Can you use Vodka to get rid of Bed Bugs?

vodka to kill or repel bed bugs

In this article, we will answer the question: Can you use vodka to get rid of bed bugs?
In the battle against bed bugs, people often seek unconventional remedies, and one such remedy that has gained attention is vodka.

While vodka may seem like a simple and accessible solution, it’s important to understand the facts and limitations before relying on it for bed bug control.

Let’s explore together the relationship between bed bugs and vodka, examining whether this popular alcoholic beverage can truly help eliminate these resilient pests.


What is Vodka?

Vodka is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is typically colorless, flavorless, and odorless. It is one of the most popular and widely consumed spirits worldwide. Vodka is made through a process of distilling fermented grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits or sugar.

The distillation removes impurities and increases the alcohol percentage. Vodka has a high alcohol content, usually ranging from 35% to 50% ABV (alcohol by volume), although variations exist.

People commonly use it as a base spirit in cocktails, mixed drinks, and as a straight beverage. Vodka holds a significant historical and cultural importance in countries like Russia and Poland, where its production spans centuries.


Can you use Vodka to get rid of Bed Bugs?

Yes, vodka can be used as a potential method to help get rid of bed bugs. Vodka contains a high alcohol content, which can have insecticidal properties and kill them on contact.

By spraying vodka directly on bed bugs and their hiding spots, it may help to eliminate them. However, it’s important to note that using vodka alone may not completely eradicate an infestation.


Can Vodka repel Bed Bugs?

Vodka does not have a reputation for being an effective bed bug repellent. Although it contains alcohol, which possesses some insecticidal properties, it is not specifically designed or tested as a bed bug repellent.

These pests primarily seek out carbon dioxide and body heat, rather than being repelled by specific substances.

Another home remedy that could repel bed bugs is vinegar, to learn more check our article on Vinegar and Bed Bugs.


How to use Vodka for Bed Bugs

If you wish to using vodka, here are some general steps that people have suggested:

  • Fill a spray bottle: Pour vodka into a spray bottle. The concentration of alcohol can vary, but higher concentrations (above 60% ABV) are generally recommended.
  • Identify infested areas: Locate areas where these insects are present, such as mattress seams, cracks, crevices, and furniture joints. Thoroughly inspect the affected areas.
  • Spray directly: Spray the vodka directly on the bed bugs, paying attention to their hiding spots. The aim is to make direct contact with the insects.
  • Repeat application: Repeat the spraying process as needed. They are resilient, so multiple applications may be necessary.


Is Vodka safe to use on mattresses and sleeping surfaces?

Vodka is generally safe to use on mattresses and sleeping surfaces, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

Material compatibility: Vodka may have varying effects on different types of materials. It’s important to test a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress or sleeping surface first to ensure that the spirit does not cause any discoloration, damage, or other adverse reactions.

Drying time: Alcohol evaporates quickly, so after applying vodka to a mattress or sleeping surface. You should allow sufficient time for it to completely dry before using the bed. This helps avoid any potential skin irritation or inhalation of alcohol vapors.

Residue and cleanliness: Vodka may leave behind a residue after drying, which could be unpleasant or uncomfortable. If you choose to use vodka on mattresses, it’s advisable to clean and sanitize the mattress afterward to remove any remaining residue.


Which Alcohol is best for Bed Bugs?

When it comes to using alcohol for bed bug control, the specific type of alcohol is not as important as the concentration of alcohol. They are more susceptible to higher concentrations of alcohol.

Therefore, if you decide to use alcohol. Then it is generally recommended to use a high-proof alcohol with a concentration of at least 60% to 90% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Common types of alcohol for bed bug treatment include:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol): Isopropyl alcohol with a concentration of 60% to 90% ABV usually has disinfection purposes and can be effective against these pests.
  • Ethanol: Ethanol, which is found in various types of alcoholic beverages, can also be used. However, it is important to note that using alcoholic beverages like wine or beer may not be practical due to their lower alcohol content.


Regardless of the type of alcohol you choose, it is essential to exercise caution and follow safety guidelines when using any alcohol-based product.


Will Bed Bugs bite me if I drink alcohol?

Drinking alcohol does not directly repel bed bugs or prevent them from biting you. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide and body heat emitted, which are not influenced by alcohol consumption. Therefore, consuming alcohol does not provide any guarantee that they will not bite you.

They are nocturnal pests that feed on blood and are attracted to their human hosts regardless of alcohol consumption.


Can you use Vodka on clothing and fabric to kill Bed Bugs?

We do not recommend using alcohol on clothing and fabric to kill bed bugs. While alcohol has some insecticidal properties and can kill them on contact. It may not however effectively reach and eliminate all the bugs hiding within the fabric. They can hide in the seams, folds, and crevices of clothing and fabric items. Which can make it difficult for alcohol to penetrate and reach them all.

Instead of relying solely on alcohol, it is more effective to focus on other methods for treating infested clothing and fabric items, such as:

  • Washing and drying: Launder the infested clothing and fabric items in hot water (at least 120°F or 49°C) and then dry them on high heat. This process can help kill bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Dry cleaning: If suitable for the specific fabric, you can opt for professional dry-cleaning services to eliminate these insects.
  • Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to thoroughly vacuum the clothing and fabric items, paying attention to seams, folds, and crevices where they may hide.
  • Bagging and isolation: After treating the clothing and fabric items, seal them in plastic bags or place them in sealed containers to prevent re-infestation. Keep them isolated until the infestation is fully resolved. (source)



In this article, we answered the question: Can you use vodka to get rid of bed bugs?
While some individuals promote vodka as a do-it-yourself solution for bed bug control, it is essential to approach it with caution. The effectiveness of vodka in eradicating bed bugs lacks scientific evidence.

Although vodka possesses some insecticidal properties, it is not a reliable or proven method for eliminating these pests. Its ability to eradicate bed bugs may be limited, especially when compared to professional-grade insecticides.

To have information regarding the best insecticide available for eliminating bed bugs, you can consult our Bed Bugs Spray Buying Guide.