Bed bugs are small insects that rely on consuming human blood for sustenance and development. They can survive off the blood of many different animals, but humans are their favorite. They are small, about the size of an apple seed, and orangish red in color. Can bed bugs live in your car? Yes they can. They are travelers, attaching themselves to anything fabric, including clothes, furniture and bedding.
Bed bugs are looking for a place that they can harbor, or create a home in hiding, and get regular blood meals. When they find this, they will usually set up shop, lay eggs and begin an infestation. Cars can be a good place for them to lay low for a while, and find a new location, but blood meals would be difficult.
CARS AND THEIR LIFECYCLE
Bed bugs need a blood meal for their development. An adult female bed bug, once fertilized, will search for a hidden place, preferably in cloth or bedding and near food, to lay her eggs. This is most often in bed mattresses and box springs. Once the eggs hatch, nymphs will emerge.
These nymphs will go through five instars, or skin molts. As the bed bug grows, it’s exoskeleton gets to a point at which it can’t get any bigger and most be molted off. Each instar takes a lot of energy to complete. So the bed bug most take a blood meal before each instar in order to complete it. Once this pest reaches sexual adulthood, it will mate. The female must take another blood meal in order to lay eggs. For all of these blood meals, the insect must make contact with the skin, which is much harder from a car seat.
The spread of these insects has come to epic proportions. Infestations in hotels gives these little bugs access to homes that they would never have before. They can hitch a ride on clothes, luggage, purses, handbags and a host of other daily objects. Airports, rental cars, even hospitals are fair game for contracting these little bugs.
This makes cars an excellent mode of travel. Cloth seats and carpets can be easier for a bug to hide in, but they will find a seam in leather to hide in as well. But bed bugs are very susceptible to temperature, making a car a much less hospitable place. At 120 degrees Fahrenheit, a bed bug can only last about an hour and a half. Under -25 degrees Fahrenheit, they can last a few days. These conditions can be quite common in different parts of the country at different seasons.
GETTING RID OF HITCHHIKERS
So what do you do if you find some of these little bugs in your car? Your first concern should be your home. If they are in your car, they have probably found a way into your home. Inspect all mattresses, box springs and bedding for signs of these insects. Couches are also susceptible. Make sure that no one in the home is experiencing bed bug bites. An inspection of your car and home by an experienced exterminator is a good idea.
There are many over the counter bed bug products that make big promises. It is my experience that none of them work. The reason is that almost all of them use an active ingredient that is from the pyrethroid family. Over the years, bed bugs have developed an immunity to these pesticides. These insects will run and hide from the product, but will not kill them. This means that your infestation may hide for several weeks, but they will come back, and usually worse.
GET AN EXTERMINATOR
These bugs are very resilient and great hiders. It takes a trained eye, and lots of experience to remove these insects from your home or vehicle. Your local exterminator will have all the right tools to do the job right from the start.
Can bed bugs live in your car? Yes. If you are living in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Owasso, Bixby, Jenks, or the Catoosa area, feel free to Contact Us here at TermMax Pest Control. We have trained experts ready to give you a free estimate!