What Kills Bed Bugs Instantly? A List of 12 Things

What kills bed bugs instantly? There are a few products and tools that can help. However, bed bugs are not easy to eradicate; most pest control professionals describe them as one of the more difficult pests to manage. Some of this is due to their resistance to pesticides. Plus, the ability to hide and lay low during the day.

When learning how to eradicate bed bugs, you’ll need first to understand their behavior and lifecycle. We aim to help you learn how to get rid of bed bugs fast!

Tips on how to find bed bugs during the day are here. Learning where bed bugs hide will help you figure out how to kill them. Once you know about the types of places they prefer to live, you’ll be one step closer to how to get rid of bed bugs fast.

Learn all about the bed bug life stages here. To get rid of bed bugs, you’ll have to also deal with the eggs and nymphs. Keep in mind that heat instantly kills bed bug eggs, but many other methods are not as easy.

So, what kills bed bugs instantly? Here is a list of 12 things that can help you get rid of these pests:

What Kills Bed Bugs Instantly? – 12 Ideas to Help You Kill a Bed Bug

Like most people, you probably don’t want to think about bed bugs. For many people, the thought of getting bed bugs is their worst nightmare.

what kills bed bugs instantly

But if you’re one of the lucky few who haven’t yet been affected by a bed bug infestation, it’s essential to know how to kill bed bugs quickly and effectively if the need arises.

Heat (#1 for What Kills Bed Bugs Instantly?)

Does it kill eggs?

Yes, heat will kill bed bug eggs.

You can use heat to kill bed bugs, but there are things to consider. You’ll need to think about the temperature and exposure time. According to Dini Miller, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, 120°F will kill all life stages of bed bugs.

There are many methods of heat treatment:

Bed Bug Heater (Will Kill Bed Bugs Instantly)

Does it kill eggs?

Yes, a bed bug oven will kill bed bug eggs.

You can use a closed bed bug heating system (a bed bug oven) like a ZappBug or Thermal Strike, which will allow you to heat-treat clothing, books, objects, luggage, and many other items. So what do bed bugs hate?

Heat is one thing that they don’t like. The oven is a safe and effective for treating infested items. I love the peace of mind they give me; anytime I go on a trip, I place my luggage into the machine upon arriving home.

ThermalStrike Ranger Bed Bug Heater | 100% to Reach Lethal Temperature | Used by Professionals and Homeowners | Effective Against Moths, Carpet Beetles and Lice.
  • [Lethal Heating System] ThermalStrike uses a patented six-sided heating system that surrounds and destroys bed bugs, carpet beetles, moths, and other insects – including eggs, larvae, and adults. Heat in excess of 120 degrees penetrates deep into cracks and small openings.
  • [Commercial Grade Construction] A fully sealed inner liner constructed of hospital grade heating pad material traps the bugs inside the unit. Additional layers of insulation keeps the heat inside the Ranger to minimize electrical power draw while seven thermostats continually monitor and control the heating system.
  • [Easy to Load and Operate] Place luggage directly into the unit or load the Ranger like a laundry hamper. Heat comes from all sides and eliminates cold spots, so there is no moving air, motors, or moving parts which can break down. Items being treated can touch the interior walls.
  • [Ongoing Support] ThermalStrike Ranger has a one-year warranty, ongoing customer service, and quality materials and workmanship
  • [Everything You Need] Includes a built-in timer (two, four, and eight hour cycles) which turns the unit off and a thermometer which clips onto the front of the unit and shows the current and maximum temperature reached during a heat treatment. Based on a national average, a four-hour heating cycle costs less than 16 cents.

Dryer (Will Kill Bed Bugs Instantly)

Does it kill eggs?

Yes, a dryer on the hottest setting will kill bed bug eggs.

If you are washing clothes with bed bugs, it’s essential to realize that the washer does not kill the bugs, but the dryer does. Most regular dryers will kill bed bugs in high-heat settings.

You’ll have to run the dryer for two 90-minute cycles if the clothing is wet. On the other hand, if you just put your dry clothes into the dryer, you can run it for a 30-minute cycle.

Whole House Heat Treatment

Does it kill eggs?

Yes, a whole house heat treatment will kill the bed bug eggs. Keep in mind that the heat needs to penetrate all areas of the house in order to be effective at killing eggs.

Some companies will heat treat your entire house. It’s important to consider that these heat treatment companies are only as effective as those monitoring temperature sensors. Clutter will make it harder!

