BED BUGS NOT IN CARS, HUH? BULL!!!!!!!!!(21 posts)
If I hear one more exterminator tell me that my car won't be infested with bedbugs, because "they don't live in cars," I'm going to scream! Why?
BECAUSE MY CAR IS COMPLETELY INFESTED NOW!!!!
Sorry for my rant, but I am so angry. I just got evicted today from my slumlord, because I have bedbugs and he told me he no longer believes me and is refusing to treat my unit any further, despite my endless bedbug samples and bites. He said things like, "I want you out. I'm sick of you living in my building," and, "...even if you used to have bedbugs, it's your fault for bringing them here."
My landlord/owner doesn't care how I will NEVER find a new place without a job, no money now, my good credit ruined because of this & probably no $800 deposit back. Shoot, I can't even get a good reference now for the past year I paid him rent early each month. How will I ever find a place? I have bedbugs! I will have to lie so badly just to get a roof over my head, and honestly, even though I won't have a choice, I don't know how I will ever be able to look at my own face again after that.
But I digress...
The reason for my post is that my car is now COMPLETELY INFESTED to the point that I can't even enter it now & it needs to be fixed FAST!! It's going to move me, or I might even wind up living in it if I don't lose it from lack of payments. I don't know. But, I tried 2 days ago to drive it (after baking it in the sun for 2 days) & within LITERALLY 2 minutes, I had one crawling on my hand on the steering wheel, and another on my leg in the broad daylight. I had taped myself shut from head to toe, but even that didn't help. They still got in somehow to bite my back 3 times, in addition to a bite on my hand and one on my wrist by the time I got home. I was in my car for maybe a total of 7 minutes.
I have two (2) sick pets that need veterinary care, and I can't even drive them to the vet. I am beside myself. Now that my landlord wants me out, I am even more terrified as to what to do not to infect myself even more, my animals and my stuff - some of which finally got bug free, since I started getting less bites. I didn't find much info on the topic of cars and bedbugs, since everyone seems to believe their being in cars isn't a real issue. (If I'm wrong and there's info out there, please let me know!) I really need to know what I can possibly do to fix this problem in my car quickly and not spread them AGAIN into my apartment and, more important, all my stuff!
So far, my plan is to somehow find someone who will steam clean the interior (for as cheap as possible) and then I am considering buying Bedlam and spraying that all over. What do you think? Is there ANYONE out there that knows what might help?
I know this happened to my car because I was forced to sit in it with my pets for hours & hours, while exterminators sprayed the apartment. My scumlord was so cheap he wouldn't even split a hotel room with me, even when the exterminator required me to remove every single thing I OWNED from the place and stay out for 8 hours! I didn't have the money, so I sat in my car. I can't imagine the opportunities that gave the bedbugs to spread there. I KNEW it would happen & there was nothing I felt I could do to prevent it.
Anyway, please know, they DO live in cars, too!
For lots of threads here on bedbugger.com discussing bed bug infestations of cars, click above right on the tag that says « car » which will give you...
...and also the tag that says « cars » which will give you...
Furthermore you can use Google Advanced Search creatively by typing any word or phrase of interest and limiting the domain of the search to « bedbugger.com » . So for instance you could type « in my car » or « vikane my car » or « vikane a car » or « heat treat my car » etc.. This will bring up lots more threads not found via the tags mentioned above.
I tried « vikane a car » this way on Google and found only one thread, but someone in the thread suggested contacting Your Way Fumigation which is evidently a chain in California. For instance they have locations in Van Nuys, Oxnard, Bakersfield, et al.. Their website seems to be offline, but when I called the phone number of the one in Van Nuys I did get an actual voicemail (not a person since it's 3am right now) i.e. they do exist, they aren't out of business:
Your Way Fumigation Inc.
14141 Covello Street, Suite 10B
Van Nuys, CA 91405-1448
Call them during business hours and see what they say about vikaning or heat treating your car and of course the cost thereof. I don't know nothin', but I hope this might be a possible lead that can help you. If they or someone can enclose your car completely and apply vikane or heat professionally, it should completely eliminate the bb's in it in one session.
Thank you so much. I had a feeling the info was out there & I just wasn't accessing it correctly. Thank you. You don't happen to know of any good free lawyers too, do you??? (Ha ha...but not really! Now that I'm going to be homeless & all.)
For lawyers go to http://www.martindale.com.
Generally they aren't free, of course... ...but you might find some public-interest ones? And you might find some with whom you could do an initial consultation without charge and learn a fair amount? This is all speculation on my part, but just seeking to give you ideas. Also use Google creatively in the same way...type « "bed bugs" "attorneys" "Los Angeles" » or various permutations of that and see what you find; maybe limit the domain of the search to « bedbugger.com » or maybe not.
