If bed bugs are in your car you have a few options; heat, steaming, not driving your car for 18 months, or a NUVAN pest strip. Bed bugs in cars can be more complicated than treating your home because there are places they can retreat to in the car.
Ask your pest control professional about using the NUVAN strip in your car if it is infested. Or call around and ask several companies how they treat bed bug infestations in cars, compare answers, ask if they’ve treated cars and how. If they say cedar oil or any cedar based product, make sure you’ve read this FTC report on false and misleading clains regarding cedar oil based bed bug products.
Take precautions not to bring bed bugs into a car by always changing into clean laundry from sealed bags immediately before leaving your infested house.
Purses, folders, shoes, notebooks and backpacks can easily spread bed bugs from your house to 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.
Do not use pesticides, DE or foggers in your car.
When you get home from being out
Put your purses and shoes in sealed zip lock bags upon entering your home and only take them out when you are on your way out the door. If you have a Packtite you can heat your shoes, belts, coats purses and backpacks and it will kill any bugs or eggs hiding.
You can keep your checkbook, wallet and keys in the freezer or fridge in a ziplock. Then just throw the ziplock into your purse or backpack. When you get home put it back in the freezer. Yes you are now living La Vida Loca but IT’S TEMPORARY.
Bed Bug Treatment for Cars
It can be difficult to know if you are experiencing phantom sensations or residual itching from bed bug bites, or if bed bugs have been carried into your car.
This is a frequent suggestion for dealing with car bed bugs in your car. Low vapor steamers are wonderful tools for fighting bed bugs in your home and can be used in your car, or have your car professionally detailed. I got this advice, but I don’t think it’s effective at killing an infestation where eggs are being laid every day.
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.
Newly painted vehicles are put into an oven to set the paint faster. The entire vehicle is heated. 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.
I called the manufacturer of Nuvan strips during my infestation (2009) and at the time they had only tested it on bed bugs in their own lab, with bed bugs they put between mattresses. I did have a strip placed in my car for three weeks (reproductive cycles). The use of Nuvan for the treatment of bed bugs has since grown and it is now used for the treatment of certain infested locations.
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?). Once the treatment is over, the vehicle must be aired out for several hours. There is no residual chemical once the vehicle is aired out.
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. Nor should any information on this web site be considered a prescription, or professional medical or legal advice.