Bed bugs are notorious for their ability to spread quickly to nearly any space. While you may assume bed bugs are only found in beds and bedrooms in homes or hotels, the fact is that they can spread to nearly anywhere, including cars
If you have identified a bed bug infestation in your car, here are some steps you can take to get rid of them.
Inspect the Vehicle
Before taking any other measures, it’s important to inspect your car as thoroughly as possible to determine if you truly do have an infestation. Otherwise, you may end up spending money on a treatment that’s ultimately unnecessary. You can identify an infestation by removing clutter from the vehicle and looking for small rust-colored spots or blood smears, shed skins and dried bed bug excrement. If you notice red welts that appear on your body and/or if you start to itch after driving the car, this could also indicate the presence of bed bugs.
You should look in car seat seams, flooring corners, and inside the center console and glove box, ideally using an LED light.
Clean Your Car
After documenting the infestation by taking photographs, you’ll want to clean the car. This should hopefully kill the majority of the bed bugs. You can start by removing seat covers and rugs and washing them, followed by drying them in a dryer at a temperature higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour to a full hour.
You can also consider leaving the items to dry beneath the sun in black plastic bags for a few hours, during which the heat should kill remaining bed bugs and eggs. However, if you heat the items under the sun and the temperature doesn’t go higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat won’t kill the bed bugs.
You can also clean the vehicle’s floorboard and beneath car seats using a vacuum. Be cautious to fully empty your vacuum before taking it back into your house.
Pesticides and Chemicals
Another way to kill bed bugs is to use chemicals and pesticides. The best time to use these is when a bed bug population has grown particularly dense. While some people attempt bed bug elimination products on their own, it’s important you consider having a professional who is well versed in bed bug treatment apply chemicals.
It’s best to avoid these treatments if you frequently have children or pets in your vehicle, as they can present a health risk. The safest way to treat such an infestation is by using a trained and licensed professional.
Diatomaceous Earth Treatment
Unlike chemical insecticides and pesticides, diatomaceous earth is safe for pets and people. This substance is natural rock talcum powder that has been shown to be somewhat effective against bed bugs. It works by dehydrating the bed bugs. It can also kill ants, roaches, and fleas through the same process.
These are some of the most effective ways to get rid of bed bugs in your car. If you can clear your vehicle of an infestation, you’ll subsequently be able to more easily prevent infestations in the home or elsewhere.