Are you finding mysterious bites after a drive in your car? Believe it or not, those little critters known as bed bugs could be hitching a ride with you. Our guide will steer you through detecting and evicting these pesky passengers from your vehicle.

Keep reading to squash this problem flat!

Key Takeaways

  • Bed bugs can enter your car through hitchhiking on clothes or items and may spread from an existing infestation in your home.
  • To detect bed bugs, look for reddish stains, dark excrement spots, shed skins, small eggs, or unexplained itchiness after driving.
  • Regularly vacuuming and steam cleaning are effective methods to get rid of bed bugs in a car; diatomaceous earth and heat treatments are also helpful.
  • Using professional pest control services ensures thorough extermination if DIY efforts fail.
  • Prevent future infestations by keeping the car clutter-free, inspecting items before bringing them inside, using bed bug proof seat covers, and immediately seeking expert help if bed bugs reappear.

Signs of Bed Bugs in Your Car

Have you noticed reddish stains, dark spots, small eggs, or experienced unexplained itchiness in your car? These could be signs of a bed bug infestation that requires immediate attention.

Reddish stains

If you notice reddish stains on your car’s seats or upholstery, it might not be a spill from your morning coffee. These unsightly marks could be a telltale sign of bed bugs in your car.

Bed bugs tend to leave behind these red smudges when they’re crushed after feeding. You’ll often find them in seams of the seating or where parts of the car interior come together.

Keep an eye out for these suspicious spots especially if you’ve recently transported second-hand furniture or if someone who has a known infestation hitched a ride with you. Taking action as soon as possible is crucial for preventing a full-blown bed bug invasion in your vehicle.

Regular cleaning and inspection can help you spot an infestation before it spreads, keeping both your car and home free from these unwelcome passengers.

Dark spots

Bed bugs may leave behind dark spots on car upholstery, which are actually their excrement. These tiny black or brown marks can often be found near the hiding spots of bed bugs in your car, such as seams and crevices.

If you notice these telltale signs, it’s important to take action to address the infestation before it spreads further into your home.

Regularly inspecting and cleaning your car can help in identifying and addressing any presence of bed bug excrement. Using a vacuum with strong suction and a brush attachment can aid in removing these dark spots along with any bed bug eggs that may be present.

Shed skin

Bed bugs shed their skin as they grow, leaving behind tiny translucent exoskeletons. Finding these molted skins in your car may be a sign of a bed bug infestation. Look out for these shed skins when inspecting your vehicle, as they are an indication that bed bugs have been present there.

Spotting discarded bed bug exoskeletons is crucial since it confirms the presence of these pests and prompts immediate action to eradicate them. Keep an eye out for these telltale signs of infestation so you can address the problem swiftly and effectively with the right treatment methods like heat treatment or professional pest control services.

Small eggs

After noticing shed skin, the presence of small eggs indicates a bed bug infestation in your car. These tiny, white ovals are about the size of a pinhead and are often found in clusters near where bed bugs hide.

Eggs are typically laid in tight crevices and cracks, making them challenging to locate and remove. It’s crucial to address this stage of the infestation promptly to prevent further spread within your vehicle or into your home.

Seeking professional help may be necessary for effective eradication.


Bed bug bites can cause itchiness, which may be one of the first signs indicating their presence in your car. The saliva they inject while feeding can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, resulting in red, raised welts and intense itching.

If you experience unexplained itchiness after being in your car for a while, it’s crucial to inspect for other signs of bed bugs such as reddish stains and shed skin to confirm their presence.

The sensation of itchiness caused by bed bug bites is due to a mild local allergic reaction to the saliva injected when they feed on blood. This reaction usually develops within minutes or hours of being bitten and may increase if further exposed to the allergen.

How Can Bed Bugs Get Into Your Car?

Bed bugs can easily hitchhike on clothing or other items, making their way into your car without you even realizing it. They can also spread from an infestation in your home to your car, causing a larger problem.

Hitchhiking on clothing or other items

Bed bugs can hitch a ride into your car on clothing, luggage, or other belongings. They often move from one location to another by latching onto fabric and personal items. Once inside the car, they can quickly spread and establish an infestation.