Meanwhile have I earned the prerogative to make my own...crackpot?...*untested* *unproven* suggestion: next time you get into your car, throw a big white sheet over the front seat so bed bugs can't crawl onto you immediately, they have to go around the obstacle. I think it will take them a while to figure out which way to go so as to climb out from under the sheet and get to you. Plus after they get out from under the white sheet and are moving towards you, they'll be visible. If you're driving at that point, you have to be careful not to take your eyes off the road to squish the bugs. But maybe you could just devote an hour or two to sitting in the car, while not driving, with the sheet in place, and let the bugs come out looking for you, where they'll have to climb on top of the white sheet and they'll be easily visible and you can pick them off one by one and significantly reduce their numbers. If this actually works, then you could devote quite a few hours to it, maybe sitting there with a newspaper or something for reading distraction in between bb-squishing?, and maybe reduce their numbers enough that you could then drive with far less affliction? It should work best when you haven't been in the car for a few days so the bugs are really hungry. Even if you do reduce the numbers of adults and nymphs this way, don't forget there will be eggs present too, so you'd have to do it again every few days as successive eggs hatch; but then after a while you'll only see recently-hatched nymphs, and fewer and fewer as time goes on, and now all the eggs will be hatched and no adults are left to replenish them; until eventually you've terminated all the hatchlings and no eggs remain.
Worth a shot?
Experts may criticize this suggestion but perhaps you'll still wish to try it because it's so easy and cheap to do – what have you got to lose.
Ah but won't the bugs bite you *through* the sheet? In my opinion it will be relatively hard for them to do so, especially if you're wearing clothes so they have to bite through the sheet and the clothes at the same time. In my non-expert view they'll be forced to find their way out from under the sheet to get to you.
Of course it won't hurt if you use a relatively thicker sheet which is that much more difficult for the bugs to try and bite through.
If you drive with the sheet in place, obviously you can't put the sheet over the accelerator and brake pedal so make sure the sheet won't get entangled with them. And, wear some smooth light-colored boots, something along these lines ("Tretorn" brand)...
...and put generic smooth clear single-sided non-sticky tape around them, i.e. sticky side facing inward to adhere to the boots, and non-sticky side facing outward making it hard for bugs to climb because they can't easily get a grip. (Not double-sided sticky tape the bugs would supposedly get stuck in while trying to climb – disadvantage of that would be, the tape sticks to lots of things you don't want it to stick to, plus picks up dust etc. very quickly and loses its stickiness.) Bugs can climb the tape eventually but takes them time to negotiate and they're visible while climbing so if you stop the car every so often you might be able to catch most of them before they get to the top of the boots.
Omg, I don't think I could do it; be the bait like that! Ewwwww God! Besides, can't there be hundreds anyway? I'm just so sickened by them. I can barely even look at my dead samples, let alone let more live ones crawl around to get to me. Thanks so much for the suggestion, but I am not nearly as strong as you, I'm afraid. Gosh, I feel sick even thinking about it. (What a wimp, huh?)
Give it, say, 24-48 hours to think about it? And if it sounds plausible, see if you can summon the determination for it, as an alternative to the very difficult other choices you've described of being homeless etc.?
SoCal - 55 minutes ago »
Omg, I don't think I could do it; be the bait like that! ...
Remember – you're *already* "bait" every time you get in your car!
So why not turn the tables and be "bait" on your terms instead of on the bed bugs' terms.
Imagine if you could actually defeat the bugs in your car for under, say, $100-$150 – the cost of the sheet and the boots.
And then if it works you can report it here on bedbugger.com thus benefiting other sufferers who might have such a problem in the future, and helping strike a meaningful long-term blow against the vile creatures!
Socal, do you ever feel them crawling on you in the car? I am just wondering, since after six months of possible exposure, I never have seen signs, yet I always seem to get some sort of bites in the car, usually on my back or legs. I feel helpless that I can't really look as I am driving...
I'm unclear as to the extent of the infestation in the SoCal's car. Have you seen the following in your car:
- Bed bugs (not any other insects)
- Fecal traces
- Cast skins
If you have spotted one of these, or something you believe is one of these, please post it to flickr or photobucket with a link here. We can try and ID or rule out bed bugs.
Sitting in your car for hours while your apartment is being treated will not necessarily cause infestation of your car. This is because bed bugs prefer to be near, but not on, a food source. They will settle in a place where they can feel safe. When venturing out for a meal, they seek out some bare skin, feed and get back to hiding. If I were a bed bug, I'd hide in or under the driver's seat. If you are being bit in the back of the legs, that would make sense. If you're wearing a shirt, I'd guess that you are more likely to be bit on the neck than a covered back.
