Can You Get Bed Bugs in Your Car?
Bed bugs are travelers. Before moving into your mattress or settling down in your nightstand, they may have lived in a hotel, an office, a school or some other place people gather.
Bed bugs can attach themselves to clothes, furniture, luggage and even your pets. While rare, they can also live in your car, which gives them easy access to anything you transport and every place you go, including your home.
If you suspect bed bugs, or have had a bed bug issue at home, you should inspect your car on occasion to help keep these tiny passengers from re-infesting your home. And if that’s the case, any car you may be driving, including your rental car, should be checked for signs of an infestation.
Inspecting a car for bed bugs
You should approach inspecting your car for bed bugs the same way you would your room:
- Remove all trash and clutter where bed bugs can hide.
- Conduct a thorough visual inspection, looking for bed bugs along seams in your car seats, under the seats, in the glove compartment and the console.
- Look for signs of bed bugs, such as dark spots and blood stains. Shed exoskeleton may also be visible.
- Use double-sided tape to check the area around your seats, floor mats and rugs. Press the tape into all crevices. Pull it back and inspect it to see if any bed bugs are present. Young bed bugs may be hard to see, so look closely.
If you do find signs of infestation, don’t despair. There are safe and effective ways to deal with this type of bed bug problem.
Clean your car thoroughly
- Remove and shampoo all floor mats, rugs and any seat covers and leave them out in the sun to dry.
- Vacuum the entire car. Pay attention to the cracks, crevices and dark places where bed bugs hide. If your regular handheld vacuum is not up to the task, try using a more powerful HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) model.
- Steam clean your car’s interior or have it professionally done.
Bed bugs in your home
Bed bug infestations in the car are rare, but regular inspection and cleaning is recommended. If there is a bed bug infestation in your car, then it likely will spread to the inside of your house if bed bugs were to attach to your clothing or to your belongings that you carry inside from the car. Taking steps to help prevent bed bugs from living inside your car can help prevent an infestation from finding its way into your home.
However, if bed bugs do happen to find their way into your home, they can be very difficult to remove and DIY methods often fall short. Once they are in your home, they can feed and reproduce quickly and relentlessly. And though their name suggests otherwise, they aren't always found in or around the bed. In fact, bed bugs can hide many feet away from the bed. Among other places, bed bugs can hide in:
- Wall voids
- Door frames
They can also be confused with their cousin, the bat bug.
For all the reasons mentioned above, it's best to have the help of a trained professional who can properly identify bed bugs and inspect your home for their presence. Then if bed bugs are found, a bed bug professional knows how to properly treat the infestation. If you think your home has bed bugs, learn how Terminix® can help.