Does Painting the Walls Help Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Bad bugs can bring many inconveniences. You can get rashes and itchy areas all over your body and even allergic reactions. Bed bugs have shown to possess good hiding and survival skills, so it’s definitely not the easiest thing to get rid of them. 

An adult bed bug is a quarter-inch long, the size of an apple seed, and it can flat when unfed and balloon-like after feeding. The size is actually the biggest advantage of a bed bug, as it enables it to hide anywhere and in the most unlikely places.

The painting of the walls does not help with getting rid of bed bugs. The bed bugs may leave the area they inhabited for a while because of the smell of the paint. However, it doesn’t mean that they will die. They will find new hiding places and even return when the paint is dry. 

Bed bugs tend to hide wherever it’s safe for them, so they still might be somewhere inside or on your bed mattress or any other place. They can even live in walls. Especially when your wall has cracks that can fit a credit card, then the chances are that these cracks will serve as the home for bed bugs.

Are bed bugs hiding in walls?

As mentioned above, bed bugs are able to find the safest places in the house. They can live in the wall or in the wall’s cracks, or near the wall. They can even travel through walls to your home. However, it is not the most common space where they live. 

Bed bugs usually choose bed sheets, carpets, clothes, and mattresses. They feed solely on blood. That’s why they need to be as close to the human body as possible. Also, bed bugs are not able to travel long distances, so they choose their hosts and live in a safe place that is the closest to them.

Do bed bugs eat wallpaper?

No, bed bugs are parasitic insects, and they solely feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals or humans. They can feed on animals, such as dogs, cats, birds. If the bed bugs live in the wall or near the wall, they will not eat the wallpaper. The wallpapers are definitely not included in bed bug’s diet.

Why could painting reduce bed bugs?

There are some aspects in painting walls that could affect bed bugs and even make an illusion of getting rid of them. These include toxic ingredients, a strong chemical smell, and the closing of crevices.

The bugs are sensitive to strong smells; that’s why they may leave the place for some time to avoid the smell. This effect is only temporary and as soon as the walls dry out, the smell is gone too and the bugs will return.

It is not proven that painting can kill the bed bugs, as the paint doesn’t contain any pyrethroids that are used as an insecticide (Pyrethroids are chemicals that are lethal to bed bugs and can take the bugs out of their hiding places and immediately kill them).

Painting the walls is closing tiny crevises and sealing them somehow in a non-obvious way. This makes it much harder for the bugs to find shelter in there. This is maybe the biggest advantage painting can bring to reduce bed bugs – but it is not enough to get rid of the infestation.

Painting the walls: why bed bugs don’t care

If you think that painting the walls will fix the issue with bed bugs, you’re completely wrong. It will not affect them at all. It may seem at first that you got rid of them, but in reality, they were not affected that much. They will find another place to inhabit and hide. The paint may have a strong chemical smell which may scare the bed bugs off for some time. 

However, when the wall completely dries out, then the smell vanishes, and the bugs come back. A good option for getting rid of the bug would be steam cleaning your clothes, bedsheets, and mattress. The bed bugs are sensitive to temperatures, so heat from the steam will kill them.

The main issue with bed bugs is that they can be in many different places, and it’s hard to identify where they are coming from. They can hide in places that are hard to access due to their small size. 

They usually try to stay as close to the host as possible so they can feed on blood. So the places that you usually touch with your skin may potentially be a home for bugs. The walls are far from the food source, so it is not a preferred place to live for bugs. 

Sometimes they choose to live in the wall cracks or crevices, but when they become hungry, they will move to other places. However, to avoid the bugs from living in the cracks, they should be painted or caulked with a sealant. This will reduce the location options for bed bugs.

Bed bugs can travel through the walls only in the cases when an infestation gets bad. They can also use pipes and electrical wires to get to homes. 

Effective ways to get rid of bed bugs

There are many chemicals available that kill bed bugs. There are many different sprays and multi insect killers available. The only important thing here is to identify where they are coming from. 

After you identify the place, just spray the chemicals into their possible hiding spots. Still, you need to be very careful with using chemicals around the house. Another good thing to do if you have bed bugs is to take all of the bedding, blankets, and mattresses outside and leave them under the sun for at least 2-3 hours. 

As mentioned above, the bed bugs hate the heat and are very sensitive to temperature changes, so this will definitely help to get rid of them. It’s recommended to do that consistently.

Bed bugs are also sensitive to strong odors and perfumes. They don’t like the smell of lavender; that’s why you should use detergent for the bedsheets with lavender scent. But still, it’s better to kill the bed bugs, as the smell is not strong enough to make them die.

But these are only some examples.

We do have the most awesome list of remedies against Bed Bugs. You should take a look: Potential Bed Bug Killers and their Effectiveness (with table)

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