Lyft, Uber and Sidecar are just a few of the businesses that are making ride-sharing a worldwide phenomenon. So much so that recent statistics demonstrate that these companies are now servicing more travelers than traditional taxis. But there are always unforeseen consequences.

While ride-sharing apps and entrepreneurial drivers offer consumers a previous unknown flexibility in the way they travel, and businesses like Lyft and Uber save the public huge amounts in travel costs, they also present some very real problems for the public.

Bed Bugs and Other Passengers

Increasingly, local news outlets are running stories of ride-share passengers finding bed bugs in their drivers’ cars. More troubling still, some of those consumers are tracking those bed bugs back to their homes and workplaces. In essence, they are acting like ride-share services for pests, providing bed bugs with easy to summon rides on backpacks, overcoats and luggage.

These reports are becoming increasingly widespread. Stories of bed bugs infesting ride-sharing vehicles are cropping up all around the country – from New York to Chicago, from Los Angeles to Kansas City, Missouri.

Are Ride-Share Drivers Doing Enough?

It is important to remember that, unlike traditional licensed taxi cabs, ride share drivers are almost exclusively using their own vehicles to transport their paying customers. The drivers themselves are responsible for that automobile’s upkeep, and that includes keeping the vehicle clean and free of pests.

Unfortunately, some drivers are failing to spot the tell tale signs of bed bug infestation in their vehicles, and that is leading to passengers sharing their rides with some pretty unpleasant company.

In a way, this is a perfect scenario for a hungry bed bug. They have a relatively safe environment in which to hide, and a steady stream of passengers on which to feed. The bed bugs can share the ride with any number of unsuspecting travelers, often tagging along when the journey is over and following their new hosts to an even more rewarding environment.

Ride-Share with Care

As more and more news services are running with stories of ride-share vehicles becoming home to bed bugs drivers are making a concerted effort to keep their company cars clean and free of pests. However, it is important for passengers to do their part as well.

If you routinely use ride-share services you should be alert to the possibility that you may be sharing your ride with an unwanted pest. Stay alert, and key your eyes peeled for any unwanted hitchhiking bed bugs on you or your belongings. Remember, that quick and convenient ride-share might leave you with a pest problem of your own.