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Searching for bed bugs can be a time-consuming and difficult process. One of the best methods to find the insects and their eggs is the usage of UV light. Although this form of light will not kill bed bugs, it is definitely a handy tool to find them in your quest to track down the invisible bug. Since nymphs can have a light, translucent color, and bed bugs prefer darkness to feed undisturbed, UV light provides a great method for finding the bugs and killing them as you go.
Does UV light detect and kill bed bugs?
A UV light should be shined on any surface that bed bugs could infest, such as the mattress, the sides and underneath the box spring, the bed frame, the headboard, and any other free standing furniture. A bed bug UV light will spot any life stage of a bed bug and they will likely run away from the light when you shine it on them–have a strong contact insecticide on hand to spray them on sight. A bed bug UV light can also make checking cracks and voids easier than a regular flashlight.
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Can You Kill Bed Bugs with UV Light?
UV light detectors should only be used to detect bed bugs and the device will not kill them. A bed bug would have to be trapped and a bed bug UV light shined directly on it for a period of time for the temperature to become hot enough to kill it. Therefore, UV light is a perfect tool for detection and ineffective for killing bed bugs.
Do Bed Bug Detectors Really Work?
There are multiple types of devices that detect bed bugs and one of the most effective is a bed bug UV light. The device is only as good as the work put into combing over every surface and all of its dimensions when searching for bed bugs.
You can easily see adult bed bugs with the naked eye, yet you will need a UV light to find the translucent nymphs and in some cases, the eggs. When inspecting a surface or a structure, shine the light in slow motion along every part of the structure, if you see nymphs or adults, squash them with a paper towel or spray them with a bed bug killer insecticide for bed bugs.
The best methods for killing bed bugs is to treat all furniture and cracks and crevices with a combination of contact and residual insecticides, bed bug powders, and heat that reaches at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If bed bugs are on the move and if you have started treatment against them, inspection is key to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment and a UV light will spot any live bugs in all their life stages. The lights are very effective for detection and can expose any small or deeply hidden bed bugs.
Do Bed Bugs Stay Away from Light?
It is a fact that bed bugs do not like light and will go to great lengths to avoid it at all costs. Bed bugs do not want to be seen and they also have limited visibility, which makes them very sensitive to bright light. While they do avoid light, it will not kill them nor will a light source prevent them from feeding.
Often times, it is difficult to find bed bugs in their preferred hiding spots and once they have been discovered or disturbed, they will increase their hiding methods even further. When bed bugs feed, it is almost always dark as we all tend to sleep in a pitch-black dark bedroom. They have evolved to like darkness and it decreases their chance of being detected.
In extreme measures, bed bugs will venture out when it is daylight or when your residence is fully lite as they have to feed to survive and reproduce. For the most part, bed bugs will avoid light, but it must be understood that light will not kill them, only repel them.
Will a Lamp Keep me from Being Bitten?
Bed bugs prefer to dine on you when you are in a state of deep sleep. You may find that having your lamp on will keep the bugs away for a period of time – but this is not what is keeping them away, they are simply waiting for you to fall asleep. It is unfortunate that having a lamp on will likely help you fall asleep better, but it will not stop the bugs from feeding on you.
UV light is a great tool in aiding your search for elusive bed bugs. The powerful rays of the light will illuminate bed bugs in all of their life stages and will confirm inspections that are searching for live bugs. When using a UV light to search for bed bugs, be sure and shine the light slowly along each and every surface to find live bugs.
While UV light is a great resource to detect bed bugs, it will not kill the bugs by simply shining upon them. It would require a great deal of work to capture bed bugs to isolate them and shine the light on the bugs to reach the temperatures required to kill them. Insecticides, powders, and heat are the only confirmed ways of killing bed bugs. Therefore, a bed bug UV detection light is a perfect tool for detection but not elimination.