Can bed bugs live in your car? Now isn’t this the trick question? When most of us think about bed bugs, naturally, we think about bugs that infest beds and other types of furniture. However, bed bugs are adventurous, and they are found many other places, including your car. Though finding these pests in your car isn’t as common as other places, the fact of the matter is, it can happen.
So how do you avoid a bed bug infestation in your car, or eliminate bed bugs that have taken up residence in your automobile? Read on to learn more about how to find bed bugs in your car and eliminate them.
Why Should You Remove Bed Bugs From Your Car?
We have talked about bed bugs infestations before, including the cost of their extermination, so it is rather natural to ask ourselves can bed bugs live in your car as well.
The problem with having bed bugs in your car is that they can bite you. If you somehow find odd-looking insect bites on your skin or a skin rash, you may need to look for bed bugs in the vehicle.
The bigger problem of bed bugs in your car is that these critters can attach themselves to your clothes, luggage, objects, and even pets. It is a rare phenomenon, but bed bugs that live in your car have easy access to anything you have and transport from the vehicle to every place you go, your home or office included.
How to Find Bed Bugs in Your Car
If you’ve never had bed bugs before, you may not have a clue what these critters look like. Moreover, you can easily mistake them for other insects. The fact is, they are very small insects that have flat bodies. This makes it easy for them to slide into just about anywhere.
- If you have a feeling you may have bed bugs in your vehicle, you’ll need to inspect the car completely to confirm.
- To do this, remove any excess clutter, trash, or debris from the car so you can get a clear view of the vehicle.
- Look for signs of a bed bug infestation, like bits of blood on the upholstery, brownish spots, and dried out bug exoskeletons.
- Check places bed bugs can hide, such as the glove compartment, in between your seats, and in the center console.
- Bed bugs can also bite, so if you’ve seen small bumps on your body that itch violently and look like bright red welts, you may have been bitten by the bugs.
Bed bugs can be easily carried into your home and infect your bedding and other furniture, so launch a plan of attack before this happens and you’re in an even worse situation.
How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs in My Car?
Photo Credit: Automotive Training Centers
Get rid of bed bugs living in your car by making your car an uninhabitable environment for the bugs.
- First, strip the car of any upholstery you can, including any and all seat covers, rugs, or mats.
- Wash them in very hot water, as bed bugs cannot take heat.
- Clean and vacuum your car thoroughly, using a HEPA vacuum meant for bed bugs, such as this ATRIX model. Make sure the vacuum has a sealed filter so no bed bugs escape during the process.
- Use attachments to get into the crevices of your car, including under the seats and between the seats.
- Don’t miss side pockets or back pockets behind the seats, seams between the seats, and floorboards.
- Vacuum every spot of your car to leave no trace of bed bugs behind.
- Once you have vacuumed your vehicle, move on to steam cleaning.
- Steam cleaning uses heat to effectively eliminate insects from your car. It kills all of the bed bugs and it’s a chemical-free method to do so.
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Can I Use Chemicals to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in My Car?
There are many chemical methods of destroying bed bugs on the market. Some may be more powerful than others.
- A good method that isn’t toxic is called diatomaceous earth. You can shake this powder into your car and it kills on contact.
- If you wish to use chemicals to get rid of the bed bugs, make sure you are careful and wear gloves when applying chemicals.
- Stay out of your vehicle for 48 hours after treating your vehicle with chemicals.
- Don’t allow your kids or pets anywhere near chemicals used to treat bed bugs.
How Do I Avoid Another Bed Bug Infestation in My Car?
Dealing with bed bugs is frustrating and can be costly. Avoid the hassle by reducing the risks of any other infestations.
- Keep your car cleaned and vacuum it on a regular basis.
- Remove trash from your car.
- Make sure you don’t have any bed bugs in your home, which you could transport to your car.
- Don’t let anyone ride in your car that has bed bugs in their home or you suspect could be carrying bed bugs.
- Keep your car free of trash and clutter, and regularly remove and wash seat covers and floor mats to keep them clean.
- Just to be on the safe side, before vacuuming your car, you can always sprinkle some diatomaceous earth inside your vehicle and let it sit for a while before you vacuum. This ensures that any bed bugs in residence will die immediately.
Conclusions and FAQs
Although rare, yes, bed bugs can live in your car. They can bite you and your passengers and attach themselves to your belongings.
Yes, they are resilient to low temperatures (as low as 46 degrees Fahrenheit and lower) and can live in your car even in the cold season.
The best methods to get rid of bugs in your car are as follows:
1. Thorough car inspection;
2. Strip the car of all upholstery and wash everything in hot water;
3. Clean and vacuum your car thoroughly, using a HEPA vacuum. Alternatively, take the car to a professional car wash using pro vacuums.
4. Steam clean the insides of the car – every nook and crevice.
5. You can also use diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle a good layer of this material inside the car, leave it to act overnight, and then vacuum.