Bed bug increase a threat to motorists

Even if you don’t sleep in your car, you might have to worry about bedbugs coming along for the ride this summer.

The little critters may not be in the headlines like they were a couple of years ago, but The Detroit News says a new study finds that calls to pest management firms to deal with infestations are on the rise, and not just at home.

The Bugs Without Borders survey, conducted by the University of Kentucky in conjunction with the National Pest Management Association, discovered big increases in bed bug reports from hotels, restaurants and public transportation, among other places.

The problem for motorists is that it’s really easy for the persistent pests to get on your clothes, or lay eggs in your luggage and find a new home in your car.

Entomologist Gene White tells the newspaper that the bugs can live in your car year round, and neither hot nor cold ambient temperatures can kill them. The chemical and very high-temperature extermination methods used in homes don’t work well, either, because the fumes can be dangerous in an enclosed space and many of the materials found in vehicles can be destroyed by the heat.

Fumigation is really the only way to get them out, according to White, but that can cost up to $1,200 per treatment.

The best way to protect your car is to keep an eye out for the little buggers before you get in it.