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How to Get Rid of Bugs on Walls and Ceilings

You’ve got a bug or beetle that’s crawled onto your ceiling and parked there, possibly for the rest of its life. Or it’s in a tight crevice somewhere. You want to get rid of it, but you can’t reach it.

Huge cockroach on tile floor

You could spray it, but then you have toxic bug spray floating down to where you have to breathe. There’s a simple way to get rid of bugs on the ceiling or in crevices and other hard-to-reach places.

I figured this tip out after I was on crutches for a brief time, and realized they were perfect for this. But you can make your own tool.

Your bug poking tool

You need something you can poke the bug with, but that won’t damage your ceiling or chip the paint off. And the bug might run away, so this could take a number of pokes. It would also be nice if there was a way to keep the bug from staining the ceiling with its, er, remains.

Take a dowel stick (or any type of stick) that’s not too skinny and not too fat. You want it thin enough to get into crevices, but not so thin that you could easily poke a hole in your ceiling by accident. You want a blunt tool – a bazooka rather than a twenty-two caliber, right?

Bug poking dowel stick with paper towel and rubber band

Cover the end of the stick with several layers of paper towel or something similar. This forms a soft end, like the rubberized tip of a crutch. It’ll crush the bug, but it won’t poke holes or chip paint.

Affix the paper towel with a rubber band or something so it’ll stay on. I’ve even been known to use a chip clip. Whatever works!

Completed bug poking tool

Getting Rid of Bugs on Walls and Ceilings

Now you’ve got a great bug-squishing tool. Just poke the bugs with the paper towel wrapped end of your stick – I find it’s sometimes better to knock them down and then step on them on the floor where you can easily clean up any smears their little carcasses leave behind.

Or, you can squish them with your stick, which can leave smears on the ceiling or wall.

How to Clean up Stains from Bugs on the Ceiling

If squishing the bug on the ceiling leaves a noticeable stain, your bug poking tool comes to the rescue once again. Just replace the paper towels on it and use them to wipe off the smudge. 

If it doesn’t come off with dry paper towels, dampen them a tiny bit and add some dish washing liquid and try again.

And there you go – no more bug, and no damage to ceilings or walls.

Preventing Bugs in the House and Reducing Infestations

There are a few things you can do to discourage bugs from taking up residence in your home. 

Clean up food spills and crumbs immediately. Like us, bugs want to eat and are attracted to flies. Always clean up spilled food and crumbs as quickly as you see it, and train kids to do the same. This also makes general cleaning easier.

Trap fruit flies. You can make your own DIY trap for fruit flies if these are getting into your home.

Seal cracks and crevices. Inspect your home for any cracks, gaps, or openings in walls, floors, windows, and doors. Seal them with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent bugs from entering.

Keep window screens in good repair. Make sure all windows and doors have properly fitted screens without any tears or holes. This prevents insects from flying or crawling into your home.

Store food in airtight containers. Keep food stored in airtight glass or hard plastic containers. This prevents pests like ants and pantry moths from accessing your food.

Take garbage out regularly. Don’t let garbage full of rotting food pile up in your home – bugs love it. Regularly clean your kitchen trash cans to minimize odors and eliminate potential food sources. (You can just give it a quick spray with Lysol every time you take the bag out.)

Get pets flea and tick treatments. If you have pets that go outside at all, regularly groom them to reduce the chances of fleas or ticks entering your home. And get all flea and tick treatments recommended by their vet.

Don’t attract pests with outdoor lighting. Consider using yellow or sodium vapor lights for outdoor lighting, as they are less attractive to insects compared to white lights. Also, keep outdoor lights away from entrances to avoid drawing bugs inside.