What Kills Bedbugs in a Vacuum Cleaner?

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Vacuum cleaners can contain, but not kill bedbugs
Vacuum cleaners can contain, but not kill bedbugs (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Bedbugs are remarkably resilient insects, resistant to most common insecticides. Containing bedbugs and removing them from an environment is often easier than killing them. This can be done through the use of a vacuum cleaner to suck up bedbugs, larvae and eggs.

Insecticide

While bedbugs are resistant to most common insecticides, a few products are effective. Deltamethrin, diatomaceous earth and pyrethrin kill bed bugs.

No Killing Agent

Mike Coleman, the owner and operator of Mike's Vacuum in Ruckersville, Virginia, said that in 33 years of business he has heard of no product that—when placed in a vacuum cleaner bag—kills bedbugs.

Heat

According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, bedbugs die when exposed to temperatures above 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius). The process the extension's website describes for producing the heat necessary to kill bedbugs does not involve the use of a vacuum cleaner.

Containment

While vacuum cleaners do not kill bedbugs, the insects are generally not capable of escaping once they have been sucked into a vacuum cleaner. After each vacuuming in an infested environment, however, the vacuum bag should be immediately removed, sealed in a garbage bag, and placed in an outside trash container.

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