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Does Painting the Walls Help Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

If you have bed bugs in or on your walls, then painting can make you feel like you have a blank slate. 

Painting your walls will not help get rid of bed bugs. The bed bugs may leave the area for a while because they won’t like the smell of the paint. But they will just go somewhere else and return when the paint has completely dried. 

Will Painting the Walls Make the Bed Bugs Leave?

A person using a paint roller to apply white paint to a wall.

Painting the walls in your home will probably make the bed bugs leave that area. 

However, it will not get rid of them. 

Instead, they will take up residence somewhere else. 

Then, they will come back as soon as the paint completely dries. 

Do Bed Bugs Live in Walls?

Bed bugs definitely can live in walls. 

If you have a crack in your wall at any place in the room, bed bugs can get into it as long as it is large enough to fit a credit card. 

From there, they can move to other parts of the house. 

Thus, if you have any cracks in your walls, it is best to seal them up to keep the bed bugs from spreading to the rest of your home. 

Also, fixing cracks and holes could trap and eventually kill any bed bugs already living in there. 

Will Painting Keep Bed Bugs Out of the Walls?

Painting may keep the bed bugs out of your walls for a while. 

However, since it won’t actually get rid of the insects, it’s best not to waste your money and time painting the walls solely in an attempt to deter bed bugs. 

Plus, as I said, they will move back to the walls after the paint dries. 

How Do Bed Bugs Climb Walls?

Close-up photo of a bed bug on a white surface.

Watching an insect climb a wall is rather impressive since it seems like it should defy the laws of gravity. 

So, how do they do it?

Well, any wall covered in paint or wallpaper has indents throughout it that are so small they’re practically impossible to see with the naked eye. 

Bed bugs are so tiny, though, that they can use these grooves to climb vertically up walls. 

How to Kill Bed Bugs in Walls

If bed bugs are living inside your walls, you have two main options to get them out: pesticides and heat treatments. 


If you want to use pesticides to kill the bed bugs in your walls, you need to find one that contains either pyrethrins or pyrethroids. 

These chemicals are your best bet at killing bed bugs, and you can find them in most bed bug sprays. 

Then, once you’ve got the right pesticide, you need to spray it along the baseboards and any cracks in the wall. 

When you do this, the bed bugs will have to crawl through the insecticide when they come out of hiding, which should kill them. 

And if you are going to spray the walls, you ought to go ahead and treat other areas of the room that may hold bed bugs, such as on and around your mattress. 

Heat Treatment 

Another option to kill the bed bugs hiding in your walls is to try a heat treatment. 

In a heat treatment, a professional will warm your home to over 120°F (49°C) for several hours. 

Since bed bugs can not stand these extreme temperatures, they will die. 

But, remember that only professionals should perform heat treatments. 

Otherwise, they are doubtful to be effective. 

Professional exterminators know how to ensure the whole house gets to the required temperature. 

If it doesn’t, the bed bugs will just hide out in the cooler places and live. 

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live in My Walls?

A photo of a cracked wall.

Bed bugs can live in cracked walls for their entire lives because there is nothing in there that will kill them, and they’ll still be able to come out and feed. 

However, bed bugs will not be able to live out their whole lives in a sealed-up wall because they will not have access to a host. 

Yet, bed bugs can survive for four months or more without feeding, so they could be inside your walls for a while even if they’re closed up. 

Can Painting Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

Well, if you painted over bed bug eggs, they would die because they would be trapped. 

But, it’s doubtful that anyone would want to paint over insect eggs. 

What painting your walls can do, though, is motivate you to find and clean up any eggs to prevent them from hatching. 

These eggs may be hard to find under normal circumstances because bed bugs prefer to lay them in dark places that humans don’t frequent. 

However, when you paint, you will be pulling everything away from your walls, which can help you find any bed bug eggs that could be hiding out of sight. 

What Should I Do if I Find Bed Bug Eggs?

If you find bed bug eggs when painting or at any other time, you should get rid of them as quickly as possible. 

One way to do this is to suck them up in the vacuum cleaner, where they will become trapped and die. 

Or, if you want to make absolutely sure the eggs aren’t viable when you get rid of them, you can douse them in bleach. 

Bleach can penetrate through bed bug egg shells and kill them. 

Afterward, you can dispose of them however you see fit. 

Will Bed Bugs Lay Eggs Inside My Walls?

3D photo of bed bugs and bed bug eggs.

Bed bugs may lay eggs inside your walls. 

Overall, bed bugs just want a warm and dark space to lay their eggs, meaning they might choose to do so inside your walls. 

To kill the eggs in your walls, you should have an exterminator perform a heat treatment. 

Insecticides, even those meant specifically for bed bugs, often won’t kill bed bug eggs, so a heat treatment is the better option. 


Painting your walls will not get rid of bed bugs. 

If anything, it will just make them migrate to another place in the room. 

However, they will be back as soon as the paint dries.