If you are dealing with a bad bed bug infestation, then you probably know by now how difficult they can be to eliminate. And if you thought your home is the only place they infest, you couldn’t be more mistaken. Bed bugs in the car are a common problem in majority of the bed bug infested cities in US. But worry not; you have come to the right place. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know in order to take care of your ‘bed bugs in the car’ situation.
Products to use when you have bed bugs in car
If you go to any of the big stores selling pest control products, you will likely see that majority of their shelves are stacked with bed bug sprays or powders. Most of these products are safe and effective for taking care of bed bugs at home as well as those in your vehicle. However, some alcohol-based bed bug products can be very dangerous owing to their high flammability. So do make sure not to use matches, lighters etc in the vehicle while using inflammable pesticides for bed bugs in car.
How do bed bugs get in the car?
Many people wonder how bed bugs get inside their cars in the first place. The answer is simple: bed bugs are ‘hitchhikers’. They easily get into our luggage and come with us wherever we go. Many travelers tend to pick up bed bugs from infested hotels. Bed bugs can get into our clothes, inside our shoes and socks or even our hair. They might then fall off in the car where there are literally millions of places to hide. They get inside cracks and crevices under the car seats, in the upholstery and every other area one can think of. Often, bed bugs can go without blood meals for days, even weeks. They use this time to mate and reproduce and lay hundreds of eggs. They bite unsuspecting occupants of the car when they get the opportunity to do so.
Let us consider some steps one must take to eliminate bed bugs in cars.
Steps to follow for eliminating bed bugs in car
Step 1: Prepare the car for bed bug treatment
This includes stripping the car of its seat-covers, linen and other clutter. You could wash most of these items in hot water to eliminate bed bug eggs and larval stages. Do not forget to vacuum the inside of the car, especially under the rugs, carpets, or car seats to trap and kill all bugs, their eggs and larvae.
Step 2: Check other areas as well
You are mistaken if you think that doing the step above is the only thing needed to eliminate bed bugs in cars. The fact is: you need to also check all other rooms in your house, basement and garage where you park the car at night. Make sure to inspect electrical outlets, gaps behind peeling wallpapers, areas behind paintings, under or over the furniture etc. If you have old mattresses, it is highly likely to be infested with bed bugs and eggs. It is best to throw away such mattresses ensuring that you label all discarded items as ‘bed bug infested’. This will alert other unsuspecting people from picking it up. New mattresses usually have fewer hiding places, so you need not throw it away.
Step 3: Check for bugs in personal items in the car
This includes inspecting the car’s trunk. Many people tend to store extra stuff, blankets, gloves, car tool kits etc in such areas. Make sure you remove these and wash them as far as possible. Steam all the items as well as the interior of the car completely.
Step 4: Use bed bug products in the car
Now it is time to use various bed bug products in the car. You could use various bed bug powders, sprays, Diatomaceous earth powder, Borax powder etc and sprinkle it liberally all over in the inside of the car. Let the product remain in the vehicle for a few days. Majority of these products work by shredding the bug’s exoskeleton from the inside, killing them instantly. The key is to ensure that the products come in direct contact with the bed bugs in cars.
Step 5: If all else fails…
Once step no.4 is done, vacuum the car again. You might have to repeat the treatment every few weeks for at least 3-6 months to ensure that all the bed bugs in cars are eliminated. If these steps do not do the trick, you might need to call professional pest control companies who can fumigate the car thoroughly. A single fumigation treatment is generally very effective and can kill all bed bugs in cars. However, many precautions are necessary including sealing and covering the car using an air-tight tarp to ensure that the bed bugs in the car do not escape.
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