What Kills Bedbugs Instantly: Things You Can Try at Home!

The thought of bedbugs crawling around your home is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. These pests are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerous, not to mention painstakingly itchy when they bite.

If you’re dealing with a bedbug infestation, you’re probably wondering what kills bedbugs instantly. Although they’re difficult to get rid of, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re impossible to kill.

High temperatures and steam, essential oils, alcohol, insecticide treatment, and some ultrasonic pest killers are known to be effective ways of killing bedbugs instantly.

what kills bedbugs instantly, bedbug in a mattress sheet

One of the most common challenges when it comes to bedbugs is that they’re great at hiding. They love to stay close to their food source (i.e., you), which means they often hide in cracks and crevices near your bed, making them difficult to spot – and even harder to reach when you’re trying to kill them.

While they’re not completely invisible to the naked eye, they’re tiny, making it difficult to find them.

If you’re not sure whether you have bedbugs, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for, such as spotting the bugs themselves, finding their shed skins or eggs, or noticing small brown stains on your sheets (this is their feces).

Things to Do Prior to Bedbug Treatment

Before we go ahead to the nitty gritty of killing these pests, it is important to do some preparation work in order to make the process as effective as possible.

Start by Decluttering

Nobody likes clutter, but when it comes to getting rid of bedbugs, it’s even more important to declutter your space as much as possible.

These pests love to hide in clothes, shoes, bags, and other items that are lying around your home – so the more stuff you have lying around, the more places they have to hide.

Wash and Dry all of Your Clothes

Once you’ve decluttered your space, it’s time to wash and dry all of your clothes, bedding, and towels – anything that can go in the washing machine, really. Make sure to wash them on a hot cycle and put them in the dryer on a high heat setting as well.

This step is important because before we even get to finding and killing the bedbugs, we need to make sure that there are as few of them around as possible.

By washing and drying all of your clothes, you’ll remove any bedbugs that might be hiding in them, as well as their eggs.

Vacuum Thoroughly

The next step is to vacuum your entire home – yes, even if you don’t think there are any bedbugs in a particular room. These pests can hide anywhere, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Make sure to vacuum all of your carpets, rugs, furniture, and any other fabric surfaces in your home.

If you have hardwood floors, vacuum them as well. Once you’re done, Empty the vacuum cleaner immediately – bedbugs could easily crawl back out if you leave them in there.

carpet vacuuming

5 of the Best Ways to Kill Bedbugs Instantly

Now that we’ve gone over some of the preliminary steps, it’s time to get to the good stuff – killing the bedbugs! Here are some ways you can try at home

High Temperatures and Steam

Bedbugs don’t tolerate heat well, and using steam or treating your infested mattresses or other furniture with heat is one of the most effective and best ways to kill bedbugs.

Despite their hardy exterior, bedbugs cannot withstand extreme heat – so exposing them to temperatures over 115 degrees Fahrenheit will kill them instantly.

You can use a clothes iron, steamer, or even a hairdryer to kill bedbugs. Just make sure that the temperature is set to high and hold the device close to the bedbugs for several seconds.

This is one of the reasons why we’ve asked you to wash your beddings, mattresses, and anything else you think the bedbugs might be hiding in.

You can put them in the dryer on a high heat setting for several minutes or even seal them in a plastic bag and place them in direct sunlight for a few hours.

Do this on your mattresses, couch, carpets, and other rugs. On a hot day, you can also take your furniture outside and leave it in direct sunlight for several hours.

Chemical Sprays

If you’re looking for a more immediate solution, you can always resort to chemical sprays. Insecticide sprays designed for bed bugs usually work within 30 minutes to an hour and will kill most of the bugs that come into contact with it.

Take note, however, that gliding over these bugs won’t do the trick. For the insecticide to work, they need to be soaked in insecticide before these pests instantly die. With that being said, it’s always best that you do this outdoors, where the fumes won’t be as concentrated.

If you’re using a chemical spray, make sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully. Some insecticides can be dangerous if used incorrectly, so it’s important to follow the directions to avoid any accidents.

For more severe infestations, it’s always recommended to seek the help of a professional. Professional pest extermination services have the knowledge and experience to safely and effectively get rid of bedbugs in your home.

Essential Oils

If you don’t like the idea of using chemicals at home and wanted for a more natural solution, essential oils can also help get rid of your problem.

Certain essential oils have insecticidal properties that can kill bedbugs instantly. Some of the most effective essential oils for killing bedbugs include but are not limited to oregano, thyme, lemongrass, and clove.

To use essential oils, simply add a few drops of the oil to a spray bottle filled with water. You can then use this solution to spray on any areas where you think the bedbugs might be hiding.

Make sure to really saturate the area with the spray, as bedbugs are known to be quite resistant. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to a cotton ball and place it in areas where you’ve seen bedbugs – this will help to keep them away.


Alcohol is also an effective way to kill bedbugs instantly. Rubbing alcohol, when used correctly, can easily kill these pests on contact. However, the problem with alcohol is that it tends to evaporate quickly, which means you have to reapply it frequently.

To use alcohol, simply pour it into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the bedbugs. While it may not be the best solution, considering the amount of alcohol you’ll need to use, you may use it alongside other methods for best results.

Ultrasonic Pest Killers

If you want a more long-term solution, you can always try using ultrasonic pest killers. These devices emit high-frequency sound waves that are designed to disturb and ultimately kill pests.

Most of these devices are built for mattresses, allowing you to glide the equipment on your mattress to kill any bedbugs that may be hiding.

bed dust vacuum

While ultrasonic pest killers are said to work bed bugs on contact, its effectiveness mainly relies on how long the device is used and areas that have been treated.

If you miss even a small spot, there’s a chance that the bedbugs will continue to survive and breed.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an instantaneous way to kill bedbugs, heat treatment is your best bet. Heat treatment involves using high temperatures to kill pests – usually between 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This method is said to be effective in killing all life stages of bedbugs, from eggs to adults.