Will Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?
And Additional Treatment Methods
June 7, 2018
Updated August 2021
Do you think you might have a bed bug infestation? If you have unexplained bumps that showed up overnight, found tiny exoskeletons hidden in your sheets in the morning, and you used a flashlight to find little bugs on your mattress, you are likely dealing with the dreaded bed bug. At the first sign of an infestation, people often Google a variety of DIY methods. Do heat treatments work? Can you vacuum them away? Will alcohol kill bed bugs? Today, we answer the last question and provide other solutions for your bed bug problem.
Will Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?
Yes and no. Rubbing alcohol can kill bed bugs and eggs, but it’s not likely going to take care of your infestation. It kills insects by dissolving their cells and destroys eggs by drying them out. When sprayed, rubbing alcohol can discourage the bugs from crawling and laying eggs on the treated surface.
Here’s the bottom line: It’s not effective enough. Rutgers University conducted a research study in 2013 about the effectiveness of alcohol in killing bed bugs. They discovered half the bed bugs sprayed with rubbing alcohol were still alive after four days. You don’t want half of your infestation gone…you want no survivors! That’s why the alcohol method isn’t your best choice against bed bugs.
How to Kill Bed Bugs
While alcohol might not be your best bet for handling bed bugs, there are many other effective methods for extermination.
- Use Heat. The lethal temperature for bed bugs is between 117 F and 122 F. It is recommended you use steam, a dryer, or the sun. Steam gets into all of the little crevices that can not be inspected, helping to kill adults, larvae, and eggs. Your dryer is a great solution for small items, like clothing, shoes, stuffed animals, and bedding. Simply use the highest heat setting. If the weather is nearing the triple-digit mark, you can create an even hotter environment to kill bed bugs by stuffing items into large black garbage bags.
- Clean Thoroughly. Time to use some elbow grease! Give every room a thorough cleaning by scrubbing every surface with a stiff brush (this cleans off the eggs) and vacuuming. Vacuum every carpet multiple times to ensure you get every bug. Then use an attachment to vacuum every inch of the room (including furniture) several times over to ensure every spot has been covered. Toss vacuum cleaner bags in outside cans immediately.
- Use a Pesticide. There are residual liquid, aerosol, and dust pesticides. Choose the best one for you, and cover every inch of your cleaned home. Focus on the most impacted areas, like baseboards, molding, windows, door frames, baseboards, and beneath furniture to kill any eggs or bed bug stragglers. Be sure to read the directions carefully, and never use a pesticide in any way other than the one provided by the manufacturer.
Don’t Deal with Bed Bugs Alone.
Bed bugs might be small, but they are a big problem. The good news is that you don’t have to deal with them on your own. The pest professionals at Green Pest Solutions have dealt with the dreaded bed bug before. If all else fails, or if you want to take some preventative measures to stave off another outbreak, please consider giving us a call to schedule a free consultation. Contact us today at 877-636-9469.
Bed Bugs Facts and Checklist
Remember how to identify common bed bugs that might have invaded your home and how to get rid of them.