How to Use UV Light to Find Bed Bugs [The Ultimate Guild]

Bed bugs have six legs and a small oval body that makes them easy to hide anywhere. They prefer to hind in dark and hidden places, and an individual can’t find bed bugs at night and even during the day.

So something that can help us to find this tiny creature can be beneficial. There are many tools online that can help you, but UV light is the cheapest and the easiest way. The bed bug shell is made up of phosphorus, which glows in ultraviolet rays, making these bugs more visible. Anything made of phosphorus will glow in UV light.

So If you want to learn how to use a UV light to detect these bloodsuckers, this post will be an excellent tutorial for you.

What is a UV light?

What is an UV light

A UV flashlight emits ultraviolet radiation – a type of light energy – that is not visible to the human eye. It is not a special kind of light; it is very similar to regular light. The difference is that ultraviolet light cannot be seen by naked eyes and has less wavelength than ordinary light, but its energy is more than standard light.

A UV light is used for various purposes:

  • Wastewater disinfection 
  • Air disinfection 
  • Surface disinfection 
  • Food disinfection 
  • Equipment disinfection

Why Do Bed Bugs Glow in UV light?

Like other Insect bed bug shells made from phosphors that absorb Ultraviolet light and give back visible light, with the help of UV light, you can easily detect them and even kill them on the spot.

And that’s the reason why many people use UV light to detect bed bugs. 

Many creatures glow in UV light, e.g. bilbies, bandicoots, wombats, flying foxes, microbats, Tasmanian devils, and echidnas.

Some good example of things that contain phosphors is:-

  • Nails
  • Teeth
  • TV screen
  • computer monitor
  • Detergent and Other Cleaners Glow Under UV Light

Should You Use UV Light to Find Bed Bugs?

A UV light can be a beneficial tool to find bed bugs in dark places like the basement, closet, and storage units. Just shine the UV light on bed bugs, and you can easily see bed bugs glowing in the UV rays.

Like you can find eggs and poops that contain so many kinds of diseases. And as you know, bed bugs commonly live near your bed or furniture.

So there is a high chance for you to get a disease from these tiny monsters.

Do Bed Bugs Hate UV light?

Bed Bugs are susceptible to light which means they avoid all kinds of light, and this is the main reason they mostly bite in the dark. Whenever you put a flashlight or a UV light directly on them, they usually try to hide inside the cracks or in corners.

Bed bugs do not hate UV light or any other light. Bed bugs come during the day only when they feel hungry. But most of the time, they prefer to bite at night.     

What to Do Before Using UV light?

Now you know UV light helps you detect bed bugs and disinfect the germs created by these bloodsuckers.

No, let’s talk about things you should do before using UV light. 

What to Do Before Using UV light

Step #1:- Protect Yourself from Dust.

Before searching for bed bugs, you need to cover yourself from unwanted things like dust particles.

Because if you skip this step, you probably have to deal with a runny nose, sneezing, and sometimes a mild headache. 

Trust Me.. it happens to me a lot of times. 

Step #2:- Prepare Your Room for Bugs Investigation.

As you know, Bed Bugs are hiding experts. They can hide in cracks on walls or in furniture in just a couple of seconds. 

So before turning on your UV light, you need to clean the mess from your room. Because If your room is full of clothes or other household items, then finding these creatures will be time-consuming.

Step #3:- Seal all the Entry and Exit points.

When you start Cleaning up all the messes, you see them try to escape. So to prevent this escape, you need to block all the exit points.

Also, As bed bugs are very tiny creatures, they can escape from under the doors. You can use any clothes or paper to fill the space under your door.

Step #4:- Move your furniture in the middle.

Move your bed and other furniture apart from each other and the wall; this may prevent bed bugs from spreading.

Also, this will help you to disinfect all the bacteria created by bed bugs.

How to find Bed bugs with UV light?

After doing all the pre-task, it’s time for you to find these tiny bloodsuckers.

For this process, you need to have some tools like:-

  • Screwdriver, card, or something that can help you to scratch the poop and eggs.
  • A wasted toothbrush to clean the corners.
  • And, yeah, let’s not forget a suitable UV light. 

Now let’s Dive into the process…

Item #1 Bedding:- 

First, you need to examine all the pillows and bedsheets. Take off your pillow covers and shine your UV light directly on the corners and the pipings. A slight gap in the stitches can become a small nest for bed bugs.

Item #2 Mattress:-          

For your mattress, you need to be a little patient. There can be lots of bed bugs underneath your mattress.

So it would be best if you were a bit patient because a bit of action can make bed bugs hide inside the mattress filling or in stitches. 

To solve this problem, you need some help from your family member or a friend. Place your UV light on all four corners, and then slowly make the mattress upside down.

Just like your pillows, your mattress also has pipings and stitches, so use your UV light on the place.

You might see eggs and bugs, so you need to use a brush to kill the bugs.

I use my old toothbrush because it’s small and easy to use in one corner. If you find some eggs, then clean them with your brush.    

Item #3 Bed Frame:-

Now it’s time for you to use your UV light to find bed bugs in your bed frame. First, you need to check all the cracks and gaps in your bed frame.

If you find bed bugs, then immediately apply some killer spray. If possible, turn your bed upside down and use your UV light on every corner headboard and footboard (also Known as Bed Foots).

One more thing: clean all the dust, poops eggs and dead bed bugs with the help of a card or brush.

Use all these techniques for all your furniture.         

Can You Kill Bed Bugs with UV light?

NO, Although UV light can be a great tool to detect bed bugs, it cannot kill them on its own. One thing that kills bed bugs is heat, and it would require a long time to generate that much heat to kill them.   

In the end, you need to use Killer sprays or powder to kill bed bugs.

You can even use your home equipment like a screwdriver or something that will help you to kill these bloodsuckers. But we recommend you use Killer sprays and powders.


No doubt UV light is one of the best tools to find bed bugs. But we should not depend on this tool entirely because UV light does not kill bed bugs. To kill Bed bugs, you need to use some good killer sprays or powder. 

But If you want to show your landlord or pest control regarding bed bugs, you must use UV light to find bed bugs.