps to your car because the wasps eat hunt and eat the larvae and adult beetles too.

The damage that these larvae cause is visible in the form of tiny holes in the matter.

These holes are the signs that the larvae have chewed on the surface.

And believe it or not, there can be many larvae inside your car that can cause some expensive damage inside your car.

So, what do the larvae of these carpet beetles look like? 

The larvae of carpet beetles look like tiny grub-like worms that are blackish brown.

The most noticeable feature of the larvae is that they’ve got hairy bristles on their bodies.

These larvae will feed on the waste inside your car.

Then they’ll turn into a cocoon from which they’ll break out as adult carpet beetle. 

So, to save your car’s expensive interior from any damage, you must get rid of these tiny black bugs in your car and their larvae too.

The following section covers it all.

How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles In Your Car In 7 Steps

In this section, you’ll find out the seven steps to getting rid of carpet beetles, and their larvae, in your car.

And you don’t need any pest controller to do it. It’s an easy task that you can do within an hour.

Here’s what you’re going to need.

  1. Vacuum cleaner (steam cleaner is better, you’ll find out why)
  2. Borax or boric acid
  3. IGR grade carpet beetle insecticide
  4. Essential oil like peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil

Here are the seven steps that you can follow easily to eliminate these little black bugs in your car.

Step # 1 – Vacuum Clean Your Car Thoroughly 

No wonder it all begins with cleaning. It’s because if there are carpet beetles and their larvae inside your car, then it means your car is dirty from the inside.

Let’s face it. You perform many activities in the car on the go, including eating.

While eating, you drop off food crumbs and leave food stains behind on the car’s interior surfaces. 

Much of those food crumbs fall on the car’s floor, too, which you don’t realize.

So, begin with vacuum cleaning your car from the inside.

Ensure that you don’t leave behind any nooks and crannies, gaps, and corners in the car.

It’s in these places that the carpet beetles and their larvae can hide.

Also, in these places, much of these wastes gather.

Vacuum cleaning thoroughly will remove most of the waste, the adult carpet beetles, and their larvae.

Don’t leave out places like the behind the car’s back seat and the trunk.

But steam cleaning is better. Why?

It’s because steam cleaning removes them from your car by killing them.

Steam cleaners produce heat. And heat is a bug killer. 

The heat from the steam cleaner will kill the black bugs and their larvae too.

Step #2 – Remove Any Fabric Or Covers From Your Car’s Upholstery To Clean Them Separately

After vacuuming, remove any fabric or covers in your car. Keep them aside. You need to clean them separately. 

Remove the car floor mat or carpet too.

You’re doing it so that you can clean the surface underneath these covers too. That’ll get rid of any carpet beetles and their larvae hiding underneath the covers.

Step #3 – Vacuum Clean The Interiors Of Your Car Again 

While removing the upholstery covers and floor mats, some carpet beetles, waste, carpet beetle eggs, and their larvae might have dropped inside your car. 

When dealing with bugs inside your car, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. The cleaning should be as thorough as it can be.

So, vacuum or steam clean the interiors again. It’s going to remove any bugs leftover in step one. 

Again, ensure that you don’t leave any gaps and corners. Also, don’t forget to clean the roof of your car either.

Step #4 – Wash The Fabrics, Covers, And Dry Them Up

Wash all the covers and fabric that you removed in step two. Dry them inside the dryer at a temperature of at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

In this heat, no bugs can survive. If they’re latching onto the fabrics and covers, then they’ll die in this heat.

If any fabric from your car needs dry cleaning, like leather covers, then get them dry cleaned.

Step #5 – Scatter Borax Or Boric Acid Inside The Car, Especially In The Cracks And Gaps

Does borax kill carpet beetles? It sure does.

Not just carpet beetles, borax, or boric acid can kill most invasive bugs.

Borax is a dehydrator that penetrates the exoskeleton of bugs and robs them of the moisture that they need to survive.

When the moisture dries up, the exoskeleton collapses. That causes the bugs to die.

So, scatter borax or boric acid inside the car. And wait for it to settle down for 15 minutes.

Ensure that you cover the thin gaps and corners inside your car, including behind the seat and in the car’s trunk.

Using borax will ensure that you don’t leave behind any of the bugs and their larvae.

After 15 minutes, vacuum the interiors of the car again. 

Yes, vacuuming is getting repetitive, but that’s the only way to ensure that you don’t leave behind a single beetle or larvae.

As an alternative to borax, you can also use insecticide dust. 

Step #6 – Spray An IGR Grade Insecticide Spray Inside Your Car

Finally, it’s time to land the blow on these tiny black bugs inside your car. 