Heat is an excellent method for killing bed bugs, but if the company setting up the machines misses something, you’ll be at risk of a bed bug escaping.

Vikane Fumigation

Does it kill eggs?

Yes, sulfuryl fluoride will kill bed bug eggs.

Vikane fumigation uses sulfuryl fluoride in the form of containerized fumigation. It’s a great way to treat all your belongings inside a closed system like a fumigation truck.

Dr. Dini Miller says it’s one of the best ways to kill all life stages of bed bugs. Fumigation also allows you to kill bed bugs instantly, even those bugs that are resistant to chemicals.

Cold

Does it kill eggs?

Yes, if you use Cryonite, its liquid CO2 will have the ability to kill bed bug eggs.

Freezing methods like Cryonite can kill a bed bug on contact. Cryonite’s fast freezing properties of liquid CO2 eliminate bed bugs upon contact. However, placing items in the freezer is not as effective. Bed bugs do not tend to like the cold, so you will not find them in freezing temperatures.

A freezer is not as effective as Cryonite because the bug will drop in temperature slowly and steadily. The slow and steady drop in temperature can cause them to go into a dormant state and wake up from the freezing.

On the other hand, when you hire a professional pest company to do cryonite, the bug is being blasted with the cold temperature, which creates an internal shock to their system. The result is instant death. So, if you are wondering, What kills bed bugs instantly? Cryonite is one answer.

Vacuum

Does it kill eggs?

A vacuum can remove bed bug eggs. However, the bed bug eggs are sticky, so they may not all be picked up by the vacuum. You may need to use a tool to scrape the eggs off the surface before vacuuming them up.

The physical removal of bed bugs with a good vacuum cleaner for bed bugs is an essential part of any comprehensive treatment plan. It’s important to empty the vacuum after each use. A vacuum is also essential for cleaning up dead bed bugs after a bed bug treatment.

We recommend placing the vacuum into an airtight bin between vacuuming sessions if you are removing many bed bugs with a vacuum. A vacuum can kill bed bugs by physically removing them from the premises.

Directly Squashing the Bug

Does it kill eggs?

I do not think you can kill bed bug eggs by squashing them.

Directly squashing the bug is one of the most effective ways to kill a bed bug. While this may not be the most pleasant option, it can effectively kill the bug dead.

However, this method is not always possible because, more often than not, bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices away from sight. It’s not easy to find their hiding spots. But if you spot one, you can quickly kill it with an object, a tissue, or your hand.

Steam

Neat steamer for bed bugs showing the pointed nozzle.

Does it kill eggs?

Yes, steam is a great way to kill bed bug eggs.

What kills bed bugs instantly? Steam does (if applied correctly). Steam is an excellent tool for killing bed bugs instantly. If you use the steam correctly, the bed bugs will not be able to survive.

Steam is an excellent method to kill a bunch of bed bugs on contact quickly. The steam will kill the bed bugs by heating them to 120°F. We suggest hiring a professional bed bug specialist company to do the steaming for you.

However, check out our article below if you need to learn how to kill some bed bugs in contact with steam.

We evaluated and tested many steamers, and our number one choice for the best steamer for bed bugs is the DUPRAY NEAT.

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Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Powerful Multipurpose Portable Heavy Duty Steamer for Floors, Cars, Tiles, Grout Cleaning. Chemical Free, Disinfection, Wallpaper Removal for Home Use and More. Kills 99.99%* of Bacteria and Viruses.
  • STEAM CLEAN. DEGREASE. DEODORIZE. ANY SURFACE. BETTER.
  • POWERFUL STEAM CLEANER: up to 275°F/135°C. Best multi purpose steamer for home, cars and more.
  • HEAVY-DUTY & LARGE CAPACITY: Up to 50 minutes of cleaning time per fill up.
  • PERFECT FOR FLOOR CLEANING: use any regular towel or cloth, no need for expensive special pads!
  • 2-year Limited Warranty / Lifetime Warranty on steam cleaner boiler.

565 Plus

Does it kill eggs?

It may be able to dry out and kill some bed bug eggs; however, it is not practical for killing all of the eggs in your home.

This contact spray for bed bug control works similarly to Sterifab. According to the study done by Robin G. Todd, PhD BCE Director of Insect Control & Research on the Efficacy of Bed Bug Control Products, 565 Plus worked better than Sterifab at killing bed bugs on contact.

