My Friend Has Bed Bugs and Sat in My Car – What Should I Do? Got a friend with bed bugs? Worrying what to do? Recognize the problem, take steps! Understanding bed bugs’ life cycle and habits aids you in finding the right action. Also, reduce chances of bed bugs entering your car or home by taking a few steps:
- Vacuum rugs, furniture, and bedding regularly.
- Check for bed bugs when traveling.
- Keep suitcases and bags off the floor and away from the bed.
- Wash and dry all clothes and bedding on high heat.
- Seal cracks and crevices where bed bugs may hide.
Identify the signs of bed bugs
Bed bugs are flat creatures that suck the blood of both humans and animals. You won’t see them during the day, but at night they hide in bedding and furniture. To identify bed bugs, look for small white eggs near mattress edges. Also check for yellowish skin and light brown spots. Peek inside sofa cushions and under drawers for any activity. And watch out for black dots on fabrics and furniture – that’s their “fecal matter.”
If you think your friend’s car may have bed bugs, take safety measures:
- Vacuum the upholstery with a deep-cleaning attachment.
- Spray insect repellent that has permethrin or pyrethrins (read directions).
- Finally, wash all exposed clothing in hot water (130° F) to kill the bugs before it spreads.
Understand the risk of spreading bed bugs
Before tackling a bed bug infestation in your friend’s home, understand the risk of spreading them through your car. Bed bugs are small, and can move quickly, even with just a few. They can crawl into clothing or baggage, so if your friend sat in your car after being in contact with bed bugs, they may have been transferred.
It is hard for bed bugs to get out of a place like a car or home due to their size. If you find evidence or suspect an infestation, take steps right away. Treating these infestations correctly requires professionals with experience. Even after treating them once, they can reappear if there are new pests living nearby. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to dealing with these pests.
Take Immediate Action
Bed bugs are easily transferable and can spread fast. If your friend has them, and has been in your car, act now! Inspect and treat the affected areas straight away.
To help, here’s a quick overview of what to do:
Vacuum and steam clean the car
Vacuuming is a must when trying to contain a bed bug infestation. Focus on upholstered surfaces, especially where your friend sat. Check underneath and around seams, as these are known bed bug hideouts.
After vacuuming, use a steam cleaner with hot water (at least 131°F). This temperature will kill any live bed bugs or eggs.
Wash and dry all fabrics
Quickly take action to stop the infestation:
- Wash and dry all fabric materials in your car in hot water (at least 130°F). Keep them in the dryer for 30 minutes on the highest setting.
- If you can’t wash or dry them, put them in a sealed plastic bag before getting rid of them.
- Vacuum your car with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to suck up any eggs or larvae.
Put all items in sealed plastic bags
If your friend has bed bugs, it is important to take action fast. Put all items in sealed plastic bags to stop the infestation from spreading. This includes things from the car, like clothing, shoes, blankets, and furniture.
- Vacuum or steam clean any surfaces that may have been touched by the bugs. Put the vacuum bag or cleaning cloths into a plastic bag for disposal.
- Launder all fabrics with hot water and high heat in the dryer for 20 minutes. This kills any eggs.
- Spray insecticides on infested furniture or carpeting if needed. Use a professional service if you can.
Check all areas of your home regularly for signs of bedbugs. These might be small black dots. Take steps to reduce harborage sites and exterminate if needed.
Prevent Future Infestations
Bed bugs are best prevented, not cured. To avoid them in your car, your friend must take steps to eliminate the infestation in their home. Cleaning and vacuuming deeply, and seeking professional help are important.
Additionally, you can take other measures to prevent infestation and keep your car safe:
Inspect your home for bed bugs
Suspect your friend brought bed bugs? Inspect your home and car! Bed bugs are small, flat, and brown like an apple seed. They hide in cracks and crevices during the day and come out to feed on human blood at night.
Inspect your home edges of mattresses, box springs, headboards, couches, and furniture near where someone may have slept. Use a flashlight to check seams, cracks, and crevices. Search closets, drawers, behind pictures, boxes, suitcases, and carpets joining walls. Also check books, magazines, and bookshelves.
Check your car too! Vacuum area rugs and floor mats with a crevice tool attachment. This will help pick up any live bugs or eggs on carpets or headliners inside cars. Bedbugs often hitchhike in cars! Be patient; it could take some time to spot them.
Use mattress and box spring encasements
Mattress and box spring encasements are an effective way of stopping future bed bug infestations. The fabric prevents the bugs from entering or exiting. It also traps the bugs inside, and can even kill them on contact.
To get the best protection, you should put the encasements on your mattress and box spring and tightly seal the zipper. Choose carefully, making sure the encasements are strong, tear-resistant, waterproof, and meant for bed bug control.
Inspect them regularly for damage or signs of infestation.
Check for bed bugs in luggage and clothing
When inspecting for bed bugs, check any items brought into your car by an infested individual. Examine any clothing they brought, looking in seams and crevasses. Bed bugs are small, the size of an apple seed, ranging from white/tan to reddish brown. Droppings, exoskeletons, and dark corners/crevices are signs of a colony. Check zippers, pockets, tags, and labels.
Vacuum frequently after the inspection to reduce the chances of future infestations.
Got a pal with bed bugs? Take action now! Seek pro help. Chemical, heat treatments can get rid of ’em and stop a relapse. Let’s peek at services available. Plus, safeguard yourself and your car!
Contact a pest control professional
To fight bed bug infestations, contact a professional pest control company. Delay can cause the problem to spread to others. An experienced technician can diagnose and create a treatment plan.
Before hiring, check references. Ask for proof of licensure, certifications and insurance documents. Make sure the company is qualified to use safe chemicals and sanitary conditions. Inquire about warranties or guarantees that may be offered on their work. This gives more peace of mind.
Follow their instructions for treatment
It is essential to follow instructions from a pest management expert if your friend has bed bugs. Treatment is a long process that involves vacuuming, laundering clothes, and storing items correctly. To prevent the pest from spreading, the exact steps must be taken.
Your friend should start by meeting a pest management expert who can find out the problem and what type of treatment is necessary. Depending on the infestation, an insecticide could be used or ecological controls (like heat treatments) or trapping/monitoring might be used.
The professional will help figure out the right approach and make a plan. Make sure to follow all steps carefully to treat the bed bugs and prevent them from spreading, including:
- Following the cleaning guidelines
- Entering/leaving treatment areas with cleanliness
- Removing treated items outside the sprayed areas
- Vacuuming treated surfaces before reentry
- Washing/drying clothes/linens for hot cycle/high temperatures
- Getting rid of clutter
- Using approved indoor pesticides, even around children/pets.
Schedule regular follow-up visits
Schedule follow-ups with pest control professionals after initial treatment. Do this every month, for at least three months. Bed bug eggs take several weeks to hatch. Your specialist will check for any signs of a reinfestation. They may recommend additional treatments.
Most treatments have a warranty. Ask your specialist about plans for future infestations. Continue taking preventative measures. Clean furniture and linens to keep bed bugs away.