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Killing Bed Bugs When Traveling

by Anna and Tom

Anna, Tom and Family

Anna, Tom and Family

Hello, this email is a calling for advice ;)

We are on 6-months-long trip (me, my husband + small kids), traveling by car through Central America. We made it a car in the way that in 80% we could sleep in there.

Was lovely, beautiful until we discovered bed bugs. We built a bed with some piece of wood which was obviously not clean.

Still 2 months left and I sm going crazy. We cleaned what we could, found some favorite places, checking them each day. There are of course much much less of them but still... How to do it??

We cant really move out with all the things for days, we cant find anybody here (in Guatemala), who has a steamer, who helps in any way.

We even tried to put a pipe from the car with co2 but it didn't really help ;)

ANY ANY ANyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy tips welcome!

Family Without Borders


Editor Suggestion When Traveling with Bed Bugs

Hi Anna and Tom,

Sorry to hear about all of the bed bug problems while on your 6 month journey. Unfortunately, even exterminators find that they need multiple treatments to get rid of a bed bug problem.

Here's some quick suggestions that might help.

1. If you have an electric hair dryer, hold it over each bed bug hiding spot for 10 seconds. The heat will reach the required 113F to kill bed bugs and the eggs.

2. If you can find a laundry, wash and dry in the dryer anything you can. For items you can't wash, put this in the dryer for about 20 minutes on the high heat setting. This includes sneakers, stuffed animals, everything. Dispose
of anything you can.

3. Buy a bed bug spray online from the affiliate in whatever country you are traveling in. I'd suggest buying Sterifab or a bed bug kit.

An alternative to the spray (although sprays are better, or better yet, spray and then use dust) is diatomaceous earth. This is a natural product available at gardening and some food stores. Dust is applied in a thin layer. The product is made from ground up fossils and is all natural. It clings to the outer skeleton of the bed bug causing death.

One problem you might have comes from bed bugs that spread into the car. They are called great "hitch hikers" for a reason. This is a tough problem if they get deep into the cracks of the seats or into the cushions. For this you'd have to use the sprays mentioned or heat. Every crack needs to be treated. You could also try a bed bug travel spray.

4. Contact a premium moving company and see if they have a heat room. If it is large enough, you can drive your car or truck in, heat to the required temperature and all bed bugs will be killed. If you can't drive the truck in, remove the seats and have those heated to the required temperatures.

Think of killing bed bugs as the same as getting rid of ants. Every time you treat there are fewer and fewer to deal with. They might not completely go away, but the population will be brought to a manageable size.

You can find more tips on our bed bug travel tips page.

Best of Luck and Safe Bed Bug Free Travels,


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