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Cockroaches in car

A lady called in from Honolul about having cockroaches in the car and Tom & Ray sort of misled her. I have lived with cockroahes in Honolulu for close to 50 years and therefore can speak with some veracity and experience.

First thing is to stop eating in the car. Then vacuum the bejeezuz out of it. Since there will be humans in the car and it would be difficult to remove the interior, I would hesitate to use the old standby empty-the-Raid-can-in-th-car-at-noon trick that worked beautifully on a '63 ve van I once owned. But since there is no reason for the roaches to be there unless there is something to eat, I can’t emphasize cleanliness. They’re going to get in, no matter what you do, and they won’t come in if there is nothing to eat.

We went through the2 year old in the car in the far distant past and keeping the car clean was the only way to go.

I understand that they eat glue, too. Don’t keep boxes that are glued together in the car. My SIL from Texas provided that information. That’s one reason why Tupperware is so popular in Texas.

Cockroach Cookies

The solution to Dominique’s cockroach in the car problem
is quite simple. Having lived in the cockroach capitol of the
world, Manhattan for a few years, this foolproof cockroach
eradicator became the stuff of legend. Mix baking powder
with condensed milk and roll into small cookie balls.Place
them around your car where your child won’t grab them.
Come back to bunches of belly up cockroaches who have
exploded from the mixture. The sweet smell of condensed
milk attracts them, the baking soda nails them.

I doubt that in Honolulu, that woman
has ever used her heater, or for that matter
her A/C since the weather out there is so
perfect. I think Tom and Ray should have suggested
that she park her car somewhere, turn it on
and then turn on the A/C as high as possible,
let the car run for 24 hours and freeze those
buggers out of her car. Either that, or have
her send the whole car to someone in the
upper midwest during winter and let the bugs
die a horrible unnatural death.
And then keep the car clean.

I have to agree with hoodaguy; in fact I wrote to Tom & Ray with exactly those comments. Though I live on the Mainland now, I grew up in Hawaii, and we never had a problem with cockroaches in the car. When I lived on the Big Island (Hawaii island) out in the country I had SPIDERS, but grew up in Honolulu…never had roaches in the car because there was never food in the car! That goes for empty drink containers, food wrappers, ANYTHING that might smell of food. The suggestion by farmerride would never work, they have to be litterally frozen (below 32 deg) to kill them. Cockroaches aren’t fond of heat, so parking in the sun on a hot day in the summer, with the windows rolled up might work…and to those who don’t know, yes, it does get hot in July & August (upper 80’s, sometimes low 90’s).

The suggestion for condensed milk and baking powder is clever, but the classic low-toxicity cockroach killer is boric acid powder. A pan sprinkled lightly with boric acid powder on the floor in the car would probably do the job
The roaches clean the powder off themselves, ingest it and die. I once sprinkled it in the corners in a loft that was heavily infested. Two evenings later, the last cockroach staggered up to my bedside and fell over dead. You could search online for more information on how to deploy boric acid.

I also agree with hoodaguy. This brings back memories of my days at the University of Hawaii in the '80s when my dad told me not to eat in my car. Of course, I did, and soon encountered the same problem as the caller. I finally set off one of those insecticidal foggers over night and never had the problem again (until I decided to eat one last time in the car). Later, on a return visit with my wife, I gave a rental car in Hilo the same treatment with the same results. Of course, I’m not sure it would be advisable for the caller (who mentioned her baby) to do the same.

I have lived in Honolulu, Boston, and Houston. I believe the Car Guys missed a
simple solution. Boric acid is cheap from the
drugstore and harmless to people, but the
white powder, sprinkled on the floor against
a baseboard or near any indoor/outdoor access, including household plumbing against walls,
will cause them to crawl though the stuff.
They then try to lick it off and kill
themselves. Any remains consumed by fellow
roaches kills them as well. Disgusting, but amazingly satisfying.

Check it out.


I also grew up on Oahu and I’ve had cockroaches in my car - and everywhere else. Actually, I had them infesting my work truck on more than one occasion. And yes, they are in there feasting on the remains of french fries, etc. Being a hard-core construction worker, I stuck a fogger in there, turned it on and closed the windows. Probably not the healthiest option, but it worked beautifully.
The Boric Acid Powder actually does work GREAT and is relatively non-toxic. You could buy it from Long’s Drug Store. My dad had infestations in his attic and also in his storage shed. We’re talking about the big ones - the B-52s. We sprinkled boric acid all around the area and they totally disapeared within a week or two - and they never came back in the attic. They did re-occupy the shed a few years later but we applied the boric acid - it works.

I don’t know if the Osage orange tree grows in Honolulu, but the inedible fruit that is produced (we called the hedgeapples–they are about the size of an orange and are green in color) repel cockroaches. I lived in married stident housing while attending graduate school in the midwest. We had a problem with the cockroaches coming into our apartment around the drain line for the sink from the apartment next door. We had the maintenance department come in and whatever they sprayed made the cockroaches multiply. An old janitor I knew told me that the hedgeapples would repel the cockroaches. I drove out in the country, located an Osage orange tree and picked up a couple hedgeapples. I put them under the sink and had no more problems. I don’t know whether these trees grow outside the midwest or not.