Does Rubbing Alcohol kill Bed bugs? (Rubbing alcohol is a handy solution to keep the bed bugs away. It helps in restricting the growth of bed bugs. However, it is equally important to do it in the right way as it comes with certain limitations and side-effects as well).
Bed bugs are one of the burning issues, especially with the old mattresses. People frequently change their mattresses to avoid bed bugs. As these nocturnal insects soon develop resistance against the chemical pesticides, dealing with them is not easy. There are several DIY treatments available, and the best among them is rubbing alcohol. But it is frequently asked does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs?
Well, let us explore the answer in this article.
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Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?
Alcohol acts as a solvent which dissolves the outer cells of insects and kills them. It is a drying agent which kills the eggs of bed bugs as well as dry-out the adult insects. Thus, rubbing alcohol is effective in killing bed bugs and restricting their growth. So we can conclude:
- Rubbing alcohol is effective in repelling the bed bugs
- Bed bugs are discouraged from laying eggs, and as their outer cells are dried out, they are discouraged from crawling
- Rubbing alcohol is useful as a spray to repel bed bugs
But a survey in 2013 showed that after spraying rubbing alcohol, more than 40% of the bed bugs were still alive after four days of the inspection. Hence it was concluded that rubbing alcohol is not an effective remedy for killing the bed bugs.
What Makes Alcohol Less Effective in Killing Bed Bugs?
Alcohol is considered suitable for killing bed beds only when it comes in direct contact with it. It is an inexpensive solution to kill the bed bugs but can only be useful when you spray it directly on the bed bugs. In this case, it will dissolve the outer shell of the adult bed bug and induces their drying out. Similarly, it kills the eggs and prevents hatching of it.
But exposing the bed bugs to alcohol is extremely difficult. Being very small in size, bed bugs often hide in the small cracks of furniture and fixtures, electrical outlets, within the books of shelves etc. At these places, it is impossible to spray alcohol at these places. Hence, you can only kill the bed bugs using alcool which is visible, and the others will find an escape and breed more bed bugs.
Even the high concentration of 91% of alcohol is found to be less effective in killing the bed bugs just by 50%.
Non-insecticidal treatments produce better results and control the bed bugs in a better way to control infestations, as recommended by the experts.
How to Make Rubbing Alcohol An Effective Bed Bug Repellent?
To make rubbing alcohol a sufficient remedy to get rid of the bed bug, you should procure a 91% solution. If you are not able to find this solution, you can opt for a weaker solution. Always spray the solution directly to the infected area to achieve better results.
Avoid rubbing alcohol against the furniture as it may damage the appearance of it. Instead, fill the alcohol in a bottle and spray it to the inconspicuous area which needs the treatment.
How to Treat a Bed Using Alcohol to Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?
If you need to treat only one bed, here are the steps you need to follow:
- Cover the legs of the bed using petroleum jelly or double-sided tape
- Alternatively, you can use smooth metal containers or glass containers to cover the legs
- It will obstruct the bed bugs to cross these legs to run away to the other parts of the house. Bed bugs find slick and sticky surfaces challenging to get over.
- As the bugs generally gather at the braiding of the mattress during the day, start spraying alcohol at that part generously
- Spray the alcohol at the headbox and box spring to prevent the bugs from escaping to such places.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs From Biting Using Alcohol?
If you find that the bed bugs are biting you when you sleep fast, here are the steps you need to follow:
- Spray the top of mattress few hours before you go to sleep
- Allow it to dry till the time you generally go to sleep to repel the beg bugs to emerge at the top surface of the mattress.
- Put up a new bedsheet every night. As bed bugs move very slowly, it will help to keep them away from the surface.
- You can also rub alcohol on your body before going to bed to repel the bed bugs from biting
If you find excessive bites on your body, it indicates the mass presence of bed bugs. Avoid using the bed for some time to cut off the food supply to bed bugs. In the meantime, continue with the treatment to restrict the growth of bed bugs and kill the existing ones.
Is there any risk associated with rubbing alcohol to kill bed bugs?
Like other chemicals which are used to treat bed bugs, alcohol is also highly flammable. Hence, avoid open flames as well as smoking in the area which you are operating with alcohol. The furniture or bed infused with the alcohol is highly prone to catch flames and set your house on fire.
Is rubbing alcohol a long term solution to kill bed bugs?
No, rubbing alcohol is not enough to get rid of bed bugs altogether. It evaporates very quickly, and hence it recommended opting for multiple treatments to control the bed bug infestation. The bugs may temporarily leave a particular piece of furniture which you are treating with alcohol and spread around the house. A large amount of alcohol rubbing can react with other insecticides used for the treatment and reduce the efficiency of killing bed bugs.
What is The Best Way to Get Rid Of Kill Bed Bugs?
Integrated Pest Management approach is the best way to get rid of bed bugs permanently and efficiently. It includes the use of chemical and non-chemical methods. Beside professional examination, there is a use of pesticides and specific measures as follows:
- Use of bug-proof covers for mattresses and pillows
- Drying the bedding and clothing at high temperatures for 30 minutes
- Exposing the infested areas with the help of bed bugs exterminator
- Exposing the items which are infested with bed bugs at 49 F degrees
- The things like jewellery, books and shoes which cannot be heated should be frozen at 0 F to kill the bed bugs
- To assess the effectiveness of infestation, use monitoring devices like bed bug interceptor.
What Scents Can Be Used to Repel The Bed Bugs?
Vinegar and lavender have shown the high success rates when it comes to repelling the bed bugs. But in case your home is severely infested, it is recommended to seek professional help to fix it permanently.