Will UV light show bedbugs?

Updated November 21, 2016

Bedbug infestation is a problem which has re-emerged in modern society. Bedbugs are small, oval-shaped reddish-brown bugs that feed on the blood of mammals. The bugs got their name due to their attraction to warm places and, in days of antiquity, beds tended to be the warmest spots in the house. Bedbugs are nocturnal creatures with a strong aversion to light.

UV Light as a Bedbug Killer

Ultraviolet light is not effective as a means for detecting bedbugs; however, UV light is a great way to kill the bugs. Using UV light to exterminate bedbugs is perfect for people who have an aversion to pesticides. The UVC light waves pass through the skin of the bedbugs and attack the bugs' DNA, destroying them and eliminating their ability to reproduce.

Inspecting for Bedbugs

Bedbugs are known for hiding in cracks and crevices and are very hard to spot. Evidence of bedbug activity includes blood stains on your sheets and brown marks caused by bedbug faeces. Trying to find bedbugs through visual inspection is difficult but can be done by using a red light. A red light is the only colour that will not cause the bugs to retreat.


After you have used your UV light to kill off the bedbug infestation, it is advisable to clean the area to remove the dead bugs and any eggs they may have laid. Use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean the area and wash your sheets. Keeping your house clean and well vacuumed can help keep your house free of bedbugs.

UV Lights

There are several ultraviolet light wands available for killing bedbugs. The wands are also effective for killing dust mites, bacteria and mould. There's even a model available which combines a UV light source with a vacuum system, providing you the option of cleaning the area as you exterminate the bugs.

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About the Author

Peter Timm has been writing since 2002 for both print and online publications. Timm earned a Bachelor of Arts from the New York Institute of Technology in 2008 and emerged a technically astute writer.