Can Bed Bugs Survive in a Hot Car?

Can bed bugs survive in a hot car? Yes, they can prevail in a hot car if they crawl into a slightly cooler space. 😅😬 Plus, the sun may dart behind clouds, making the vehicle marginally cooler. Therefore instant bed bug death is not a guarantee in a hot car. 

If you’re worried about bed bugs in your car, try not to let them hitchhike a ride in the first place. Scrutinize your clothing and luggage for bed bugs before getting in your vehicle. Another pro tip is to use a sticky roller on your clothing before getting into your car.

Bed bugs are known for being resilient creatures. They can survive in cold and even hot weather, so it’s not surprising that they can make it through a hot car.

So if you’re ever unfortunate enough to have a run-in with bed bugs, make sure you consider treating your car as well. Since bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers, you can easily carry one from your couch into your vehicle.

can bed bugs live in a hot car

Can You Get Bed Bugs in Your Car?

The likelihood of bed bugs in a car is high if your friend has bed bugs and sat in your car. Since bed bugs are hitchhikers, one bed bug can be on the clothing of someone who sits in your vehicle.

Another way you can get bed bugs in your car is if you stay in a hotel with bed bugs and place your infested luggage in your vehicle. A third way is if you have an active bed bug infestation at home and accidentally carry the bugs into your car.

Can Bed Bugs Live Through the Winter in a Car?

In many cases, bed bugs die in cold weather, but there are a lot of variables to consider. The temperature must be well below freezing for multiple days to kill bed bugs in a car.

One anecdotal example comes to mind: we use vials of live bed bugs to train the dogs. Several times I left my jar of bed bugs in the car in the dead of winter, when the temperature was 22° F or lower for many days. Due to this cold exposure, my training vial of bed bugs was all dead.

While most bed bugs won’t be able to survive your car during a freezing winter, there are always exceptions. If one finds a warm enough space somewhere in your car, it can survive the cold. So it cannot be relied upon as a final solution for killing bed bugs in a car.

Signs of Bed Bugs in Your Car

The signs of bed bugs in your car are similar to the early signs of bed bugs in a home.

In your car, you can look for the following things:

  • Bed bug fecal stains are bed bug poop that looks like ink stains.
  • If you react to bed bug bites, you may experience a red bite mark on your skin after sitting in your car.
  • You may see bed bug shells (aka bed bug casings) on the floor or seats.
  • If you are lucky, you may actually see a live bed bug.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Car

  • The first and most crucial step to get rid of bed bugs in a car before professional treatment is to use a good vacuum cleaner for bed bugs. Use the crevice tool and get into your car’s nooks and crannies. The vacuum will remove a lot of the bed bugs.

  • Next, use a steamer for bed bugs on all the upholstery, seats, and floor mats. The steam will kill any remaining bed bugs as well as their eggs. After that, follow one of the methods below.
  • Use heat inside of a closed chamber. (You’ll have to hire a company to do this for you.)
  • Hire a Vikane Fumigation company to treat the car inside a closed chamber.
  • Use a bed bug treatment company that does chemical treatments.
  • Cryonite freezing is another method of eliminating bed bugs in a car.

  • Parking your car in the direct sun on a hot day and then placing temperature sensors all over the vehicle (especially under the seats and wheel wells). If you use a temperature sensor with a wireless monitor, you can monitor the temperature from your phone to ensure it’s reaching up to 120° F.

Furthermore, killing bed bugs with heat in a car is possible if every inch of the car gets to 120° F. However, if one area (like under a seat) of the vehicle remains just cool enough, the bed bugs can migrate there and survive.

The most surefire way to kill bed bugs in a car involves placing your vehicle in an enclosed chamber and using heat treatment or fumigation. Because a car has many deep nooks and crannies, there are plenty of hiding spots for bed bugs.

The intricate nature of a car’s interior means fumigation might be the best method to kill all the bed bugs, nymphs, and their eggs in your vehicle. There are fumigation and heat treatment companies that can do this for you.

Final Thoughts for Can Bed Bugs Persist in a Hot Car?

In general, bed bugs die in scorching weather and freezing weather. However, there are a lot of variables to consider- like the temperature has to be well above 120° F for multiple days in a row- so it cannot be relied upon as a final solution.

Keep in mind that there are signs of bed bugs in your car that are similar to the early signs of bed bugs in a home, and there are ways to get rid of them before professional treatment. The most surefire way to kill all bed bugs, nymphs, and their eggs is by placing your car in an enclosed chamber and using heat treatment or fumigation.