How to Treat Bed Bugs in Your Car

Infestation Identification and Treatment


Updated July 15, 2021

Tiny and good at hiding from view, bed bugs are elusive parasites that may be hard to detect and even harder to treat if you don’t know what to look for. While many people associate bed bugs with bedrooms, you can find this bug nearly anywhere from hotels to public transportation and movie theaters to your couch. With so many opportunities for bed bug exposure, it is very possible you can also get bed bugs in your car. Learn how to identify an infestation in your car and what you should do next.

Do You Have Bed Bugs in Your Car?

Signs You Might

  • Unexpected tiny red stains on the floor or seats, as these may be crushed bed bugs
  • Bug exoskeletons that are shed as they grow
  • Discovering multiple tiny, red welts after driving
  • Bed bugs elsewhere in your home
  • You recently traveled to a place that had a bed bug infestation

Bed Bug Bites

How to Identify an Infestation

  • Examine every crack and crevice for feces, shed skin, eggs, and bloodstains using a flashlight.
  • Run a credit card through tough-to-reach spots to expose anything that is hiding.
  • Do a full-body scan after driving with a focus on exposed areas that come into direct contact with your car.

How to Treat Bed Bugs in Your Car

While it may seem intimidating to take care of, rest assured it is possible to make your car pest-free again. Here’s how:

1. Bring on the Heat.

One way to kill bed bugs is a thorough cleaning with heat. Remove and wash all things that can come out of your car—seat covers, rugs, etc. Put what you can in a dryer for 30-60 minutes. The washing machine together with heat from the dryer will not only kill the bed bugs but also any eggs that might be attached to them.

If you can’t use a washer and dryer, place the affected rugs and seat covers in the hot sun for a few hours. The heat from the sun’s rays will kill the bed bugs. If possible, place them in black plastic bags and in direct sunlight. The longer you keep the items in the hot sun, the more effective this method will be.

2. Steam cleaning

This is one of the most common options. Steam-cleaning uses steam to kill bed bugs and get them out from their tight hiding places. This method also kills the bugs in all the stages of their life-cycle, which includes the eggs.

3. Chemicals and pesticides

One of the most effective ways of removing bed bugs is by attacking them with chemical insecticides and pesticides. This treatment is best used if the bed bug population is too dense for other methods. Thorough research is required, and it’s not a great option if you often have children or pets in your car.

4. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is natural rock talcum powder that kills bed bugs instantly. This powder is safe for humans and pets. Add it to all cracks and seams in your car’s upholstery and carpet. It will cause the bed bugs to dehydrate and die.

Man cleaning automobile salon with vacuum cleaner, closeup. Car wash service

5. Vacuum

After you have killed the bugs, use a vacuum to remove them. A HEPA filter vacuum or shop vac is helpful. Vacuum all of the seats and floors in your car. This will suck up any bed bugs or eggs that have attached themselves to your carpet or seats. Pay extra attention to the inseams of the upholstery and under the seats.

Bed Bugs in Your Car? Call for Help.

If bed bugs are in your car, there is a very good chance you have carried them into your home or vice versa. The pest professionals at Green Pest Solutions have dealt with the dreaded bed bug before. If all else fails, or if you want to take some preventative measures to stave off another outbreak, please consider giving us a call to schedule a free consultation. Contact us today at 877-636-9469.

Bed Bugs Facts and Checklist

Bed Bugs Facts and Checklist

Remember how to identify common bed bugs that might have invaded your home and how to get rid of them.