6 Honest Pros and Cons of Kerosene for Bed Bugs Remedy

When you come to this article, it means that you have some problems with bed bugs and want to know whether kerosene can be used to treat them or not. Am I correct? Well, if it is so, let us discuss it more because I find some interesting things about kerosene for bed bugs here.

It is a well-known fact that kerosene can be used to treat any kind of insect including bed bugs. You may notice that people (in any part of the world) decades ago use kerosene to kill bed bugs. At that time, people mixed kerosene with other oils or even just use the kerosene itself.

But, nowadays, there are dozens of techniques to treat bed bugs. Also, there are more and more pest exterminator services that grow fast in this century. However, some of them may a bit expensive and you need to find a cheaper yet more effective substance to get rid of bed bugs completely.

So, is it worth using kerosene for bed bugs remedy? Let us find out.

The PROS of Kerosene for Bed Bugs Remedy

will kerosene kill bed bugs
Will kerosene kill bed bugs? | illustration of kerosene jerry can

Will Kerosene Kill Bed Bugs?

Will kerosene kill bed bugs? Yes, kerosene kills bed bugs. The use of kerosene to kill bed bugs has been started decades ago. In fact, people in other parts of the world also use kerosene to kill termites, ants, and any other small pests.

According to Potter, during wartime, some oils such as kerosene, benzene, turpentine, and even gasoline were used as bed bugs spray. Those oils were used because of the lack of Pyrethrum that previously was used to remove bed bugs.

So, the application of kerosene for bed bugs can remove adult insects. If you want to use it, make sure you spray thoroughly to make kerosene kills bed bugs more. So, will kerosene kill bed bugs? The answer is yes.

Related post:

The Effectiveness of Kerosene in Killing Bed Bugs

If you are asking about the effectiveness of kerosene to kill bed bugs, then it is so effective. Kramer and Goff in Doggett state that kerosene is used to control bed bugs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also, people often use a tin filled with kerosene as the place for the legs of beds.

So, it has been a very long period since kerosene had a good reputation as a bed bug remedy. There is no doubt that kerosene can kill bed bugs. There are even people in the past who use it as a prevention for bed bugs to climb the beds. That typical prevention actually can be found also in any other part of the world.

Related post:

Kerosene Is Relatively Cheaper than Pest Control Service

Using pest control services is a good choice because they are the experts in this field. The problems you have can be solved completely. But, sometimes, the problem is that we do not really have much money. So, we need an alternative way.

A gallon of kerosene can be used for some treatments. It depends on what method you use and which part of your house you treat. Usually, people use kerosene as a spray to kill the bed bugs that appear and use a tin filled with kerosene to prevent the bed bugs from crawling to the legs of furniture.

Here, as a comparison, a pest control service can cost about $250-$400 which depends on your problems. I also found that there was $900 for a pest control service in a particular state. While a gallon of kerosene is around $2.25. That is a very high gap, right?

However, there are also some disadvantages to using kerosene. Here it is.

The CONS of Kerosene for Bed Bugs Remedy

Kerosene Heater for Bed Bugs Is Not Effective

Using kerosene directly as sprays can eliminate bed bugs effectively, but a kerosene heater is a different story. It is well known that at least you need 113°F to kill adult bed bugs in 90 minutes and bed bugs eggs in 8 hours, and 122°F to kill both adult bed bugs and bed bugs eggs in a shorter time.

But, the kerosene heater does not reach that level because this device is used to warm people. So, the kerosene heater is not enough to kill bed bugs effectively. You have to use a heater to kill bed bugs in your house, especially for bed bugs in electronics.

Read more: Replace Kerosene Heater to Kill Bed Bugs With These Heaters

If you have an extra budget, you can buy a professional-selected heater that is completely worth it for you. That type of heater is designed, qualified, tested, and used by professionals to kill bed bugs. If you love to invest, this heater can be your long-term investment. It is like you can rent the heaters to your neighbors or anyone with bed bug problems. So, you will get an extra income in the future.

Kerosene Is Flammable

Even though you can use kerosene to kill bed bugs, you have to realize that kerosene is quite flammable. It is well known that gasoline can be burnt faster than kerosene, but at 38°C or higher it can be burnt too. So, it is not a wise thing to spray your stuff in an indoor room, especially those which are without any ventilation or air circulation in the room.

Besides, for those who deal with bed bugs in summer, the hot temperature sometimes raises so fast. So, it is more dangerous for using kerosene as bed bug spray. Sometimes, we may forget that we have just sprayed and then leave the room locked at a high temperature. It may cause a flame.

Also, we need proper storage for kerosene because this kind of liquid is not the thing you can deal with easily with children inside your house.

Kerosene Is Poisonous

The most important thing you need to know is that kerosene leaves residue. You can smell its distinctive unpleasant smell. Some of us may have allergies to kerosene. So, it is not recommended to use kerosene to kill bed bugs because we need to deal with other issues after the application.

For example, the application of kerosene on your bed may make you sleep uncomfortably because you need to deal with the smell every time you want to sleep. Here, being locked in a room with those smelly problems may lead to health issues. It is not a wise option then unless you don’t have many choices at all.


As an alternative, you need to choose other bed bug sprays that work better and are much safer. The spray products sold out there mostly come from chemical insecticides. It is fine if you can keep people and pets away during the treatment. But, those sprays sometimes can lead us to another problem if we apply them directly to the stuff inside our house that sometimes our kids and pets are in contact with.

Due to that problem, people nowadays use a much more natural-based spray to kill bed bugs. Research shows that some natural-based sprays can kill bed bugs too in a such particular intensity. But, the problem is that natural-based spray is usually slow at killing bed bugs. Sometimes, it takes more than 24 hours to kill them.