Bed Bugs in Your Car
It can be difficult to know you are experiencing phantom sensations or residual itching from bed bug bites, or if bed bugs have been carried into your car.
Heat is the best weapon in a vehicle!
Using a Low Vapor Steamer in combination with Active Alert Monitors, can provide some evidence and treatment for bed bugs in your vehicle. The Monitors have small heat packs combined with glue boards you can put in your vehicle or house to try and catch bed bugs to determine if they are present.
Keeping bed bugs out of your car
Take precautions not to bring bed bugs into a car by always changing into clean laundry from sealed bags immediately before leaving your house. However purses, folders, notebooks and backpacks can easily spread bed bugs from your house to your car.
Keeping purses and shoes in sealed bags upon entering your home and only taking them out when you leave will also help keep them out of your car. If you have a Packtite you can heat your shoes, belts, coats purses and backpacks before getting into your car.
Do not bring boxes, or sealed bags you have in your home into your car during your infestation.
Do not start sleeping in your car during your infestation. This certainly would increase the risk of bringing bed bugs into your car.
Bed Bug Treatment for Cars
This is the most common suggestion for dealing with a suspected infestation in your car. Low vapor steamers are wonderful tools for fighting bed bugs and are great for using in your car, or have your car professionally detailed.
Thermal Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs in your car
Some pest companies will perform Thermal Heat Treatment on a car, call around and talk to your local pest companies about this.
Paint Oven (car repair) for several hours.
This is not inexpensive but temperatures in vehicle paint ovens do get well over 145 degrees. The vehicle temperature should be monitored inside to ensure even distribution of heat. Bed bugs will try to retreat to cooler areas of the vehicle as the temperature rises, so it is important that the temperature is evenly distributed throughout the vehicle to be certain any living bugs are killed.
Nuvan Pest Strips
Nuvan is labeled for bed bugs and as far as I am aware, can only be purchased or administered through a licensed pest company. There is not much research about using it in vehicles, however. I did speak with the manufacturer of Nuvan strips during my infestation and at the time they had only tested it in their test lab between mattresses.
The manufacturer, AMVAC suggested that to use it in a vehicle, it should be left in for 21 days to ensure that any baby bed bugs (nymphs) that had hatched in the car during the treatment period, will die. You will not have use of your car during the treatment period. Any vents to the outside of the car would need to be sealed (duct tape?). There is some question as to whether using Nuvan in your vehicle can damage electronics, however, there is no evidence to show Nuvan will damage electronics in a vehicle. Once the treatment is over, the vehicle must be aired out for several hours.
ALWAYS Follow all instructions to the letter when using chemical pesticides or you may cause permanent health damage to yourself and others. Always consult with a professional pest company, or call AMVAC and talk to them.
Talk to pest companies in your area to see if any of them have treated vehicles with Vikane (a deadly gas that kills bed bugs and probably anything else). Vikane is the pesticide commonly used for buildings tented for termites and is used to treat bed bugs in furniture and other objects. After the treatment the gas dissapates completely after the prescribed amount of time (several hours). Vikane is manufactured by DOW Chemicals. Only trained, licensed professionals can use Vikane (sulfuryl fluoride). IMPORTANT: Read everything you can before having Vikane treatment to ensure the pest company you choose uses the proper strength for bed bugs and their eggs. The MSDS Fact Sheet is available at the DOW link above.
*bedbugsnorthwest.com and the owner of the website, are not responsible for any damage to people or property resulting from any treatment, chemicals, or information you read about or use from information provided on this website. Personal behavior is such a determining factor in success, no one can guarantee any one method will be effective in your own personal infestation.