Bug infestation in your pick up could be rare to common to depending on where you live and how to take care of your car, but it is not a minor inconvenience. Almost all bugs are hitchhikers who picked your vehicle from various locations. These pests depend on the surrounding you live, the kind of bugs you have in your house, the kind of kinds you pick up from other areas such as a parking space, hotels, etc. It could also come from any borrowed or used products you bought for your car.
Bug infestation is pesky and disgusting and it takes a while to get rid of them completely. There are both DIY methods and professional methods of extermination which we will discuss in the blog. But first, let’s take a look at the types of bugs and pest you are likely to find in your pickup truck and then we will see how to get rid of them.
Types of Bugs That Can Grow in Your Truck Bed:
First, let’s look at the various types of bugs and pests that are common on the truck bed and a truck in general.
There are various types of ants, among which the carpenter ant is common which are more likely to do structural damage. A great way to prevent it by taking care of the nearby areas of your house. You can start by pruning your trees, bushes that are in contact with your house. Then, you could store the firewood away from home. Start by sealing cracks, etc. If you are carrying lumber on your truck bed, you should start by keeping them clean and dry.
02. Bed bugs:
Bed bugs are real pesky creatures. Although they don’t damage much of anything they can certainly make life stressful. The definitive way to avoid having bed bugs is by not have used furniture and mattress on your truck bed. We suggest you buy new accessories every time you buy one for your truck bed. Other than on the truck bed, they are more likely to get into the cab, which is even more bothersome.
Centipedes are a particularly gross pest, that you don’t want on your truck bed. These brown insects love to hide in dark and cool places and can especially be found in tiny hiding areas that remain unattended. Do check under the carpet, disassemble any toolboxes, clean your bedding platforms on a truck bed and also clean your cab seats and carpets from time to time. You can keep a dehumidifier to keep things clean and dry.
Cockroaches can be dangerous for many; they even carry disease-causing germs, can trigger allergies and even asthma. Cockroaches are sure to bunk on your truck bed if it is untidy. They easily get into tiny cracks and are also hard to ward off. For prevention, you should keep your nearby drainage clear and clean. Store food sealed in dry containers. Seal-up tiny spaces and cracks in your truck bed. You could also try sticky traps and other cockroach baits.
Flea bites can cause irritation and allergies. They are not as common as other pest but are tough to get rid of. You have to stay vigilant and keep your truck bed clean at all times. Vacuum floors, carpets, bed rugs, etc and definitely take your pets to your vet.
Flies are not dangerous but can contaminate your food and are pesky. Getting rid of flies is a trough job but can definitely be managed to a minimum. Keeping the area and your pickup truck tidy would be the best place to start.
If you have even taken an old truck bed to clean, chances are, you have seen one of these under the truck bed mat, under the box, under your seat carpets, etc. They are typically found when something stays outdoors for a longer period of time.
Well isn’t much you can do about mosquitoes as they can just get anywhere they want. We can only suggest to keep your environment clean and use repellents to keep them away.
If you are carrying dried food such as cereals, oats, pet food, etc., it is more likely to attract moths into your truck bed. Dispose of any food items and thoroughly clean the area remove both spilled food and moths.
10. Mice and rats:
They are pesky little creatures and are mostly active at night. Mice and rats usually get in searching for food and nesting and can make their way into anywhere even your truck bed. They can be troublesome because they can chew on cardboard boxes, wires, rubbers, small plastic, etc and can cause some structural damage. To prevent mice infestation, use plugs to seal up gaps; keep your space clean and dry; declutter; store food in airtight containers; and definitely set some mouse traps.
These creatures like cool and moist places and particularly dark spots such as under the box, in the cracks, storage areas, etc. They love to nibble on material containing starch such as books, cardboard boxes, glue, flour, etc. They are not really dangerousness but are pesky. The best way to deal with is by keeping things clean and dry, using a dehumidifier, get rid of clutter, seal-up cracks, and crevices.
12. Stink bug:
These stinky creatures can surely give you a hard time doing your job. They release a stinking odor as a defense mechanism. They also smell bad when squashed or vacuumed. You can deal with stink bugs by sealing up the cracks, keep your truck bed covered, keep your windows up, and clean your truck bed from time to time.
Termites are common if you just got some used furniture of any wooden material. They could also be hiding on old cardboard boxes or books. Any place that can provide a good amount of cellulose is a hot spot for their survival. To avoid getting infected by termites you should definitely avoid buying old and used items, plus make sure you don’t store any cardboard boxes of wooden fixtures in your truck bed for long days.
Get Rid of Bugs from Truck Bed:
There are many ways to get rid of these bugs but we believe the best way is to simply avoid it. Below mentioned are a few things you can do to eliminate pests from growing or accumulating.
- Get rid of food wastes – Food is probably the primary cause of inviting pets and bugs into your truck bed. It is definitely a good idea to clean up your truck bed immediately after you had a picnic or had some food crumbs or drink spill on your truck bed mat. If you do keep food such as sandwiches and burgers it is advisable to keep it in a strong airtight container.
