DIY Vinegar Bed Bug Killer
Does vinegar work on bedbugs? Yes. Does it cure them? No.
I hate to give you a conflicting answer like that. But, it is the honest answer.
Vineger is a contact killer. This means that spraying it directly on bedbugs will kill them, but it works best as a part of a bigger treatment plan.
You can not cure bed bugs with any one solution. Vinegar can help you keep bed bugs in control until you can come up with a long-lasting solution. So if you are waiting for a pest control professional to come treat your home, or for bug spray to arrive in the mail, vinegar will buy you some time.
Inexpensive First Steps After Finding Bed Bugs
• Use caulk to seal cracks. This way the bugs don't have an easy place to hide.
• Soak the perimeter around the infested furniture, remove curtains, and spray all items including window sills, walls, and other hard-surfaces.
• Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Soak all infested surfaces, including cracks and crevices.
Disadvantages of Using Vinegar
- The smell. It is terrible, and long lasting. You can use high percentage alcohol and get a similar result without the terrible smell. I am running a poll, and over 80% of my readers say that they can stand the smell of vinegar.
- You might only push bed bugs into hiding.
- Some furniture could be damaged.
Advantages of Using Vinegar
- Short term relief. The acidic content of vinegar and its PH balance is enough to disrupt the nervous system of bed bugs.
- Vinegar is very cheap and can be obtained anywhere.
- This method is very safe. You can spray as much as you need and no one is going to be exposed to toxic chemicals.
An Experiment with Vinegar
I obtained a couch from someone with a bed bug problem. A man with a barn was kind enough to let me do this experiment in one of his old barns (it was going to be torn down anyway). Thanks Mr. B!
- We used a 100% solution of pure white vinager. We filled spray bottles and used paper towels and butter knives to soak every inch of the couch. This won't work if you can't get out in every crack, crevice, and surface.
- This took three people four hours, but the results were promising. We observed only one small bed bug in a week. We missed the eggs, however. Vinegar has nearly no residual effect and does not work on eggs.
- The lesson is, in order for this to work as the sole treatment, you would need to use gallons of vinegar and reapply every five days. Um, did I mention the smell?
- We also observed bed bugs running away from the couch. One way to kill these bugs too is to soak the perimeter of the object you are about to spray with vinegar. Then use a spray bottle to spay around base boards and windows. Take down curtains and wash them. Spray your TV stand and book cases. Finally, spray the infested item last. This way, when bed bugs try to run, all they are going to run in to is more vinegar.
- The conclusion is that using vinegar is not a good solution to bedbugs. I understand that some people have no other choice but to use this method, but I recommend you do what ever it takes to come up with the funds for a real solution. Remember, you are not alone. Seek help. Do not be ashamed or hide an infestation. Face it, and do whatever it takes to eliminate the bed bugs.