Living with bed bugs is nightmarish. The fact that these insects have a small oval body and six legs helps them to be the master of hiding. Generally, bed bugs prefer to hide in hidden and dark places. This is the main reason why a property owner dealing with an infestation might face difficulties when searching for them, no matter what time of the day it is. Yes, finding these pesky insects is hard in a dark room. This is where a UV light can help as it makes it easier to see them. But, how UV light can detect them? And most importantly, DOES UV LIGHT KILL BED BUGS?
It is very natural to have these questions and such others in mind if you suspect a bed bug infestation. Thus, it is highly advisable that you read on as next, everything related to this subject has been mentioned in detail for your better understanding and proper handling of the bed bug infestation at hand.
DOES UV LIGHT EFFECTIVE TO SPOT BED BUGS AND EGGS?
You have to know about UV light and its capabilities before discussing – DOES UV LIGHT KILL BED BUGS. A UV light lamp can be defined as a type of lamp that will emit ultraviolet radiation, a type of light energy. It is used for many different purposes like surface, wastewater, air, equipment, and food disinfection. Using a UV light lamp or flashlight is one of the easiest and quickest ways to detect bed bugs in a property.
Many people are not aware of the fact that many insects (including bed bugs) contain Phosphors in their shell. One of the properties of phosphors is that it glows in ultraviolet rays. So, anything made out of it will glow in UV light including bed bugs, their eggs, nests, feces, and discarded old shells.
1. Why Bed Bugs Glow in UV Light?
It is true that regular light is similar to UV light. However, the major difference is where they are on the spectrum of light.
Visible light can be defined as the light which we can see with our eyes. Various wavelength of light appear in various colors ranging from green, yellow, red, and blue. The light’s energy will depend on the level of wavelength. Higher the wavelength, the more will be the energy of the light.
On the other hand, ultraviolet light is not visible to the naked eye and has a higher wavelength of visible light. Thus, appear dark purple in color.
UV light interacts with phosphors by absorbing energy and releasing it as light. This is the reason why bed bugs shells that contain phosphors “glow” under UV light aiding in proper bed bug infestation detection.
2. Do Bed Bug Eggs Glow in UV Light?
Bug bug’s eggs also contain phosphors. So, because of the reason stated above, bed bug eggs will glow under UV light as well.
3. Do bed bugs like or stay away from UV light?
Like many other insects (especially nocturnal insects), bed bugs can see UV light. Insects like moths, beetles, and such others are attracted to UV light. However, bug bugs’ instincts are different from a moth and/or beetles. Bed bugs are considered photophobic. So, they actively try to avoid light. Thus, bed bugs are not particularly fond of UV light. So, if you keep a UV light on in an infested room, you will see that the bed bugs are hiding deeper instead of coming out as they are not attracted to UV light.
HOW TO SEARCH FOR BED BUGS AND EGGS WITH UV LIGHT?
It is important to inform that you cannot effectively find bed bugs in a messy or cluttered room. The search process will be time-consuming in such a room even with a UV light source. Thus, your first step should involve cleaning and arranging the room accurately.
1. Steps to clean and arrange your room
- Start by cleaning up any mess in the room.
- If you have a habit of keeping your items like books or clothes in boxes/storage container, then remove them from the room.
- Move the bed, if needed, to get a better access for detecting bed bugs in them with the UV light lamp/flashlight.
Now that you have the room ready for inspection, use the UV light source to find bed bugs by following the below mentioned steps.
2. Steps to detect bed bugs with a UV light
- First, remove all the beddings and seal them up in a bag. You can keep them with your boxes outside the room to treat everything later.
- You should focus on the bed frame and the mattress as they are favorable spots for nests.
- Start by flipping the mattress and check the underneath part carefully. Check inside any zips or opening present in the mattress as well. Focus on any fold as they are a prime hiding spot for these bugs.
