Bed bugs are persistent pests that can cause a lot of trouble for homeowners. These tiny insects can hide in the smallest of places and are difficult to get rid of. While there are many solutions to bed bug infestations, one of the most commonly recommended remedies is rubbing alcohol.

In this article, we will explore the efficacy of rubbing alcohol as a solution for bed bug infestations.

What is Rubbing Alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is a clear and colorless liquid that is commonly used as a disinfectant and antiseptic. It is a highly flammable substance that evaporates quickly, making it a popular choice for cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.

How Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Rubbing alcohol has been touted as an effective solution for bed bug infestations because of its ability to kill these pests on contact. When applied to bed bugs, rubbing alcohol penetrates their exoskeleton and dehydrates them, ultimately leading to their demise.

However, it is important to note that rubbing alcohol is only effective when applied directly to the bed bugs themselves. It does not have a residual effect, meaning that it will not continue to kill bed bugs after it has dried.

How to Use Rubbing Alcohol to Kill Bed Bugs

If you are considering using rubbing alcohol to get rid of bed bugs, there are some important steps to follow:

  1. Purchase high-concentration rubbing alcohol (at least 90%) from a reputable source.
  2. Use a spray bottle to apply the rubbing alcohol directly to the bed bugs and their eggs. Be sure to spray all areas where bed bugs are suspected to be hiding.
  3. Allow the rubbing alcohol to dry completely before returning to the treated area.
  4. Repeat the process as needed to eliminate all bed bugs and their eggs.

Risks and Precautions

While rubbing alcohol can be an effective solution for bed bug infestations, it is important to use it safely and responsibly. Here are some important risks and precautions to consider:

  1. Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable and should be kept away from open flames and heat sources.
  2. Do not use rubbing alcohol near electrical outlets or appliances.
  3. Rubbing alcohol can be toxic if ingested or inhaled. Make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area and keep it away from children and pets.
  4. Rubbing alcohol can damage certain materials, including some types of fabrics and plastics. Test a small area before applying to larger surfaces.

Alternative Bed Bug Solutions

While rubbing alcohol can be effective for killing bed bugs on contact, it may not be the most practical solution for large infestations. Here are some alternative solutions to consider:

  1. Heat treatment: Bed bugs cannot survive extreme temperatures, so heating up your living space to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or higher can help eliminate them.
  2. Pesticides: There are a variety of pesticides available that are specifically designed to kill bed bugs. Consult with a professional exterminator to determine the best option for your situation.
  3. Vacuuming: Regularly vacuuming your living space can help eliminate bed bugs and their eggs, as well as prevent future infestations.


In conclusion, rubbing alcohol can be an effective solution for bed bug infestations when used properly and safely. However, it is important to consider the risks and precautions associated with its use, and to explore alternative solutions for larger infestations.

If you are struggling with a bed bug infestation, it is recommended to consult with a professional exterminator to determine the best course of action for your situation.

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