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

If you’re a car owner, then there must have been moments when you asked yourself –”What Are These Little Black Bugs Crawling In My Car?” And “Where do they come from?”

Little Black Bug In A Car

There are different types of bugs that can infest your car.

Given the environment inside the vehicle (warm, dark, and in some places humid), your car can be a host for roaches, ants, mosquitoes, and spiders.

You might be familiar with these bugs, and you can recognize them quite easily.

But if you see a tiny black bug in the car, sesame shaped, with its legs visible, then it’s a carpet beetle.

Carpet beetles can also have variegated colors with brownish back and orangish spots on them.

In this post, we’ll reveal how to get rid of these little black bugs in a car, or to be more specific, how to get rid of carpet beetles in a car.

Not only that, but you’ll also get to know two crucial things about carpet beetles. Both will help you to keep your car free from carpet beetle infestation. They are –

  • What attracts carpet beetles to your car, and how they enter your car.
  • Why the carpet beetle larvae are more harmful to your car than the adult carpet beetle. 

Let’s dive in,

How Do You Get Carpet Beetles In Your Car?

Variegated Carpet Beetle

In all honesty, your car is as much a haven for bugs as your home is. The warmth inside the car and some organic waste (like food wastes, pet hair) provide perfect conditions for the carpet beetles to live and breed.

An idle lying, unclean car is what the carpet beetles need to nest in.

So, where do carpet beetles come from? Carpet beetles come from outdoors, from your garden or yard.

Carpet beetles sneak into your car through the gaps of the car doors. They hide underneath the floor mat and in those little gaps that are many in your car.

Can Carpet Beetles Damage Your Car?

No, adult carpet beetles don’t damage your car or your home. It is contrary to what most people believe. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get rid of carpet beetles from your home or car.

University of Minnesota says that adult carpet beetles don’t pose any infestation threat to your home and car.

Adult carpet beetles are more of garden pests that feed on flowers and dead insects.

But they can also survive for months inside your home and car by feeding on waste and other bugs like earwigs and maggots.

Apart from hiding, carpet beetles enter your home and car for one purpose (which should worry you a lot), and that is to lay eggs.

What comes out of the eggs is the carpet beetle larvae. Larvae are more dangerous to your home and car than adult carpet beetles. It’s the carpet beetle larvae that cause the damage.

So, the next questions are, where do carpet beetles lay their eggs, and why? The following two sections will clear it.

Where Do Carpet Beetles Lay Eggs

Carpet beetles prefer laying eggs on the matter made of animal products.

So, they can lay eggs on anything from woolen carpets or rugs, clothing or décor made of fur, silk, dried plant products, and even inside your Tupperware that has grains.

These products, especially animal products because they contain keratin, are food for the carpet beetle larvae.

So, if you observe little black bugs in a car seat, then it’s quite probable that it’s a carpet beetle looking for a place to lay eggs.

Carpet Beetle Larvae In Car 

Carpet Beetle Larvae

You will also find maggots like bugs in your car, especially on your car seat, in the gaps and corners inside the car, and on the car’s floor mat. These maggots are carpet beetle larvae.

Carpet beetle larva looks like small caterpillars, reddish-brown in color, and they have visible hair.

They also have prominent horizontal yellowish-brown strips that make them easily recognizable.

The larvae of carpet beetles are ravenous eaters.

They feed on animal and plant products like hair, wool, silk, fur, leather, upholstered furniture, dried meat, beans, peas, rice, corn, wheat, and much more.

So, suppose your car’s interiors and upholstery have fine quality leather, wool, and other animal products.

In that case, carpet beetle infestation is highly probable, especially if the car is lying idle and dirty for days.

How To Get Rid Of Little Black Bugs (Carpet Beetles) And Their Larvae In Your Car?

In this section, we’ll tell you what you can do to get rid of these tiny black bugs in your car, step by step.

Fortunately, you don’t need extensive and expensive pest control to get rid of them.

You can do it all by yourself with little investment.

Here’s what you’ll need to get rid of carpet beetles in your car –

  • A Vacuum Cleaner or Steam Cleaner
  • Borax
  • IGR Grade Carpet Beetle Insecticide

Step # 1 – Vacuum Clean Your Car Thoroughly To Remove Carpet Beetle Larvae And Organic Waste

Vacuum Cleaning Car's Interiors

For many people, a car is a place where they perform a lot of activities on the go. These activities cause waste that gets stuck in the car’s corners and on the car’s foot mat. These organic wastes are food for carpet beetles.

The first thing that you must do is vacuum clean your car thoroughly, get rid of the organic waste (like hair and food droppings), the carpet beetles, carpet beetles’ eggs, and the larvae living inside.

Though vacuum cleaning is just the beginning of these tiny black bugs’ riddance process, it reduces their quantity by a lot.

Vacuum clean the seams of the car seat, the seat belts, and every gap and corner in your car, dashboards, edges of car windows, windshields, and the ceiling of your car.

