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does alcohol kill bed bugs?

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Yes, rubbing alcohol can kill bed bugs. But, it is not an effective method of eliminating the infestation.

Studies show that 91% of isopropyl alcohol has a 40% mortality rate on adult bed bugs if sprayed 21 times over seven days.

But more impressive is that under the same conditions, 91% of isopropyl alcohol has a 100% mortality rate for nymph bed bugs. And for bed bugs eggs, 91% of isopropyl alcohol has an 80% mortality rate over seven days.

That said, using rubbing alcohol to eliminate bed bugs is not practical.

The amount of bed bugs you can kill with rubbing alcohol is unclear.
Also, the amount of rubbing alcohol you’ll need is not very practical. The many applications over several days also make rubbing alcohol an ineffective approach to getting rid of bed bugs.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Nymphs?

Yes. 91% of isopropyl alcohol has a 100% mortality rate for nymph bed bugs after seven days of application. This number is much higher than adult bed bugs because nymphs have softer skeletons.

The higher the alcohol concentrations, the more effective it is at killing nymphs.

While rubbing alcohol is fatal to nymph bed bugs, it is not a practical way to eliminate them.

For one, you’ll have to directly apply it to the bed bugs for it to be effective. Further, you will have to use a significant amount for several days to kill the nymphs.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill bed bug eggs?

Yes. Studies show that 91% of isopropyl alcohol has an 80% mortality rate over seven days.

Another study showed that 100% ethanol kills 85% of bed bug eggs in one application.

That said, rubbing alcohol is not a practical way of killing bed bugs. That’s because you’ll not only need a direct application, you will also need a lot of alcohol to do this effectively. 

Does Alcohol /Liquor Kill Bed Bugs?

No. Liquor or any alcoholic beverages do not have enough alcohol to kill bed bugs.

To achieve a high bed bug mortality rate with alcohol, it must have an alcohol content of 71% or higher.

Most alcoholic beverages have an alcoholic content of around 20%.

And, while hard Liquor, such as bourbon and vodka, can have up to 40 or 50% alcohol, it’s not enough to kill bed bugs. Such low concentrations will have minimal to no impact on bed bugs.

Does Isopropyl Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

The short answer: Yes. Isopropyl Alcohol can kill bed bugs. But it is not a pratical solution to bed bug infestations.

Isopropyl Alcohol is the main ingredient of rubbing alcohol.

The higher the Isopropyl alcohol consentration, the higher the mortality rate on bed bugs

Studies show that isopropyl is highly effective at 70% above. The most readily available at stores are 71% and 90%.

Isopropyl Alcohol is not a practical solution to bed bug infestation for several reasons.

One, you must apply the alcohol directly to the bed bugs. Two, you will need to spray between 14 and 21 times to kill the bed bugs. Finally, you will need to do this over a period of a week.

The amount of time and Isopropyl alcohol required to kill bed bugs is too impractical to be a solution for bed bugs.

How Fast Does Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs typically die after four days applying alcohol.

But studies show that you will have to apply alcohol 21 times over seven days for it to have a high mortality rate on bed bugs.

Rutgers university study shows that only 50% of bed bugs die after four days of the initial application.

Mortality rate varies depending on what stage in development the bed bug is in. Adult bed bugs have much stronger skeletons than nymphs. As such, the alcohol mortality rate for nymph bed bugs is higher than eggs and adults.

In particular, 91% of isopropyl alcohol has a 100% mortality in nymph bed bugs but only has a 40% mortality rate for adult bed bugs. Eggs have a mortality rate of 80% when treated with 91% of isopropyl alcohol.

Considering the amount of alcohol and re-application required to kill bed bugs with alcohol, it is not considered an ideal solution for bed bugs.

How Well Does 50% alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

50% alcohol can only kill about 70% of nymphs after being directly applied 21 times over 7 days.

But, 50% alcohol is less effective on adult bed bugs.

