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Do Home Remedies For Bed Bugs Work

Navigating the world of bed bug treatments can be confusing and often misleading. As a professional exterminator, I understand the despair many feel when faced with an infestation. I also understand the temptation to try and find a home remedy. That’s why I’d like to talk to you about the effectiveness of seven home remedies in eliminating bed bugs. You’ll be surprised to learn that some of these methods actually kill bed bugs. However, I believe that relying on the advice and intervention of a professional bed bug exterminator will help you save time, avoid a major infestation and preserve your mental health.

So here are seven questions people ask about home remedies to kill bed bugs.

Does baking soda kill bed bugs?

No, baking soda does not kill bed bugs. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has been touted by some as a home remedy to kill bed bugs. The idea is that baking soda can absorb the surface fluids on a bed bug’s shell and cause them to dehydrate. However, there is no scientific evidence that baking soda effectively kills bed bugs.

Does vinegar kill bed bugs?

Yes, vinegar can kill bed bugs. The high acidity of vinegar can reportedly damage the bed bug’s nervous system. However, this requires direct contact with the bugs. Simply spraying or pouring vinegar in areas where bed bugs are suspected won’t necessarily get to the hidden ones. For this reason, if you have a bed bugs infestation, vinegar will not help you get rid of bed bugs.

Does Lysol kill bed bugs?

Generally speaking, yes, Lysol can kill bed bugs. Just like vinegar, Lysol has to be directly sprayed onto bed bugs to kill them. This brand of disinfectant contains strong chemical components such as ethanol or ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol which are toxic to bed bugs. That being said, using Lysol will not prevent hidden bed bugs and eggs to survive and it will take several weeks for you to finally get rid of bed bugs. In addition, there are certain risks of using Lysol such as skin and respiratory irritation.

Bleach and bed bugs

Does bleach kill bed bugs?

Yes, bleach can kill bed bugs on direct contact due to its strong chemical nature. While bleach might kill bed bugs, it is not a practical solution for eradicating an infestation. Bed bugs are experts at hiding in tiny crevices, inside mattresses, behind baseboards, and in other hard-to-reach places. These hiding spots are often places you wouldn’t want to or couldn’t safely apply bleach.

Do essential oils kill bed bugs?

Essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree, lavender and many more have been studied for their potential repellent or insecticidal properties against bed bugs and other pests. Although essential oils mixtures may not be as effective as other bed bug treatments, some have shown promise in laboratory settings. Essential oil mixtures derived from oregano, thyme, lemongrass and clove have proved most effective. However, the reality is that in addition to having to spray the essential oil mixture directly onto the bed bugs, you’ll have to repeat the operation several times, discover the little critters’ favorite hiding places and come to terms with the fact that they can survive for several days without feeding. What’s more, some essential oils can be toxic to pets or cause allergic reactions in humans.

Does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs?

Yes, rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) can kill bed bugs. However, as with many of the home remedies mentioned above, rubbing alcohol can kill bed bugs, including their eggs, only when it comes into direct contact with them. The alcohol dries out the bed bugs, effectively killing them. Rubbing alcohol can also act as a repellent for a short period, deterring bed bugs from entering treated areas. However, this type of alcohol is highly flammable. It can be dangerous to spray it around your home, especially near open flames or potential sparks.

Does borax kill bed bugs?

The answer to that question is yes and no. Although it can have insecticidal properties for certain insects, such as ants and cockroaches, by damaging their digestive systems and external skeletons, borax is only effective against bed bugs if they ingest it. Considering that bed bugs feed on blood, we can already guess the effectiveness of borax in killing bed bugs. A study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology concludes that “although boric acid is an excellent candidate active ingredient for an ingestible bait formulation, residual applications of dust or spray would be ineffective in bed bug interventions.”


When it comes to bed bug control, not all methods are created equal. While some home solutions have been shown to kill bed bugs, they are only effective if they come into direct contact with them or their eggs. However, this doesn’t mean that some of these methods aren’t effective in repelling bed bugs. But if you’re faced with a bed bug infestation, it’s best to use bed bug treatments that have been proven effective.

As mentioned in my previous article Debunking Myths About Bed Bugs, diatomaceous earth and heat treatment are the two tried-and-tested methods for eliminating bed bugs. Diatomaceous earth stands out for its natural approach, but it’s a lengthy and invasive process since the bed bug must first impregnate itself with the substance, then transmit it by contact with other unexposed individuals. By contrast, heat treatment, which I am proud to offer at Thermapro Solutions, is a faster and highly effective solution. It is designed to penetrate even the most hidden corners and ensure complete extermination.

When faced with a bed bug infestation, it’s essential to opt for proven methods that guarantee rapid results. Put your trust in the professionals and opt for efficiency, to guarantee your peace of mind and a bed bug-free environment.

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