Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped, wingless insects. They can be found around the world anywhere humans are, usually within a few feet of a bed or sofa.

Bed bugs feed on blood and can cause itchy, red sores when they bite into human skin. These small creatures hide in sheets, piles of laundry, mattress seams, bed frames, and cracks in walls during the day, coming out at night to feed. While it’s somewhat uncommon, some bed bugs may even find their way into your car, latching onto your clothing every time you sit down to drive.

The discovery of bed bugs in your home or even in your car is always a distressing one, so it’s good to know what to look out for.

What do I need to know about bed bugs?

One bed bug can lay up to 250 eggs in her lifetime. Under normal circumstances, bed bugs usually have a lifespan of around 10 months.

Aside from how they breed, it’s helpful to know the temperatures in which they thrive. These little critters can only live in temperatures of 46 degrees Fahrenheit and above, so they probably wouldn’t survive in your car during the winter if you’re living somewhere cold.

The same goes for higher temperatures; most bed bugs can’t survive in temperatures above 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

How can I tell if there’s a bed bug infestation in my car?

You’ll be able to determine if you have a bed bug infestation in your car pretty easily. Look for things like:

  • Reddish or brown stains (these bed bugs that have been sat on and crushed, or their waste)
  • Tiny yellow eggshells or eggs
  • Skins that the bed bugs have shed during growth
  • Bed bugs themselves

The most likely way you’ll discover bed bugs is you start noticing bed bug bites. These are little, red marks that may appear and cause itching, so check your home and car for bed bugs if you start finding little red bite marks, especially on areas of skin that aren’t covered by your pajamas while you sleep or clothes while you drive (such as ankles).

How can I stop bed bugs from getting into my car?

Here are some effective ways to prevent bed bugs from getting into your car:

  • Wear fresh clothes when traveling before getting into your car, especially if you’ve been on a plane or sitting in a hotel restaurant.
  • Have your car’s interior professionally steam cleaned after traveling.
  • If you use a shared laundry facility, carry them to and from the laundromat in plastic bags.
  • Check any second-hand furniture you buy before putting it into your car.
  • Keep clutter to a minimum to avoid giving the bed bugs anywhere to hide.
  • Keep your luggage in your suitcase while traveling, don’t leave it on beds, armchairs, or in provided storage.

If you’ve already discovered an infestation, you’ll need to speak to a professional. Don’t risk trying to fumigate or use chemical pesticides by yourself – they’re toxic and they rarely fully treat the infestation, leaving some alive to repopulate your home.

At the International Bed Bug Resource Authority, we can put you in touch with trusted, trained professionals to remedy your bed bug problem with effective heat treatments as soon as possible. Click here to find a service provider near you.