I know how frustrating it can be to have bed bugs in your home. But if there’s something even more frustrating than that is to find out that Bed Bugs are living… inside your walls!
It’s an absolute nightmare!
But don’t worry! I’m here to help. There’s a way you can get rid of that terrible pest. Keep on reading to find out more!
Bed bugs can live inside walls, although they can’t break through them. If they’re living inside, it’s because your wall (no matter the type) has cracks or they got inside through the electrical outlets or baseboards. But you can still get rid of them using this 5 step strategy.
Bud Bugs on walls vs Bed Bugs in walls
But first things first, we must make sure that we actually have a bed bug problem inside our walls.
Why do I say that? Because the fact that you found a bed bug on your wall (most of the time on wall corners), doesn’t mean that they’re living inside your wall. Because of that reason we’re first going to take a look at the different signs that can tell you that you have bed bugs living inside your walls.
But before we do, let’s get something straight. The fact that you found a bug inside your house, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a bed bug problem. In fact, you’d be amazed at how many people mistake bed bugs and carpet beetles. So, if you’re unsure of whether or not you have a carpet beetle or bed bug problem, this post might help:
Did you find a bug in your house and don’t know what it is? This guide (with pictures!) will help you identify if it’s a bed bug or a carpet beetle. Easy! And what to do next to get rid of them!
If you do have a bed bug problem, keep reading!
Signs of bedbugs on your wall
Where to look for the signs
One of the most frustrating things about bed bugs is how good they’re at hiding. They’re really amazing!
And they’re so good at hiding because, among other reasons, they’re amazing climbers. There are over 70 species of bed bugs and all of them (including the most common variety: the Cimes Lecturis) are excellent climbers. Even if you think that your wall is completely flat, it isn’t for those bugs. Their legs have like little tiny claws that allow them to climb wood, painted wall, paper, etc.
The good news is that they can’t break through walls. And that means that if bed bugs got inside your walls, it must be through a crack or a hole of some sort. Those are the spots you should be looking at. All the signs that we’ll be talking about usually happen close to the wall entrance and/or wall corners.
But as we said, those entrances could be close to the ground or close to the ceiling indistinctly. Now that we know where to look, let’s see what we’re looking for.
1. Dark spots
The first thing you should be on the lookout for are rounded dark spots. These are the bedbugs droppings, and they look something like this:
We wrote an entire post about bed bug poop, so be sure to check it out if you want to know how to clean it or how dangerous it can be.
Having bed bugs is very annoying for many reasons! And their poop is one of them. Learn what it looks like, how to clean it and how to prevent it from appearing again!
2. Blood stains
When you have bed bugs in your house, you get used to bloodstains quickly. But if those bloodstains start appearing on your walls (not only on your sheets), that’s a clear indication that bed bugs are living inside your wall. These stains aren’t as large as the droppings. They look like this:
This isn’t the right moment to talk about bed bug development, but these are basically the different stages that bed bugs go through:
When they’re growing, they leave an eggshell behind. If those eggshells are close to the entrance spots on close to your wall’s corners, that’s an indication that bed bugs might be living inside your walls.
4. Musty odor
Last but not least, if you’ve smelled a musty odor in your house (especially around the corners of your walls and the entrance spots), you probably have bed bugs inside your walls.
Why? Because by the time that the human nose can identify that smell, the infestation is usually very large. That means that bed bugs have had a lot of time to explore around your house and it’s very likely that they found some crack to go inside your wall.
If you’re experiencing this smell problem, we have a post that explains how to get rid of it and where it comes from.
What if there’re no signs?
If you can’t seem to find any of these signs, you probably don’t have bed bugs living inside your walls. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have bed bugs!
You could have bed bugs on your wall, just not inside yet. If that’s the case you should read this post on how to clean your walls when you have bed bugs on them:
Have you seen a tiny bug on your wall and wondered if it could be a bed bug? It very well could be! Find out if it is and how to clean your walls to get rid of them!
Because they such good climbers they can get inside your wall even if the whole to the inside
What kind of walls can bed bugs live in?
This is a question we get asked about a lot. Especially by brick wall homeowners. But the sad truth is that bed bugs can live in any type of wall, Brick or wooden. The only real difference is how they get in.
A wooden wall is more likely to harbor bed bugs because the wood has natural cracks. And brick walls don’t. But if there’s a crack on a brick wall (for whatever reason), bed bugs can get inside.
How to kill bed bugs in walls
These 5 steps are very similar to the 3 steps on How to Kill Bed Bugs on Wall guide. That’s because the first 3 steps are meant to kill the bed bugs that live on your wall and right on the entrance spots, and the 4th and 5th steps are meant to keep bed bugs from ever entering your home again through the walls.
Step 1 – Vacuum your Wall
The first thing we’re going to have to do is to clean our wall using a regular vacuum cleaner. I honestly think that any vacuum cleaner will work fine as long as you have a hose. As we mentioned earlier, bed bugs can climb up to the ceiling and you’re going to need a hose to clean up high.
You have to vacuum the corners thoroughly and around the outlets and baseboards.
Some people recommend using a different vacuum cleaner to vacuum bed bugs because they’re afraid that they could get other areas of their house infested with bed bugs if they use the same vacuum cleaner.
