A popular and natural bed bug remedy involves spraying or applying rubbing alcohol onto bed bugs.
This is a method that is effective because rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol 91%) can actually kill bed bugs dead when it comes into contact with them.
But the new method described below doesn’t use rubbing alcohol!
Some recent research by Ralph Narain, a PhD student carrying out research on bed bugs and their habits had some very interesting results.
Narain had the idea that – even though bed bugs do need to drink a regular supply of blood in order to grow, molt and reproduce – maybe their appetite would be affected if the person they were feeding off had consumed beer, wine or spirits and had an appreciable level of alcohol in their blood.
Needless to say he didn’t ask any of his fellow students to volunteer.
Instead he carried out his research scientifically, and then presented his results to the National Conference on Urban Entomology at the end of May 2012.
For his research, Narain used measured blood samples that had varying amounts of alcohol mixed in with it.
The Natural Bed Bug Remedy Research
Twenty Cimex lectulariu (bed bugs), which can grow up to 4 millimetres long, were used for the research.
In controlled experiments each one was weighed and then they were given blood containing different concentrations of alcohol.
The amounts of alcohol in the blood was:-
= Zero – pure blood
and then varying amounts of blood mixed with alcohol to the concentration (Blood Alcohol Concentration – BACS) of:-
= 0.010 BACS – most diluted,
= 0.025 BACS,
= 0.050 BACS and
= 0.100 BACS – strongest concentration.
As a matter of comparison, the legal driving limit in the U.K. and in many states of America is 0.08 BACS.
Side Note The alcohol used was 200 proof ethanol, which is the same compound estimated by a Breathalyzer
After allowing the bugs time to drink their fill, each one was weighed again.
This whole process was repeated six times.
This Is What Was Discovered
In brief, Narain found that the bugs that had been exposed to blood and drank it with no alcohol, increased their weight by 100%..
But when they drank the weakest concentration of alcohol/ blood (0.010 BACS) the bug’s weight only increased by 60% (three fifths)and
When they drank the strongest concentration of alcohol/ blood (0.100 BACS) their weight only increased by a small 12.5% (an eighth)
Another factor that Narain discovered was that the bugs drinking from the alcohol free blood would lay 44 eggs, while those drinking from the strongest concentration (0.100 BACS) would only lay 12 eggs – less than a third.
More details of the research can be seen in the Mail On-Line
Click here for further information
The bed bugs used – Cimex Lectulariu - grow up to four millimetres in length but when they cannot get a good feed, they lay fewer eggs.
However, a word of caution:-
Narain did not advise that getting drunk would provide an effective natural bed bug remedy.
It is an interesting thought, though!