According to a Dallas-based pest exterminator, Doffdon Pest Control, the company treats up to ten rideshare vehicles per week for bed bugs. The owner, Don Brooks, said: “Drivers either see bedbugs, someone complained, or they were suspicious of a customer and just want to make sure.”
An Orkin report published in 2019, ranked Dallas-Fort Worth as number 10 on its list of Top 50 Bed Bug Cities. Other cities on the list include Tennessee, Nashville, and Baltimore – ranked at number one.
Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown parasitic insects that bite the exposed skin of sleeping humans and animals to feed on their blood. They’re easy to miss because a fully grown bed bug is only the size of an apple seed. They tend to hide in cracks and crevices. The bugs are not considered dangerous, but more of a nuisance. People who get bit tend to experience red bumps or welts on their skin.
Infestations are hard to get rid of because of the rate at which bed bugs reproduce. They easily travel from person to person and can travel on clothes and luggage. The average life span from egg hatch to death is six to 12 months depending on the environment. It is unlikely an infestation will clear up on its own. In fact, it’s more likely for the infestation to spread and intensify.
It’s important to note that a bed bug infestation doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of hygiene. The bugs can easily crawl from one unsuspecting passenger to another. They can live over a year without feeding, so if a car goes untreated it could affect a significant number of people.
According to Brooks, one method of treatment involves heating a tent to nearly 150 degrees and leaving the car in there for a few hours. Liquid pesticides are also an option, depending on a driver’s budget. If a passenger is worried about bed bugs after a rideshare trip, they should throw their clothes in the dryer for 50 minutes on high heat and shower as soon as possible.
While bed bugs are not life-endangering, they can be costly when someone’s home or vehicle is infested. It’s likely the person won’t know about the problem until it’s already progressed significantly. Determining who to hold accountable and what to do about expenses can seem daunting. Depending on your situation, you may be able to take legal action. Contact the Rideshare Law Group for more information.