Is this necessary? I honestly think it isn’t. I think that if you clean you vacuum the right way (we have a post explaining how to do that here), you should be fine.
But if you think that it’s a good idea and it makes you feel safe, then I would recommend using your old vacuum cleaner for the bed bugs and buying a new one. We have a great post with the best vacuum cleaners of 2022.
Are you searching for the perfect vacuum cleaner? In this guide, we review the best overall, the best for allergies, the best for deep cleaning, the best for everyday use, and the best robot.
But if you already have a new vacuum cleaner and don’t want to use that one just for bed bugs I would recommend that you buy a budget vacuum cleaner. There are some good options out there. The best being (in my opinion) this one:
- Dust cup capacity - 2.5 liters. Ideal for quick...
- Convenient for home and auto
- Includes blower port
- Lightweight 10 amp canister vacuum safely and...
- Power-touch handles with easy-to-use fingertip...
Step 2 – Steam Clean your wall
The second thing you have to do after you’ve vacuumed your wall is to steam the “entrance spots”. And by “entrance spots” I mean cracks, corners, outlets, baseboards, ventilation units, etc. Anywhere that’s close to a wall where a bed bug could be hiding you want to steam clean.
Steam clean them once, wait for 10 to 15 minutes and then repeat the process. I always tell my readers to steam clean twice because this is such an important step. The heat from the steam cleaners will kill both the eggs and the grown bed bugs, so you want to make sure that you do it right.
Another reason why it’s a good idea to steam clean twice is that not a lot of people have a decent steam cleaner. Budget steam cleaners don’t reach very high temperatures and so don’t kill all the bed bugs.
If you’re in the market for a steam cleaner that works great for almost anything, this is the one I would recommend. It’s super useful (not just for killing bed bugs) and affordable!
- 1300 watt solid brass heating element (120 volt...
- High-impact plastic outer housing for durability
- Quick two minute heat-up time.6 inches wide...
- 1.5 Hour steam time per filling. Water Capacity:...
- Made in the USA
Step 3 – Apply Bed bug Spray
The third thing we have to do is to apply a bed bug killing spray. These are sprays that instantly kill bed bugs upon contact. And some of them are completely non-toxic, which makes them great if you have pets or children home. The bad thing is that it doesn’t have very long-lasting effects.
You have to spray a couple of minutes after you’ve finished steam cleaning. And you have to apply the spray to the same places where you steam cleaned: cracks, corners, outlets, baseboards, etc. Just make sure that you’re not applying the spray inside the outlets! Just around them.
This is the bed bug spray that I would recommend. It really works like a charm:
- PROVEN 100% EFFECTIVE — Journal of Economic...
- PLANT-BASED, NON-TOXIC, UNIVERSITY STUDIED, CHILD...
- STAIN FREE* — Our one-of-a-kind formula can be...
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- MONEY BACK GUARANTEE — We know that Bed Bug...
Another great thing about this product is that you can use it almost anywhere (not just for bed bugs inside your wall). So it’s useful to clean your sheets, mattress, furniture, etc.
Step 4 – Apply a Residual Pesticide Application
Because the bed bug spray doesn’t last long, you need to add a residual pesticide that will protect you home for months. This is the step that some people like to skip because they think that they’ve taken care of the problem already.
But they are WRONG!
This step is absolutely necessary if you want to be able to take care of bed bugs in your walls completely. After you’ve sprayed the first product, wait for around 30 minutes (or the next day for that matter) and spray the pesticide on the areas that you sprayed yesterday, but also all around your walls, beds, etc.
What’s the best pesticide?
Unfortunately, there aren’t many products out there that are effective against bed bugs in the long run. I’ve tested and tested Amazon products and haven’t found one that would completely satisfy me. Maybe it’s because I’m used to a professional pest control standard. But why would I want anything else for my readers?
Long story short, the product I recommend is sold by a company called MyCleaningProducts.com. It’s a product used by professionals, but it’s super simple to use. It’s just like spraying any other product and it’s eco-friendly and safe for children and pets. Because you’re a Carpet and Rug World reader, you get a 20% discount! Simply use the coupon code FEEDBACK. So be sure to check them out!
This is the product I recommend:
Thanks to this product your house will be protected for 12 months! That’s really amazing for something you can do yourself.
Step 5 – Seal off Hiding Places
And finally, you’re going to want to seal the bed bugs hiding places: baseboards, wall outlets, etc. In order to do so, you can use any type of silicone you like.
Some professionals go as far as recommending that you paint the wall again. But I’ve never seen a case that’s so terribly infested that this is necessary. I would encourage those of you have paper walls to fix the spots where the paper might be peeling, because those are very good hiding spots for bed bugs. But that’s about it.
And that’s it! You now know how to get rid of bed bugs in your walls forever!
There’s one last piece of advice I would like to give you before you go. I know that bed bugs can be extremely irritating. The first thing everyone wants to avoid is to get bitten. Getting rid of them is priority number 2.
If you don’t want to get bitten by bed bugs or don’t want your children or pets getting bitten, I would encourage you to use a bed bug detergent. If you clean your sheets and blankets with that detergent alone, it will make a huge difference. Once you’ve done that, come back and go through the 5 steps to completely get rid of them.