If you encounter bed bugs in your home and are searching for home remedies to avoid the costs and chemicals of a professional extermination, rubbing alcohol may be a suitable alternative. For best results, combine the alcohol procedure with other home remedies, such as steam cleaning.
Vacuum thoroughly any areas that you think may be infested. Hot spots are carpets, draperies, mattresses and box springs, pillows and other cloth surfaces in your bedroom. Dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag immediately.
Wash all bedding including pillow cases, sheets, blankets and other bed coverings in hot water, and dry on high heat. Bed bugs cannot live at temperatures above 110 degrees F; heating your laundry water to 120 degrees F is optimal, just to be sure.
Pour 91 percent isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol into a chemical sprayer if covering large areas. Use a small spray bottle if you do not have a chemical sprayer. You can dilute the solution to cover more area; mix 9 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water.
Spray all infested areas with the alcohol solution. Treat hard surfaces, such as headboards, as well.
Treat the surfaces with alcohol whenever you see bed bugs. Even if you do not see any bed bugs, however, you may still have them. Combining alcohol treatments with steam cleaning will improve your chances of eradicating the bed bugs completely.
Bed bugs must come into direct contact with the alcohol for this treatment to be effective.
Treat surfaces again after 14 days. Any eggs that were present will have hatched by this time if they were not killed in the prior treatment.
Treat a test area first if you are concerned about damaging the surface. Alcohol can damage some finishes and materials.