Pro Tip: If you’ve got a steam cleaner, use a steam cleaner instead of a vacuum cleaner. Carpet Beetles and their larvae can’t withstand heat. Using a steam cleaner will kill the carpet beetles and their larvae. A steam cleaner will do a better job than a vacuum cleaner in getting rid of the carpet beetles. 

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

Once you’re through with vacuuming, remove any covers and fabric, if there’s any, from places like your car seats, steering wheels, and hand rests.

Remove the car floor mat or carpet too.

Whatever you’ve removed, keep everything away from your car. You need to clean them separately to remove and kill the carpet beetles from these.

Step #3 – Vacuum Clean The Interiors Of Your Car Again To Remove Any Left Over Waste, Carpet Beetles, Carpet Beetle Eggs, And Larvae

Vacuum Clean Car Interiors

While removing the upholstery covers and floor mats, some carpet beetles, waste, carpet beetle eggs, and their larvae might have dropped inside your car. Leaving them behind isn’t a good idea.

So, vacuum cleaning the interiors again ensures that you’ve gotten rid of the leftovers.

Next, clean the fabrics and covers that we took out of the car.

Step #4 – Wash The Fabrics, Covers, And Dry Them In High Heat

If any fabric inside your car, like seat covers, is washable, then wash them. Dry them in high heat, at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It’ll kill all the carpet beetles and their larvae that vacuum cleaning couldn’t remove.

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

Step #5 – Sprinkle Borax On The Car Floor Mat And Inside The Car To Kill Carpet Beetles And Their Larvae

Does borax kill carpet beetles? Yes, it does. Borax penetrates the exoskeleton of the carpet beetles and their larvae and kills them. Borax is safe for humans unless ingested.

So, sprinkle borax on the car floor mat lying outside and inside the car. Let the powder rest on the mat and inside the car for a couple of hours.

Then vacuum clean the car floor mat and the interiors of the car again. Vacuuming will remove the dead carpet beetles and their larvae.

Pro Tip: If your car floor mat, car seats, and upholstery are made of leather, then spray some kerosene and wipe them well with a dry cloth. Kerosene kills carpet beetles, and it’s a good leather cleaner too! But don’t forget to let the kerosene dry up. Use a car freshener spray before you use your car again. Else, the smell of the kerosene will stay for long. 

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

Spray IGR Insecticide Inside Your Car

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

Use an insecticide spray labeled for carpet beetle control that is IGR grade.

IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) grade spray will kill all the carpet beetles and their larvae left inside your car. IGR grade insecticide spray also ensures that your car has zero chances of carpet beetle re-infestation unless you often clean your car.

You can also spray a mixture of insecticide spray and insecticide dust labeled for carpet beetles.

Ensure that you spray in all the corners of the car, including all the hard-to-reach places like underneath the car seats and at the gaps behind the car’s back seat.

Step #7 – Close The Doors Of Your Car And Let The Insecticide Dry Up

Once you’re finished with all the six steps, shut the car’s doors, close the window shields, and let the insecticide dry up.

We recommend that you leave your car like that for at least 12 hours before you put in all the fabrics and the floor mat inside your car.

That’s it. Now your car is free from the little black bugs crawling in your car. You don’t need any expensive pest control treatment to get rid of carpet beetles in your car—all the steps you can do it yourself.

The best way to keep your car free from carpet beetles and any kind of bugs are to vacuum or steam clean it thoroughly once a week.

Conclusion

Your car attracts carpet beetles when it’s lying idle for days, and it’s dirty from inside.

Organic waste inside your car and car furnishings made of animal products like leather attract carpet beetles to live and lay eggs inside your car.

More than the adult carpet beetles, it’s the carpet beetle larvae that are more destructive to your car and home. They feed on the car’s interiors made of leather, fur, feathers, or silk.

In this post, you got to know how to get rid of carpet beetles in your car and why and how carpet beetles enter your car. You can use this post as a reliable guide to making your car free from carpet beetles.

To summarize the steps to get rid of carpet beetles in your car –

  1. Vacuum Clean Your Car Thoroughly To Remove Carpet Beetle Larvae And Organic Waste.
  2. Remove Any Fabric Or Covers From Your Car’s Upholstery To Clean Them Separately.
  3. Vacuum Clean The Interiors Of Your Car Again To Remove Any Left Over Waste, Carpet Beetles, Carpet Beetle Eggs, And Larvae.
  4. Wash The Fabrics, Covers, And Dry Them In High Heat.
  5. Sprinkle Borax On The Car Floor Mat And Inside The Car To Kill Carpet Beetles And Their Larvae
  6. Spray An IGR Grade Carpet Beetle Insecticide Spray Inside Your Car
  7. Close The Doors Of Your Car And Let The Insecticide Dry Up.

But it’s not only carpet beetles that can infest your car. The nastiest bug that can invade your car is bed bugs.

And one of the unlikeliest of places that bed bugs can infest is your baby’s car seat.

If you’ve got a baby at home, then you must read our post on how bed bugs can infest a baby car seat and how you can get rid of it.