- Move to the bed frame. Check spots like gaps, holes, and joints as bed bugs tend to lay their eggs in these spots.
- Do make sure to search other furniture, corners and cracks/opening on walls and doors of the room as well. These are great hiding spots as well.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND BED BUGS?
Do not get confused or scared if you find bed bugs in your room after following the above-mentioned steps. If you find bed bugs in your room, just follow any one of the steps mentioned next:
1. Vacuum cleaner
You have to find a method of elimination that can prevent the bed bugs from escaping. You can use a vacuum cleaner as it is an easy and effective method to trap and remove the nuisance.
Run the machine on the spots where you have found the bed bugs. Go through other potential hiding and/or breeding spots. Check the frames, box springs, baseboards, flooring, and other furniture present in the room.
Once you are done, you have to seal up the vacuum bag properly and dispose it carefully. Clean the vacuum cleaner to ensure no further contamination.
2. Over-the-counter products
There are many effective bed bug removal spray/liquid/powder products. They promise to help you to remove the infestation for good. Carefully research and search to find a suitable anti-bedbug product. Such products come with detailed instructions/user manual. Follow the instruction provided correctly to ensure the product can work its magic.
3. Natural remedies
Standard washing of infected items in cold (32 degrees Fahrenheit) or hot (115 degrees Fahrenheit) will work. Another easy natural remedy is using a standard steamer at the hiding places. The steams can effectively remove bed bugs.
4. Professional help
Contact a professional if you have tried everything and still haven’t received the expected result. A qualified professional will have the required knowledge, training, skills, equipment, and gears to eliminate the infestation problem successfully.
CAN YOU DESTROY BED BUGS WITH UV LIGHT?
The answer to the question – DOES UV LIGHT KILL BED BUGS is “Yes”. However, you should avoid it.
You have to select a lamp that emits UV-C rays to kill bed bugs with UV lights successfully. You have to expose an adult bug to this light for 2-3 hours straight, depending on the size and their last meal. The light should be at a close range of 5-10 cm and the bugs should be kept in a closed environment. Nymphs and their eggs will be destroyed after 1-2 hours only.
So, you can see that you have to trap the bed bugs and adhere to the mentioned conditions to kill them using a UV light. This is a complicated process. Thus, killing bed bugs with UV lights is considered a bad idea. Use the steps mentioned above instead to remove bed bugs for good from your property.
WILL A UV LIGHT KEEP ME FROM BEING BITTEN?
If you keep UV light on, it will not save you from bed bug bites. As they are photophobic, they will ensure they are hid well from any light source. They are attracted to carbon dioxide and natural heat that the body produces. So, they do not require light to find and bite you. UV light is only effective when it comes to detecting them.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR PURCHASING UV LAMPS
As there are so many different types of UV lamps available in the market, finding a good value for money product can become difficult. Next are some things that should be taken into consideration to purchase the right UV lamp:
1. Size of the area
Are you planning to search the whole room? Or, just the bed? You have to ask yourself this question as this will help you to know what type and size of UV lamp you need to buy. Buy as per long-range or short-range use.
2. Light spread
You have to consider what type of light spread quality you want for the UV lamp. Do take into consideration the brightness level and lumen range to get a UV lamp that can generate the required light spread.
3. Electric Cord
Most UV lamp comes with an electric cord. You have to consider the length of this electric cord. If you one with a short cord, then you will have difficulties while moving it around the room to search for bed bugs. Thus, choose the length of the cord according to your need.
Now you know the answer to the question – DOES UV LIGHT KILL BED BUGS? By now, you are far more informed about bed bug infestation and how to detect them using a UV light. You are also informed about how to eliminate the related issues at hand effectively and quickly.
Your next step should be purchasing a proper UV light lamp. It will help you to know if you indeed got a bed bug infestation on your property or not. After that, you can take the accurate step accordingly. So, use the information provided above for a successful first step in bed bug control and prevention.