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Does Vacuum Kill Bed Bugs? (Yes, But Not Fully)

Yes, vacuuming has been hailed by several pest control studies as an effective non-chemical method of killing bed bugs.

But you need a strong suction-enabled bagged vacuum with a HEPA filter and crevice tool for the best results.

Continue reading for the step-by-step process of vacuuming bed bugs effectively.

🔎Can Vacuuming Alone Kill Bed Bugs?

Can vacuuming alone kill bed bugs

No, regular vacuum alone cannot kill bed bugs for the following reasons:

  • Bed bugs are resilient insects and can survive without food or water for up to 400 days.
  • Bed bugs can survive the suction of a vacuum cleaner by clinging to surfaces like fabric and bare wood.
  • Female adult bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs that are difficult to vacuum. 
  • Additionally, bed bugs are very small and can easily hide in cracks and crevices, making them difficult to reach with a vacuum cleaner.

While vacuuming cannot kill bed bugs by itself, it can be an effective method of control for bed bugs when combined with a HEPA filter and insecticide treatment such as diatomaceous earth.

👉How To Vacuum Bed Bugs? [Step-By-Step Solution]

How to vacuum bed bugs

Vacuuming bed bugs is similar to vacuuming your home normally.

But you must take additional bed bug treatment measures to remove as many bed bugs as possible and take extra precautions to prevent the infestation from spreading.

Vacuuming bed bugs also removes dust mites and carpet beetles.

🤔Things You Need

  • Flashlight – To spot the bugs hiding places like mattresses, corners of the furniture, and so on.
  • Lint roller – To pick up any bugs, eggs, or cast skins you see.
  • HEPA Vacuum cleaner – With strong suction and cleaning attachments to vacuum the bedbugs. Use vacuums with disposable vacuum bags instead of bagless vacuum cleaners.
  • Garbage bags – To collect or gather items from an infested area and avoid further spreading of bugs throughout your home.
  • Dryer – To run on infested bedding, towels, and clothing with the hottest cycle to kill bugs and eggs.
  • Mattress encasement – Encase your mattress and box spring in a bed bug-proof mattress cover to trap the bedbugs inside and avoid spreading.

🪜Steps To Follow

Step 1: Wear Your Face Mask

Wear your face mask

It is important to wear a mask before vacuuming bed bugs to avoid allergic reactions like painful swellings and anaphylaxis. That is why all pest controllers swear by wearing face masks.

Step 2: Start With Steam Cleaning

Steam clean the areas of the carpet and other surfaces before vacuuming them. Steam cleaning enables heat treatment, which is an effective way to kill bed bugs and their eggs.

The hot steam can penetrate deep into fabrics, cracks, and crevices, where bed bugs may hide.

Step 3: Vacuum With a Strong Suction Power and HEPA Filter

To vacuum bed bugs effectively, use the strongest suction setting on your vacuum cleaner.

The vacuum for bed bugs must have a crevice attachment to focus on the places where clumps of bugs like to hide, such as mattress seams, bed frame joints, and furniture cracks.

  • Be careful not to press too hard against the fabric, as this can flick bed bugs and eggs off the mattress, furniture, or carpet instead of capturing them.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to trap bed bug allergens and prevent them from being released into the air.
Also Read: How Do You Measure the Suction Power of a Vacuum?

Step 4: Remove Bed Bugs From the Vacuum and Seal With Tape

Remove bed bugs from the vacuum and seal with tape

After vacuuming bed bugs, removing them from the vacuum cleaner is important to prevent them from escaping.

  • For bagged vacuums, remove the bag and seal it tightly with tape. Then, place the sealed bag in another plastic bag and seal that one too.
  • Dispose of the bags and contents in an outdoor trash can and close the lid.

Also Read: Should You Vacuum Mouse Droppings?

If you have a bagless vacuum, empty the contents into a sealed plastic bag. Take the vacuum cleaner outside before emptying it. It will help to prevent bed bugs from spreading into your home.

  • You should wash the entire vacuum receptacle with hot, soapy water to kill any remaining bed bugs.
  • Let the vacuum cleaner receptacle air dry completely before using it again.

