I dont want to take these things home. HELP(3 posts)
I have been staying in a hotel in Pennsylvania and I found the little critters in the box spring after finding bites. I FREAKED, in fact I am still freaking a little. I washed and dried all my clothes and sealed in a vacuum zip lock bag. I get a new room and checked it extensively, no signs. My nightmare of a fear is that I take them home with me in 2 days. I have a battle plan for sterilizing my belongings (wash, dry, zip lock). But what do I do about the car????? What if I have already infected my car? I ready a horror story on this site that ended with the car being scrapped. Any further advice on not taking these home would be awesome.
...now I have to find my benadryl
It's very rare, experts tell us, for cars to get infested. It's unlikely to have already happened.
Wear clean clothes to drive home and get some large contractor bags to put your luggage in while driving home (if the things have not been already treated at that point) and try not to worry.
I just went through a similar situation. I was on a lengthy road trip and found bed bugs in a hotel room about a week before I was scheduled to arrive back home. After discovering the bugs, the things that were in the buggy room were in our car for about 10 minutes while we drove to another hotel. Looking back, I realize we should have bagged our things before we put them in the car, but we were in panic mode. After going through all the steps of inspecting our luggage (we picked about 15 bugs off our bags that first night) and running everything we could through the drier, we began conducting daily inspections of our car until we arrived back home. Every morning and every night for the rest of the trip, we inspected every nook and cranny of the car with a flashlight. I also vacuumed the whole thing. About 24 hours after the initial encounter, we did find one bug in the crack between the passenger seat and the seat back. We continued doing thorough inspections for the rest of the trip and vacuumed again after a couple of days. When we arrived home a week later, we took everything out of the car and inspected everything again. Nothing in the car, nothing in/on any of our things which we inspected and ran through the dryer again. To be on the safe side, we waited for a sunny day, parked the car right in the sun, turned the heat on full blast, shut everything up, and let it idle in the driveway for two hours. My husband purchased some of those heat censor stickers and we placed them all over the car. We put them in the cracks between the seats, under the seats, up in the springs inside of the seats, under the rugs, in the trunk, etc. Basically anywhere shady and/or insulated where a bug might be able to hide. The stickers in the car all turned black, indicated the temperature reached 120 degrees inside the car. The ones in the trunk didn't turn, so I opened the trunk, positioned the car so the sun was hitting the drunk directly, and let it sit for another hour (car off this time).
It's been two weeks since our encounter, one week since we arrived home, and we haven't seen any signs of bugs in our car or anywhere else, for that matter. No casings, no eggs, no bugs, no bites. After leaving the car in the sun, we decided it was time to stop freaking out and to stop the thrice daily checks. At some point, unless you have hard evidence of bugs, you need to get over your panic and take your life back. I'm not a pest control professional or anything like that, but I think if you spend a week or so doing thorough checks of your entire car and not seeing any evidence, you're more than likely okay. Be very vigilant for a week or two, do your checks, do the heat treat if you can, and then move on. The more you learn about these bugs and their habits, the more you see why a car infestation is unlikely. It's not impossible, but it's not very likely.
I hope it helps to read about someone else's experience. I was so freaked out the first night we found them and thought my car was DOA. As I said above, that clearly wasn't the case. Just be vigilant, and you'll be fine.
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