- Get rid of stagnant water – Even a little bit of water log after a rain or snow can be a big problem in the future if not dealt immediately. Even a moist mat or carpet on the truck bed can be big trouble for you. It is advisable to thoroughly clean any dust from hauling and then let it dry in the sun for a day.
- Eliminate clutter – Getting rid of the clutter from the truck bed is as important as getting it rid of the house. It is common for the truck bed to get messy, which is why we recommend that it should be decluttered and cleaned at least once a week.
More than anything you have to talk to the pest control team. Before employing pest management measures it is important to identify the types of bugs you are dealing with. Different species of bugs demand different tactics. Some of the best tactics include caulk gun, flyswatter, bugs bait stations, snap traps, sticky traps, fly paper, etc. These should reveal the type of bugs you have in your house and will help determine how you will manage them.
How to Get Rid of Different Kinds of Bugs?
Cockroaches (Why They Got Here?):
Seeing a cockroach infesting in your vehicle is a frightening experience. It is no surprise that cockroaches live in truck beds, but it surely is a surprise to find one in your truck bed. Now, you may want to know why they got here and how and from where. They try to find shelter in the car for the same reason they go inside a house i.e. to find food, warm shelter and a place to lay their eggs. The next important point to understand is the fact that having cockroaches is not like having ants. That’s because ants are harmless but roaches that transmit over 30 different kinds of bacteria which can cause severe health problems. The worst part is that when they go, they will leave behind feces, bodily fluids, skins and what not.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches from Truck Bed?
Getting rid of them is not that easy. Your first thought could be just to wash down the truck bed, but that may not solve your problem. Roaches like to breed in small places and they are usually the spots you are less likely to notice. You may find roaches on your truck bed or under your truck bed mat, but they might actually be breeding somewhere in the cab such as under the seat, speakers and car frames. Even if you clean your pickup every day, they will still hide in dark tiny spots especially if it’s cold outside and they can go a long time without eating.
The first step to any pest control is the identification of the pest and their hiding places. You will have to look for their cast skins, lost crumbs, etc., then use bait to kill them. Keep these roach baits in hot spots such as under the seat, truck bed corners, under the bed mat, etc. This should definitely stop cockroach infestation within a few days of pest control.
Bed Bugs (Most common pest in a pickup)
Bed bugs are making a big comeback and have been reported by pest control companies that there is a 70% increase in bed bugs related activities in public places. Today, you are likely to find a bed bug infestation in homes, movie theaters, office buildings, and in your pickup trucks. Today, these bloodsucking bugs are just about everywhere. Scientifically known as Cimicidae, the parasites feed on warm-blooded animals and that also includes humans. These creatures prefer to invest inside places when people spend most of the time either sitting or sleeping. For those, you camp on their pickup truck beds are more likely to find bed bugs in the truck bed than others, who may find it in the cab. Bed bugs are more likely to be found in wooden sleeping platforms, mattresses, pillows, comforters, etc.
These creatures are most active at night, although they are not necessarily nocturnal that is their best opportunity to suck the blood of humans. They feed every six to seven days and can live without feeding for over a year. If you are a regular camper and sleep on your truck bed, you must run a check to look for bed bugs infestation in your truck bed. Others should look for bed bugs infestation in their cab.
Identifying Bed Bugs
These creatures are flat or oval shaped without having hind wings. These are reddish to light brown in color and can grow up to 6 mm long and 3 mm wide. They will also have minuscule hairs on their abdomen.
If you have recently visited a busy place such as a hotel, camps, or bought a few used furniture you should be on the lookout for the signs of infestation. You should start by looking into your truck bed mattress, sleeping platforms, pillows, etc. You should also check under your cab seats.
Take a closer look at cluttered places as this is where they will be hiding for the most part. Moreover, you should know that they don’t live in nests, but they do like to stay close to each other.
Other infestation signs include bites on your body, dark spots, blood stains, and other excreta deposits on the truck bed. If you also see flakes which are translucent exoskeletons. If you notice eggs on your truck bed, you should immediately contact an insect growth regulator to prevent them from hatching.
They prefer warm and humid spots where they start breeding. The breeding process is rather gross, where the male bed bugs slash the abdomen on female bugs to inject sperm. Then there are three life stages that they go through from being in an egg to grow into an adult.
Like almost all insects, they start out in an egg which is laid by an adult female. The females can produce up to 8 eggs at a time and can produce up to 500 eggs in their lifetime. The eggs are about 1mm long and are laid in clusters. These eggs have a sticky residue that gets attached to the surface. Thinking of the fact that these eggs will produce more females who then will produce more eggs, making in exponential growth in their infestation rate once they get into the vehicle.