An Ohio University Study found that 50% of alcohol can kill 15% of adult bed bugs with a direct and heavy application. To achieve this mortality rate, you would need to spray the bed bug 21 times.

The mortality rate for adult bed bugs with 50% alcohol drops 5% with 14 pumps.

And the mortality rate is 0% with 7 pumps of alcohol.

How Well Does 70% alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

70% alcohol yields a high mortality rate in bed bugs. It is just as effective as higher concentrations of alcohol.

If sprayed directly 21 times, the mortality rate for adult bed bugs is 75%.

At medium application, mortality rates for adult bed bugs drop to 15%.
Lighter applications yield a mortality rate of 0% for adult bed bugs.

Since nymphs have softer shells, mortality rates are much higher.

70% alcohol with a heavy application (21 pumps) yields 95% mortality rates. Medium application yields 85% mortality rates for nymph bed bugs. And light application yields 40% mortality rates.

How Well Does 91% alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

For nymphs, 91% alcohol with a heavy application (21 pumps) yields 100% mortality rates. Medium application yields 85% mortality rates for nymph bed bugs. And light application yields 70% mortality rates.

For adult bed bugs, 91% alcohol with a heavy application (21 pumps) yields 50% mortality rates. Medium application yields 20% mortality rates for nymph bed bugs. And light application yields 5% mortality rates.

Does Wintergreen Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, Wintergreen alcohol can kill bed bugs. The mortality rate will depend on the alcohol concentration of Wintergreen alcohol.

Wintergreen alcohol and rubbing alcohol are the same. As mentioned above, 91% of isopropyl alcohol has an 80% mortality rate for bed bugs when applied heavily over seven days.

Another study showed that 100% ethanol kills 85% of bed bug eggs in one application.

Because Wintergreen alcohol is made of isopropyl alcohol it has the same effect on bed bugs.

The only difference between Wintergreen alcohol and rubbing alcohol is that it’s scented and has green color.

How Does Wintergreen Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Wintergreen alcohol kills bed bugs by dissolving its exoskeleton. Once it dissolves the outer shell, the bed bugs lose water. This dehydrates the bed bug which causes it to die.

How Long Does It Take For Wintergreen Alcohol To Kill Bed Bugs?

Depending on the concentration and the amount of alcohol applied, wintergreen alcohol can take between 4-7 days to kill bed bugs.

You can expect to see half of the bed bugs die after four days and the rest after seven days of heavy application.

That said, for this method to be effective and yield a high mortality rate, you will need to apply it directly and heavily on bed bugs. As such, it’s not a practical approach to killing bed bugs.

How Strong Does Alcohol Have To Be To Kill Bed Bugs?

71% Isopropyl alcohol and above yeilds the highest mortality rate for bed bugs. Anything below 50% isopropyl alcohol will have minimal to no effect on bed bugs.

For concentrations higher than 50%, the volume of alcohol you use is more vital to results than the concentration.

For instance, if you spray 71% isopropyl alcohol heavily at bed bugs (21 times) the mortality rate for adult bed bugs is 75%.

At medium application, mortality rates for adult bed bugs drop to 15%.
Lighter applications yield a mortality rate of 0% for adult bed bugs.

Since nymphs have softer shells, mortality rates are much higher.

71% alcohol with a heavy application yields 95% mortality rates. Medium application yields 85% mortality rates for nymph bed bugs. And light application yields 40% mortality rates.

The most effective volume of alcohol to use is between 14 to 21 pumps with a standard spray bottle.

What Proof Is There That Rubbing Alcohol Kills Bed Bugs?

There have been several studies conducted showing that rubbing alcohol kills bed bugs.

One study conducted by Ohio State and another by Rutgers University showed rubbing alcohol’s mortality rate against bed bugs.

Ohio State showed that 50% of bed bugs died after four days of the initial application.

Rutgers University showed that 80% of bed bugs died after seven days of the initial application of 71% isopropyl alcohol.

Should I Use Rubbing Alcohol To Kill Bed Bugs?

