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Does Painting The Walls Help Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Alene Schill

A lot of people understand how challenging it is to get rid of bed bugs. There are multiple extermination methods available, and some folks hold the view that a simple paint job on walls could help destroy these nuisances. But does this tactic genuinely work in removing bed bugs?

In today’s article, we will look into this and determine if painting walls can eliminate bed bugs. If you are ready to learn more, then keep reading!

Will Painting My Walls Help Get Rid of Bed Bugs? 

painting walls with a painters roller brush

Not really. Using paint can do little to help you get rid of bed bugs. While the bugs may leave the area they lived in for a while, they will return once the paint has dried up. 

The good thing about this is there are aspects in painting your walls that could affect bed bugs. These include strong paint smell, toxic substances or ingredients, and closing of crevices. 

Bugs tend to avoid strong odors like the smell of paint. So, we can say paint helps drive away bugs, TEMPORARILY. Once the strong odor has gone, bugs will eventually continue their routine. 

Can Bed Bugs Live in Walls? 

Yes, bed bugs can also crawl and live in walls, not just in mattresses and carpets. Adult bed bugs can easily fit into a large crack in your walls, which is where they usually hide. This means they can get into walls through gaps in the floor and walls. 

Besides living in and around the bed, bed bugs can additionally live in other places in the home, such as the kitchen, living room, and basement.

Is There a Wall Paint I Can Use To Prevent Bed Bugs?

Paint brush resting on paint tin viewed from above

An insecticide-based product is the most common type of paint used to prevent bed bugs and other harmful insects from entering your house through the walls. 

Other commercially available paints can also be used to prevent these pests, but they are ineffective for bed bugs and cockroaches.

So, if you are planning on protecting your home from bed bugs, you might consider using insect repellent paint, but this product won’t totally work against bed bugs. 

This type of paint has an active ingredient that can effectively kill mosquitoes and other pests living on the surface.

Signs of Bed Bugs on Walls

  • You can see rusty and dark spots on your walls.
  • You will notice bed bugs’ fecal areas, egg shells, or shed skins on the places where they usually hide.
  • You can smell an unpleasant, musty odor coming from the bed bugs’ scent glands.
  • You can see small blood stains on your walls. 

Alternative Solution to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Walls

Vacuum / Clean Your Wall

One standard solution to get rid of bed bugs is cleaning the walls using a vacuum. The vacuum will suction these tiny pests from your walls, especially within the small holes or cracks where bed bugs usually hide. 

If ever you want to try this method, we suggest using an upright and powerful vacuum to better suction the bed bugs or other pests within your walls. 

Do Steam Cleaning

cropped shot of person cleaning sofa with hot steam cleaner

To get rid of bed bugs, another alternative method is steam cleaning. You will need to steam clean not just your walls but your mattresses, carpets, bedsheets, couches, and other areas where bed bugs can possibly hide. 

The heat from the steam can kill bed bugs. Hence, this method is proven effective and safe. Here’s how you can get rid of bed bugs on a couch.

Use Bed Bug Spray

Another solution is using a bed bug spray. You can purchase bed bug spray online or at your local stores. 

To eliminate bed bugs, spray the liquid on the affected areas. Bed bug sprays are specifically formulated to kill bed bugs and pests within your home. But, note that you need to directly apply the spray to the bed bugs to be super effective. 

Seal Hiding Spots

Since bed bugs may crawl to any area or spot where they can fit, you might as well try to seal their hiding spots. You may need to paint the wall, frames, headboards, or any cracks with several coats or use a sealant to seal off their hiding spots. 

This can help prevent bed bugs from entering your walls and other house areas. It can also help keep them from moving to other parts of your home. But can you use duct tape on bed bugs?

Pesticide Application

If home remedies do not work, you might want to try using pyrethroids [1] and pyrethrins [2], which are two common pesticides that can kill bed bugs. Most pesticides are relatively low in toxicity and pose no threat to people or pets. 

Also learn:


Can paint kill bed bugs?

Yes, but not totally. Paint may kill bed bugs due to its strong smell and toxic ingredients. However, once the paint has dried up, some bed bugs may return and start hiding in any cracks on your walls again. So, after some time, you may need to re-apply paint again. 

Can bed bugs climb painted walls?

Yes, bed bugs can climb painted walls once it dries up and the paint smell fades. They use their claws to keep themselves from falling off. They are incredibly lightweight, so their legs can support them as they climb the walls. 


We can say that paint can kill bed bugs, but it doesn’t mean it can be the best and most reliable bed bug remediation strategy. Painting your walls can only help rid of bed bugs, but it can’t wholly exterminate these tiny, annoying pests. 

Still, one of the finest ways to eliminate bed bugs from your home is to call a professional pest exterminator. They know the proper and effective techniques to resolve your bed bug infestation problem. 



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