Bed bugs are a big problem all over the world. Reports from pest control management agencies indicate that these bugs are the most rampant.
There has been a rising need to come up with bed bug remedies that are safe and effective. Vinegar is among other remedies that have been found to get rid of bed bugs. Read on to find out how it works.
Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs? How does it possibly work?
Vinegar is referred to as a contact killer since once sprayed on the bed bugs, it kills them. Vinegar either kills or repels bed bugs.
The ability to kill the bed bugs is explained by its strong acidic properties. Although you may be required to spray the bed bugs severally before you can fully eliminate them, vinegar is still considered a very effective natural way of getting rid of bed bugs.
The acidity of vinegar interferes with the normal functioning of the bed bug’s nervous system and that leads to its death.
When the bed bugs are sprayed with vinegar, their nervous systems get a shock and that is how they end up dead. The disruption is brought not only by the acidity levels but also by the pH level.
Vinegar works best when sprayed undiluted on the bed bugs. Effectiveness requires as well that the vinegar gets into direct contact with the bed bugs.
You must however keep in mind that, although vinegar kills the bed bugs, it does not do away with the eggs.
You must ensure that after killing the bed bugs, you find a way of cleaning all the available eggs since they may hatch many more bed bugs.
How to use Vinegar to get rid of Bed Bugs
There are a number of steps that you must follow in order to kill bed bugs effectively using vinegar. They are as follows;
The first and most crucial thing that you must do is inspect your house. This is in order to identify which area of your house is infested with bed bugs.
You may need to use a flashlight to trace any signs of bed bugs. Leads to bed bug infested areas include brownish nymph or even dead bed bugs.
These pests are very creative and they may hide themselves in places you may never see. This means that you are required to be very patient if you are to trace the bed bugs.
Remove all the things in your drawers or any other furniture in your house to make it easy to trace the bed bugs. You need to remove the mattress from the bed so that you can inspect the bed as well.
Vacuum the house
Before you can think of spraying vinegar, use a vacuum cleaner to clean your house. When have thoroughly vacuumed all the openings in your house as well as furniture corners where the pests may hide, seal the vacuum bag and carefully dispose it.
Prepare the spray
After inspecting the house and cleaning it, the next step is to prepare the vinegar spray. You are advised to buy white vinegar such as Walmart, Heinz Distilled or Kroger Brand.
You are also required to buy a spray bottle, for example, UPC Bottlers, ULINE, or any such bottle from your local Dollar Tree. Below is the procedure;
- Make a mixture of vinegar and water in equal amounts. In this case, ensure the mixture is such that the vinegar will fit half the bottle and water the remaining half.
- Add the mixture to the spray bottle
- Place the lid on the mouth of the spray bottle and tighten it well.
- To ensure your mixture is even, shake the bottle well
- Your spray is ready and you should now spray it on the infested areas.
Spray the infested areas
Consider spraying the mattress first so that you can put it outside exposing it to the sun. When spraying the mattress, ensure you spray the corners very well as bed bugs like hiding in such places. When spraying your furniture, ensure you reach all the hidden areas.
For proper spraying, you are advised to hold the spray bottle some inches away from the area of interest.
Give time for the vinegar to work before you can put all items back to the house. Spray again after a few days to ensure you have killed all the bed bugs. If any bed bug is left hiding, it will lay eggs which will hatch many more bed bugs.
You are also advised to wash your bed sheets and clothes suspected to have traces of bed bugs; with water containing vinegar. This ensures that nothing left in your house exposes you to a risk of further bed bug infestation.
Can you use Vinegar for Bed Bug Bites?
Vinegar can be used for getting rid of bed bugs as well as treating bed bug bites. After bed bugs bite you, you are likely to experience itching. Such intense itching can be treated easily using apple cider vinegar. It is the low pH in the vinegar that is good in treating itchiness.
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties and it also contains acetic acid. This explains further why apple cider vinegar is used to reduce the itch and burning that comes with bug bites. The following guidelines will be useful.
Apple cider vinegar is made from the apple fruit. Below is a guideline on how to use apple cider vinegar for itching;
- Unfiltered Apple cider vinegar
- Cotton ball
- Dip the cotton ball into unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- Rub the cotton ball gently on the affected area
- Leave the skin with the vinegar on its surface for some time then rinse it
- Repeat the procedure at least three times in a day for faster results.
Which is the Best Vinegar for Bed Bugs &Bites
Getting rid of bed bugs is quite different from getting rid of bed bug bites. You must therefore be careful on which type of vinegar you choose to treat each of them. This is because different types of vinegar work differently.
The best type of vinegar for getting rid of bed bugs is white vinegar. It is a powerful type of vinegar which kills bed bugs as soon as they come into contact with it.
You can either spray the white vinegar on the bed bugs or you can drain the bed bugs in white vinegar. In such a case, you will be required to dip washcloths into a bowl with white vinegar then apply it on the areas infested with bed bugs.
Bed bug bites on the other hand are best treated using apple cider vinegar. This is the vinegar obtained from the apple fruit.
Bed bugs leave your skin very itchy and that causes a lot of discomfort on your skin. Apple cider vinegar reduces the irritation on the skin when applied on the affected skin.
However, for the best results you are required to use unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
Pros and cons of using Vinegar
There are advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons) of using vinegar to kill bed bugs as discussed below.
- It works very fast. As soon as the vinegar gets into contact with the bed bugs, they die.
- Vinegar has an acidic content that disrupts the nervous system of the bed bugs leaving them dead.
- Vinegar is easily available. You can find it in almost all your nearby stores.
- Also known as acetic acid, vinegar has a low pH and it is very cheap.
- It can be used in any homes even those with children.
- It is safe for use near your pets such as cats and dogs.
- It is a safe method for killing bed bugs since it does not expose anyone to toxic chemicals.
- Vinegar is easy to use and you will not need any skills to use it to kill bed bugs
- Vinegar has a bad smell that lasts for a very long time. This may make it uncomfortable for you to stay in the house after spraying it.
- Sometimes, vinegar pushes the bed bugs into hiding instead of killing them. This makes it less effective.
- When the infestation is major, vinegar may only have a small effect. In other words, the vinegar is only effective for a small population of bed bugs.
- When vinegar is mixed with bleach, a dangerous gas is produced and it may be harmful to humans.
- In the case where vinegar is mixed with baking soda, it may turn out to be explosive.
- In some cases, vinegar has a toxic effect on some pets which are reptilian.
- The low pH of vinegar may damage some types of furniture. This limits the amount of vinegar that you use, yet, for its effectiveness; you need to spray it in adequate amounts; severally in a day.
- Vinegar does not kill all the bed bugs and it also leaves their eggs in good condition. This means that vinegar may only serve as a temporary solution for killing bed bugs. The eggs when not done away with will eventually hatch.
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