A bed bug infestation is every homeowner’s nightmare. It could instantly turn your cozy home into a place you don’t even want to sleep in. What’s worse is that, it seems like bed bugs have gained immunity against pesticides over the past few years, or they are not as potent as they used to be. In situations like this, the only solution worth trying would be natural DIY treatments, and according to DIY experts, rubbing alcohol could actually solve your problem, and we’re going to find out if that’s even true.
Disclaimer: Although using rubbing alcohol might actually help in repelling bed bugs completely, prevention is still preferable to ensure that you wouldn’t have a bed bug problem in the first place. Likewise, if the use of rubbing alcohol doesn’t seem to work anymore, then you have to call a professional exterminator to assess and take care of the problem once and for all.
How Rubbing Alcohol Helps Repel Bed Bugs?
Just like any other solvent, rubbing alcohol has the ability of killing insects by dissolving their cells. Aside from that, alcohol is a drying agent (desiccant), and that’s why it’s capable of destroying bed bug eggs, as it would dry them out.
Rubbing alcohol also discourages these pests to craw or lay eggs on a surface that was previously treated with the substance. For that reason, experts suggest spraying the furniture and bedding with rubbing alcohol. Over the years, this method has been quite successful when it comes to repelling bed bugs naturally.
Which Works Better? 70% alcohol or 91% rubbing alcohol?
A 70% rubbing alcohol is more affordable, readily available, and has the ideal flammability levels as compared to a 91% solution. However, the problem with them is that they evaporate faster when you leave the cap open.
On the other hand, a 91% rubbing alcohol dries faster because they have a lower H2O content. However, since it’s more concentrated, evaporation doesn’t affect its alcohol level. Best of all, they are considered to be more surface-friendly than the 70% solution that’s usually bad for varnished furniture.
Why Is It Effective in Killing Bed Bugs?
There are a number of reasons alcohol works great in eliminating bed bugs. One of which is that it has a number of characteristics capable of destroying the insect bodies, and here’s why:
- Alcohol has the ability of burning the insects’ organs
Alcohol is a bed bug’s no. 1 enemy mainly because it can burn most of its organs. Once this insect gets in contact with alcohol, it would suffer from organ failure, as alcohol scorches and messes up with the insect’s general physiology. Aside from that, it also messes up their pH level, which has a huge impact on the fluid flow. That’s why exposing bed bugs to alcohol has been deemed as a fool-proof way of killing them. Not just that, it’s also the safest method because you wouldn’t be damaging the environment either.
- Bed bugs have sensitive skin
Although bed bugs may seem tough and indestructible, the truth is, their skin (shells) is actually sensitive. This is one of the reasons why they die almost instantly when exposed to alcohol. However, for you to achieve that, it’s very important to ensure that the concentration is high, and it should be directly sprayed on the insect. If the concentration is below 70%, you might have to repeat the application for a couple of days to completely kill them.
- Alcohol is toxic to bed bug eggs
Just like what has been mentioned earlier, alcohol could dry up bed bug eggs. However, to ensure that your strategy would be successful, you have to learn how to use it properly to attack the eggs, because these insects are capable of laying hundreds of eggs at a time.
Fool Proof Way of Getting Rid of Bed Bug with Alcohol
In order to ensure that this treatment would work, it’s important that you vacuum every nook and cranny. Make sure that the area has been cleaned thoroughly– this includes behind the furniture, under the beds, and so on. The upholstery, curtains, and the like should be taken care of as well.
After which, fill up an empty bottle with rubbing alcohol and spray the areas where there’s a bed bug infestation. Don’t forget to treat all bed clothing, pillow cases, sheets, and other bedding materials. Put them in a plastic bag, and liberally spray rubbing alcohol before sealing them up. By doing so, you’ll effectively kill the eggs, and prevent the bed bugs from multiplying.
In case the infestation is already large, it’s highly advisable to bag all the items, linen, and clothing from each room, then spray them with alcohol. Seal the items during treatment.
As for the furniture, make sure to wipe them as well– this includes the headboards, box springs, and electronic goods. Use wipes that are soaked beforehand in rubbing alcohol. By applying 91% rubbing alcohol all over, you’ll be able to kill the bed bug eggs and larvae hiding in cracks.
To protect yourself from bed bug bites while doing the treatment, you can consider spraying yourself with alcohol before going to bed. Through this, you wouldn’t have to worry about bed bug bites at all.
Important Reminder: Don’t smoke or use fire in the areas where you sprayed, as alcohol is flammable.
Experts highly recommend the use of alcohol together with steam cleaning, this is very effective in eradicating bed bugs completely. During treatment, see to it that the bed bugs are actually in contact with the spray, and this should be repeated every 14 days for you to completely eliminate the new bed bug eggs.
Going back to our question, does alcohol kill bed bugs completely? Our answer to that question is a big YES. However, if you’re uncertain when formulating your DIY bed bug spray, it would be a great idea to see the available option in the market. Likewise, just like any other natural remedies, this might not work right away if the problem is already very serious. That means several applications is highly recommended to ensure that it would work well.