Common Sources of Bed Bugs
For the most part, you pick up bugs from places you have visited such as a campsite, hotel, parking lot, etc. They can also get transferred to animals and pets, clothing, luggage, furniture, etc. If you have visiting somebody’s home with a bedbug infestation, chances are that you will get that infestation too. If you have brought home some used furniture, you might have a bed bug situation. They love to live on couches, mattresses, which is why we strongly suggest that you not buy any used furniture. If you do like used furniture, you should at least treat the furniture with chemicals, and have a heat treatment to get rid of any harboring bugs.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs From Truck Bed?
- Clean the truck bed from the cab end to the tailgate. Also, clean the cabby dismantling other equipment. Use bed bugs killing powder which will cost around $30 or less. The powder is generally environmentally safe and does not contain chemicals that can be harmful to you.
- Apply the powder all over the truck bed including the tailgate and the walls. Next use some of the powder inside the cab such as under the seats, inside the seats, inside the dashboard, in the glove box, etc.
- If you have a sleeping platform use it on top of the mattress and the seams, also cover the truck bed mat or rug. The powder has diatomaceous earth which cuts out the bed bugs thereby exterminating them with dehydration.
- Next, you could use DIY traps such as vaseline and sticky tapes. You can cover the infected area with vaseline which will act as a trap, or you could also use double-sided tapes from which bugs will not be able to escape.
- You can also use CO2 traps that emit scents and heat to attract them and then giving them a rough surface to climb and fall.
- Furthermore, you could use Insect Growth Regulator chemicals such as Hydroprene and Methoprene which will prevent the development of new eggs.
- Next, you have mattress encasements which are rather expensive methods of getting rid of bed bugs. These are basically methods of sealing your mattress, pillows and box springs which will not let the bed bugs get out and let them die of starvation.
If you are unable to do it on your own, you could hire a professional team of exterminators to save time and effort. If could be a little expensive, but it will definitely exterminate all the bugs from your vehicle and also prevent them from spreading.
- They may use several pesticides to eliminate bed bugs. Some of the common insecticides are Resmethrin, Hydroprene, Chlorpyrifos, Permethrin, Dichlorvos, etc.
- Professional fumigation is another great way to get rid of bed bugs, it is typically to houses and buildings, but they can also do it on your truck bed and the whole truck for that matter.
- Extermination with steam treatment is another process when the bugs are exposed to extreme heat up to a temperature of nearly 50°C.
- Freezing treatment is another professional method of extermination, where instead of using a high temperature, the bed bugs are exposed to low temperatures of up to -30°C to kill them. They use a cryonite freezing machine that kills bugs and destroys eggs in just under 20 minutes.
Other Ways of Getting Rid of Bugs from the Truck Bed:
- Sometimes bugs may be hiding in the exterior of the pickup, so giving them a good wash would be a start. Take your car for a high-powered car wash to get rid of bugs from the fender, wheel wells, bumper, etc.
- A simple method of removing a bulk of bugs would be to vacuum the truck bed mat and the truck bed surface. Also, don’t forget to vacuum your cab seats and other mats in the cab.
- Some common extermination processes include bait traps, sticky traps, diatomaceous earth, insecticides, fumigation, etc.
- Use vinegar to wash hard surfaces in the truck cab and truck bed. Some bugs are repelled by vinegar.
- Sprinkle some salt on the truck bed mat or carpet and leave it for a few hours. It will interrupt the life cycle of a few bugs in the car.
- Use a lemon scented cleaner to repel bugs like lice and spiders. Wipe the interiors on a regular basis.
- Keep a bag of eucalyptus branches and leaves tend to repel some bugs naturally.
Best Practices for Pickup Truck Owners to Prevent Bug Infestation:
- Lookup hotel reviews before booking a hotel to see if there were any bed bugs or other pest activities in the hotel where you will be staying.
- Keep all your items including clothes, electronics, and food in sealed bags.
- Keep your luggage especially hard shell suitcases on top of clean furniture to prevent termites and bed bugs getting into your stuff. Probably the most secure place of not getting infested by bugs is by keeping it in the bathtub.
- When camping, keep food outside the truck and clean up any crumbs immediately after. If you are eating inside the vehicle make sure it’s clean without leaving any oil stains or little crumbs on the floor.
- Take note where you park and avoid parking under trees. Try to find a spot on the concrete that on mud or soil. Also, avoid parking near water bodies. Find a spot that is clean and well lit and make sure all windows and doors are closed. It should not leave even a tiny gap for the bugs to get into.
- Double check your luggage, boxes and other stuff become loading it back into the pickup truck.
- Make a heat treatment on used items if you want to use it in your truck bed.
- Keep your truck bed well scented as some odor can attract other pests and bugs.
- Some experts say that it is better to avoid synthetic leather seat covers as they lead to more sweat and residue. Instead, you could use fabric protectors.
- After every long distance trip, take your pickup to a car wash. It should be followed by vacuuming the internal with extra importance on the truck bed and the truck bed mat.
- Pickups that are ideal for a long period of time tend to attract more bugs than others. So it is advised to keep using your pickup bed every day.