Can Bed Bugs Live in Your Car? Here’s What You Need to Know

Bed bugs can live in your car and survive for months between feedings. Here’s how to eliminate these pests for good.
Written by Annette Maxon
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Nov 24, 2022
Bed bugs can live in your car for months at a time if the conditions are right. Generally, car insurance won’t cover any expenses due to damage caused by bed bugs, but it’s not too difficult (or expensive) to eliminate them. 
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needed to keep your vehicle in good shape—and tips for keeping it bug-free throughout the year.  
Wondering if bed bugs might be lurking in your car? Here are a few telltale signs to look for when checking for these pests and some simple cleaning steps if you happen to find these bugs taking up residence in your vehicle.  

Can you get bed bugs in your car? 

The short answer is, yes. Bed bugs can get in your car and survive for up to months at a time, provided that the conditions are right. 
These small pests live in temperatures above 46 degrees and below 113 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a cold climate, you’re less likely to deal with these unwanted visitors.

How long can bed bugs survive in your car?

Bed bugs can survive for months once they’ve made their way into your vehicle. Their survival requires access to food (i.e., blood) every few months. As long as your car is regularly used, they’ll be able to survive off of you and your passengers.

Can bed bugs live in your car in winter? 

If your area of residence has extremely cold winters, odds are that bed bugs living in your vehicle will not survive the cold season. As soon as the temperatures dip below 46 degrees Fahrenheit, any bed bugs in your car will die. 
The winter months are tough on living beings and cars, and while a cold snap is the perfect natural remedy for bed bugs, it can cause many other problems with your vehicle. Make sure to adhere to a regular
maintenance schedule
to avoid costly mechanical issues this time of year. 

The signs of a bed bug infestation in your car

The best way to know if bed bugs are living in your car is to look for visual clues. Take note, these bugs like to hide in small nooks and crannies, so you’ll have to perform a thorough inspection. The following signs indicate the presence of bed bugs: 
  • Dark spots (noticeable, but not too big) on the seats or floor mats—these dark stains are caused by bed bugs’ excrements
  • Small reddish stains on the fabric—these stains come from passengers unintentionally stepping on and smashing the bugs
  • Sheddings that the bugs leave behind as they grow
  • Small yellow eggs
  • Live bed bugs
  • Small, red, and itchy bites on your skin

How to get rid of bed bugs in your vehicle

If you find signs of bed bugs living in your car, the first step to getting rid of them is
cleaning the inside of your vehicle
. Start by removing all the floormats and items they could hide under. Then thoroughly vacuum and dust your car’s interior. 
If the small pests are still hanging around after a deep clean, here are some other elimination strategies: 

Use heat

Bed bugs cannot survive temperatures above 113 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a hot climate, just parking your car in the sun will be sufficient to kill off any lingering pests.
If you live in a moderate climate, try turning your car’s heat up while it is parked in the sun to heat the car’s interior sufficiently. Make sure you exit the car before cranking up the heat, though.

Collect and freeze

As you search your vehicle for bed bugs, place any of the lingering bugs or eggs you find in a plastic bag or container. Then put this bag in the freezer to kill them. While it’s not the most appealing task, collecting and freezing can help the bugs from popping up again in the car or anywhere else. 


Using chemicals to kill off any lingering bed bugs in your vehicle is a good option. Remember to let the interior air out after spraying any insecticide in your vehicle, as it is toxic to people and pets.

How to prevent bed bugs in cars

The best way to prevent bed bugs from getting in your car is to regularly clean your car’s interior. Vacuuming and dusting are good practices not just to keep bed bugs at bay but also to extend the lifetime of your car. 
If you’re looking for more ways to prevent bed bugs in cars, these tips will help: 
  • Double-check any secondhand furniture before putting it in your car—since bed bugs need fabric to move from place to place, it is a good idea to make sure these small pests aren’t hitching a ride via thrifted furniture
  • Reduce the amount of clutter in your car. Bed bugs love to hide in small nooks and crannies. Keeping your car free of clutter is an easy way to make sure bed bugs can’t be hiding  
  • Transport clothes in plastic bags or closed containers to avoid carrying bed bugs into your vehicle

How to find affordable car insurance 

Though insurance companies generally do not cover costs to remove bed bugs, having cheap car insurance is an easy way to make sure your car is maintained throughout the year. If you want to save money on car insurance, the
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