It's been said repeatedly that baking the car out in the sun is not a 100% reliable way to kill bed bugs, but I would guess that prolonged exposure to the sun's heat (in SoCal) will have *some* effect against bed bugs.
Some good "conservative" measures would be to thoroughly inspect and vacuum the car's surfaces and crevices. Seats & seat cushions can be unbolted and inverted for inspection and cleaning. Many soaps and detergents will kill bed bugs (but not eggs) on contact: Choose one that's most appropriate for the surface you're applying it to (avoid alcohol). If you do choose to apply an insecticide, use it as per the label and be extra careful about ventilation during and after application. (If a product is labeled for bedding, I'd guess that it's OK to apply to car surfaces, too.)
Unless you are being attacked by dozens of bugs every time you use it, there should not be a problem taking your pets to the vet, even if they get bit. Bed bug bites are unpleasant, but not fatal. Also, with you around, the bugs are likely to prefer you over the furry ones.
JRBT, are you proposing this white sheet protocol for treatment, or detection? I can't imagine that "every" bed bug in a car would be caught using this approach.
cilecto - 3 hours ago »
JRBT, are you proposing this white sheet protocol for treatment, or detection? I can't imagine that "every" bed bug in a car would be caught using this approach.
(You're correct urging SoCal to first make double-triple sure bed bugs are the issue. The following presumes that is indeed shown to be the case.)
The white sheet, along with the boots, are my *untested* *unproven* proposal to, first of all, give SoCal the immediate capability of driving in the car without getting bitten very much if at all for a useful period of time - 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes? Because I think it will take at least that much time for any of the bugs to negotiate their way out from under the sheet, and/or find the boots and scale them, during which time none of them will be able to bite SoCal. So right off the bat, it will mean SoCal can use the car for lots of everyday purposes bite-free.
Isn't that a pretty good start.
Note: I'm not claiming to know how long this initial bug-free period will be each time SoCal enters the car, but am hoping SoCal, and for that matter anyone else, will try this and we'll find out.
Then next is the identification aspect. Certainly if some bed bugs climb on top of the sheet where they're easy to see and easy for SoCal, while not driving, to capture for ID purposes and post pictures of here on bedbugger.com, SoCal will have a straightforward way to confirm the diagnosis of the bites as indeed being perpetrated by bb's not mosquitoes or whatever.
Then following that is the treatment aspect. Let's say I'm right and the bugs really do climb on top of the sheet after a while and come towards SoCal, thus exposing themselves to doom. If SoCal were to sit there for, what, four hours?, eight hours?, and squish all comers, and then repeat after five days, ten days, fifteen days, and twenty days, would the onslaught significantly diminish in that amount of time as I envision? I can't promise it will, but isn't it worth encouraging SoCal and anyone else to try it if willing, because it's cheap and easy to do requiring no large investment of resources other than personal time?
What if on the first occasion 100 bugs meet their demise in four hours, but then on the fifth occasion after, say, twenty days, only 2 die in four hours. Won't that indicate the bugs are now decimated? Won't that be an impressive squishological advance? Which non-affluent people like SoCal can do whenever they want at their own convenience, thus possibly taking back control of their motor vehicle and thereby a large part of their life at a cost they really, truly can afford?
If after twenty days SoCal squishes only the hypothetical 2 bugs in four hours, we know that won't mean ALL bugs in the car are then gone. But what it *will* mean, I think, is that now the sheet and boots will work a lot better than before for enabling SoCal to drive bite-free for a longer initial time on each occasion. Reducing the bug population in the car by this hypothetical factor of 50 means now it's likely to be a lot longer for *that first* bug to find its way out from under the sheet, or up the boots, to bite SoCal. If it took 30 minutes before, then statistically after the bug numbers are reduced by a factor of 50, won't it now take something like 90 minutes, on average, for "that first" bug to bite SoCal if you envision how such processes work statistically? Therefore SoCal will be able to do longer and longer drives without, on average, receiving that first bite. The bugs won't be eliminated and most will be getting hungrier and hungrier so they'll work harder and harder trying to get to SoCal, but now they'll be so few in number, compared to earlier, that I think the population dynamic will turn against them and they'll essentially "melt away".
Ah, "melt away" – does that sound like a wild expectation but following is the reasoning. When I had eight or so adult bed bugs in a plastic basin one year ago, doing tests on them while not feeding them, hmm, after about five days two of them died – for what reason I couldn't tell. Then another four days later a couple of more kicked the bugket. So after about three weeks only one was left. Dang, I needed them to last longer for my testing but they kept expiring! In other words, in real life bed bugs have a lot of challenges we can't assess specifically but which do cause mortality – maybe fungi, bacterial diseases, and so on? The point is, in SoCal's car, after the bugs' numbers are reduced 50x, and the rest aren't feeding except by occasional extraordinary hard work and luck bypassing the sheet and the boots plus, furthermore, not meeting their demise at the hand of SoCal, those remaining bugs will likely be weakened from hunger and therefore that much more susceptible to those unseen natural mortality factors, so that's why I'm speculating there's a good chance they'll "melt away" from that point on.