Rubbing alcohol is not a practical solution against bed bugs for several reasons.

For one, you will need to apply it directly to bed bugs for it to be effective. This method is impractical because bed bugs hide in nooks and crevices that are difficult to reach.

The amount of alcohol necessary for this method is also problematic. For rubbing alcohol to work, you will need to spray high concentrations of alcohol 27 times on an area. Doing so is wasteful and can be a fire hazard.

What Alternatives Is There To Rubbing Alcohol?

1. Heat

High temperatures are very efficient at killing bed bugs quickly.

For this you can use a steam cleaner. Bed bugs will die instantly at temperatures above 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since most steamers reach 200 degrees Fahrenheit, if steam comes into direct contact with bed bugs, they will die instantly.

Washing your covers will not eliminate all the bed bugs hiding inside your couch. These bugs can be hiding inside the frame and cushions.

To cover all your bases, I recommend steaming.

2. Essential Oils

One natural alternative is essential oils. Essential oils not only work much faster, they are also safer and have a higher mortality rate.

Here are some essential oils that can deliver 50% mortality in bedbugs in 48 hours.

Clove Oil
Cinnamon Oil
Garlic
Peppermint
Thyme

Mix 10mg of this oil per ml of water and spray it on infested surfaces.

Another effective way to kill bed bugs is to use steamers. 

3. Spray Insecticides

Insecticide treatments are a great alternative if you can’t use heat.

One of the best insecticides to use against bed bugs is crossfire.

Crossfire kills on contact and has a 30-day residual effect. This means you do not have to directly spray the bed bugs. Any bed bug that survives the initial contact will die if they come in contact with the sprayed surface.

Crossfire is easy to apply and can deliver 100% mortality rate on adult bed bugs, nymphs, and bed bug eggs. Here’s how:

  1. Clear any furniture from your room.
  2. Mix insecticide solution.
  3. Fill up the pressurized sprayer.
  4. Spray infested area until damp.

4. Call a professional

Pest control professionals are a great way to get rid of bed bugs permanently.

I recommend giving them a call if you have a medium to severe infestation.

How To Use Rubbing Alcohol To Kill Bed Bugs?

Rubbing alcohol is not a pratical method to kill bed bugs. But, if you’d like to try this method, I recommend using alcohol with 71%-91% concentration. The higher the concentration, the better. Anything below 50% will have little to no impact on bed bugs.

To kill bed bugs with alcohol, you’ll need to spray infested surfaces directly.

Keep in mind, this may leave stains on your furniture and linens.

To avoid major damage, I recommend spraying a small amount on a hidden area of your furniture and see the effect.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Repel Bed Bugs?

Yes. Rubbing alcohol repels and kills bed bugs.

But you will need a significant amount of alcohol for this method to be effective.

The Rutgers University research team tested alcohol against bed bugs and found that spraying a significant amount rubbing alcohol directly at bed bugs only kills 50% after four days.

The problem with this method is you’ll need to spray the bed bugs directly. Direct contact is difficult as bed bugs typically hide deep in holes and crevices.

The amount of alcohol needed is also impractical. To kill bed bugs, you’ll need to spray 14-21 times over seven days. This is not only wasteful but dangerous.

Does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs instantly?

No, alcohol does not kill bed bugs instantly.

Bed bugs typically die after four days of applying alcohol. But, Rutgers university study shows that only 50% of bed bugs die after four days of the initial application.

In general, you will have to apply alcohol over seven days for it to have a high mortality rate on bed bugs.

The mortality rate also varies depending on what stage in development the bed bug is in. Adult bed bugs have much stronger skeletons than nymphs. As such, the alcohol mortality rate for nymph bed bugs is higher than eggs and adults.

In particular, 91% of isopropyl alcohol has a 40% mortality rate on adult bed bugs if sprayed heavily over seven days.

91% of isopropyl alcohol has a 100% mortality rate for nymph bed bugs and an 80% mortality for bed bug eggs over seven days.

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