Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your RV for Good

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A person looking for bed bugs in an RV.

Getting bed bugs in your RV can be a nightmare. Unfortunately, far too many owners find themselves facing this very dilemma.

To win the war against these pests, it takes consistent effort. You can’t let your guard down, even for a second.

Today, we’ll help you get rid of the bed bugs in your RV for good. Ready to be victorious?

Let’s get to it!

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are parasites that feed off humans and animals. They typically attack at night and feed while their hosts are asleep.

You’ll usually find them in bedding, mattresses, and bedroom furniture. Sadly, they can become a significant problem quickly as females can lay hundreds of eggs in their lifetime.

They’re reddish-brown and have an oval shape. They look like tiny apple seeds and grow into a longer shape as they feed off the host. You’ll likely start to notice them as you develop itchy, red welts on your skin. They may not be dangerous, but they can cause tremendous discomfort.

Because they are so small, detecting them can be very challenging. You may notice reddish or rust-like spots on your sheets and mattress. If you discover them, it’s not a problem you can ignore. If you do, it will only going to grow worse.

Are Bed Bugs Common in RVs?

Bed bugs in an RV are no different than in a typical residence. Once they get into your RV, they can take over a space. If you have bed bugs in your home, there’s a good chance they’ll find they’ll eventually find their way into your RV.

Unfortunately, you can quickly end up with a severe infestation in an RV, especially if you only use your rig occasionally. An adult bed bug can go several months without a blood meal.

If you bring bed bugs into your camper, they could multiply while your rig sits in storage. 

How Do Bed Bugs Get into an RV?

You may unknowingly introduce bed bugs into your RV. These pests often sneak into a new place, like a Trojan horse. They hide in pillows, blankets, bags, clothing, or on pets. These are all items you want in your camper with you. However, little do you know that you’re inviting a pest by bringing them.

Some owners have reported getting bed bugs from parking next to infested RVs. Because campgrounds put minimal amounts of space between campers, this is very possible.

They can find tiny crevices and get into your space. It won’t take long for them to make themselves at home. 

Close up of bed bugs discovered in an RV mattress.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in an RV

Once you discover the infestation, you need to take action. Knowing that bugs are living in your RV could cause you to feel anger, disgust, and a flood of emotions. Use these feelings to fuel your attack to have a bed bug-free space before you know it.

Declutter Your Space

The first step in getting a bed bug-free space is to declutter. Get rid of any unnecessary items. These pesky bugs hide in cracks, crevices, and other areas.

If you’re not using it and have no plans to, get rid of it. You don’t want to give them any spots to hide from you.

Wash Bedding and Clothing

Next, you need to wash every piece of bedding and clothing. Remember, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

You should wash your bedding, linens, and curtains in hot water. This will help kill any bed bugs from your RV and eliminate any eggs that may be present.

Once the wash cycle finishes, dry them as hot as possible. You don’t want to ruin the clothes, but you want to ensure you create an impossible environment for them to survive. Keep them in the dryer for at least 30 minutes to ensure none get left behind.

Keep in Mind: Bugs aren’t the only creatures you need to be worried about getting into your RV. This woman found a snake in her RV!

A person changing their bedding in their RV after discovering bed bugs.

Vacuum Thoroughly

While everything is in the wash, vacuum the entire space thoroughly. If you have a vacuum with a HEPA filter, it will capture bed bugs and their eggs.

Take your time on mattresses, upholstery, carpets, and any cracks. You never know where these pesky parasites could be hiding.

Use Mattress and Box Spring Covers

Bed bugs love mattresses and box springs. As a result, it’s best to place them in protective covers. When shopping, look for covers stating they are “bed bug-proof.” They’re typically made from durable and tightly woven materials.

If your mattress does have bed bugs, the cover will keep them inside. They’ll eventually die, and you won’t have to worry about them. A mattress or box springs cover makes it easier to spot bed bugs as they’ll stick out on the bright white materials.

A person adding a mattress cover to their RV mattress after discovering beg bugs.

Seal Up Your RV

Just like when we wrote How To Keep Mice Out of Your Camper For Good, getting rid of bed bugs in your RV for good is similar. Sealing up your RV can help keep these pests out of your space. However, finding where they’re getting in can be tricky.

You’ll need to inspect every inch of your RV thoroughly. They’re tiny critters and can slip into tiny gaps, cracks, and openings.

Some primary spots are screens, vents, door seals, and weather stripping. So, if you’ve been delaying treating these issues, let this be your motivation. As they say, “The best defense is a good offense.”

Consider Treatment Options

If you’re not having any luck getting rid of bed bugs in your RV, consider further treatment options. Cleaning and vacuuming will only do so much. You may have to call in backup and use heat or steam treatments.

Additionally, there are a variety of bug sprays and insecticides that you can use. However, many people don’t like filling their RV with dangerous chemicals.

It may be time to call a professional if you feel like waving the white flag or throwing in the towel. Call a pest control company and have them come to your rig and take a look.

If you’re stationary, they can help identify the issues. If you’re traveling regularly, they can get rid of the bugs so you can be on your way and away from the source of the problem.

Keep in Mind: Looking for ways to keep bugs away? Citronella Candles might be the answer to your prayers!

Prevent a Reinfestation

You can’t let your guard down once you get rid of the bed bugs. If you’re not careful, you could reinvite them into your space. Keep cleaning regularly, vacuum the area, and keep clutter away.

Watch for any signs of cracks or crevices to develop and close them off as quickly as possible. At the end of each trip, wash your bedding, linens, and clothing.

At the first signs of a reinfestation, you need to take action. Being proactive can reduce the chances of them becoming an issue again. If you slack off, you could be in the same situation again.

Evict Bed Bugs from Your RV

If you face a bed bug crisis in your RV, spring into action as quickly as possible. You aren’t doing yourself any favors if you procrastinate addressing the issue. Taking action can help you get back to relaxing and exploring in your camper without letting the bed bugs bite.

Have you dealt with bed bugs in your RV? How did you get rid of them?

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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