It’s important to be vigilant about inspecting and cleaning items before bringing them into your vehicle to prevent these pests from catching a ride.

To avoid bed bugs in your car, carefully examine any potentially infested articles such as second-hand furniture or clothing before introducing them to your vehicle. By being mindful of what you bring into your car, you can reduce the risk of bed bug hitchhikers making themselves at home in your vehicle.

Infestation in your home spreading to your car

Bed bugs infesting your home can easily spread to your car, especially during the summer months. When bed bugs hitch a ride on clothing or belongings, they can quickly make their way into your vehicle and establish a new hiding spot.

Once inside, they can be challenging to eliminate as they can survive for extended periods in the confined space of a car. Prevention measures are crucial to avoid this infestation from taking hold in your car and becoming an even bigger problem.

A friend with bed bugs sitting in your car or items being transported from an infested home are common ways for bed bugs to find their way into your vehicle. Regularly inspecting and cleaning both your home and car is essential for preventing them from spreading between the two locations.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Car

To eliminate bed bugs from your car, start by thoroughly vacuuming all surfaces, including the seats, floor mats, and trunk. Follow up with steam cleaning to target any remaining bugs and eggs.

If the infestation is severe, consider using diatomaceous earth or heat treatment for a more thorough removal process. For persistent cases, seek professional pest control services to ensure complete extermination.


Regularly vacuuming your car is a crucial step in eliminating bed bugs from your vehicle. Use a powerful vacuum cleaner with a hose and nozzle attachment to reach into all the nooks and crannies where these pests may hide, such as in between seats, under floor mats, and in the trunk.

Be sure to discard the vacuum bag or empty the canister immediately after use to prevent any surviving bed bugs from re-infesting your car.

Vacuuming not only helps remove live bed bugs but also their eggs, droppings, and shed skin. Remember to thoroughly clean and disinfect your vacuum cleaner afterward. Additionally, consider using a HEPA filter inside the vacuum to ensure that captured pests are securely contained within the machine.

Steam cleaning

To eliminate bed bugs from your car, consider steam cleaning. This method uses high-temperature steam to kill bed bugs and their eggs without the use of chemicals. Steam can penetrate deep into fabric and upholstery where bed bugs hide, effectively eradicating them.

Additionally, steam cleaning is an eco-friendly option, as it does not involve the application of harmful pesticides.

With a professional-grade steamer or a handheld steamer designed for household use, you can target potential infestation areas such as car seats, carpets, and crevices. Ensure thorough coverage while using the steam cleaner to maximize its effectiveness in eliminating these resilient pests from your car.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural and effective remedy for getting rid of bed bugs in your car. It works by dehydrating the insects, eventually leading to their demise. This powdery substance can be sprinkled in areas where bed bugs are likely to hide, such as under seats and carpets, aiding in the elimination of these pests from your vehicle.

To apply diatomaceous earth successfully, it is key to use a duster or similar tool for even distribution. Once applied, leave the diatomaceous earth for a few days before vacuuming it up along with any dead bed bugs and eggs.

Utilizing this method can help ensure that your car remains free from these unwanted visitors.

Heat treatment

To eliminate bed bugs in your car, consider heat treatment. This method involves raising the interior temperature of the car to a level that is lethal to bed bugs. It’s an effective and chemical-free approach, as bed bugs cannot survive at high temperatures.

Professional pest control services often use this method, ensuring thorough extermination of bed bugs from your vehicle without leaving behind any harmful residues.

Heat treatment is known for its efficiency in eradicating bed bug infestations and can be complemented with other cleaning methods such as vacuuming and steam cleaning. Additionally, using Nuvan strips inside a sealed car can help kill any remaining bed bugs or eggs.

Professional pest control services

If heat treatment and other DIY methods do not effectively eliminate the bed bugs in your car, seeking professional pest control services can be a crucial step. Trained exterminators have the expertise and specialized equipment required to address the infestation in your vehicle thoroughly.

