Do Vacuum Cleaners Kill Bugs?

Vacuum cleaner and bugs

You’re working tirelessly to make your house spotless when suddenly you notice a little pesky creature marching along the wall. Sounds familiar? We bet it does, and your place won’t feel the same before the breacher is removed. We can definitely understand if you don’t want to use your hands to get dirty. In this article, we will help you find out if a vacuum cleaner will do the job for you.

Do vacuum cleaners kill insects?

Generally all insects and the rest of arthropods have external skeleton known as exoskeleton that serves as natural armour against the elements. Yet not all of them can handle the same amount of force, therefore some of the insects will be killed by the vacuum cleaner’s suction. However, keep in mind that there are other types that are likely to survive.

Here’s a break down of the more common insects people consider vacuuming. Be sure to check the surviving types so you can dispose your vacuum container in case you chose to suck these insects in.

CreatureWould vacuuming kill it?
Bed bugsNo
Moth larvaeYes

Do vacuum cleaners kill spiders?

Yes, vacuuming up spiders will do the job most of the time but the likelihood of spider dying will depend on a few factors – spider type, for instance. If you’re dealing with smaller spiders, 99% of time they will be killed by the suction power itself. Comparatively, bigger spider types may suffer shock and appear dead but shortly after they will be able to crawl again. Nonetheless, the common content found in vacuuming bags such as dirt and dust also goes against spiders and may suffocate them in case they survive the suction.

Spider hanging on the spider web

Do vacuum cleaners kill ants?

So can you vacuum ants? Of course you can! But will vacuuming ants up kill them? Well, not always…

Ants are very light weighted and because of this they can survive the suction. Therefore, make sure you empty your vacuum bag right after you do the job, otherwise you may eventually find the same army of ants marching out of your vacuum cleaner hose.

House ants walking on the floor

Do vacuum cleaners kill fleas?

Studies show that vacuum cleaning fleas will almost certainly kill them. To make sure that the results are valid, the Ohio State University has conducted numerous experiments on the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). 6 tests on adult cat fleas and 3 on their pupae and larvae. As a result, 96% of vacuumed up adult fleas 100% of flea pupae and larvae were dead.

If you see a swarm – grab your vacuum cleaner and say goodbye to those horrible parasites

For best results consider combining this method together with baking soda and salt. Here’s our guide on it. 

A flea on human skin

Do vacuum cleaners kill cockroaches?

Most common cockroach types will not be killed by a vacuum cleaner. These creatures are extremely durable and hard to kill. In fact, cockroaches were found in perfect condition right next to where Hiroshima atomic bomb was dropped! If nuclear bomb doesn’t do it, your hover most likely not gonna stand a chance either.

That being said, if not killed they are certainly trapped and won’t have an easy time crawling out. If you timely clean your vacuum bag or vacuuming container – those suckers are no longer your problem.

Do vacuum cleaners kill bed bugs?

Unless you are targeting a dense swarm, it will be very difficult to reach all the bed bugs with a regular vacuum cleaner. And even the vacuumed up bed bugs are likely to remain alive inside and will do their best to escape the new prison. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your vacuum cleaner to battle them! Even if vacuuming bed bugs is not 100% lethal, when done right it will still help you to reduce their density in targeted areas.

Make sure you don’t keep the vacuum cleaner off resting for too long. Take the necessary steps of cleaning your vacuum after your battle with bed bugs to minimise the chance of seeing the same ones ever again. If you work with a regular vacuum cleaner – immediately dispose your vacuum bag away from your home. In case you have a bagless one – empty the storage container content in a sealed plastic bag and spend some time to wash that container under hot, soapy water. 

Do vacuum cleaners kill moths?

Vacuuming moth larvae and eggs will make them perish and it’s is a good way to prevent them from spreading. If your clothes tend to suffer, spend some time to empty your wardrobe and vacuum all of its corners as well as the floor in the near vicinity. And pay extra attention to narrow gaps and corners, since moths have a tendency of laying their eggs in hard to reach areas.

Do vacuum cleaners kill wasps?

If you found yourself in the situation where you need a vacuum cleaner’s help to fight a swarm of wasps, you must know that it won’t kill them right away. Their exoskeleton makes them quite resilient so be careful not to open your storage compartment straight after vacuuming up. They will likely be aggressive and ready to attack.

Instead, if possible hold on a couple of days. If your vacuum bag already has dust and dirt wasps will suffocate within a few hours. Otherwise they are likely to die due to the hunger. A good idea is to tape any holes in the hose to make sure they don’t crawl out.

Reduce the insect spread

No matter how small the insects are, some types will be surprisingly tough. And if a vacuum cleaner isn’t killing a particular insect it will at least help you trap it in a safe storage compartment which you can afterwards dispose. But perhaps your best bet will always be to take extra precaution and not allow them enter your house in the first place.

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