Bed bug infestations will easily turn your place from a comfortable sanctuary to a place full of misery without peace. Bed bugs can be a real nuisance and the bites can itch and can even become painful.
These insects are becoming resistant to common pesticides. Consequently, the number of bed bugs has grown tremendously to a scary level. This does not mean that there is no solution. Your best bet for keeping your home free of the insects is early prevention.
However, if your home is already infested, do not worry as there are numerous ways of killing them. One of the ways is using insecticides you can buy at the drugstore. However, many of them are filled with chemicals that may negatively impact your health.
For this reason, you should consider a friendlier method, which is the use of rubbing alcohol as a treatment. According to research, 91% isopropyl alcohol has proven to be very effective against bed bugs. Higher concentrations are even better.
How Does Alcohol Help Kill Bed Bugs
Rubbing alcohol is a solution that can exterminate bed bugs by dissolving their cells. Insect-killing alcohol is a desiccant, hence, it can destroy bed bug eggs by drying them out. In addition, it repels the insects, discouraging them from laying eggs or crawling on treated surfaces.
Therefore, spraying furniture and linen with rubbing alcohol has gained a reputation as the most effective tactic of getting rid of bed bugs. Rubbing 91% alcohol as well as 70% isopropyl alcohol-based spray is effective in getting rid of a bed bug infestation.
While most of such sprays can do the trick, it is recommended to try out isopropyl alcohol in much higher concentrations. This means that the 91% rubbing alcohol help get rid of the insects much faster than the 70% isopropyl alcohol sprays.
The 70% alcohol has a safer flammability level, it is less expensive, and it is readily available. On the other hand, the 91% isopropyl alcohol is kinder on certain materials and surfaces, and the rate of evaporation does not change the concentration of alcohol in the spray. However, this alcohol may leave stains or marks on mattress and furniture.
How to Kill Bed Bugs with Alcohol
Start by vacuuming your house completely. The main areas you should cover include behind furniture, underneath your bed, and other hidden spaces. You should also include curtains. Make sure you dispose the vacuum bags far from your place.
Buy large bottles of ethanol or rubbing alcohol for bed bug spray. As most of the stores sell insect killing alcohol by gallons, use empty spray containers to fill rubbing alcohol. This will allow you to suitably use the spray all over the house.
Then, remove all sheets, bed clothing, pillow cases and other clothing, and put them inside a plastic trash bag. Before sealing, spray the items with rubbing alcohol spray to kill eggs, larvae and any adult bug to prevent infestation.
As far as large infestations are concerned, you should consider bagging all clothing, linen and other items in a plastic bag and spray them with the alcohol spray. You can then seal them during the treatment process.
Wipe all your furniture, including headboards and electronics with wipes that have been pre-heated with rubbing alcohol. You may also spray the 91% rubbing alcohol all over. This helps to get rid of eggs and larvae that may be hiding in crevices and cracks in every room.
To prevent the bugs from biting you, spray yourself from head to toe before you jump into bed. This protects you from new bites. In the meantime, the alcohol you sprayed around will repel any bed bugs on contact. Ensure you avoid using fire or smoking around sprayed areas.
When using spray as treatment, ensure that all the bugs come in contact with the spray. Also, it may seem that the spray is working, but it will be better if you repeat it after a fortnight as rubbing alcohol evaporates faster. This helps to get rid of newly hatched eggs.
If only one bed has been infested, take steps towards keeping the bugs there. Use a strip of tape that is double sided or place the legs in smooth metal containers. You may also coat petroleum jelly onto the legs of the bed. Slick and sticky surfaces make it difficult for the bugs to cross, preventing them from escaping to the other parts of your house.
If you are bitten while sleeping, it will help if you spray the top of the mattress with alcohol and allow it to dry. This repels the pests from the surface of the bed. The bugs move slowly, hence putting fresh sheets each night will keep them away from you.
What Are the Safety Features to Consider When Treating Your Place?
Insofar as the safety of using rubbing alcohol goes, you ought to consider the flammability of the sprays. It is important to inform all the residents of the building when the treatment is in progress. Furthermore, alcohol can be highly abrasive on fabrics and certain surfaces. Ensure you avoid its use on your fabrics and newly painted furniture.
Remember to read safety instructions indicated on the bottle. If you are spraying linens and bed, do so in a ventilated area, outside your house would be much better. Rubbing alcohol is toxic and should not be directly inhaled to avoid breathing difficulties afterward as it may cause internal irritation, affecting mucous membranes.
As a bed bug infestation can be serious, it is a good idea to start treatment soon after you notice any sign of an egg or a single bug within your sleeping space. However, the efficacy of alcohol spray on the bed bugs vary.
It depends with how badly your home is infested. Rubbing alcohol sprays are highly effective on mild to moderate infestation. If you are faced with a widespread infestation, you would want to consider a more effective treatment option other than rubbing alcohol.