Will Paint Kill Bed Bugs? Find Out The Surprising Truth

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Alene Schill

When faced with a bed bug infestation, various thoughts may arise. These minuscule insects can be a nuisance, scurrying around and causing discomfort.

I remember my family trying different methods to eliminate them, and one unusual thought was using paint. 

Although we spent a whole day repainting some parts of our house, it did not hinder me from wondering, “Will paint kill bed bugs?”

Today, I’ll share some valuable insights on whether paint prevents bed bugs or is a colorful distraction.

Does Painting Help In Getting Rid Of Bed Bugs?

painting the walls

Contrary to a common belief, using paint as the sole method to eliminate bed bugs is ineffective. 

The owner of Surrey Painting Company advises that while paint can provide a smooth and sealed surface, making it harder for bed bugs to hide in cracks and crevices, it cannot kill these pesky pests. 

Paint does not possess the insecticidal properties necessary for eradicating bed bug infestations. 

So, to get rid of bed bugs, it’s essential to use proven pest control methods rather than relying on paint alone.

Do Bed Bugs Dislike The Smell Of Paint?

No, bed bugs do not have a strong aversion to the smell of paint. While the odor may temporarily repel them, it is not a reliable long-term solution for getting rid of these pests. 

Bed bugs are resilient and adaptable, and they tend to seek safe hiding spots. They may temporarily vacate the painted area but often return once the paint has dried.

“It’s really rare in life that a situation is as black and white as we tend to paint it.”

Aesop Rock, American Rapper

As such, relying solely on the smell of paint to keep bed bugs away is ineffective, as these pests can still infest your bed mattress or other hiding spots.

Find out how you can use boric acid to kill bed bugs here.

The Myth Of Paint As A Bed Bug Killer

bed bugs in a cup
  1. Paint’s Limited Impact: Bed bugs are tough insects that can survive without food for a long time and hide in tricky spots. Paint may have some chemicals called VOCs and can cover up cracks where bed bugs hide, but it can’t eliminate them all.
  2. Paint Won’t Suffocate Bed Bugs: Bed bugs are strong and can live for weeks without a meal. Even if you trap them under paint, they can survive because they lack oxygen.
  3. Bed Bugs Don’t Starve Easily: Bed bugs can go without a blood meal for weeks or even months, depending on the conditions. Just using paint won’t make their environment so bad that they starve. They can wait patiently until they find someone to bite.

Real Effective Solutions For Bed Bug Infestations

1. Steam Cleaning

The process of steam cleaning involves utilizing a particular machine that emits extremely high-temperature steam. 

Bedbugs can’t survive high temperatures, so the steam effectively kills them. Moving it slowly over areas where you suspect bedbugs might be hiding is essential when using a steam cleaner. 

2. Freezing

Some small items, like clothing or bedding, can be placed in your home freezer for several days to kill bedbugs. 

The extremely low temperatures (below -19°C or -2°F) will effectively eliminate these pests. 

However, this method is most suitable for items that can withstand freezing temperatures without damage.

3. Vacuuming

vacuuming the bed for bugs

Vacuuming is a vital step in removing bedbugs from your home. Mattresses, cracks, and furniture in walls or floors are among the potential hiding spots bedbugs may occupy.

To capture them effectively, use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters trap tiny particles like bedbug eggs and debris. 

After vacuuming, it’s crucial to seal the vacuum bag or container in a plastic bag before disposing of it. This prevents any surviving bedbugs from escaping.

But how can you get rid of bed bugs?

4. Washing & Drying

Bedbugs can’t survive high heat, so washing infested items in hot water (above 60°C or 140°F) effectively kills them.

“Painting your walls won’t make bed bugs vanish. These pests need more than just a makeover – they need an eviction notice!”

Central Ohio Bed Bugs

After washing, use the hottest setting on your dryer to eliminate any remaining bedbugs. Store the cleaned items in sealed plastic bags or containers to prevent re-infestation.

5. Using Pesticides Or Bed Bug Sprays

Choose products specifically designed for bedbug control if you use insecticides or bed bug sprays. 

Safely and effectively use the product by carefully following the directions on the label.

Using pesticides should be done cautiously, and it’s important to prioritize safety for yourself, your family, and your pets.

But what type of vinegar that kills bed bugs?

6. Getting Rid Of Badly Infested Items

If you have items like heavily infested mattresses or furniture that can’t be effectively cleaned or treated, it’s best to dispose of them properly. 

This helps prevent bedbugs from spreading to other areas of your home.

Also Read: How To Clean Your House After Bed Bug Treatment?


What spray is effective in eliminating bed bugs?

Regarding eliminating bed bugs, the most effective sprays contain pyrethrins and pyrethroids. 

Obtained from chrysanthemum flowers, pyrethrins are natural insecticides, whereas pyrethroids are synthetic compounds crafted to replicate the insect-killing effects of pyrethrins.

What surfaces do bed bugs avoid?

Bed bugs tend to avoid smooth plastic surfaces. Placing items in plastic containers or sealed heavy-duty plastic bags can deter bed bugs from infesting them. 

Storing clutter in plastic containers can simplify bed bug elimination efforts in infested homes and help prevent further infestations.

What attracts and draws out bed bugs?

Bed bugs are primarily attracted to scents associated with carbon dioxide, body heat, and the smell of human skin.

To get them out of their hiding spots, you can use tools like a steamer or a hairdryer to apply heat to areas such as mattresses. 

This heat treatment can help reveal and eliminate bed bugs effectively.

Final Words

Using paint as a bed bug exterminator is a common misconception. Bed bugs are resilient pests that can withstand various environmental conditions. 

While paint may temporarily deter them due to its odor or seal cracks and crevices, it lacks the insecticidal properties needed to eradicate infestations. 

Our exploration has highlighted effective alternatives, including steam cleaning, vacuuming with HEPA filters, freezing small items, washing and drying at high temperatures, proper disposal of heavily infested items, and the cautious use of registered pesticides. 

These methods offer a more practical approach to addressing bed bug problems. 

If you want professional advice on using paint in bed bug treatment, reach out to:

Surrey Painting Company


Address: 2880 152 St #31, Surrey, BC V4P 1G6, Canada

Phone: 604-210-3601

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