Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs Permanently?

Bed BugsDoes Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs Permanently?

Does vinegar kill bed bugs?  If your looking for ways to effectively and naturally get rid of bed bugs in your place then this article is something that might give you an insight into the topic.

Vinegar is basically acetic acid that might be sold in its raw form or might have some flavorings added to it. The concentration of acid in vinegar is usually in the range of about 5% – 10% but you might find some stronger solutions in the market.

What is Vinegar? Understanding its Composition and Properties

Vinegar is an acidic solution made by fermenting alcohol-containing liquids, such as wine, beer, or cider. It is a common cooking ingredient and condiment used for flavoring, preserving, and pickling foods. The composition and properties of vinegar depending on the starting material, fermentation process, and final concentration of acetic acid.

a. Chemical Composition of Vinegar

Vinegar is a liquid that consists of acetic acid and water, with its acidity level typically ranging from 4% to 8%. It is produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria.

b. Common Uses and Functions

Vinegar is widely used for culinary purposes, cleaning, and as a natural remedy for various health issues. Its acidity makes it effective in breaking down grease, grime, and mineral deposits, as well as acting as a mild disinfectant.

Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs?

To answer the question in one word is not possible. Vinegar is known to repel bed bugs and kill some of them if they are directly exposed to the solution. However, the effectiveness of vinegar in killing bed bugs and getting rid of an entire infestation is yet to be proven.

How Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs? 

The acetic acid present in vinegar suffocates the bed bugs. White vinegar is a raw and natural form with the highest concentration of acetic acid. Mix one part of water with one part of vinegar and spray it on the areas where bugs are concentrated with eggs. After it dries steam vacuum the area to get rid of bugs properly.

Some pros of using vinegar are that it is cheap, natural, available, and safe to use. However, some cons are that it has a pungent odor, is not proven 100% effective, does not kill bugs’ eggs and the acid might damage furniture.

What Are The Effects of Vinegar on Bed Buds?

If vinegar is able to repel bed bugs, there has to be some reason why that happens.  The most sensible answer is that the acetic acid that is present in vinegar tends to suffocate the bugs.  Hence, as soon as vinegar is sprayed on an area, the bugs will run away. This does provide some relief for them.

The acetic acid in vinegar also has an effect on the central nervous system of the bugs.  Hence, the bugs that come in direct contact with vinegar are most likely due to the shock to their central nervous system.

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What Kind Of Vinegar Is Most Suited For Killing Bugs?

Ideal vinegar to kill bed bugs :

A variety of vinegar exists in the market today. Some have added flavorings while others may have added oils etc.

White vinegar has been recognized as being most effective against bed bugs. This is owing to the fact that it is a natural and raw form of vinegar and also contains the highest concentration of acetic acid.

Procedure To Use Vinegar To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

The following procedure can be followed if you want to try bed bug extermination using vinegar:

  • Locate the bed bug colonies and mark them for future reference. Use a flashlight or any other source of illumination to give you a good view.  Use a temporary marker or a good old piece of chalk to mark the areas with a maximum concentration of bed bugs.
  • Deep clean your house and preferably use a steam vacuum. This will help you get rid of some bugs that are not hidden and also their eggs and shells.
  • Prepare the solution. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water while making this solution.  You can measure both liquids to be certain about the concentration of the mixture. Fill a spray bottle with the solution and get ready. You may want to use gloves to protect your hands.
  • Get spraying. Spray your mattress and the areas surrounding your bed generously with this solution. Also, make sure that focus on the areas you had marked, previously.
  • Let the solution dry out and then steam vacuum the entire area to be doubly sure that you have gotten rid of all the eggs as well.

Pros And Cons Of Using Vinegar To Kill Bed Bugs

Pros Cons
It is a natural way to get rid of bed bugs. The pungent odor of vinegar may take a while to leave the house.
It is inexpensive. It is not proven to be 100% effective to kill bed bugs.
It is easily available If mixed with other ingredients like baking soda or bleach, vinegar may become toxic.
It is safe to use even with pets and children around Vinegar cannot affect the bed bug eggs.
No special skills are required to carry out this process The acidic properties of vinegar might damage furniture or other surfaces.


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Final Words

It can hence be concluded that vinegar does do a good job of repelling bed bugs. However, they might not be able to completely clear out an infestation even if used repeatedly.

If the infestation is particularly large, vinegar might be of no use at all, even when used in higher concentrations.

Since vinegar has no effect on the eggs of a bed bug, it is possible that an infestation might reoccur even after using the acidic solution.


Q: Can vinegar kill bed bugs permanently?

Ans: While vinegar may kill bed bugs on contact, it is unlikely to kill them permanently. Bed bugs are resilient pests that require professional treatment for complete elimination.

Q: How does vinegar kill bed bugs?

Ans: Vinegar’s acetic acid content can burn and dehydrate bed bugs on contact. However, it may not penetrate deep enough to kill bed bug eggs, which can hatch and lead to a re-infestation.

Q: Is vinegar effective in preventing bed bugs?

Ans: There is no evidence to suggest that vinegar can prevent bed bugs from infesting your home. Preventative measures, such as regularly inspecting and cleaning your bedding and furniture, are recommended.

Q: What are the disadvantages of using vinegar to kill bed bugs?

Ans: Vinegar may damage certain fabrics, carpets, and surfaces. Additionally, it is unlikely to kill bed bugs permanently and may give a false sense of security, delaying the need for professional treatment.

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