If you’ve come to this page, you probably want to learn how to get rid of bed bugs in your car. You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll look at the steps you need to take to those bed bugs out of your car for good.
Let’s Start With Some Science
Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that belong to the Cimicidae family. These insects have flattened bodies that can squeeze into just about every nook and cranny of your house, which means they can wreck quite a lot of havoc.
Some common hiding spots for bed bugs include cracks in walls as well as inside bed frames, the bed, and even your car. Yes, bed bugs can actually travel from those cracks in your house to your car! Scary!
One single bed bug can cause terrible health effects such as skin rashes and other allergic reactions. On top of that, these parasitic insects can also reduce the resale 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 Your Car
There’s always the textbook way of doing things and then there’s the real way of doing the same thing.
If you simply search for “How to get rid of bed bugs in your car” on Google, several articles from different blogs will appear. They all suggest different methods for getting bed bugs out of your car. While they go on and on about what you should or should not do and the methods you’ll find are—to be fair—a good try, they don’t quite do the job completely.
We think you ought to know the truth! For starters, there are more than six steps to actually get rid of bed bugs for good. This will keep you from screaming “Darn you, bed bug! You never-ending piece of…” Ahem. You know what we mean.
Based on our personal experience and having removed bed bugs from our own cars, we’ve decided to weigh in on the subject. In this article, we’ll 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. Inspect your car for signs of bed bugs.
This is sort of a no-brainer. The first way to make sure you have a bed bug-free car is to check if you actually have bed bugs in the first place. You don’t want to spend all that time and money treating a car that has no bed bugs in it.
When looking for bed bugs, keep an eye out for blood stains and tiny dark spots of their fecal matter. You can check out this article for tips on how to hunt for bed bugs.
Tip: Use a LED flashlight when looking for bed bugs!
Step 2. Clean out your car.
If you do find a bed bug during your inspection, it’s time to do some major cleaning. Take some time to declutter your car. Throw away that burger wrapper! A bug could be hiding in there!
Bed bugs live in clutter because it is easy for them to hide in all that mess. Cleaning your car regularly will help you detect sneaky pests like bed bugs and prevent an infestation.
If you store clothes in your car and suspect a possible bed bug infestation, it’s time to take them out. You don’t want to give the bed bugs a free trip from the clothes in your car into your house.
But it’s not a problem if there’s just one bed bug, right? Well, a single bed bug in your car can lay between 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime and those eggs will hatch in 6 to 10 days. Left unchecked, those bed bugs will live for up to 11 months.
Step 3. Prepare your car for bed bug treatment.
If you’ve found one or more bed bugs and have cleaned out your car, then the next step is to prepare the car for treatment.
Remove the seat covers, rugs, carpets, and anything else you can. There could be bed bug eggs or larvae in these items. Next, you need to vacuum your car thoroughly, especially under the seats. This will trap and kill some of the bed bugs.
Step 4. Wash the floor mats and seat covers.
You need to wash all of the items that you removed from the car before vacuuming. After washing them, dry your floor mats and seat covers at high heat to kill any surviving bed bugs. Closely inspect these items before putting them back in your car.
Tip: If you weren’t already doing this, you should know that washing your floor mats and seat covers frequently can kill any lingering pests, including bed bugs, hiding in your car. So get washing.
Step 5. Dry everything thoroughly.
Placing any affected seat covers and rugs in the hot sun for hours will get rid of the bed bugs. A more effective alternative is placing these items in black plastic bags and leaving them in direct sunlight.
Step 6. Use an interior heat treatment.
Arguably the most effective way of treating bed bugs is with heat. While you may not use the same equipment that professionals use, a steam cleaner can offer the same pest-killing abilities.
Ensure that the machine you use emits high-pressure steam that reaches more than 118.94°F (48.3°C). This is the only way to kill any bed bugs that survived the vacuuming. Use a fabric attachment with a cloth cover to control the steam application.
Step 7. Kill the bed bugs with diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is very effective at killing a lot of different insects, such as cockroaches and bed bugs. It’s also safe to use around pets and humans without harming them.
You can buy diatomaceous earth online or at your local hardware store. Sprinkle this throughout your car and leave it there for a few days, preferably at least three days for the best results. After that, you can vacuum the dust and any dead bed bugs out of your car.
Tip: Repeat this method every two weeks for the best results!
Step 8. Fumigate your car.
When you have an infestation in your home, fumigation is one of the most effective treatments. The same applies to cars suffering from bed bug infestations.
Seal your car and cover it with a tarp before fumigation. This is the fastest way to kill all bedbugs in your car.
All eight steps are also effective as standalone remedies. But combining them will provide the most effective results and will allow you to get rid of all of the bed bugs in your car quickly and efficiently.