Uber and Lyft Could Be Hotspots for Bedbugs
Americans have embraced the concept of ride-sharing services, from companies such as Lyft and Uber, rapidly since they’ve entered the market. The average American spends between $20-$110 per month on ride-sharing services. This adds up to multiple rides per month. Other than the financial toll these services can have on the wallet, customers should be aware of another risk with ride-sharing services.
Many ride-sharing vehicles can be a hotspot for bedbugs, which can attach themselves to your clothes, and be carried into your home.
Ride-Sharing Services & Bed Bugs
Exterminators have reported seeing an increase in Uber and Lyft drivers needing to service their vehicles for bedbug infestations. Bedbugs typically attach themselves to people and clothing and can jump from one host to the next. And as bugs are so small, many people are unaware that they are carrying the tiny creatures.
For Uber and Lyft drivers, the issue is even more problematic, as they can be oblivious of the infestation for an extended period of time. If bedbugs are primarily located in the back seat of the car, biting customers who only get in once, the driver may be completely unaware they have an infestation.
Lastly, bedbugs can live up to a year without feeding on blood. This means a car owner may think they’ve eradicated the problem but still have a very real infestation.
Passengers can take some preventative measures to keep themselves as safe as possible. After taking a ride-share, always shower as soon as you get home. Take off your clothes and wash them immediately as well. This will, hopefully, kill any bedbugs that have managed to attach themselves to your clothing.
If you had a suitcase with you in the car, consider spraying it with a bug spray and letting it stay on a balcony for a few days to air out.
What a Driver Can Do About a Bed Bug Infestation
Unfortunately, once a driver starts to see the bugs, they usually already have a full-blown infestation. A single female bedbug can produce 1,000 eggs in just three months. The key to handling a bedbug infestation is to respond as quickly as possible. Drivers should take their cars to a local pest exterminator for inspection.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Some law offices have started to advertise that they’ll take on cases from clients who believe they have acquired a bedbug infestation from a ride-share. Avoid this risk with frequent trips to the exterminator for pest control.
If the exterminator confirms that you have an infestation, the best bet will be the extermination tent. A tent covers the entire vehicle and heats the inside of the tent to temperatures that kill bedbugs (between 117-122 degrees Fahrenheit).
A cheaper option is simply to have your vehicle sprayed with a liquid pesticide. This method has a higher risk of missing some bugs, which can cause the infestation to revive in a few weeks or months.
Additionally, this spray can sometimes leave a lingering scent. For a driver, this smell can result in reduced tips and negative reviews on their app profile.
Ultimately, drivers are providing a service to customers and should do everything in their power to supply a clean and comfortable environment.
Keep your eyes out for bedbugs, whether you’re the passenger or the driver!