When bed bugs multiply, it’s hard to stop them. In most situations, it’s a better idea to leave this problem to professional exterminators.
However, if you like taking responsibility for your home. You can definitely go the DIY route, if you’re willing to put in a little more work, and can compromise on less than perfect results.
Wintergreen Alcohol is among many DIY solutions that have some effect on bed bugs. It’s one of the most common variants of rubbing alcohol that is used to kill bed bugs. The other one is isopropyl alcohol.
But is wintergreen alcohol effective in killing bed bugs?
Is it even worth it? Let’s find out .
What is Wintergreen Alcohol
Wintergreen is also a form of rubbing alcohol, just like isopropyl alcohol.
It uses the same form of alcohol as Isopropyl with a few additives. Wintergreen oil is an essential oil derived from the leaves of wintergreen plants.
Like other essential oils, wintergreen oil has many health benefits and can heal with its smell.
Traditionally, isopropyl alcohol comes with an odd smell. Many people describe it to be similar to vinegar. Mixing the killing agent (alcohol) with the soothing smell of Wintergreen oil can save you from an unpleasant house.
Since it uses the same composition of alcohol, it has a similar effectiveness rate of bed killing bugs just as isopropyl alcohol.
What is wintergreen alcohol used for?
Disinfectant: Wintergreen alcohol is used as a disinfectant for cuts and wounds. It is commonly used in the health industry and personal care. You can use a cotton bud soaked in wintergreen alcohol to disinfect wounds in the skin.
Cleaning agent: Wintergreen alcohol is also a great cleaning agent. You can use it to clean jewelry, or even kitchen sinks. If your jewelry has lost its glow and radiance. Try mixing wintergreen alcohol with 50% or above concentration with water., and leave your jewelry in the solution for 5-10 minutes.
As a Deodorizer: Wintergreen alcohol is an amazing deodorizer for your home. Wintergreen being an essential oil, has an amazing aroma with therapeutic benefits. You can spray it to kill bed bugs as well as remove bad odor in your home. You can also use it to kill the bad smell in your shoes. It totally depends how creative you get with it.
Where to buy wintergreen alcohol
Wintergreen alcohol is used in a range of industries. You can find it in different household items like sanitizers, cleaning products and more.
If you would like to buy the purest form of wintergreen alcohol. You can get some from your local pharmacy or store or you can simply order it on amazon. It is readily available in all stores across the US, and you don’t need a medical prescription to get it.
Does Wintergreen Alcohol kill bed bugs?
Wintergreen Alcohol has the same potential of killing bed bugs just like Isopropyl alcohol or any other rubbing alcohol. These can get rid of bed bugs when you manage to spray solution directly on the bed bugs. Which is a difficult task, because you won’t find most bed bugs roaming around in daylight.
Even on direct contact, the kill ratio of bed bugs is minimal. Many studies researching the efficacy of rubbing alcohol on bed bugs concluded less than 50% mortality rate for bed bugs within 24 hours.
The efficacy declines even further when bed bugs don’t get in direct contact with the solution. Remember, alcohol evaporates readily into the air. Any solution sprayed does not stay there forever. Which is why the mortality rate of bed bugs for indirect contact was around 15% in this study.
Both of the scenarios above are not efficient to eradicate bed bugs completely in the house. But if you’re just looking for a way to break the strength of bed bugs infestation until you can get professional help.
Then wintergreen alcohol can definitely help you out.
How do you use wintergreen alcohol to kill bed bugs?
You can use a simple spray bottle to use wintergreen alcohol. Just mix water with wintergreen alcohol with a 50-50 ratio. You can increase the concentration of wintergreen alcohol depending on how strong you want the solution to be.
Higher alcohol concentration kills more bed bugs. Spray the solution all over bed bug hideouts. Try your best to spray this directly in bed bug hideouts, because spraying on other places in hope of indirect contact with the bed bugs would not deliver considerable results.