Sprays like Raid can get rid of carpet beetles inside your car. But there’s a better long-term option.

And that is IGR spray. 

IGR or insect growth regulator sprays disrupts the development of bugs and their larvae.

It attacks the bugs at the cell level by stultifying their metabolism, and eventually killing them by putting a stop on their growth and on their ability to multiply.

These little black bugs in the car, and their larvae, are sneaky. Despite all the steps, there might be a few that you have left behind.

Leaving them behind will only cause their reappearance. 

The IGR spray will ensure that it not only kills them but also destroys their ability to breed.

It’ll also destroy carpet beetle’s eggs inside the car, if there are any.

Ensure that you spray it on all the hard-to-reach places in your car.

Places like under the wheel, behind the back seat, the gaps in the foot paddles have big gaps to harbor these bugs.

So, it’ll be best if you don’t ignore these places while spraying.

Caution – Do not use bug bombs inside your car. They’re risky, and we don’t recommend our readers to use bug bombs inside cars and homes.

Step #7 – Leave You Car Closed And Shut For At Least 7 Hours

Close the car’s doors and windows. Before closing, you can also spray peppermint oil spray inside the car.

Bugs, especially beetles, hate the smell of peppermint oil. It repels them. 

So, after such an extensive cleaning and riddance process, it makes total sense to spray some peppermint oil spray so that other types of bugs don’t try to sneak inside. 

Let the IGR and peppermint oil spray settle down in the car for at least 7 hours. 

After seven hours, you can take your car to the car wash to ensure no bugs and dirt are on the car’s exterior.

But, above all, make sure that where you leave your car is free from bugs. Ensure that your garage is from bugs and it’s clean.

A dirty car full of organic trash is the main reason for carpet beetle infestation inside the car.

Common Car Bugs

Apart from carpet beetles, fleas, cockroaches, spiders, ants, and even bed bugs are some of the common car bugs that can be present in your car.

Roaches sneak inside your cars in search of food and shelter. And this happens if your garage is full of cockroaches.

German roaches inside cars is quite common because these roaches prefer to infest dry places.

Other species of roaches like the American roaches and Oriental roaches prefer to infest damp places.

That’s why they’re more likely to infest areas like bathroom, kitchen, basement, and laundry rooms in your home.

Spiders can be inside your garage and car too.

They’ll sneak in to hide in your car, especially when the weather outdoors becomes too extreme for them.

Bed bugs are hitchhikers. They can latch onto clothing, luggage, and furniture. 

So, if anyone whose home has bed bugs, they can transfer bed bugs into your car if the person’s clothing has bed bugs. 

And from your car, bed bugs can get inside your home and even to your baby’s car seat

On the other hand, fleas can drop off from your pet’s body too into your car. 

You can also notice little brown bugs in your car. These brown bugs are flour beetles or drug store beetles that are present in grains and cereals packets.

Both flour beetles and drug store beetles are pantry pests. They can infest your kitchen too.

And one of the ways that you introduce them to your home is by bringing in the food packets that have them.

Just like the food and organic waste attract carpet beetles, they also attract ants. 

Ants will also feed on the food stains and crumbs, and they’ll also hide inside the car until you get rid of them.

Black Flies In The Car

The most common black flies in the car are house flies, mosquitoes, and fungus gnats. Both bites.

Why do they sneak inside your car?

Waste and high humidity inside the car, including you whom they’ll provide them their blood meals, are good enough reasons for them to get inside your car.

On top of that, these black flies can lay eggs inside your car, especially when the car is dirty.

The larvae of these flies are the reasons why you see maggots in the car too.

That’s why many smart car owners clean their cars often. 

To control the humidity, they also keep car dehumidifiers. They know that a lesser humid and damp car will not attract bugs and flies.


Wastes like food waste, human hair, high humidity, and food stains on the car’s interiors draw bugs inside the cars.

In this guide, you’ve found the little black bugs in the car are carpet beetles. 

You’ve learned how they get inside the car. And how to get rid of carpet beetles in your car in 7 steps.

To summarize these steps – 

  1. Vacuum clean your car thoroughly
  2. Remove fabrics and covers in your car 
  3. Vacuum clean the interiors of your car, again
  4. Wash the fabrics and covers in your car and dry them up
  5. Scatter borax or boric acid inside the car
  6. Spray an IGR insecticide spray in the car
  7. Leave the car closed for at least 7 hours

Plus, this post also reveals the most common car bugs and flies that are a nuisance in the car.

Remember, a dirty, humid car attracts bugs. 

Keeping your car clean and ensuring that your garage is free from bugs is the best prevention against bug infestation.