I Hate Bugs, How About You?

Birds love bugs, flowers love bugs, truck drivers hate bugs and the people that wash trucks hate bugs even more. They die in a splatter, the first one usually in a driver’s direct line of sight.  Soon the swarms follow, replacing shiny hoods and clean windshields with layers of organic goo that dry into bio-cement. Worse yet, there is no magic soap that removes them without elbow grease or deterioration of painted surfaces. The carcasses plug radiators and plaster windshields, adding to operator fatigue and decreasing engine efficiency. Removing bug guts from a truck can double the time it takes to wash a truck when no bugs are present. Some types dry and stick so firmly it can take 2 washes to remove them. 

So what is the best way to remove these little terrors? How can these pests be removed with a minimum of aggravation? In short, hire a professional pressure washing company that has access to lots of water. If you’ve ever driven in a prolonged rain after hitting a hatch of mayflies or similar swarms, you know that as the guts get soaked they will rinse off. When washing a truck to remove bugs, soaking with water and keeping the innards wet is the safest way to eliminate that type of soiling. Soak and rinse, not necessarily pressure, is effective and will not damage any surfaces. Soap will help soften the organic material, partially because detergents and soaps will break down the bug leftovers and partially because surfactants and foamers will keep moisture on the truck which speeds removal. Soapy water applied with a soft bristle brush will help as well. Foaming soaps help keep a blanket of moisture in place.

The key is to allow water and gentle soap time to work. Many times a un-trained pressure wash technician will try to hurry up the process by using hot water and high pressure. This can be potentially damaging to painted surfaces, even to the point of lifting paint from the truck. Harsh chemicals should not be used, for the same reason. Strong alkaline solutions can dull paint, even burn off the baked finish that gives paint its shine. Your Sparkle Wash technicians attend ongoing training for proper wash techniques and how best to remove all different types of matter, including bugs.

Once a truck has been washed and it dries, spots may show where the bugs had been. This is because even after the bug mass has been removed; some of the fluids from the bugs will remain on the paint until soap can work on it. Avoid using acids on trucks. They can dry on the glass and cause clouding of the silicates in the glass, causing glare and a foggy looking view.

Be safe. When it comes to caring for your truck fleet, call your local Sparkle Wash Pressure Washing crew. They are trained in proper wash techniques and wastewater management. Give us a call or fill out a free estimate form; we can discuss the best wash plan for your trucks.