Also, be really cautious when using any kind of rubbing alcohol in your home. It is highly flammable and can easily set the object or house on fire when exposed to minimal flame such as a candle.
Wintergreen Alcohol evaporates quickly in the air depending on how high the concentration is. But alcohol vapors are still flammable in the air and can roam around in the environment for quite a while.
Read More: Bed Bug Heat Treatment Effectiveness
Is rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer the same?
No, rubbing alcohol is not meant to be used as a hand sanitizer. Both products are created with a different vision in focus. Although, it has some properties that can disinfect and kill microbes.It is a denatured form of ethanol with high levels of additives which makes it poisonous.
It can also completely dry out your skin with regular use. Purest forms of rubbing alcohol will come with a foul odour that is not pleasant on the skin.
On the other hand, hand sanitizers are just diluted alcohol that you can safely use on the skin. Hand sanitizers have glycerin to help retain the moisture of the skin for longer periods of time. Hand sanitizers come in the form of gels or liquids. Unlike soap and water, hand sanitizers are not effective in removing chemicals from hands.
Which is why washing hands with soap and water is much preferred.
How to make DIY Wintergreen Alcohol to kill Bed Bugs
You can make your DIY wintergreen alcohol in no time at your home. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Wintergreen Oil
Find yourself a glass jar with a lid. A mason jar would work great for this recipe. Add in 6 oz of water, 6 oz of isopropyl alcohol and 2 oz of wintergreen oil in the jar.
Seal the cap, and shake all 3 ingredients well before using. That’s it!
You just made wintergreen alcohol. Be sure to shake the jar well before applying it on bed bugs.
Health Benefits of Wintergreen Oil
Wintergreen oil smells great and has a lot of therapeutic benefits for the human body. It’s main use in the medical industry is to get relief from different ailments. Here are some of the most common benefits of wintergreen oil for the human body.
Anti-inflammatory Properties: Wintergreen oil resembles aspirin in its contents. It has methyl salicylate which has anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a great topical pain reliever for patients.
In traditional medicine, wintergreen oil is used for the following conditions:
- Skin conditions
- Bacterial infections
- Tooth decay
In Insecticides: Wintergreen oil was also found useful in treating insects. According to research, the efficacy of wintergreen oil was much higher as an insecticide rather than a repellant.
In Dental Products: A 2013 study by the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the effects of methyl silicate found in wintergreen oil in dental products such as mouth rinses, washes and sprays.
The study found that methyl silicate combined with some additional ingredients can help fight bacteria in the mouth.
NOTE: Do not ever swallow wintergreen oil. It can be toxic and cause allergic reactions. People who are allergic to aspirin should be more careful using this product. A single tablespoon of wintergreen oil equals to 90 baby aspirin tablets.
Methyl silicate in wintergreen oil can also be absorbed through skin.So be careful applying this product topically. Always use an essential oil after diluting it in a carrier oil first.
While a good number of studies do accept medical benefits of wintergreen oil. The FDA does not guarantee the quality of purity of the product being formulated. Make sure you consult with your health provider before applying wintergreen oil on your skin. Try to do your best research when picking out a brand online. Go through online reviews on the store and check for customer reviews on the web.
If you have sensitive skin, or have had allergic reactions to particular oils in the past. Make sure to patch test new essential oils before using them on the skin.
Wintergreen alcohol has the same properties of rubbing alcohol as Isopropyl alcohol. They don’t differ in the ability to kill bed bugs. However, if you cannot stand the foul odor of Isopropyl alcohol in your home.
You can buy wintergreen alcohol to get a nice aromatherapy vibe in your home while you kill bed bugs in the process.
When using any of these products as a DIY bed bug extermination method. Keep in mind, the results will not be enough to completely get rid of bed bugs. But it can definitely help with the severity of the problem.
Also, a high level of caution is recommended when using alcohol products. Since these are extremely flammable.