Mosquitoes flying around

Can You Fumigate a Car? Your Safety Questions Answered

July 26, 2022

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Imagine you are driving along, humming to a catchy tune on the radio, when you see a giant, hairy spider dangling from the rearview mirror. While the experience makes for a nerve-racking tale to share for days to come, you probably could have done without it. You might even start googling whether you need to fumigate your car.

If this is you, you’ve come to the right place. First, we’ll explain what car fumigation is and when it is necessary. Then we will look at the pros and cons of doing it yourself or paying for car fumigation services and the steps to get the job done. Lastly, we share some advice to prevent or stop a car pest infestation from happening again. Read on for all the answers you need about car fumigation.

What is car fumigation?

Car fumigation is an effective measure to exterminate an invasive pest infestation inside your vehicle. Fumigation techniques involve the use of gaseous chemicals to suffocate and kill critters living inside the car. While spiders are the most frightening hitchhikers, many other pests could be bumming a ride. From cockroaches, mice, and rats to ants, fleas, and bed bugs, these little pests seek shelter and nourishment in your car and are hard to get rid of once they have made themselves home. If less invasive pest control measures such as traps and natural remedies have failed or you have a large-scale infestation on your hands, then it’s time to bring out the big guns and fumigate your car.

DIY fumigation vs. professional fumigation

Once you have determined that you must fumigate your car, you need to decide whether you’ll be doing it yourself or hiring professional fumigation services. To help you make this choice, consider the following points:


Car fumigation entails handling toxic gasses in your vehicle’s small, enclosed space. If you are not confident that you thoroughly understand the procedure and can carry it out safely, consider paying for the professionals to do it instead.


DIY car fumigations are less expensive than paying for a professional pest control service if you only look at the money spent. However, it’s important to factor in your time and effort. Moreover, experienced fumigators can guarantee to get the job done at once. Can you say the same?


If you decide to do the car fumigation yourself, you shouldn’t underestimate the time required to shop for the products, prepare the car, carry out the procedure and clean up afterward. Time is money, and professional fumigation services will significantly reduce your time commitment and hassle.

Infestation severity

If you act swiftly, a car bug bomb can eliminate unwanted pests, but you will need more extensive measures for a significant infestation. If the pesky critters have colonized your vehicle, turn to professional car fumigation services for peace of mind that they can tackle the invasion, no matter its size.Bug bomb icon

Riding solo — how to fumigate a car

If you have given some thought to the previous points and decided to fumigate your car yourself, then read on for an easy-to-follow guide. With six simple steps, we’ll cover everything you need to successfully carry out DIY car fumigation.

Step 1: Choose the right products

Firstly, you need to know which pests you are targeting. Then you can head to your local hardware store or shop online for foggers, bug bombs for cars, or any other fumigating products that target your unwanted guests. Depending on which store-bought pest control preparation you decide to use, ensure you buy any equipment needed to safely apply it.

Step 2: Make a plan

Be aware that you won’t be able to use your car for a while after treatment. Read the information on the product you are using to see how long you have to wait. It could be between several hours and a few days, so plan ahead. You’ll also need to set aside enough time to carry out the car fumigation without rushing and taking unnecessary risks under pressure.

Step 3: Be prepared

Start by removing all personal belongings from your vehicle and vacuum it thoroughly. Then follow the directions on your chosen product to get the car prepped for fumigation. Depending on the mixture and your pest infestation, you might need to remove the battery, open the stowage, cover the electronics, or undertake other protective measures.

Once your car is ready, it’s time to prepare yourself. Fumigation is a hazardous activity that should always be undertaken in groups of two and wearing appropriate PPE and safety clothing.

Step 4: It’s fumigation time

Take your car outside and away from any drainage or grassy area. Follow the instructions on your chosen product to fumigate the interiors. It’s standard practice to place the canister on the car’s floor as it’s the lowest flat surface. The next step is to close all doors (with the windows rolled up). Lastly, seal your car properly underneath a tarp for however long the instructions dictate.

Step 5: Be patient

During the fumigation process, keep a safe distance from your car. This is to ensure you don’t inhale toxic chemicals and avoid the dying pests that will leave your vehicle. Rushing this step can lead to physical harm and may require the treatment to be repeated if it’s ineffective.

Step 6: Inspect your car

If your car fumigation was successful, expect to see dead or dying pests in and around your vehicle. Thoroughly vacuum the inside of your car and every crack or crevice you can get the mouth of the pipe into. Wash the inside and outside of the car and ensure there are no dead critters anywhere.

Turning to the pros — how to choose the best professional car fumigation services

There are several advantages to engaging experienced technicians to fumigate your car. Firstly, you have the peace of mind that the infestation is resolved for good, especially if you choose a company, like Hawx, that offers a service guarantee. 

You also save a lot of time on research, preparation, and execution of DIY car fumigation, and keep yourself safe from potentially dangerous gasses.

When deciding on which car fumigation service provider to hire, ask yourself these three main questions:

  1. Does my network of family and friends have any recommendations?
  2. Does the company have positive reviews online?
  3. Is the company certified and experienced?

Your answers are an excellent starting point for finding a professional car fumigation company in your local area.

Remember: prevention beats a cure

Whether you are already facing an infestation or want to know how to act in case your car comes under attack by these pesky critters, there are several things you can do to prevent an infestation and avoid fumigating your car.

Create a bug-free zone

If there are no pests on your property, they simply can’t get into your car. Create a safe perimeter around your home to keep your residence and your vehicles safe.

Keep your car clean

Avoid leaving food wrappers or take away containers in your car and regularly vacuum food crumbs and dirt. Food will attract pests, and once they are in, they’ll quickly make themselves at home.

Don’t give access 

Alongside food, pests also seek shelter. Our cars are the ideal hiding place for many small critters, especially if not driven regularly. Always keep your windows rolled up and your doors closed if you are not in the vehicle, and check your bags for ants and other bugs.

Check where you are parking

If possible, park away from bushes, trees, or grassy areas as they can be home to many vermin. Inspect where you park for any sign of pests and move your vehicle if you see anything suspicious. 

Act on your car pest control without delay

So, can you fumigate a car? Yes, you can fumigate a vehicle, and it is safe to do it yourself. Whether you prefer a DIY job or decide to call in the pros depends on time, money, infestation severity, and skill level. We have shared plenty of tips on tackling the task yourself or choosing the best car fumigation services, but we have a final one for you: be careful and act right away! The longer you leave the problem, the worse it will get. If you see any pests in your car, take steps to exterminate them today.

Spread the love

Ready to protect your home or business from pests?

Schedule today and get a service plan tailored to your property. Receive a detailed report with pictures after each service is completed.