Bed bugs are difficult creatures to kill. They can even survive through bombs that are made specially for them. But there is a growing number of homeowners who use ammonia to get rid of them. This chemical’s strong composition is said to be effective enough to eradicate this pest instantly.
So is this all true? Does ammonia kill bed bugs? Is it an effective solution or a desperate band-aid for a deep deep problem?
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Can ammonia get rid of bed bugs?
Ammonia is made from nitrogen and hydrogen. It has many uses which includes fertilizing, fermenting foods, killing bacteria and cleaning. As a cleaning agent, we use it in the kitchen and in the bathroom almost constantly because it can get rid of grime and other tough stains. With this in thought, it’s believed that since ammonia is toxic enough as a cleaner, it can maybe kill tough bed bugs.
The answer to this is yes. But there’s a catch. Just like bleach, of course, anything that strong can kill a lowly insect through direct contact and drowning. The bed bugs won’t stand a chance if they’re heavily exposed to it. However, if you’re going to spray ammonia that’s too diluted with water, a lot of bed bugs will inevitably survive. The same goes for spraying ammonia to a incredibly infested room, one that’s filled-to-the-brim with the bugs. You can’t very well flood an entire room with gallons of ammonia, can you?
So how is it used?
To use ammonia to kill blood-sucking bed bugs, remember the following things:
- First, dilute the right amount with water. Keep it balanced to make your spray potent. Some may recommend mixing 1 part ammonia to 7 parts water is enough. But you can change this according to your preference or to your experience.
- Next, mix alcohol into the solution. You can have this following that same amount with the ammonia.
- Spray generously. Don’t hold anything back. Make sure that every nook and cranny is sprayed with the solution. To know where to look for bed bugs, head on to our post here.
- Open windows. The fumes from the spray can affect your health, make sure to crack open a window or two.
- Pure ammonia is different from a cleaner with ammonia. They may seem like they’re the same, but some cleaners have less ammonia in them. So they may be less effective.
- Wash the bed sheets the right way. Obviously, you won’t be spraying your bed with ammonia. So you’ll have to wash it with the hottest temperature available. If it’s white, add bleach. Repeat this process several times to make sure that no bed bug survives.
- It can damage your rugs and carpets. Ammonia will damage wool carpets and rugs. Additionally, hitting synthetic carpets with the solution will promote its deterioration. So remove the carpets and have them cleaned by your local professionals.
- Be careful. Ammonia may not be especially dangerous and volatile, but it does have some hazardous properties which brings us to the next most important detail on this post.
Is it dangerous?
Ammonia can be dangerous is if it’s not handled well. That is, if it’s added to the wrong solution- bleach.
Ammonia will produce a toxic fume when mixed with bleach. The gas produced is what’s known as a chloramine vapor. When inhaled, it will irritate your lungs and give you severe chest pains. It will also sting your eyes, cause burning sensations on your nose and throat and induce nausea.
Other than those things, ammonia can be handled with general ease, again, as long as it’s mixed with the right ingredients. And as always, when dealing with chemical pest control, don’t forget to wear gloves, goggles and a mask to protect yourself from anything that might cause you harm.
If you’re not completely sold on using ammonia to get rid of your bed bug problem, then consider using other methods. DIY natural ones, for example, can be equally or even more effective as a pest killer. On the plus side, they won’t be dangerous to you and your family.
Check out our post here for a list of all the bed-bug-free tips and tricks that you can do at home. For more details on bed bugs and how they can affect your family, check out our list of highly informative posts here.
So generally, does ammonia kill bed bugs? Of course it will. It can absolutely kill all kinds of pests. But the question remains on how effective it would be, and that will only depend on how well it’s mixed with the correct solutions and if it’s applied the right way.