Does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs? How possible is it for these pests to die as a result of alcohol? What kind of alcohol is used to exterminate these bugs? Let’s find out.
If that which comes to your mind about “alcohol” is the diverse alcoholic drink, you are not wrong. But not all alcohols are meant for consumption.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we have been advised to make use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. This is a hint that proves alcohol is effective and harmful to germs and viruses.
Rubbing Alcohol and Its Uses in Pest Control
Some readers may be hearing this name for the first time. As such, it will be nice to carry everyone along. All rubbing alcohol consists of either ethanol or isopropyl-based liquids. Though it is called alcohol, it isn’t suitable for consumption.
However, it is used in households for a lot of things.
Rubbing alcohol is largely used as a cleaning agent. It can be used to clean off stains from mirrors, dissolve windshield frost, as well as to keep windows clean. You can also use it to wipe the grime off your phone, clean off permanent markers, get rid of fruit flies, and remove dog ticks among others.
Let’s not forget our main reasons for our discussion. Rubbing alcohol is used for pest control.
Will Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs Completely?
Alcohol like ethyl alcohol can be very effective in dealing with any kind of bugs, bed bugs are inclusive.
Rubbing alcohol is a kind of ethyl alcohol which must not be consumed.
Rubbing alcohol can serve as a disinfectant, which means it has the potency to kill bacteria within a few seconds.
Rubbing alcohol can also serve as an antiseptic. It can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet.
Others have developed a use for it as a deodorant.
Rubbing Alcohol or Isopropyl Alcohol?
Rubbing alcohol and isopropyl alcohol have been used interchangeably. But there is a large difference between these two.
Before isopropyl alcohol can be regarded as rubbing alcohol, it goes through a diluting process.
The adequate mix of water and isopropyl alcohol is what makes perfect rubbing alcohol. This implies that there are different types of isopropyl alcohol.
For references, there is sterile isopropyl alcohol, pure isopropyl alcohol, NSF grade isopropyl alcohol, many others.
To create a mix of rubbing alcohol, you will need 68 percent to 72 percent of isopropyl alcohol mixed in water. This is the only time in which isopropyl alcohol becomes palatable for human use.
This makes it perfect for cleaning different surfaces in the house. Isopropyl alcohol kills bugs easily and fast.
Can Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?
Some people believe rubbing alcohol is ineffective when it comes to the eradication of bugs because it is used as a cleaning agent. This explains why many preferences are given to pesticides instead of rubbing alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol has the ability not only to kill bugs but also to destroy hundreds of eggs. It can be easy to use.
Rubbing alcohol has proven to be a useful cleaning agent. It is used for several hygiene purposes – disinfecting surfaces and getting rid of other household insects like fleas.
These insects are not limited to bed bugs, it also includes insects – fruit flies and ticks in the furs of your pets.
Rubbing alcohol can be utilized by following the steps below:
1. Identify those areas where bugs hide in your bed:
There are some particular areas in the bed where bugs reside. These areas are their hideouts/home where they lay eggs. You have to understand their nature to be able to eliminate them.
They hide in the corners of the bed and are very active at night. They suck the blood of their prey and can live for more than nine months without food. This is why many people wake up with itchy soft bumps all over their bodies.
These bumps are different from the ones mosquitoes leave on their prey. If you have been noticing these bumps on your skin, ensure your bed is bed bug-infested.
2. Get your Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and a spray container:
You can get your isopropyl alcohol at any pharmacy store, cosmetic store, or supermarket around you. It is widely known as rubbing alcohol. You can as well get your spray container from any plastic outlet in your neighborhood.
3. Prepare your solution:
Wear your nose mask and gloves, mix your Isopropyl alcohol in little water, and shake gently.
4. Spray the areas you have identified:
The last phase is to spray the areas where the bugs hide.
This phase requires extra care. Ensure to spray these areas until it has sunk into every part.
Don’t forget, it is more effective when it has come in contact with the bugs.
Using Rubbing Alcohols On Bed Bugs: Precautions
Although this chemical can destroy bugs and their eggs, it is not going to solve your bed bug problems. Rubbing alcohol kills bed bugs by its drying effect. It dissolves cells and eggs by drying out.
Another reason people use alcohol to combat bed bug infestation is that it hampers the movement of bugs and discourages them from laying eggs on surfaces that have been treated.
But the application of rubbing alcohol, try to understand that this chemical has been proven to be very hazardous, yet ineffective in the eradication of bed bugs.
Using rubbing alcohol to kill bed bugs is inefficient because it kills only on contact. To achieve good results, bugs would have to be sprayed directly. This may be a daunting task, as not everyone has what it takes to find bed bugs and establish their presence from their numerous hideouts.
Locating bed bugs is the hard part as bed bugs are specially gifted when it comes to hiding within tiny spaces such as cracks and tears in upholstery, within shelves, cracks in walls, bed creaks, etc. Also, ensuring that alcohol reaches these areas may be a very difficult thing to achieve.
Rubbing alcohol can be harmful to humans if wrongly used. If you ever have a reason to purchase rubbing alcohol, ensure you keep in a cool place, take the necessary precautions before and after use, and keep out of the reach of children.
On why rubbing alcohol (to combat a bed bug infestation) is dangerous; Isopropyl alcohol is a compound with flammable properties.
It evaporates within seconds, and when applied to carpets, furniture, clothes, and other household items can create a fire hazard.
Fumes linger in the air and are also very flammable, and when exposed to a naked light e.g. Candlelight, it might just burn your house down.
It has been reported that in the last 10 years, people trying to kill bed bugs with alcohol have started several house fires across the U.S.
So at the risk of burning down your entire house which can lead to loss of lives and properties, rubbing alcohol to kill bed bugs is not the best neither is it a safe option.
Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs Instantly?
Yes, it does! Having a bed bug infestation can be a hellish experience for anyone. This will require immediate action. Such action, of course, will involve using the right remedies. Thankfully, rubbing alcohol is common and should be kept close by for such situations.
One of the best effects of rubbing alcohol is that it not only kills bed bugs but also kills their eggs. It destroys bed bug eggs completely drying up the eggs.
You need a strong concentration of this solvent to fight off bed bugs. So what does a strong concentration look like? A 91% solution of isopropyl alcohol will give you the results you seek. This should be poured in a spray bottle and sprayed directly on affected areas.
The downside is that it might leave stains behind. Especially on your mattress as well as furniture. So before application, consider applying it on a small portion to see its effects.
Don’t get your hopes so high though. This is because rubbing alcohol, though effective isn’t enough in itself. You’d need to call an exterminator in severe cases.
So, does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs? Yes. But is it the most efficient, effective, and safest way? No. It is safer and effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bed bug extermination.