How do you treat bed bug infestation in cars?
Franklin County Ohio
Large numbers of bed bugs are not usually found in cars. In warm weather, the temperature inside the car would reach 130°F, which is the critical killing temperature (almost instant kill) for bed bugs, but some inner parts of the car might not reach this temperature due to insulating materials. It would be useful to have temperature probes in the various parts of the car. Companies that use heat treatments (dry heat) typically use electronic temperature probes for recording and monitoring inner temperatures (if they don't have temperature probes, use a different company). I don't know what temperature can be tolerated by the electronic components in the car, but that should be known by a heat treatment company. A temperature of 120°F sustained for 30 minutes will kill bed bug eggs, immatures, and adults, but insulating effects of the car have to be factored in.
You can have a pest control company install a detector to make sure that bed bugs are in the vehicle. Our lab tested the Verifi Bed Bug Detector and found that it was effective in capturing bed bugs. It recently has come onto the market and is sold to pest control companies, so it likely would have to be installed and serviced by a company (the bed bug lure components last for 90 days).