The study tested the effectiveness of many residual and non-residual products. 565 Plus will kill bed bugs on contact, but it is not a be-all, end-all solution for bed bug eradication. You must contact a pest control professional or read the label on any product before you use it.

EcoRaider/ EcoVenger Bed Bug Spray

Does it kill eggs?

While it may kill some eggs, I would not count on this product to kill 100% of the bed bug eggs.

With EcoRaider using essential oils like cedar, lemongrass, and cinnamon to kill bed bugs, it’s not 100% effective in real life. However, a 2013 study by Changlu Wang found that EcoRaider caused 100% mortality to bed bugs under laboratory conditions. 

To increase the effectiveness of EcoRaider/EcoVenger, you must hit the bed bug with the spray. So finding out the bed bug hiding places is essential.

91% Alcohol

Does it kill eggs?

Alcohol will dry up and kill some of the bed bug eggs, although I would not count on it to kill all of the eggs.

While rubbing alcohol might kill some bed bugs, its efficacy is not 100% plus its not safe. A study by Changlu Wang in 2013 found that when they sprayed groups of bed bugs with alcohol, half of them were still alive four days later.

Another problem with using rubbing alcohol to kill bed bugs is a fire hazard. Alcohol is flammable and causes fire. There was one case in Ohio where a woman sprayed alcohol in her apartment to kill bed bugs. In turn, she caused a fire that displaced many people, causing them to lose their homes.

We do not recommend anyone spray alcohol to kill bed bugs.

What Kills Bed Bugs Permanently?

Everything on our list above will kill bed bugs permanently, but some are better than others. Heat, Cryonite, Chemicals, essential oil-based sprays, and Aprehend are all effective methods for killing bed bugs.

You can also use a vacuum to physically remove bed bugs and use bed bug covers for mattresses and box springs to reduce the number of bugs that bite you.

What Kills Bed Bug Eggs Instantly?

Vikane gas, heat, steam, or cryonite will kill bed bug eggs instantly. Any other chemical method will only kill them over time. There are chemicals that will kill bed bug eggs, but the trick is that the chemical has to be able to drench the egg to be effective.

There are chemical mixtures that will kill bed bug eggs instantly, but it all depends on how resistant the colony of bed bugs is to the chemical you are applying.

In a study titled “Egg Hatch Rate and Nymphal Survival of the Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) After Exposure to Insecticide Sprays” by K. R. Hinson, E. P. Benson, P. A. Zungoli, W. C. Bridges, Jr., B. R. Ellis of bed bugs collected in Jersey City, NJ entomologists found that a “neonicotinoid/pyrethroid mix only allowed 13% of eggs to hatch, and killed 38% of nymphs after hatching.”

On the other hand, when the pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist mix was sprayed on the bed bug eggs, 84%of the eggs hatched, and 99% of the baby bed bugs survived.

How to Kill A Bed Bug At Home?

Follow these guidelines if you just found a bed bug and need tips on killing it at home.

Do you see the bed bug and where it’s hiding? You can kill it directly with your hand.

However, If the bed bug runs away from you, then use a contact killer labeled for bed bugs to kill it. You can also spray the bed bug with 91% alcohol but know that the alcohol is a fire hazard and will not kill 100% of the bed bugs. But it can be used in a pinch to quickly kill a bed bug.

If you don’t have any on hand, use a vacuum to do a deep crack and crevice vacuuming of the entire area where you saw the bug.

Next, call a bed bug professional because you may have an infestation and need help.

Home remedies won’t kill all the bed bugs, so we don’t recommend using them as your only treatment method. The best way to get rid of bed bugs is to call a professional.

What is a Fast Way to Kill Bed Bugs?

A fast, easy, and nontoxic way to kill bed bugs is using a vacuum. Even if the vacuum does not kill them all, you will at least be removing as many as you can from the area.

Please make sure to dispose of the vacuum contents and seal the vacuum in a bag for the time being. Otherwise, you can infest yourself repeatedly when the bed bugs crawl out of the vacuum.

Final Thoughts for What Kills Bed Bugs Instantly?

While some things can help kill bed bugs instantly, they are not easy to eliminate. Bed bug treatment usually requires a multi-pronged approach using pesticides, fungicides, heat treatments, and careful vacuuming.

If you think you have bedbugs, it’s best to call a pest control professional to assess the situation and create a plan to prevent them from returning.