Can you use vinegar to kill bed bugs?
At the end of the day, the answer is pretty much the same story we’ve previously discussed in our articles can you use bleach to kill bedbugs? and does Lysol kill bedbugs? Vinegar will technically kill bedbugs (if you spray it directly on one), but it’s not going to be effective at getting rid of a bedbug infestation. Here’s why.
The first is pretty obvious. It is really difficult to find every single bedbug hiding inside your house. If you see a bedbug and are able to quickly spray it with enough vinegar, it will die. But, what about all of the other bedbugs in hiding that you don’t know about? Bedbugs are extremely good hiders, and can fit into any crack that you could slide the corner of a credit card into. This means that they can be in seams of beds and couches, in between floorboards or cracks in between the floor and the molding, in electrical outlets, and so on. You can’t just spray vinegar all over the house and hope that the bedbugs will crawl over it, because as soon as it has dried, it will be useless against them.
The second reason is a little less transparent. While spraying vinegar on a bedbug will kill it, it will not kill bedbug eggs. Their egg sacs will protect the insects inside from any damaging effect of the vinegar. So, even if you somehow manage to spray every single bedbug hiding in every crevice within your home (very unlikely), you are still going to have a bedbug problem again in 6-10 days after the eggs hatch. It is impossible to be spraying vinegar frequently enough to kill all of the bedbugs before any new eggs are laid. So, you will be perpetually fighting a losing battle.
Should I use vinegar for bedbugs?
Let’s evaluate the pros and cons.
“Pros” of using vinegar on bedbugs
- It’s cheap and easy to get your hands on (if you don’t already have a bottle under the sink!)
- Vinegar is not a toxic chemical, it’s 100% safe for people and (most) pets living in your house, no matter how much you spray. caveat: it’s not advised to use around reptiles
- It will kill any bedbugs that you spray directly.
“Cons” of using vinegar on bedbugs
- You’re not going to kill the majority of the bedbugs that are in hiding, where the vinegar spray will not reach
- You might end up pushing the bedbugs further into hiding
- As soon as the vinegar dries up, it’s not effective against bedbugs, so you will constantly be spraying it to no avail
- Vinegar will not kill bedbugs eggs, so you will keep getting more bedbugs
- It might damage your furniture
- It smells terrible, and the smell lasts a long time, even after it has dried
Conclusion: Vinegar or vinegar spray is not a good long-term solution for a bed bug problem. Vinegar is often touted as a safe and effective home remedy to treat for bedbugs. A lot of people are hopeful about this one, because it is natural, inexpensive, and most people already have a gallon of it in a cupboard somewhere. Unfortunately, while vinegar will kill a bedbug if you spray one directly, you are going to miss any bedbugs that are hiding, and the vinegar will not kill bedbug eggs. Furthermore, as soon as the vinegar dries up, it will not have any repellent effect on bedbugs – they will gladly walk right over that spot. So, it is not going to be effective at treating your house for bedbugs, and the infestation will continue.
Instead, check out this guide to killing bedbugs quickly and easily without an exterminator.
As a reminder, never mix vinegar and bleach!
Thank you for reading about using vinegar to kill bedbugs! Please refer to all manufacturer instructions and warnings when using a bed bug control product. This website is an independent resource. This site receives compensation from the Amazon Affiliates program, which allows us to run this site at no cost to you. Your purchase price and this review are NOT affected. This website receives NO compensation directly from the manufacturers of any product. We do not necessarily endorse any bed bug products that may appear on the 3rd party ads on this site, which will be clearly marked as such. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies or omissions, or any new information that has been released since the time of publication, or your actions taken as a result of any of these things. Content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for consulting with a professional. If you have any doubts about your ability to safely utilize any of these pest control methods, please consult a professional bed bug exterminator before attempting them. You can find a trusted local exterminator online. Read more about us here.