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Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 3 min read.
Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

You’re probably reading this because you’ve spotted a bed bug and immediately thought, “How can I get rid of it ASAP?!” There are myriad suggestions online — from using pesticides to DIY home remedies. Among the most commonly touted solutions is rubbing alcohol.

But does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs effectively? And more importantly, is it a safe method? To quash all myths and provide a scientific basis for this approach, we delve deep into the how’s and why’s.

Will Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Let’s get straight to the point: Yes, rubbing alcohol can kill bed bugs, but it’s not a long-term solution. It’s a contact killer, meaning it needs to be sprayed directly onto the bug to be effective.

However, the limitations of using rubbing alcohol for this purpose are numerous, including the risks of flammability and the fact that it doesn’t work well on eggs or nymphs.

How Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

When rubbing alcohol comes into direct contact with bed bugs, it acts as a desiccant, drying out the bugs’ outer shell, known as the cuticle. This causes the bed bugs to dehydrate and eventually die.

It’s important to note that while the process seems straightforward, the effectiveness of this method decreases if the alcohol dries before reaching the bug.

How Long Does It Take for Rubbing Alcohol to Kill Bed Bugs?

The time it takes for rubbing alcohol to work varies. It could be as quick as a few minutes if the application is direct and the concentration of alcohol is high. However, its efficacy is often compromised when it comes to bugs that are hidden away or ones that have recently fed and are less mobile.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

How to Use Rubbing Alcohol to Kill Bed Bugs

  • Direct Spray: Spray the alcohol directly onto visible bed bugs for instant results.
  • Residual Treatment: Use it on cracks and crevices where bed bugs may be hiding.
  • Bedding and Linens: A light spray on bed sheets and pillowcases can offer some degree of protection.

When talking about bed linens, it’s worth mentioning that a Puffy Lux Mattress comes with an easily washable cover. A clean bed environment is essential for keeping bed bugs at bay, and a washable cover makes maintaining this cleanliness effortless.

The Risks of Using Rubbing Alcohol for Bed Bugs

  1. Flammability: Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable, making it a risk if used excessively in household settings.
  2. Ineffectiveness on Eggs: The alcohol’s efficacy drops significantly when it comes to unhatched eggs.
  3. Short-term Solution: Given its limitations, rubbing alcohol is best considered a stop-gap measure rather than a long-term solution.

Alternative Methods to Kill Bed Bugs

  • Heat Treatment: Exposure to high temperatures can kill both adult bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Insecticides: Chemical solutions specifically designed for bed bugs can offer more lasting results.
  • Professional Help: Sometimes the infestation is too large to tackle alone, and professional extermination becomes necessary.

If you’re undergoing a complete bed bug treatment, it might also be a good time to reconsider your bedding choices. Puffy mattresses offer a 101-night trial, providing ample time to ensure that your new mattress is not only comfortable but also contributes to a bug-free environment.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.


So, does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs? The answer is yes, but with caveats. While it can serve as a quick fix in desperate situations, it’s not a foolproof or lasting solution. A comprehensive, multi-pronged approach is often necessary for complete eradication of these pesky invaders.

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