Bed bugs are very tiny, parasitic insects belonging to Cimicidae family. These insects can squeeze into very small spaces in your house due to the flattened bodies. Some of their most common hiding spots include folds and seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames and cracks in walls. These blood-sucking insects are most active at night; this is because they are usually attracted to body’s warmth and carbon dioxide we exhale at night.
Bedbugs are also great travelers and are not limited to just your home. So, don’t be surprised to see them in airports, hotels and even in your own car.
Although it’s not very common to find these insects in your car, it does happen and its one experience you won’t enjoy. A bedbug infestation can cause serious headaches for car owners. Here are some remedies that can help get rid of bed bugs in your car.
How to get rid of Bed Bugs in your car?
1. Inspect your car
Before you start anything, you have to be sure you have an infestation. Some of these treatments can be quite expensive and time-consuming. For this reason, make sure you are certain you have infestation before moving forward. Remove excess clutter from your car and them perform a thorough visual inspection of your vehicle. Blood smears, rust-colored spots, some molted exoskeletons and dried excrement on your car are some common signs of bedbug infestation.
If you have found some itchy red welts after driving your car, you may have bed bugs. Also check for bedbugs along seams in your car seats, corners of your flooring and inside the glove box and center console. An LED Flashlight is really helpful.
2. Clean your car
The first step in the process of killing bedbugs is a thorough cleaning. Remove and wash all the seat covers and rugs in your car. You can also throw the seat covers and carpet in a dryer for 30-60 minutes. The washing machine together with heat from the dryer will kill the bed bugs and any eggs that might be attached to them. Also, clean out all the debris from the floorboard and under your car’s seats. We recommend using a bed bug Hepa vacuum like the Atrix VACEXP-IPM Express Plus Hepa IPM, as it will keep the bugs in the vacuum, avoid spreading them, and they have strong motors for pulling in bugs.
3. Heat Drying
Place the affected rugs and seat covers in the hot sun for a few hours. The heat from the suns rays will kill the bed bugs. Even more effective is placing them in black plastic bags and in direct sunlight. The longer you keep the items in the hot sun, the more effective it will be.
If the temperature in the sun or in the bags does not exceed 120 degrees, this won’t work. A more effective solution is to use a heat treatment solution, like the ZappBug Oven
3. Chemicals and pesticides
One of the most effective ways of removing bed bugs is by attacking them with chemical insecticides & pesticides. This treatment is best used if the bed bug population is dense. However, make sure you choose the right pesticide. Also research on how to use the bed bug sprays and the right amount for safe usage.
If you often have children or pets in your car, we would suggest skipping these treatment strategies. The risk just isn’t worth it. Consider Diatomaceous earth instead (discussed more below).
4. Steam cleaning
This is one of the most common options. Steam-cleaning uses steam to kill and flush out bed bugs from their hiding places. This heat drives the insects out of your car. The heat also kills the bugs in all the stages of their life-cycle, which includes the eggs. Steam cleaning is chemical & pesticide free and it is, therefore, safe for you and your family. Apart from your car, this method can also be used to kill bed-bugs in any part of the house without causing any harm.
Read more about Bed Bug Steamers, because only certain steamers will work.
5. Vacuum cleaning
Any bed bugs in your seams and those that killed by steam cleaning and chemicals need to be removed. This can easily be done with help of a good Hepa vacuum cleaner. Vacuum all of seats and floors in your car. This will suck up any bed bugs or eggs that have attached themselves to your carpet or seats. These insects love living inseams of the upholstery and underneath seats, so pay attention to these areas.
6. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is natural rock talcum powder that kills bed bugs instantly. This powder is safe for humans and pets. Add the powder to all crack and seams in your car’s upholstery and carpet. This causes the bed bugs to dehydrate and this kills instantly them. Apart from bedbugs, diatomaceous-earth is also very effective in killing other insects such as ants, fleas, and roaches.
Repeat the aforementioned tips if the bed bugs are still around. If nothing works, call a professional to remove the bed bug infestation from your car. Many professionals have the necessary skills and tools to remove all bed bugs in your car.