20% of households within the US have an infestation of bed bugs. Indications of an infestation are bed bugs leaving blood or feces stains on your walls or other surfaces.
There are several ways to remove bed bug stains off walls.
Bed bug stains on your walls can be identified as red-brown marks. To clean your walls from the stains you can use dish soap and water, rubbing alcohol, Oxalic Acid, baking soda, or a stain remover.
In this article, we will take you through how stains are created by bed bugs. Then we will give you effective options for cleaning your walls.
There may be affiliate links in this article. You can read more about this in my disclosure.
How do the bed bugs create the stains?
Bed bugs feast on blood. There is nothing else they consume as they don’t have teeth.
So, the only way they get their meal is to suck on your blood as your sleep.
The blood is then eliminated from the bed bug’s system through their droppings. These leave a reddish-brown mark on the areas that the bugs inhabit.
Another way the stains are caused is through the bugs abandoning their exoskeletons (i.e. their outer shell). This can occur as part of the lifecycle of molting their skins, as well as the bed bugs hatching.
When a bed bug hatches, they discard its shell which is covered in a glue-like substance. Due to the adhesiveness of the shell, it can stick to walls and other surfaces.
Ways to remove the bed bug stains from your walls
There are a handful of ways you can remove the reddish-brown bed bug stains from your walls. The methods are easy to do and you can use items that already are found within your home.
When cleaning your walls you want to use caution. A hardy surface such as concrete can stand up to some rough scrubbing, whereas painted and wallpapered walls need more TLC.
Dish soap and water
Like any stain removal method, start in an inconspicuous spot. That allows you to see how the surface will react to the solution.
Once satisfied that everything is fine, you can continue to clean the rest of the wall.
- Combine your dish soap into a bowl or bucket of warm water.
- Dip your cloth/sponge into the solution. Squeeze out the excess water and then wipe down your wall.
- For the more inground stains, you will have to carefully scrub at the spot.
- Allow the wall to completely dry, then look to see if all the stains are gone.
- Repeat the process to remove any remaining marks.
This method requires the use of a spray bottle, a bowl, baking soda, and water.
- Fill a spray bottle with water, then spray the wall. You want to cover the wall with a good amount of water. The right level of coverage depends on the surface of the wall.
- If it’s wallpaper, then too much water can cause the wallpaper to wrinkle and peel. Paint and concrete can stand up to higher amounts of water.
- Mix baking soda and water in a bowl. Stir until you have formed a thick paste.
- Apply the paste to the stained areas of the wall. Allow the paste to soak into the wall for several minutes.
- Wipe down the wall with a paper towel or cloth. Use your spray bottle again to help your remove the paste.
- Examine the wall carefully for any remaining stains. Spot clean these with your baking soda paste.
- Give your wall a final wipe down and allow it to air dry.
Oxalic Acid is a great allrounder household product. Try using it to remove the bed bug stains off your wall.
- Just like the previous method, use a spray bottle full of water to soak the stained areas. Let the water soak into the wall for a few minutes.
- Mix the Oxalic Acid with water. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the recommended level of acid to water.
- Test a small area of the wall. Oxalic Acid can cause discoloration, so it pays to test an inconspicuous area first.
- If you are happy with the test spot, then proceed to clean the rest of the wall.
- Cover the stained areas of your wall with the solution, then allow the Oxalic Acid to dry.
You can use Oxalic Acid on wooden walls but do so with care. The acid can damage the surface.
A commercial stain remover can be the answer you are looking for to get rid of the bed bug spots. However, not all stain removers may work that well on walls.
So, do your research before heading out to your local hardware store to purchase your stain remover.
Once you have the product that you need, follow these steps to clean your walls.
- Spray down your wall with water using a spray bottle.
- Apply your stain remover to the bed bug spots.
- Be sure you test a small part of your wall before fully committing to the process. The stain remover may bleach the surface, leaving you with unsightly discoloration across the wall.
- Satisfied that the stain remover won’t cause bleach spots, use it to tackle the bed bug stains.
- Allow the stain remover to naturally dry.
The tools you use depend on the wall’s surface
Should you use a sponge or hard-bristled brush? Can you clean the bed bug stains using sandpaper?
How you remove the bed bug spots is determined by what the wall is constructed of. A concrete wall could handle being cleaned with a brush that has hard bristles.
Using the same approach with a wallpapered or painted wall will result in damaging the surface.
You could consider using sandpaper on wood walls that haven’t been painted. This method can remove bed bug stains.
Yet, you may have to revarnish the surface of the wall.
Stopping a bed bug infestation
Once you have identified you have a bed bug issue in your house, cleaning the walls is only half the battle. Until you get rid of these pests, they will continue to soil your bedding, walls, and other surfaces.
Talk to your local pest controller and they will tell you that a bed bug infestation is hard to get rid of. It’s not impossible to stop the infestation.
Here are some steps you can take to overcome the issue:
- Wash your bed linen, clothing, and curtains with the hottest wash possible. Dry these items at a high temperature in your dryer.
- Scrub your mattress surface and the seams with a hard bristled brush. Vacuum your mattress straight after the scrubbing to remove any bed bugs and eggs.
- Cover your mattresses with zippered covers. This will stop any bugs from entering or escaping from the mattresses.
- Fill up any cracks or gaps in your walls. Glue down any peeling wallpaper.
- Keep the area around your bed clean and tidy.
- Place any affected clothing or linen into plastic bags, then place these into your freezer for 4 days.
The above can help somewhat in eliminating bed bugs. However, it won’t completely eradicate them.
To deal with an infestation, you will need to have a pest controller come in to deal with the problem.
Bye Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can enter your house in a variety of ways. The most common method is from them migrating through your clothing or luggage while you are on holiday.
The bugs like to hitch a ride with you back to your place.
Reddish-brown marks on your walls, clothing and bed linen are a strong indicator of a bed bug infestation.
You can wash down your walls with soap and water, or use Oxalic Acid to remove the stains. Yet, the bed bugs can still linger in your home.
To rid your home completely of these pests, you will need to call on a professional pest controller. Then you can say goodbye to the bed bugs.
As a busy mom, Raz knows firsthand the challenges of balancing parenting and household management. Raz is constantly searching for ways to simplify her life and loves sharing her experiences and tips with others. Whether it's finding creative meal solutions for picky eaters or discovering the latest time-saving home organization hack, she is always on the lookout for ways to make life easier for her family and herself.
Last update on 2023-02-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API