If you made it to this page because you want to learn how to get rid of bed bugs in your car then you’ve come to the right place, because in this article we will look at the steps you need to take to rid your car of bed bugs.
Let’s start with some science
Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that belong to the Cimicidae family. With the ability to squeeze into just about every nook and cranny of your house, these insects with flattened bodies can wreck quite the havoc.
Some common hiding spots for bed bugs include cracks in walls, bed frames, inside the bed as well as your car. Yes, bed bugs can actually travel from that cracks in your house walls to your car! Scary!
A single bed bug can cause terrible health effects such as skin rashes and other allergic symptoms. On top of that these parasitic insects can also reduce the selling value of your car.
Now that you know what they are and just how much damage they can cause, here’s how you can really get rid of them.
How to get rid of bed bugs in the car
There’s a textbook method of doing things – and then there’s the real method of doing the same thing.
Simply searching for “How to get rid of bed bugs in your car” on Google would pop up several articles from different blogs suggesting methods of getting rid of bed bugs in your car. They go on and on about what you should or should not do – and while the methods you find are to be fair, “a good attempt”, they don’t quite do the job completely. And we think you won’t mind the truth!
For starters, there are more than 6 steps to actually getting rid of bed bugs so you don’t find yourself screaming “Darn you bedbug! You never-ending piece of… ahem”.
Based on our personal experience, having gotten rid of bed bugs from our own cars, we have decided to weigh in on the subject matter and teach you how to really get rid of bed bugs in your car. Ready for the moment of truth? Let’s get started!
Step 1: Car inspection for bed bugs traces
This is sort of a no-brainer. The first way to make sure you have a bedbug-free car is to check if you actually have a bed bug infestation in your car. You don’t want to spend all that money treating a car that has no bed bugs in it. Here are some steps to find bed bugs in cars.
- Clean Out: Take some time to declutter your car. Take out that burger wrap! A bug could be in there!
- Read the signs: When looking for a bed bug, keep an eye out for blood stains and tiny dark spots of their fecal matter.
Tip: Use an LED flashlight when looking for bugs!
Step 2: Declutter
If you do find a bug from your inspection in Step 1, then it’s time to do some major cleaning.
Bed bugs live in clutter because they can’t be found easily in all that mess. Decluttering your car regularly helps you detect sneaky pests like bed bugs and prevent an infestation.
If you store your clothes in your car and you suspect a bed bug infestation, it’s time to take them out. You don’t want to give the bed bug room to go from your clothes to your car and then inside your house.
But it’s just a one-bed bug, right? Well, a single bed bug stuck in the crack or crevice of your car can lay between 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime and those eggs hatch in 6 to 10 days. Left unchecked, these bed bugs will live and wreak havoc for up to 11 months.
Step 3: Prepare the car for bed bug treatment
In the event that you find a bed bug from Step 1 and Step 2 above, then preparing the car for a treatment comes next. Bugs never walk alone – they come in large colonies.
Strip the car of the seat-covers, rugs, carpets, linen and anything else. Chances are that there are bed bugs in their eggs and larval stages. Now vacuum your car, especially under car seats. This traps and kills bugs.
Step 4: Wash floor mats and seat covers
If you aren’t already doing this, then you should know that washing your floor mats and seat covers frequently can kill any lingering bed bugs hiding in your car. So get to washing!
After washing, dry your floor mats and seat covers at high heat to kill surviving bed bugs. And inspect these items again before putting them back in your car.
Step 5: Drying
Placing affected seat covers and rugs in the hot sun for hours will kill the bed bugs. A more effective alternative is placing these items in black plastic bags and putting them directly in sunlight.
An even more effective solution is the heat treatment solution in Step 6.
Step 6: Interior heat treatment
Arguably the most effective way of treating bed bugs is heat treatment. While you may not use the same equipment that professionals use, using a steam cleaner can offer the same pest-killing abilities.
Ensure that the machine you use emits over 200 degrees of high-pressure steam. This is the only way the bed bugs in your car can be killed. Use a fabric attachment that has a cloth cover to control the steam application.
Step 7: Killing bed bugs with diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is very effective at killing a lot of different insects, such as cockroaches and, yes, also bed bugs. And it is safe to use around pets and humans without harming them.
Diatomaceous earth can be bought online or at your local hardware store. Sprinkle this throughout the car and leave it there for some days, preferably three days for the best results. After these 3 days, you can vacuum up the dust from your car. Repeat this method every two weeks for the best results!
Step 8: Fumigate
When a home is infested with pests, an effective treatment for such homes would be fumigation. And the same applies to cars suffering bed bug infestations.
Seal your car and cover it with a tarp after fumigation. It is the fastest way to kill all the bedbugs in your car.
Although all 8 methods are effective as standalone remedies, combining two or three of these methods promise the most effective results and will let you get rid of bed bugs in your car quickly and efficiently.