Does Ammonia Kill Bed Bugs?

If you have a problem with bed bugs in your home, you may be considering ammonia as a treatment. Not easy to spot, these pests are less than a quarter of an inch long and pale brown in color. Is ammonia a viable option, though? Let’s find out.


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What Is Ammonia?

Ammonia is a toxic chemical that has many uses, including to kill bed bugs. It will also kill any other insect that comes into contact with it. However, if you are looking for the best way to deal with bed bugs, other treatments may be safer and more effective. This chemical can damage the eyes and skin of anyone who is exposed to it.

does ammonia kill bed bugs

With that said, if you choose to use it, be very careful when applying it. You will need to wear rubber gloves and goggles and dilute the ammonia with water. Combine one cup of ammonia with seven cups of water, and mix well before use. Depending on your experience, this ratio can be adjusted to make your solution stronger or more diluted.

Note that the above mixture is recommended for laboratory use ammonia, which is usually around 35 percent ammonia. Household ammonia has already been diluted and contains between two and 10 percent of the chemical. This dilution is not strong enough to kill bed bugs.

Treating Bed Bugs With Ammonia

Carefully place the mixture in a spray bottle and ensure it is sealed well, to prevent any leaks. Spray the ammonia all over the mattress and along all the seams, behind and underneath the mattress, as well as on the floor around the bed. Take your time when spraying and make sure you cover every last square inch.

After spraying, leave the mattress to dry for at least 24 hours before using it again. It is important to wash all your bedding in the hottest wash cycle in your machine, too. This will help to ensure there are no bed bugs lurking in your bed sheets before you make your bed again. Carpets and other soft furnishings nearby may also be affected. In this case, they need to be treated, as well as the mattress.

Safety Tips When Using Ammonia

Never mix ammonia with bleach. Even though you may think this combination would do a great job at wiping out the bugs, this is a very dangerous cocktail. The ammonia and chlorine react with each other to create a poisonous substance called chloramine.

If you breathe in chloramine, it can cause respiratory distress and serious cold-like symptoms. You should seek immediate medical attention if this happens to you. It is also not a good idea to use bleach alone, as this can rot the fabric of the mattress.

Pros and Cons of Using Ammonia to Treat Bed Bugs

Using ammonia is a fairly effective solution, but you must make sure you get into all the places the bed bugs hide. The furniture being treated will not be usable for a day or so after treatment. Therefore, alternative sleeping arrangements should be considered.

When Do Bed Bugs Come Out

Ammonia is quite simple to use and not too costly, especially compared to using professional insecticides. Calling in a pest control company could run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

An extra bonus of having ammonia handy is that if you dilute it well, with plenty of water, then you can use it to treat bites and reduce the itchy feeling. Ammonia alters the pH of the skin around the bite and helps provide relief. To make your own anti-itch spray, I recommend mixing one part ammonia to at least eight parts water.

On the downside, ammonia is not the most powerful killer of bed bugs and some of them could survive the first treatment. Ammonia loses its potency very quickly, so if you are planning on using it, you will need to re-apply the spray often, until the bugs have vanished.

Final Thoughts

It is true that ammonia can kill bed bugs, as well as other insects. However, you have to be thorough and careful, when spraying. Re-apply frequently, to make sure you have killed them all. If the ammonia seems to lose its intended effect, check the ratio of your mix to ensure it’s powerful enough.

It takes some hands-on work that wouldn’t be necessary on your part if using a professional pest control company. Remember, when using ammonia to kill bed bugs, that it’s a toxic chemical. If you do use it, always be vigilant of who is in the room you’re spraying in, and where you leave the items to dry. Keep children and pets well away from the area.

My Favorite Bed Bug Treatment Products

My Favorite Bed Bug Treatment Products

Bed Bug Patrol Bed Bug Killer - 100% Natural, Non-Toxic, Environmentally Friendly, Family & Pet Safe 24oz

Bed Bug Patrol Bed Bug Killer - One of the best bed bug sprays that I've yet to personally use. Not only does it have a reported 100% kill rate against live bed bugs in controlled tests, but it's also child and pet friendly. This product can be used against both light and heavy infestations, and most importantly, it's laboratory tested and completely chemical-free.

Studies conducted using the treatment showed an impressive kill rate of 83% within just 30 minutes after application, and 98% within the first four hours, leading on to an eventual mortality rate of 100% over time.

Bed Bug Patrol Bed Bug Killer - 100% Natural, Non-Toxic, Environmentally Friendly, Family & Pet Safe 24oz

Queen (13-16 in. Deep) SureGuard Mattress Encasement - 100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic - Premium Zippered Six-Sided Cover - 10 Year Warranty

SureGuard Mattress Encasement - It's thick, durable, and is certain to help stop bed bugs of all sizes from getting to, or from, your mattress.

The protector prevents bed bug transportation by using SureSeal technology, and by using an extremely fine zipper that not even bed bug nymphs can impregnate.

Queen (13-16 in. Deep) SureGuard Mattress Encasement - 100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic - Premium Zippered Six-Sided Cover - 10 Year Warranty

Bed Bug Interceptors - 8 Pack | Bed Bug Blocker (Pro) Interceptor Traps (Black) | Eco Friendly Insect Trap for Bed Legs | No Chemicals or Pesticides | Killer, Detector, and Trap for Bed Bugs

In my experience, the best and most effective bed bug traps are usually the ones that are designed to work in the simplest of ways. I've used the Bed Bug Blocker Interceptor Traps extensively and I find they do the job better than any other trap I've tried. You also get a very generous 8 interceptors per pack.

Simply place them directly underneath the bed/table/chair legs you're trying to protect, and watch the bed bugs fall into the traps time and time again with no chance of escape.

K9King Bed Bug Interceptors 4 Pack Bed Bug Trap Black. Design Ensures no Talcum Powder or Additional Products Needed. Sleep Safe with The Bed Bug Traps

The ZappBug Oven 2

ZapBugg Bed Bug Heater - Specially designed to kill all stages in the bed bug life cycle, including eggs, without the need to purchase expensive pest control heat treatment solutions.

Simply place infested items into the ZappBug heater and it will automatically reach the all-important bed bug killing temperature, so you can be sure the items will come out free from all life stages of bed bug once the process is complete.

Small & XL versions are also available.

The ZappBug Oven 2

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I have used 90% alcohol and it seems to work quickly. I had to re apply after a week but it worked to kill them on contact. Then I followed up with the diatomaceous earth.

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