[By Cortney Moore]
If you partake in ridesharing programs like Uber and Lyft, you may run the risk of entering a vehicle that has carried a passenger with a bedbug problem, according to one Dallas-based exterminator.
“I probably do five to 10 rideshare cars per week,” Don Brooks, owner of Doffdon Pest Control, told Dallas news station WFAA. “Drivers either see bedbugs, someone complained, or they were suspicious of a customer and just want to make sure.”
A bedbug infestation doesn’t always mean a lack of hygiene either. The bugs can easily crawl from one unsuspecting passenger to another without the owner of the vehicle even noticing, Brooks said. He also noted that bedbugs can live over a year without feeding on blood, so an untreated situation can quickly become disastrous for companies that provide millions of rides per day.
One method Brooks uses involves heating a tent to nearly 150 degrees. Drivers usually leave their cars in the tent for a few hours at a cost of $250, he said, though, he also offers a cheaper solution with liquid pesticides.
On a national level, the average cost estimate for bedbug extermination ranges between $320 and $400, according to a recent report from Thumbtack, an online local marketplace for professional services.
“If you feel suspicious, just throw your clothes in the dryer for 50 minutes on high heat. Then it’s best to hop in the shower,” Brooks said.
Dallas-Forth Worth is one of the most bedbug-infested cities in the nation, according to Terminex. Only New York City and Philadelphia have topped the Texas city’s high numbers.