Killing Bed Bugs: How to Use Alcohol to Get Rid of Infestations

In your attempt to eradicate bed bugs, you’ve probably wondered about do-it-yourself concoctions. One of the common ingredients in bug sprays is alcohol. These sprays are sold commercially and help you eliminate bed bugs for good. Some handy do-it-yourself alternatives are ethanol, isopropyl, and rubbing alcohol. 

In this article, we consider the safety of these alternatives and determine whether they can really be used to eradicate bed bugs permanently.

How to Use Alcohol to Get Rid of Infestations

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Does Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Commercially sold sprays can be used to effectively kill bed bugs. Rubbing alcohol, 91% alcohol, and 70% isopropyl alcohol-based sprays can eradicate large bed bug infestations. While all of these can do a good job, experts recommend that you use isopropyl alcohol when you’re dealing with high concentrations of bed bugs.

Alternatively, 91% rubbing alcohol solutions will eliminate bed bug infestations faster than 70% isopropyl-based sprays.

Are Alcohol-Based Solutions Safe?

Before using rubbing alcohol, you need to take its flammability into account. Alcohol is a highly flammable liquid. When you plan to use alcohol-based solutions to solve your bed bug issue, you should inform everyone at home or in the building. Alcohol can also be very harsh on certain fabrics and surfaces and might damage them, so you should avoid using alcohol-based sprays on or near sensitive items.

Killing Bed Bugs

Which is better: 70% or 91% alcohol-based solutions?

Features of 70% alcohol:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Commercially available
  • Lower flammability levels
  • More prone to evaporation if left open

Features of 91% alcohol:

  • Kinder on certain fabrics and surfaces
  • Dries faster
  • Less evaporation
  • Not as easy to buy

Where to Purchase 91% Rubbing Alcohol

If you want to use 91% rubbing alcohol to kill bed bugs, you’ll have to do some searching to find it. It’s much easier to find 70% isopropyl alcohol solutions than it is to find 91% ones. However, with some online searching, you’ll be able to find these higher concentration solutions for killing bed bugs. You just need to remember that these 91% alcohol solutions are more expensive than those with lower concentrations. 

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs with Alcohol

Doing the following will help you eliminate bed bug infestations effectively:

Vacuum Your House

The first thing you need to do is vacuum your entire house. Ensure that you cover all the areas, especially those under and behind the bed and other furniture. Include curtains and upholstered furniture while you vacuum. Remember to dispose of all vacuum bags far away from your home. 

How to Get Rid of Bedbugs

Use Quality Sprays

When purchasing alcohol-based sprays, make sure you buy sprays with a high alcohol level in large sizes. You can also purchase rubbing alcohol in gallons at many stores. If you’re using rubbing alcohol, use empty spray bottles to conveniently spray the liquid around your house. 

Remove Your Bedding

It’s essential that you remove all bedding and seal them in plastic trash bags after spraying them with your chosen alcohol solutions. Doing this will ensure that grown bed bugs, larvae, and eggs are killed. It will also keep new bed bug eggs at bay. 

Bag and Spray

If you’re dealing with large bed bug infestations, you need to bag not only all bedding but all linen and clothing from the affected room as well. Before bagging everything, you need to give it a good spray to kill the bed bugs. Seal the bags tightly to get the treatment working. 

Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control

Clean Your Furniture

To effectively eradicate bed bug infestations, you need to clean your furniture as well. You can prepare wipes ahead of time by soaking them in rubbing alcohol before wiping all your furniture, box springs, headboards, and electronics off. You can also spray rubbing alcohol over everything and rub it in with a cloth. Doing this will help eliminate the bed bug eggs and larvae that usually hide in cracks. 

Steam Clean

One of the most effective ways to eliminate bed bug infestations is combining alcohol with steam. Many experts recommend this. 

When you use rubbing alcohol to treat bed bug infestations, you need to make sure that the alcohol spray comes in contact with the eggs, larvae, or bugs. It’s also recommended that you repeat the process every 2 weeks. Repeating the process will ensure that newly hatched bugs are eradicated before they get the chance to cause more havoc.

Get Rid of Bedbugs

Word of warning: Remember to read all the safety instructions on the spray bottle. If you’re spraying your bed, linens, and clothing, you should make sure that the area in which you do it is well-ventilated, or ideally, outside. Rubbing alcohol shouldn’t be inhaled since it is harmful, so immediately consult your medical practitioner if you’re experiencing breathing issues after using it. 

If you have any questions or comments, please add them below in the comment section. Similarly, please let us know if you spot any mistakes or omissions. Thanks!

About the author

Hi I’m Alexander, founder of and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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