Can I Kill Bed Bugs Using Alcohol?






You’re not alone if you’re considering killing bed bugs with rubbing alcohol. It’s a common household item that could help.


It’s difficult to get rid of bedbugs. They’re notorious for hiding and are rapidly developing resistance to chemical pesticides, so you may be thinking that a simple treatment like rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) would be a better approach to get rid of the bloodsuckers.


Bedbugs can be killed using isopropyl alcohol. It can kill all stages of bed bugs including their eggs. However, before you begin spraying, keep in mind that using rubbing alcohol to treat a bedbug infestation is ineffective and can sometimes be harmful.



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Alcohol kills bedbugs in two ways. It first dissolves the bug’s exterior shell. Although the dissolving effect may be sufficient to kill some bedbugs, alcohol packs a bigger punch. It also functions as a desiccant that causes them to dry out, like Silica gel, you know, the stuff in the little bags that come in a shoebox.





After the exterior shell has been dissolved, the alcohol dries out the insides of the bed bug, completing the task. It also kills eggs by dissolving and drying them up, preventing them from hatching.


Alcohol is cheap, freely available at any store, and it can be effective to a certain point.


So why isn’t everyone using alcohol to get rid of their bedbug problem?



Researchers examined two separate items that included significant amounts of isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol content of one product was 50% and the other was 91 percent. Neither product was able to kill more than half of the bed bugs.


Infestations of bedbugs spread quickly a female bedbug can lay between 2 to 5 eggs a day, so a solution that kills half of the available population, do the math, won’t eliminate the problem.






The other issue is that alcohol kills only when it comes in contact with the bed bug. That means you’ll have to spray them directly, and finding and exposing bedbugs can be difficult.


Bedbugs may lurk in the tiniest of spaces, such as cracks in furniture, electrical outlets, and in your headboard. It can be nearly impossible to get alcohol into these places.


Because bedbugs congregate in hidden locations (“harborages”), eliminating the bugs you see will not eliminate the bugs you don’t see.






The main reason to avoid using alcohol to kill bedbugs has nothing to do with the insects themselves. Isopropyl alcohol is a very flammable liquid.


Spraying it on upholstered furniture, carpets, fabrics, clothing, and on beds presents a fire hazard, despite the fact that it dries quickly. The vapors in the air are also extremely flammable.


A Cincinnati woman in 2017 tried to get rid of bedbugs in her home by soaking furniture in bourbon. The flames were sparked by a nearby candle or incense burner, and the subsequent fire forced ten residents to flee their houses.


Why You Shouldn’t Use Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is useful for a variety of purposes, but it won’t help you get rid of bed bugs. Here are a few reasons why you should avoid using rubbing alcohol:


Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, emitting harmful fumes and leaving a terrible odor. It also wears off considerably faster than it takes to kill a bed bug infestation.


If rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) gets into your eyes, it can induce blindness.


Although rubbing alcohol can kill individual bed bugs, it is ineffective against a large number of bed bugs hidden throughout your home.


While rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, can kill bedbugs and their eggs, it really isn’t a reliable technique to get rid of an infestation.


When an infestation is present, rubbing alcohol can be applied through a fogger, which is one of the worst things to do. When you kill a few bedbugs and the ones that survive detect the stench of alcohol, they go into “survival mode,” which means they will move further and hide deeper in your furniture and fabrics to survive. When bedbugs do this, it takes longer and it will cost you more money to entirely eradicate the infestation.


Because bedbugs hide in cracks and crevices, applying alcohol directly to them is difficult. Even if you are successful in spraying or dousing bedbugs with alcohol, it does not always kill them.


As I mentioned before because rubbing alcohol is so flammable, spraying it around your home can be dangerous. It’s advisable to take a holistic approach to the problem, carefully applying insecticides and isolating or removing contaminated things from your home.


If you can’t get rid of the pests with insecticides, then you will have to go with heat treatment.


Every sector has benefited from recent technology breakthroughs. Similarly, the heat-kill approach is a unique and maybe the most successful way of eradication. Only the bugs are affected by the application of a controlled amount of heat to the work area. Scientists have discovered ideal temperatures that destroy bed bugs while causing minimal damage to the environment.


Furthermore, if you have children or pets in your home, heat treatment is recommended, if spraying chemicals around children and pets worries you.


Furthermore, eradication by heat is the fastest way to go. It can get rid of the bed bugs in just a few hours!

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