Kerosene is one type of oil that has been proven effective in killing various types of insects. The use of kerosene itself has been recorded since the mid-19th century. This means that people have used this oil for a long time for various basic purposes in life. On the other hand, camphor itself has been used since the 1870s for various purposes.
Traditionally, people use kerosene as a spray and camphor as a fumigant to kill bed bugs. These methods have been used for years from generation to generation to get rid of bed bugs in the house. The application is quite easy yet needs attention due to health concerns.
Well, even though those substances are poisonous, there are still some people who use them to kill insects including bed bugs. Let’s discuss it.
Can Camphor and Kerosene Kill Bed Bugs?
Camphor and kerosene are toxic substances that are very dangerous and can kill bed bugs, especially in their adult form. That is why camphor and kerosene can kill bed bugs instantly. Moreover, these two substances can even poison larger animals or humans at certain doses.
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What is kerosene?
Kerosene (gas oil) is a colorless and flammable hydrocarbon liquid. The name kerosene comes from the Greek keros (κερωσ) which means night. This gas oil is obtained by fractional distillation of petroleum at 150 °C and 275°C (carbon chain from C12 to C15).
In the past, kerosene was widely used as fuel for kerosene lamps. Nowadays, it is mainly used as a jet engine fuel (more technically Avtur, Jet-A, Jet-B, JP-4, or JP-8). Moreover, another form of kerosene which is called RP-1 is used as rocket fuel.
Typically, kerosene distilled directly from crude oil requires special treatment, in a Merox unit or hydrotreater, to reduce sulfur content and rust. Kerosene can also be produced by a hydrocracker, which is used to improve the quality of the part of the crude that would be good for fuel oil.
Some developing countries still use it as a fuel for cooking, after going through a refining process as necessary and it is still not pure and even has impurities (debris). Avtur (jet engine fuel) is kerosene with tightened specifications, especially regarding the vapor point and freezing point.
How does kerosene work?
One of the surprising facts regarding this question is that kerosene has been known for a very long time as one of the fuels used to kill various insects. For a long ago, people have used kerosene both as a spray and as a poison to spray directly into the nests of annoying insects such as ants and termites.
Can kerosene kill bed bugs? When you use kerosene to kill bed bugs, you will find that this fuel is so effective. It can kill bed bugs at once quickly. It is just like waiting for seconds and then the bed bugs are killed. That is why people in the past used it to eradicate bed bugs. However, it is a poisonous substance that both humans and animals should avoid.
Until now, there are still some community groups in developing countries that use kerosene to eradicate insects. This is because the price of kerosene is affordable and there is no education about the bad effects of kerosene on health. In addition, there are no other products that have not yet reached this community group.
What is camphor?
Camphor is a compound made from distilled bark and wood of the Cinnanonum camphora tree. Today, camphor is usually made from turpentine oil and then processed into creams, balms, or lotions.
Traditionally, camphor is used as a remedy for shortness of breath and treatment for anti-inflammatory conditions such as rheumatism, sprains, bronchitis, asthma, and muscle aches. This substance is mostly used in the form of balms, creams, or rubbing oils that are used to relieve pain and inflammation in muscles and joints.
Moreover, products containing camphor are usually used to relieve pain or itching of the skin. While in form of an inhaler is usually used to help clear the throat and reduce coughing. It may sound surprising but camphor has been used for various products in the health industry.
In the manufacturing sector itself, camphor compounds are generally used to make camphor. Its function can be to repel odors, air fresheners, or overcome damp conditions. So, that is why camphor is actually poisonous to humans due to its chemical substances.
How does camphor work?
Camphor is a chemical substance that can be used to get rid of many household pests including bed bugs. Traditionally, it is noted that the use of camphor and mothballs (naphthalene ball) is able to effectively repel house flies.
Simply put, mix the camphor and camphor into the water. Soak these ingredients in water overnight. Then, strain the mixture, and pour the liquid into a clean spray bottle. Then, spray this liquid near kitchen counters, trash cans, and house plants. Flies and other insects will stay away because of the strong aroma produced by this liquid.
Then what about bed bugs?
Can camphor kill bed bugs?
Based on the research, camphor is one of the substances that can kill bed bugs. Camphor is a fumigant, a toxic substance that functions to poison insects in a certain area. In the fumigation process, a room will be closed and a certain amount of gas will be sprayed with the aim of making insects die.
In the form of a fumigant, camphor cannot kill bed bugs immediately for 24 hours after being sprayed. However. some recent research shows that the intensity of camphor compounds in certain amounts can kill bed bugs quickly and effectively. Therefore, you can get a camphor-based product that is actively working in the market.
Does camphor repel bed bugs?
Camphor repels bed bugs. The scent of camphor is strong enough to keep bed bugs stay away. Also, this substance has been used for a long time as the repellent for any insects and pests that may stay in our properties. This is why people still use it even though some people cannot deal with its strong scent.
How to use camphor and kerosene to kill bed bugs?
The use of kerosene to kill bed bugs is actually quite simple, that is, we only need to spray the oil on the area where we find bed bugs. Leave it for a while, and the bed bugs will die poisoned. If it is needed, then we can repeat the spraying.
However, for the use of camphor, there are several ways we can do it. Here are the details.
Sprinkle camphor powder on bed
One of the simplest but most effective ways to do this is to sprinkle some camphor powder on the mattress. Here are instructions on how to use it:
- The very first thing we should do is clean the area with a vacuum. A particular vacuum designed for pests is necessary to remove dirt, eggs, larvae, and adult bed bugs that are visible on the surface. In addition, it aims to prepare an empty space for the camphor powder. So, please use the right vacuum.
- After that, you have to tidy up the area. Make sure there are no escape holes or objects that could be used as hiding places. In fact, bed bugs have the ability to move and hide from one place to another.
- Crush the mothballs to a powder or if you have camphor powder available, that’s even better. Prepare camphor powder according to your needs.
- Then, you have to sprinkle the camphor powder around the box spring, mattress, and furniture in your room. Bed bugs usually hide in the smallest creases in the mattress. Make sure you don’t miss it.
- As long as the area is being treated, it is better for you, your children, and your pets not to be in the vicinity. Close the room and let the fumigation work. Leave the area locked overnight during the treatment,
- The next day, vacuum and clean the area.
- Repeat this at least once a week until all bed bugs die. This is because sometimes there are several hidden eggs that have just hatched or larvae that have managed to hide, so we still find bed bugs.
Place mothballs in a cupboard
One of the objects around the bed is a cupboard. Therefore, we need to place mothballs in the cupboard to repel insects including bed bugs.
- There are several things we can place, namely mothballs, whole cloves, tobacco leaves, and spices with other strong aromas in cupboard drawers.
- Insects will run away due to the strong smell of mothballs and spices.
- You will need to ‘re-boost’ this camphor remedy every 3-4 months to keep it effective.
Sprinkle camphor powder on carpet and rug
- First, you have to mix camphor powder, borax powder, and potassium nitrate (saltpeter).
- Then, sprinkle the mixture under carpets, rugs, and furniture around the house. We can also apply it to the area behind the painting and other places that have the potential to hide bed bugs.
- Next, we also need to sprinkle this mixture in every corner of the house. Pay attention to any cracks and crevices that may be hiding places for bed bugs.
- Repeat this activity every week until there are no more bed bugs.
That is how we use camphor and kerosene to get rid of bed bugs. Both substances can kill bed bugs with different methods to use. Kerosene simply can be used as a spray while we can use camphor powder as a fumigant.