Does all this sound far-fetched even crazy? But again the point is, SoCal or anyone can try it with not much to lose so why refrain. And what if it works, or what if it leads to some permutation which points the way in a related direction and *that's* where the breakthrough comes which can help folks anywhere who are suffering from bb's in their car but don't have $$ to vikane it or whatever.
I am sitting here in my office reading this looking at my packtite closet wondering what the (totally seperate) 3 speed heater/blower would heat a car up to. I do see how people have burned down houses contemplating such things but I still may do a test run in the car. Correction: in my son's car.
One problem is that the areas beneath the floor and firewall insulation where BBs might hide whilst being protected from a heat treatment within the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
Listen to Paul Bello, cool spots will kill this experiment. Bed Bugs if given the chance will escape areas that are too hot and find cool areas. Even with conductive heat (fan forced) this can happen. It is why cars left out in the hot sun don't get decontaminated, the bed bugs find cool areas behind insulation, etc. It's worse with conductive heat (no air circulation) like the car in the sun example, because cool spots are much more likely and of course bed bugs actually actively seek out cool spots when exposed only to conductive heat.
Disclaimer: I make the Packtite and in its development spent 6 months fighting cool spots.
I guess if it were me then I would remove the front bucket seats which I think might fit into the closet depending on the car and then spray the rest of the interior car. I would worry that just spraying might not work because they could get so far into the seats. I am not a PCO though, I just rent out the tools. If anyone near Seattle wants to test this out on an active car infestation let me know. I would love to try!
Perhaps I missed it but, how do you know for sure you have BBs in the car ???
Hoe many have you seen in there?
How long have you been seeing them in there?
If they are in there, I say let's kill these nasty b#st#rds, OK ? Good !
The answer may already be on this site somewhere, but would an auto painting facility with an oven heat your car up hot enough to kill the bugs and eggs? A place like http://maaco.com/about-maaco.aspx ?
If the bugs are going to search out a cool place, that means they are on the move, right? So why not lay down some DE across their travel path? Can always vacuum it up later if worried about dust when driving. But a dusting under the seat would at least make it eventually lethal to attack the driver than try and head for the cool spot.
Another trick I have found is to always keep a roll of shipping tape on a dispenser handy. Whenever I feel something crawling I quick dab it with the tape. If it's a false alarm I am relieved and when it's a first instar I am delighted. It is so much fun with my hand lens watching them helplessly wave their legs around. I have caught quite a few this way even before they bite me and that's one less that will NEVER reproduce.
jrbtnyc - am impressed with your (ugh, HATE the term) outside-the-box suggestion wrt the white sheet. i disagree with some of your statistical analysis, am thinking about it eventually taking 90 mins for the first bite, but other than that -- good stuff! it was a quick, cheap solution to SoCal's immediate problem and, though i'm quite new at this whole bb-thing, makes sense. i'll probably give it a try within a few days when i drive my carload of stuff to my sister's so i can leave the area. will let you know what happens.
It's so hard being a renter in CA. The law is with the landlord and even the best tenant can be given 90 days notice for no cause.
So, complaining about bed bugs is a good way to lose your home. This was the advice I got from my local Legal Aid lawyer.
When I accidentally transfered my bed bugs to my car, I started covering the seat and back of the seat with those large white plastic bags, taped in place. Anything I had to transport, I'd put into a plastic bag and not remove it till I got to my location. I also sprayed my car every couple of days with a recommended pesticide and took it regularly to the do-it -yourself car cleaning place and vacuumed. Also I threw away most clutter in car.
When my landlord finally agreed to exterminate my apartment, I took my cat to a clean nieghbors apartment in the same building and locked her in their bathroom. She hated it, but at least she was safe and the 10 bucks I gave my neighbor was appreciated.
It's been 7 days since I've been bitten in my car, but I'm still real nervous. I like the idea of the white sheet. I've been relying on the super cheap slippery painters tarps for floor coverage at home with good results ( under $2 at dollar-style stores).
Are you sure you don't have fleas in your car? You know it's infinitely more likely, yes? And you know even that is unusual?
Just because you have BBs at home, that doesn't mean you don't have something else in your car.
What evidence do you have for BBs in your car?
Skin reactions are typically delayed with bed bugs, they don't generally happen RIGHT when you're bitten. So if you felt an itch begin in the car, it does not mean you were bitten in the car.
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