Does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs?

So, your home has become infested with bed bugs. Naturally you want to get rid of them fast. Before calling in an exterminator, try some natural, homemade approaches first. And a commonly recommended solution is rubbing alcohol.

You must be wondering, but what is rubbing alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol describes either ethanol based liquids or isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol). However, isopropyl alcohol is the most popular in the market.

Despite that it is named “alcohol” human beings cannot drink it since it has added bitterants. Mainly, rubbing alcohol is used as a topic antiseptic but also has other home and industrial applications. Rubbing alcohol is created from ethyl alcohol, a mix of ethyl alcohol and poisonous and bitten substances.

But you may be questioning:

How effective is alcohol really in killing bed bugs? And what other solutions are out there?

Luckily we’ve done the research for you. Read on to find out whether rubbing alcohol kills bed bugs and how, and what other treatments can help. You might try different natural solutions until you find one that works – and if all else fails, you’ll probably have to call the exterminators.

Are bed bugs harmful?

Bed bugs are tiny brown insects that can very quickly and easily spread through your home. As the name implies, they are mostly found on bed mattresses and frames. But they can also spread throughout your house infesting every furniture, item and piece of clothing.

While they don’t spread disease, bed bugs do bite as they feed off blood, causing a rash in some people. So you really want to get rid of them fast!

What kills bed bugs naturally

Nobody wants toxic chemicals in their home. And if you have little kids, you’re probably looking for solutions that kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs naturally. You also want a solution that will kill the bed bugs fast.

Let’s take a look at some of your options.

1. Does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs?

Rubbing alcohol works in killing bed bugs and their eggs. It can also sometimes work well as a repellent. However, depending on the severity of the problem, this may only serve as a temporary solution and you might need to try others.

Be warned:

Alcohol is highly flammable so be very careful when spraying surfaces.

So how does alcohol kill bed bugs?

Firstly, you want to use the right concentration of alcohol when treating your bed bug problem. Experts recommend 91% alcohol and 70% Isopropyl sprays. Lower concentrations might not work as well and you will need to reapply the solution.

Rubbing alcohol kills bed bugs on contact because they have sensitive skins and can easily dissolve with the right concentration of alcohol. As gruesome as it sounds, the alcohol is also effective in destroying bed bug organs – making it an effective solution for killing them fast on contact.

Bed bugs lay multiple eggs at a time and that’s how your home can get infested so quickly. Again, this is where rubbing alcohol is handy, as it will dry them out before they hatch.

How to use rubbing alcohol to exterminate the nasty bed bugs in 9 steps

Ok so now that you know that rubbing alcohol can be quite effective in killing bed bugs and their eggs before an infestation gets really bad, just how do you go about killing them?

Step 1: Spray the bed bugs directly with alcohol – this could be directly on the mattress, the mattress rims and any other items that have bed bugs on them.

Step 2: Apply rubbing alcohol onto a cleaning brush and rub surfaces to kill eggs.

Step 3: Spray rubbing alcohol in any cracks and holes where the bed bugs may be hiding and then seal these spaces.

Step 4: Wipe furniture and smaller items, such as electronics with rubbing alcohol.

Step 5: Spray small items and linens with rubbing alcohol, bag them leave them out in direct sunlight for a few days. The heat can also kill bed bugs.

Step 6: Apply rubbing alcohol onto your body before going to sleep to prevent bites.

Step 7: Hire or buy a steamer and steam remaining bed bugs and eggs directly.

Step 8: Vacuum-clean your entire house. This should be done on a regular basis anyway to prevent future outbreaks. Don’t forget to immediately clean out and safely dispose of the contents.

Step 9: Consider other natural methods described below if these steps haven’t worked. Some items might need to be thrown out completely if they are very infested.

If all else fails, call in the exterminator!

2. How effective is vinegar in killing bed bugs?

Vinegar is another natural way to kill bed bugs directly on contact, but is not always effective as a repellent.

3. Can you get rid of bed bugs with bleach?

Yes, bleach will kill bed bugs. However, it is a chemical so use it sparingly.

4. What about Diatomaceous Earth?

This is another natural solution that you can try which also dehydrates bed bugs and their eggs. You will probably find it more effective when combined with other solutions mentioned above.

5. Homemade bed bug spray recipe

Did you know that you can make your own bed bug sprays using essential oils? All you need is an empty spray bottle, some essential oils and water.

One method is to mix 20 drops of tea tree oil with water and spray infected areas. Sometimes the above solutions by themselves won’t work. Here is a bed bug spray recipe made up of natural ingredients such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol and essential oils.

Wrap up

We’ve shown you different natural remedies to kill bed bugs without harsh chemicals. It might take some trial and error to find the right one for you. However, a combination of alcohol with other steps such as steaming and vacuuming will likely give you the best results. If all else fails, call in the exterminator.


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