Can Hand Sanitizer Kill Bed Bugs? Answered

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Alene Schill

If you have a bed bug infestation in your household, you may have considered using hand sanitizer as a means of eliminating them. However, the important question is: can hand sanitizer effectively kill bed bugs?

These annoying tiny pests are tough and smart, and they reproduce quickly. If you want to eliminate them immediately, let’s see if hand sanitizer can do the job. 

Hand Sanitizer Can Kill Bed Bugs: Fact or Myth? 

hand sanitizer gel pump dispenser

There’s no guarantee that hand sanitizers can kill bed bugs. Although a hand sanitizer with a high concentration of alcohol can be effective, it cannot be 100% effective against bed bugs.

Most commonly, rubbing alcohol has a concentration of around 70% to 91%, which is the most lethal for these pests. To get the best effect, you’ll have to use it right on the bug, and it won’t have any residual effect after a few minutes.

In short, hand sanitizers can help kill bed bugs but not totally. 

Sanitizer as Bed Bug Killer

It Needs Direct Application on Bed Bugs

To kill bed bugs using a hand sanitizer, you need to directly apply it to bed bugs. While hand sanitizer can kill bed bugs, it’s not 100% effective at preventing them from hiding in various parts of your home. 

For instance, it can’t be applied to all of the places that are commonly used by bedbug carriers, such as the walls, electrical outlets, and joints of furniture and walls. But does Lysol kill bed bugs?

It Cannot Treat Bed Bug Infestation.

While applying hand sanitizer [1] before bed can help prevent bed bugs from biting you, it will not stop them from returning the next day. 

Most of the solution will evaporate or rub off the bed sheets, allowing the pests to feed afterward.

So, to stop bed bugs from biting you, you need to consistently apply the sanitizer. 

But it doesn’t mean that the infestation will stop. Bed bugs can still linger in your bed or clothes, allowing them to bite you when the situation allows them. But can baking soda eliminate bed bugs?

It is Not Recommended for Furniture Treatment

Hand sanitizer is not recommended for use to treat various objects or rooms, such as furniture and clothes, as it can cause unpleasant and potentially hazardous smells. 

Once you use a hand sanitizer to apply on your furniture or where bed bugs possibly hide, it may leave a stain and unwanted odor, which is not good for your things at home. Find out if baby powder can kill bed bugs here.


Do bed bugs hate hand sanitizer?

Yes, bed bugs hate hand sanitizer, especially if it contains isopropyl alcohol, which is lethal for bed bugs. But, even though hand sanitizers contain isopropyl alcohol, it does not guarantee their total effectiveness. 

How long do bed bugs last in hand sanitizer?

Bed bugs are usually killed instantly when you spray or apply hand sanitizers to them. However, you need to directly apply hand sanitizer to them for it to be effective.

Final Thoughts

Yes, hand sanitizer can kill bed bugs. But, if you’re going to use it, apply it directly to the bed bug. You’ll have to spend more time walking around your room carrying a hand sanitizer to kill them all. 

Also, there will be bed bugs hidden out of sight, so you might miss them. 

And even though hand sanitizer can kill bed bugs, it will no longer be effective once it dries up. Besides, it may leave an unwanted smell around your house and, worse, be a fire hazard.  



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