Does Ammonia Kill Bed Bugs?

Ammonia is one of the most effective natural remedies against bed bugs. In Fact, they can be commonly found in cleaning products used at homes, offices, and business establishments. They are strong cleaning agents that can create toxic fumes; even touching ammonia with your bare hands can leave your skin with sting and burning sensation.

>> Also read: Best Bed Bug Killer

Ammonia, when mixed with water, can form ammonium hydrochloride. A chemical that can easily corrode and eat the tissue of bed bugs as well as their eggs when they come into contact.

How do you use ammonia to kill bed bugs?

Ammonia is most effective when sprayed directly onto bed bugs and their eggs. The challenge would be to actually find them as their tiny and flat bodies can easily hide inside very small cracks and holes. As such, it is common for pest busters to apply ammonia concentrates into  nooks, crannies, and cracks of your room and mattress.

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To prepare you own, here’re what you need:

  • Ammonia in pure form – this is more commonly sold as a home cleaning product.
  • Spray bottle – preferably a new spray bottle. An old bottle may still have water or other chemicals inside the t, and this may interact with ammonia and release dangerous gases.
  • Water
  • Rubber working gloves
  • Magnifying glass
  • Fabric bags – resealable

How to kill bed bugs with Ammonia 

Step 1) Dilute the ammonia with water inside the spray bottle – Do take note to follow the directions stated on the product’s packaging. A higher concentration may cause damage to your furniture or mattress, and may also develop dangerous fumes which is harmful to the human body when inhaled. On the other hand, if the concentration is too low, it might not be strong enough to kill the bed bugs effectively.

>> Also read: Best Bed Bug Sprays

Step 2) Remove all linen and wash them – Remove mattress covers, blankets, bedsheets, pillowcases, and curtains within the room using warm water, soap and bleach. Leave them to dry under the sun or using a dryer.

Step 3) Improve airflow inside the room – Before starting application, open all windows and doors to allow airflow. This is important as ammonia may emit ammonium hydrochloride, and the smell and fumes can accumulate inside a room. 

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Step 4) Locate bed bugs hiding places – Inspect the entire room and locate all the areas, nooks, crannies, and cracks where bed bugs may hide. Use a magnifying lens or UV flashlights to check mattress lining, piping, and zippers. Look for bugs on bed frames, carpets, floor cracks, and curtains. Also read this post on How To Detect Bed Bugs.

Step 5) Begin Application – There’s no hard and fast rule here, simply start from one corder and work the entire room. Giving extra attention to the potential hide-outs identified in step 4.

>> Also Checkout: Best Bed Bug Detecting Products

Step 6) Block all possible escape areas – As soon as the application is completed, try to seal off all possible escape points like door cracks, windows, and flooring. 

Can you use ammonia to kill bed bug eggs?

Yes, ammonia works on both adult bed bugs and their eggs. Bed bugs can lay between 200 to 250 eggs in its lifetime, and these eggs hatch in just 6 days. Once they shed their skin five times, these are ready to mate and repeat the cycle.

>> Related: Best Bed Bug Powders

Final Thoughts

Depending on the severity of the bed bug infestation, ammonia itself may or may not be sufficient. Usually for more serious bed bug infestation cases, a chemical based bed bug killer would be more deadly and effective in eradicating the pesky pests.

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That said, if it’s the initial sighting of bed bugs or if the situation does not allow for use of chemical based bed bug products, then ammonia would be a great natural product against bed bugs.