Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are the most difficult infestation to deal with. They are experts in hiding which makes it even more difficult to get rid of them and they can quickly grow in size and spread. Therefore, the most important question is how to get rid of bed bugs at home fast?

There are numerous steps to control bed bugs which you can follow to get rid of the infestation. Vinegar is one of the most popular natural treatments for bed bugs that you may find on the internet, but does vinegar kill bed bugs or is it merely a repellent?

Bed Bugs and Associated Health Risks

While bed bugs do not carry diseases, this infestation can result in health risks. Their presence can lead to sleep deprivation and itchiness. Moreover, their bites can be painful.

A bite from a bed bug affects individuals differently. It can cause reactions like bite marks, almost invisible signs of marks, pain, redness, itching and even an allergic reaction that can get severe.

For some people, the itching may also get severe, resulting in skin infection. There are numerous ways to control and prevent bed bugs but the most immediate precaution you need to take is applying bed bug repellent for skin protection.

Signs of Bed Bug Infestations

bed bug infested pillow

There are numerous tell-tale signs of an infestation which include bite marks on your hands, arms, neck, face and other body parts. However, in some cases, the bite marks may take more than 14 days to appear. This means the infestation would have already tripled in size by the time you notice.

Therefore, it is best to look out for other signs, including:

  • Musty odor
  • Eggs or bugs in the fold of sheets and mattresses
  • Exoskeletons of the bugs
  • Rusty spots on furniture or mattress that appear due to the blood-filled fecal which is excreted by the bed bugs

These signs will help in alerting you that you have a bed bug infestation.

Can You Get Rid Of Bed Bugs With Vinegar?

Vinegar to get rid of bed bugs

Vinegar can prove to be poison against bed bugs. Vinegar is one of the most effective natural treatments for bed bug infestations. However, in order for it to work, the liquid must come in contact with the bed bugs. The best way to use vinegar is to spray it directly on the bugs.

If you spray a major amount of vinegar in your house, you will realize that it is a potent irritant to your nose and eyes. Since bed bugs are rather smaller, the acidic liquid can easily kill them.

Vinegar Kills Bed Bug Eggs – Is it True?

Unfortunately, it is not true. What kills bed bugs instantly might not necessarily kill the eggs too. While vinegar is effective in getting rid of adult bed bugs, the outer layer of the egg protects the bugs from vinegar. The liquid has no chance to come in contact with the bug.

Therefore, you need to add in another natural treatment that can kill the bed bugs. The best way of doing this is to locate the eggs. This can be done by examining the dark corners and cracks in the walls, and furnishings. It is not easy to spot the eggs since they are minuscule and translucent. You may have to use a magnifying glass and a flashlight.

Once you have located the hiding spot, use a vacuum or steamer to treat them with heat. The eggs won’t stand a chance against high temperature. You can then remove the remains by using the vacuum. Make sure to use heat up the area for a longer duration to properly eliminate the eggs. A hairdryer is not going to work as the heat won’t be hot enough.

How to Make Homemade Bed Bug Spray Recipe with Vinegar?

If you are wondering what kills bed bugs naturally then you should try making this homemade recipe to get rid of bed bugs with vinegar.

  1. Buy a bottle of white vinegar and an empty spray bottle.
  2. Fill the empty spray bottle with 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar. If this doesn’t prove effective then you can increase the amount of vinegar.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Soak the entire area that has been infested with bed bugs. Make sure you spray in the crevices and cracks in the walls, as well as any tight places between and under the furniture.
  5. This will ensure that all bed bugs come directly in contact with vinegar and are eliminated.
  6. Bed bugs are excellent at hiding so make sure you get all the nooks and crannies.
  7. Do this for at least two weeks and you will notice a major reduction in the bed bugs problem.

This can also be used as a prevention treatment, soak all the areas that were infested including carpets, mattresses, furnishing, walls, and window sills. If the smell is too much you can use dryer sheets or other natural remedies along with vinegar to keep the bed bugs at bay.

Another thing to keep in mind while preparing this homemade bed bug killer is to make sure you never combine vinegar with bleach as this will create chlorine gas which is toxic and harmful for human health.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Vinegar

Vinegar is an effective solution for bed bugs problem but there are things you should consider before using this treatment. Following are the advantages and disadvantages of using vinegar for bed bugs:


  • It is best for short-term treatment. Vinegar’s acidic content is rather strong and can upset the nervous system of the bed bugs.
  • Vinegar is easily available everywhere and is cheap.
  • It is safe and the solution can be sprayed as many times as required without harmful effects that are typically associated with chemical bug sprays.
  • Vinegar is safe for babies, cats, and dogs.


  • The smell of vinegar is pretty unpleasant and pungent and can last for a long time.
  • If the liquid doesn’t come in direct contact with the insects, it might encourage them to go in hiding instead of killing them.
  • Vinegar has low pH balance which might damage your furniture.
  • In case of a major infestation, vinegar won’t have much effect.
  • It might be toxic for certain reptilian pets

It is essential that you consider both the pros and cons of utilizing vinegar as a bed bug treatment before you implement this remedy.

cleaner using vinegar to kill bed bugs

Bed Bugs And Vinegar – Will It Work?

Indeed, vinegar can get rid of bed bugs but it is not a long-term solution to the bed bugs problem. It is important to implement other remedies along with vinegar to fight off the bed bugs and prevent future infestation. Continue using vinegar and other remedies even after all bed bugs have been eliminated as a prevention technique.

If the infestation is not under control, you need to seek immediate professional help as bed bugs can rapidly take over your entire house!

Leave a Comment