Bed bugs in the car: how to get rid of them?

Bed bugs in the car? Yes, bed bugs are a type of flightless nocturnal insect that can live hidden anywhere. They feed on all kinds of warm-blooded animals, including humans and pets. When hiding in places like the crevices of mattresses, the folds of sheets and pillows, it is not always easy to identify them.

Another characteristic of these insects is that they infest your spaces quickly, especially the carpets and furniture in the home, including the car. People often become aware of their existence by identifying bites on their body. These are usually red with a more reddish spot in the middle. They are spread out in lines and groups.

These bites can cause allergies in some people. It should be noted that bed bugs do not usually spread disease. Although a study conducted by the University of New Mexico identified that bed bug feces are a channel of transmission of certain pathologies.

How do bed bugs get into the car?

If we said that bed bugs tend to feed on blood and that is why they look for spaces in our bed and furniture, where we spend more time, you will wonder how it is possible that they get to the car. If they are already in the house, it is easy for them to arrive through clothes, bags or any other item that you take to the car.

Another possible scenario is through pets. If you usually transport your dog or cat in the car and it has bed bugs, they will easily pass. Also, if you are a person who travels a lot and often stays in hotels, you could be the one who spread bed bugs to the car and to the house.

As these parasites feed on your blood at night, while you are asleep, in the car they will have a hard time biting you, although they will survive several days without eating anything. However, you may be bitten at any time.

Bed bugs feed on blood and they do so at night, especially.

You can also read: How to differentiate flea, bed bug and mosquito bites?

How do I know if I have bed bugs in my car?

To find out if there are bed bugs in your car, the first thing is to do a manual check. It should be clarified that the first symptom of their presence could be bites and, although you have already identified their hiding places at home, yes or yes you should check the car. You can follow these steps:

  • Start by checking the cracks in the chairs. Being hidden and hot places it could be easy to find them there.
  • A glance is not enough, you should try to open the slits a little to see well.
  • Look at the seams and folds of fabrics. Don't forget the rugs.

If you still have doubts with these steps, make a checklist with the following signs of their presence:

  • Red, dry spots on the chairs they can be a sign that they have been crushed by something.
  • Excrement on the chairs. These insects usually defecate shortly after eating, making their stools look like stains of dried blood.
  • Dead skin residue from bed bugs and yellow eggs.

Strategies for getting rid of bed bugs in the car

If you followed one or more of the steps above and found that there are bed bugs in your car, don't worry. Now you should focus on getting rid of them. There are several ways to do it and here we recommend some.

Very hot heat

Although bed bugs like warm areas, high temperatures over 113 degrees Fahrenheit can kill them, including their eggs. A quick and inexpensive solution is to close the windows and cover them with black cloths or bags, parking the car in a region where the sun's rays hit directly.

Hot steam

Another mechanism that works well is hot steam cleaning. The utensils to do it are very useful and allow air to enter the car's crevices and creases with great efficiency. Adjust the flow to prevent insects from flying away before they die.

To avoid a new infestation, you can repeat this cleaning method once a month or use the vacuum cleaner. With the latter you must be careful and put a removable bag that you can dispose of later.

Wash the covers and rugs

Some cleaning products can help control, but not eradicate, bed bugs. But it is always useful to wash covers and rugs frequently, putting them in the clothes dryer at a high temperature. This will guarantee the elimination of them.

Of course, verify that the materials of these elements can be cleaned and dried in this way without problems.

Discover: Recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting the home

Diatomaceous earth

This is a mineral that comes in powder and is white in color. It is made from the fossilized remains of aquatic organisms and has proven very useful in eradicating bed bug pests and other insects. It is a safe substance for people, but it is recommended to be careful, as it could cause irritation in the nose and throat.

This mineral absorbs the exoskeletons of insects, so after application you should wash the car very well so that the remains of diatomaceous earth and the inert bodies of the bed bugs come out.

Some chemicals are helpful in eradicating bed bugs. Anyway, you have to be careful with its use to prevent chemical allergies.

Fumigation

This is one of the most effective measures, but it is recommended that the person performing the procedure be a professional. Using toxic products in a space as small as the car can be dangerous to health.

Tips to prevent a bed bug infestation

It is important to note that bed bugs are not synonymous with uncleanliness. These animals can infest a house or a car without distinguishing the cleanliness of the place. But you can always follow some tips that keep you away from them:

  • Check the car seats periodically.
  • Vacuum the car and washes covers and rugs once a month.
  • Make sure that the elements that you get into the car and come from other places are clean and without the presence of bed bugs.
  • Bathe your pets regularly to prevent bed bugs from being brought into the car and promote the animal's health.
  • Use plastic bags to move clothes that you take to external laundries.

Finally, remember that the cleaning and extermination processes must be done both in the car and at home. Otherwise, they could move back from an infested space to a clean one.