Professional pest control services can provide targeted treatments to eradicate bed bugs from your car, ensuring that all life stages of the pests are exterminated.

Engaging professional pest control services for your car also offers the advantage of ongoing monitoring and preventive measures to safeguard against future infestations. These experts can provide valuable advice on preventing reinfestation, allowing you to take proactive steps to protect your vehicle from becoming a breeding ground for bed bugs again.

Prevention and Aftercare

Keep your car clutter-free and regularly inspect items before bringing them inside. Use bed bug proof covers for car seats and be proactive in seeking professional help if the infestation recurs.

Declutter your car

To prevent bed bug infestations in your car, it’s essential to keep your vehicle clutter-free. Here are some key steps to follow:

  1. Remove unnecessary items such as clothing, bags, and extra belongings from your car.
  2. Vacuum the interior of your car thoroughly to eliminate hiding spots for bed bugs.
  3. Pay special attention to areas where bed bugs could hide, such as between seats and in crevices.
  4. Regularly clean and remove any food or drink spillages from your car to reduce potential attractants for bed bugs.
  5. Consider using bed bug proof covers for your car seats to prevent infestations.
  6. Inspect items before bringing them into your car, especially if they have been in an environment where bed bugs may be present.

Inspect items before bringing them into the car

Before bringing any items into your car, inspect them thoroughly to ensure they are not carrying bed bugs. Here’s how:

  1. Check clothing, bags, and other fabric items for any signs of bed bugs such as reddish stains or dark spots.
  2. Inspect luggage and furniture before placing them in your car, paying particular attention to seams, folds, and crevices where bed bugs may hide.
  3. Use a flashlight to illuminate dark areas and look for shed skin or small eggs that may indicate the presence of bed bugs.
  4. Consider using a portable steamer to treat items before bringing them into your car, as heat treatment can kill bed bugs at all life stages.

Regularly clean and vacuum your car

To keep bed bugs at bay, it is essential to regularly clean and vacuum your car. This practice can help remove any potential hiding spots for bed bugs, such as crumbs or other debris.

Regular cleaning also allows you to inspect your car more thoroughly for any signs of a bed bug infestation, enabling you to take swift action to address the issue before it becomes widespread.

Vacuuming is an effective way to physically remove bed bugs and their eggs from your vehicle’s interior, reducing the likelihood of an infestation taking hold.

Use bed bug proof covers for car seats

Protect your car seats from bed bug infestations by using bed bug proof covers. These specially designed covers act as a barrier, preventing bed bugs from harboring in the fabric of your car seats.

By incorporating these protective covers, you can significantly reduce the risk of bed bugs taking up residence in your vehicle and potentially spreading to other areas such as your home or office.

Regularly wash and inspect these covers for any signs of infestation to ensure continued protection.

Seek professional help if infestation recurs.

If infestation recurs, consult a professional pest control service immediately to address the issue effectively.

Professional assistance is crucial if bed bugs return, as experts have the tools and knowledge to thoroughly eliminate these pests from your car.


In conclusion, dealing with bed bugs in your car can be a persistent challenge. Prevention and early detection are crucial for keeping these pesky pests from hitchhiking into your vehicle.

Regular cleaning, inspection, and seeking professional help when needed will keep the creepy crawlies at bay. Remember that taking proactive measures can save you from the headache of battling a full-blown infestation later on.


1. How can I tell if I have bed bugs in my car?

Look for signs of bed bugs in your car, like small bites on your skin after driving or tiny blood spots and dark flecks on car seats.

2. What steps should I take to prevent bed bugs from infesting my car?

To prevent a bed bug infestation in your car, keep it clean, vacuum regularly, and check for pests after anyone new has been in the vehicle.

3. Can I remove bed bugs from my auto myself, or do I need professional extermination?

You might be able to eliminate some bed bugs with thorough cleaning and insect treatment sprays, but a severe infestation often requires professional vehicle extermination or fumigation.

4. Are there any DIY methods for getting rid of bed bugs in cars?

Yes! Start by thoroughly cleaning and vacuuming every part of your car’s interior; then use appropriate insect treatments designed for vehicles to control the pest problem