Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs?

Apple Cider Vinegar can kill bed bugs

Bed bugs are spreading, mostly taking advantage of returning travelers. The number of those bloodsuckers is on the rise across the world. If no fast treatment is undertaken when these pests are discovered, it is a safe bet that they will multiply until they reach an incalculable number. Faced with such an aggravating issue, it is likely that bed bugs will develop other adaptive capacities, and this is what they are already doing.

To fight against these pests, many home remedies solutions are available to individuals, including the use of vinegar. In this article we will answer the question : Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs ?

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is given different names. It is indeed sometimes called alcohol vinegar, ethanol one or crystal one.

You probably didn’t know it, but this colorless liquid consists of water and acetic acid which, most of the time, is obtained from beet sugar. The percentage that does not exceed 10% indicates the acidity level and not the degree of alcohol of it.

Although it gives off a strong smell, it is non-toxic and non-polluting. You can use it alone or diluted in water or another liquid. And unlike some categories of household products that spread volatile organic compounds, it does not pollute the air.

Most homes have a bottle of it in a cupboard in their kitchen or bathroom. It is a mixture of water and acetic acid at 8 to 10%. And is often used as a household product. You can use it, for example, to clean appliances such as a kettle. You can find white vinegar or alcohol one, or many other sorts of vinegars in all stores and supermarkets, for an often very affordable price.

Here are some of the different types of Vinegar most commonly found :

  • White Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coconut Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Champagne Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Cane Vinegar
  • Malt Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar


The acetic composition of vinegar allows it multiple uses. It deodorizes, degreases, descales, detaches, softens linen and disinfects. It is also very effective against certain harmful insects, including the awful bed bugs.


Benefits of Using Vinegar against Bed bugs

On top of being readily available, cheap and a natural product, the use of vinegar as a natural insecticide against bed bugs will be beneficial and recommended :

  • For families with children
  • For families in which some of the members are extremely allergic to chemical insecticides
  • If you cannot leave the house during disinfection
  • If you are raising pets inside your home


It is true that it is safe for humans, but with a concentration higher than 9%, acetic vapor poisoning can occur. So follow instructions written on the label of the product you are using for a safe use.


Does Vinegar kill Bed bugs?

The essence of vinegar is powerful enough to corrode the tissues of these insects, which will inexorably lead to their death. It will kill bed bugs only if you immerse them in it for a long time. So you cannot count only on it to get rid of bed bugs, as it would be very difficult to immerse all those critters in a room with the acetic solution.

Another household product that can be used for those invaders is Rubbing Alcohol. To learn more, you can check our article about Rubbing alcohol and Bed bugs.


Does Vinegar kill Bed bug Eggs?

Vinegar does not kill bed bug eggs. Eggs are often found in cracks and crevices that are hard to reach with a liquid solution. And it can be effective only on contact.

Bed bug Eggs also have a outer shell that protect them from the dehydrating properties from Vinegar


Does Vinegar Repel Bed bugs?

Yes, Vinegar is a bed bug repellent. He drives them away with his scent.

Bed bugs are very sensitive to acetic acid. By spraying the mattress and personal effects with vinegar, they will leave them to settle elsewhere. They will only return when the smell of it has dissipated. The effectiveness of this treatment therefore depends on the quality and concentration of the acetic solution. If you use it properly, you will say goodbye to nighttime bleeding for at least a few months.

Another home remedy talked about to repel these insects is Lemon Juice. To learn more details , you can check our article on Bed bugs and Lemon Juice.


How to use Vinegar against Bed bugs?

In order to optimize the effectiveness of vinegar against bed bugs, We recommend you to do a deep cleaning of the infested room before application. Pick up dust, clean the floor, wash your sheets on high heat modes if possible. The vapors of it will thus have a better chance of reaching the invaders.

The best way to use vinegar against bed bugs is to spread it in the different places where they are likely to nest or move around. First, you can spray it around any cracks or crevices in your bedroom near your bed. This is where they most often make their home. It is also possible to put them on your bed legs, to deter insects from passing through to feed on you when you sleep.

In addition, once you apply the remedy to strategic places, do not hesitate to ventilate the room for an hour or two. This will not affect the effectiveness of the product, but will decrease partly  the acetic smell from it.

Faced with those invaders, there are many other home remedies that have proven their effectiveness. Exposure to extreme temperatures, for example, can do wonders against bed bugs. Washing your bed linen at 158°F  (70°C)  will rid them of both adults and eggs that are attached to them. In the same way, putting them in the freezer for a few days will not give their hosts any chance of survival. But these methods won’t work on bed bug nests scattered throughout your home.


DIY Bed Bug spray with Vinegar

You can use Vinegar to make a DIY bed bug spray.

For this you should :

  • Mix in a spray bottle Vinegar and water with a ratio of 1:1
  • Add a few drops of essential oils. The 5 essential oils to use for those pests are: lemongrass, mint, tea tree, clove and lavender
  • Shake and mix the spray bottle before application
  • Spray the solution around the cracks and crevices around your bed and in the seams of the infested mattress.


This DIY bed bug spray may have medium effectiveness on Bed bugs may require multiple applications to see results.  This is why in some cases the use of an insecticide specifically designed to kill bed bugs is necessary to win this battle. If you are interested you can have a look at our Best Bed bugs Sprays Buying Guide.



In the article we saw that Vinegar does not kill bed bugs. However you can use it as a repellent.  There are also other natural options which act as an insecticide and which you can spray or apply almost everywhere in your home: walls, floor, bed base, bedside tables… For example, diatomaceous earth, which is a real poison for many invasive insects, especially bed bugs. But other more common products can also play a role in your pest control. Bleach or baking soda will help you, as will vinegar.