Vacuums can be helpful in reducing the numbers of bed bugs in certain locations especially where there are groups or clusters of bed bugs. Vacuuming is not 100% effective, but will help capture bed bugs. There are some key precautions that you should take when using vacuums against bed bugs to make sure you capture the most bugs possible and that you do not spread the infestation.
Make sure you make the suction as strong as possible. Use a crevice tool attached to the vacuum. Bed bugs have the ability to cling to fabric and wedge themselves in cracks and crevices. Make sure that you concentrate on those areas.
Do not press to hard against the fabric. There is a chance that you can “flick” bed bugs and eggs off a surface instead of capturing these insects.
- When you are finished, remove the vacuum bag and seal the bag with tape. Then place the vacuum bag into a plastic bag and seal this outer bag. This bag can be disposed in the trash. Bed bugs can survive a trip through a vacuum hose. If the vacuum does not contain a bag, empty and discard the contents in a sealed plastic bag. Wash the removable container in hot soapy water to ensure any remaining bed bugs are killed. There is usually a filter attached to this container. This filter will have to be washed, frozen, or discarded and replaced by a new filter. DO NOT use water on electrical components of the vacuum. If you plan to use the vacuum in another location for bed bug control, place tape over the nozzle to prevent bed bugs escaping; at the end of the day, discard the vacuum contents.
- Repeated vacuuming will likely be necessary to control an infestation. Make sure you remember where you previously found bed bugs and be prepared to repeatedly vacuum these areas. Eggs are glued to the surface, so they are very hard to remove. Adult bed bugs will identify areas that were previously infested. Re-checking these areas and repeated vacuuming will help reduce the number of bed bugs in your home.
- Use the other non-chemical techniques, such as laundering, heat, or freezing to supplement vacuum removal of bed bugs. This will help you reduce the labor required for vacuuming areas and improve control.
- Try to keep your living area as simple as possible. Bed bugs like to hide, so the more things you have the more likely they are to find hiding places.
- Keep clean items in plastic bags to reduce the number of areas you have to repeatedly vacuum.