Does alcohol kill bed bugs? – find out if it really works

Dave Campbell

Are you struggling with a bed bug infestation? Are you searching for an effective solution that won’t break the bank? Look no further – alcohol might just be your answer.

In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of alcohol against bed bugs, how it kills them, and the pros and cons of using it as a treatment.

We will also provide you with tips on safely using alcohol to eliminate these pests, as well as alternative methods for bed bug control and other DIY methods.

The Effectiveness of Alcohol Against Bed Bugs

Alcohol doesn’t completely eliminate bed bugs, but it can be effective in killing them on contact. When you spray alcohol directly on bed bugs, it disrupts their exoskeleton and dehydrates them, leading to their demise. It penetrates their body and dissolves their cells, causing irreversible damage.

Bed bugs are unable to develop resistance to alcohol, making it a reliable option for immediate control. However, it’s important to note that alcohol alone cannot eradicate a bed bug infestation. It only works on the bugs that come into direct contact with it.

To effectively get rid of bed bugs, you need to combine alcohol treatment with other methods like thorough cleaning, vacuuming, and professional pest control. By using alcohol strategically, you can significantly reduce the bed bug population and prevent their further spread.


close up of bed bug

How Rubbing Alcohol Kills Bed Bugs

To effectively eliminate bed bugs, you’ll want to understand how the mechanism of action works when using rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is the same as isopropyl alcohol.

When you spray alcohol on bed bugs, it penetrates their exoskeleton and dehydrates their bodies. Alcohol acts as a solvent, breaking down the wax layer that protects the bed bug’s body, causing it to lose moisture rapidly. This dehydration leads to the bed bug’s death. Additionally, rubbing alcohol can also damage the bed bug’s cells and tissues, further contributing to its demise.

It is important to note that while rubbing alcohol can be effective in killing bed bugs on contact, it may not completely eradicate an infestation. This is because bed bugs can hide in various cracks and crevices, making it difficult for alcohol to reach them all. Therefore, it’s recommended to use rubbing alcohol in combination with other bed bug control methods for maximum effectiveness.

Pros and Cons of Using Alcohol as a Bed Bug Treatment

If you’re considering using alcohol as a treatment for bed bugs, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

Rubbing alcohol can be an effective method to kill bed bugs on contact, as it dehydrates their bodies and disrupts their cell membranes. It is readily available and affordable, making it a convenient option for immediate action.

However, there are some drawbacks to using alcohol as a bed bug treatment.

Firstly, it may not effectively eliminate all bed bugs, as it only kills those that come into direct contact with the alcohol. Additionally, alcohol is highly flammable and can pose a safety risk if not used properly. Its strong odor can also be unpleasant and linger in your home.

Therefore, while alcohol can provide some relief, it is important to consider these factors before deciding on this method of treatment for bed bug problems.



For larger quantities of rubbing alcohol for killing bed bugs, click here to get the price from Amazon. This one also comes with a handy spray bottle.

Tips for Safely Using Alcohol for a Bed Bug Infestation

When using alcohol to eliminate bed bugs, make sure you follow these safety tips.

  • First, it’s essential to use only 91% isopropyl alcohol or higher, as lower concentrations may not be as effective.
  • Before applying the alcohol, make sure to remove any open flames or sources of ignition from the area.
  • When spraying the alcohol, aim directly at the bed bugs and their hiding places, such as cracks and crevices.
  • Be careful not to oversaturate the area, as excessive moisture can damage furniture or fabrics.
  • After treating the infested areas, allow them to dry completely before returning to the room.
  • Remember to keep the treated area well-ventilated to avoid inhaling the fumes.
  • Lastly, always wear gloves and protective clothing to prevent skin irritation.

Alternative Methods to Alcohol for Bed Bug Control

There are alternative methods available for controlling bed bugs besides using alcohol. While alcohol can be effective in killing bed bugs on contact, it may not completely eliminate an infestation.

One alternative method is using heat treatment. Bed bugs cannot survive in extreme temperatures, so exposing infested items to high heat can effectively kill them.

Another option is using insecticides specifically formulated for bed bug control. These products should be applied directly to infested areas and follow the instructions carefully.

Vacuuming can also help remove bed bugs and their eggs from carpets, furniture, and other surfaces. Additionally, steam cleaning can be used to kill bed bugs and their eggs by exposing them to high temperatures.

Remember to consult with professionals for the most effective and safe methods to control bed bugs.


In conclusion, using alcohol to kill bed bugs can be effective, but it has its pros and cons. Alcohol works by dehydrating and suffocating the bugs, making it a viable treatment option. However, it is important to use alcohol safely and follow proper precautions to avoid any potential hazards.

Additionally, there are alternative methods available for bed bug control that may be worth considering. Overall, alcohol can be a useful tool in the fight against bed bugs, but it should be used carefully and in conjunction with other treatments if necessary.




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Dave Campbell

I'm Dave Campbell and the owner of You can read more about me and my background on my About Me page.

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