Bed Bugs in Walls – Will Painting Help to Get Rid of Them?

Will painting remove bed bugs in walls

Bed bugs taking refuge within the walls can induce a sense of frustration and urgency and as a homeowner, it’s crucial for you to approach the situation with a clear understanding of the available options for eradication.

The truth is since bed bugs can hide in many smaller gaps, cracks, and crevices, it’s very difficult to eliminate them on your walls with only paint.

However, if the problem is not so severe or the bugs have just started to appear in your home, there are a few natural ways you can try to get rid of them, including paint additives for bugs.

Here in this detailed guide, let’s look at how you can get rid of them in your plastered walls, what steps you should take while painting, and what are some other alternatives to eradicate the problem forever. But, let’s first start by understanding…

Why Do Bed Bugs Hide in Walls?

Bed bugs, as we all know, are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. You will generally find them around the bed, specifically near the mattress and box spring, as well as in cracks on the bed frame and headboard.

As the bugs multiply and make your home heavily infested, they will start to hide themselves on your clothes, luggage, cushions, couches, chairs, and even walls and outlets.

The cracks in the walls provide the perfect hiding spot for tiny bed bugs, which are difficult to spot and eliminate. Plus, if you have the wallpaper applied to your rough brick walls, it will provide them with even more hiding spots.

paint additives for bed bugs removal on wall

How Painting Your Walls Can Reduce Bed Bugs?

While painting your walls won’t directly solve the bed bug problems, it can help reduce their numbers because of the awful odor and paint additives added to repel the insects.

But remember, if you do not do it right or choose the wrong product, paint can create a mess quickly rather than eliminate the bugs. So, to ensure you do things correctly and the bugs do not return, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1- Strong Oil-Based Paints

To prevent bed bugs from finding hiding spots on your old plastered walls, apply a sealant to fill any cracks and crevices. Next, use high-quality oil-based paint with a strong odor ensuring you cover all potential hiding areas with a roller or brush. Allow this anti-insect paint to dry thoroughly before returning to the room.

Many of these oil-based paints come with additives to repel bugs. If you do not find them at popular online stores like Amazon, consider checking them out at your local paint stores. Using them will help keep the bugs away for a more extended period. However, they may come with a higher price tag. Plus, the smell can be very strong due to high VOCs, so open the windows and ventilate the area well before and during the painting process.

2- Low VOCs Latex Paints

Avoid strong-smelling oil-based paints and use no VOC or low VOC water-based latex paint if you are allergic to the strong smell.

To make the process effective, you may consider adding a few drops of essential oils or a bug-repellent additive to the paint before spraying or rolling the paint on your walls. This will help keep the bed bugs away and other insects like spiders, ants, and more.

After painting your walls, wait for them to dry completely for 2-3 days. Then, consistently inspect every part of your home including walls, windows, doors, trims, doorways, screens, closets, shelves, and furniture, for potential bed bug infestations. If any are found, take prompt action.

3- Paint Colors that Repel Bugs

According to the experts at the orkin.com site, yellow and green are the specific colors that will most likely repel bed bugs. White, blue, green, and purple are also colors that many insects and mosquitoes hate and tend to avoid going near them.

So, you can use these paint colors on your walls to repel the pesky insects. Pick a single shade or mix two colors to make it more effective and attractive based on your overall color scheme in your home.

How to Identify Bed Bugs Living On Your Old Wall?

You can’t easily see bed bugs hiding inside the cracks of walls with the naked eye. However, there are signs indicating their presence easily. These include:

  • Bloodstains on your bedroom walls and around the bed, including the bed sheets or pillowcases.
  • Dark or rusty spots of bed bug excrement on mattresses, upholstered furniture, or walls.
  • Shed bed bug skins in areas where they are hiding, like inside the wall cracks, gaps, and corners.
  • A crawling bed bug on your living room or bedroom walls, along with a sweet, musty odor coming from the infected area.

Bed bug bites also usually appear as small, red welts on the skin and can be very itchy. So, if you start to experience bites, you likely have a bed bug infestation.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Walls – The Step By Step Process?

Once you have seen the above signs and confirmed that you have a bed bug problem in your walls, it’s time to take action and eliminate them. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1- Use a powerful vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment that can reach all the cracks and crevices in your drywall to thoroughly clean all the infested areas. Empty the vacuum bag after each use or dispose of it immediately.

Step 2- Next, use a steamer to let the heat penetrate the cracks in the walls deeply. This will reach the bed bugs that may have escaped the vacuum cleaning process. Repeat this process 2-3 times a week until the bed bugs are gone.

Step 3- Seal the wall cracks with caulk after you have vacuumed and steamed them properly. Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth powder around the flooring and leave it there for a day. The next day vacuum it up to ensure all bugs are eliminated.

Step 4- Use a contact spray bed bugs exterminator product like SteriFab™ or Bedlam® around baseboards, carpets, furniture, beds, and walls. Do not spray inside the wall outlets.

The spray will likely kill the bugs as soon as they come in contact with it. But once dried, they are not effective.

Step 5- Finally, apply the paint or wallpaper as desired. If you are using paint, ensure it has a strong odor and comes with bug-repellent additives.

If required, repeat the entire process every 2-3 weeks to ensure you have completely gotten rid of the bed bug infestation.

The Bottom Line – Will painting the walls help get rid of bed bugs? 

Unfortunately, it’s not a viable solution. Painting the walls will not help eliminate the bed bugs problem by killing or eliminating them. The smell of the paint may cause these tiny bugs to leave the area for a while, but they will eventually come back after some time if they find your specific wall attractive.

If you have a severe infestation in walls and furniture, the best way to stop them is to seek professional help to assess the situation and provide the appropriate course of action. They have the right tools and products to help eliminate or reduce the population of bed bugs in your home.

Professionals utilize a combination of methods, such as vacuuming, heat treatment, chemical treatments, and sealers, depending on the circumstances. These methods are more efficient than just painting the walls and can prevent bed bugs from reappearing in the future.

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