Also Read: Vacuuming Fleas With Bagless Vacuum

Step 5: Treat the Bed Bugs in the Garbage Bag With Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Them

Treat the bed bugs in the garbage bag with diatomaceous earth to kill them

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that can kill bed bugs. It is a safe and effective way to kill bed bugs.

To treat bed bugs in a garbage bag with Diatomaceous earth, sprinkle a generous amount into the bag and shake it to distribute the powder evenly.

Be sure to seal the bag tightly after treating it.

Step 6: Detach and Wash or Replace the Filter

Detach the filter by pulling the filter out.

  • If the filter is washable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It may involve soaking the filter in soapy water, brushing it with a soft brush, and rinsing it thoroughly.Make sure the filter is completely dry before reinstalling it.
  • If the filter is not washable, replace it with a new filter.

⚠️Tips And Warnings

How to handle a bed bug vacuum cleaner after use?

How to handle a bed bug vacuum cleaner after use

Follow the steps below:

  • Wear a mask and gloves when emptying the HEPA filter vacuum bag or canister into a garbage bag or trash can with a lid. It will help to protect you from inhaling bed bug dust and allergens.
  • Stuff a paper towel in the vacuum hose end. The bed bugs already caught in the hose won’t be able to escape.
  • Then, empty the vacuum cleaner bag immediately after use. Bed bugs can survive in a vacuum cleaner bag for several days. Therefore, emptying it as soon as possible is important to prevent the chance of escape.
  • Seal the bed bugs in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash. It will help to prevent bed bugs from escaping and spreading.
  • Wash the vacuum cleaner receptacle with hot, soapy water to disinfect it. Let it air dry completely before using it again. It will help to prevent bed bugs from laying eggs in the receptacle.
  • Before using the vacuum again, inspect it thoroughly to ensure that no live bed bugs are on the outside.

Should I call for professional help?

It depends on the population of bed bugs. Removing large infestations of bed bugs is not a DIY task. You may be unable to reach every hidden spot in your house with a vacuum or insecticide spray.

So, if the steps did not help kill bed bugs effectively or for severe infestation, you must call for professional treatment from a trusted pest control company.

💡Does Vacuum Kill Bed Bugs: FAQs

Can bugs crawl out of a vacuum?

Yes, bed bugs can crawl out of the vacuum as they can survive in crevice attachment or hose attachment for days without food. Some bed bugs thrive for months without food.
Therefore, it is important to dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister immediately after vacuuming.

Also, be careful while using different types of carpet cleaners because bed bugs have a stubborn life.
You can also put the bag or canister in a sealed plastic bag and spray it with insecticide to kill any remaining bed bugs.

Then, dispose of the bag or canister in the regular trash.

What kills bed bugs?

Diatomaceous earth can kill bed bugs instantly by dehydrating them and absorbing their fats and body oil.

The bed bugs also get killed due to the exposure to extreme heat as they cannot survive temperatures above 100°C.

Therefore, you can use a steam cleaner to instantly kill bed bugs and their eggs.

Besides you can also buy and use bed bug pesticide treatments or a bed bug spray treatment from the market.

Does bleach kill bed bugs instantly?

Bleach is a powerful disinfectant that can kill bed bugs and other pests on direct contact. However, you should use it properly as it can harm humans if inhaled.

Also, it cannot eliminate bed bugs hiding in cracks and crevices of mattresses, box springs, walls, floors, and furniture, so other methods must be used besides bleach.

Does baking soda kill bed bugs?

Baking soda is often recommended as a home remedy for bed bugs, but no scientific evidence supports its effectiveness.

While baking soda may kill a few bed bugs, it is not strong enough to eliminate an entire infestation.

What are the best vacuums for bed bugs?

The best bed bug vacuums have strong suction power, HEPA filter, and crevice tool. Some good options available in 2024 include:
1. The Atrix – VACBP1 HEPA Backpack Vacuum
2. The Housmile Mattress Vacuum Cleaner
3. The Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum
4. The LivePure Ultramite Vacuum
5. The Kenmore 600 Series Canister Vacuum

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