Does Ammonia Kill Bed Bugs and Their Eggs?

Bed bugs suck! They are small fast, and hide in the tiniest of spaces and bite hard and often. Every inch of fabric in a home is susceptible to a bed bug infestation. Once they are established, drastic measures must be taken to eradicate these pests. 

I lived in an apartment once and accidentally invited some bed bugs in on the used furniture I bought. Pretty soon, every surface they came in contact with, like mattresses and carpets, was full of pests. I didn’t have time to buy a pesticide, and so I looked under the sink and found a common cleaning solution, ammonia.  

Will Bed Bug Eggs Be Killed By Ammonia?

Ammonium hydroxide is a corrosive chemical that dissolves the outside of insects and their eggs. Ammonia with water will kill bed bugs, but it is not the most effective solution. Pesticides and other household chemicals like vinegar and dish soap can be used instead. 

Ammonia is mixed with water and sprayed directly on top of bed bugs, and their eggs can kill bed bugs quickly. You need to catch the bed bugs by surprise and douse them in the ammonia solution quickly, or the treatment will be ineffective. 

Bed bugs lay their eggs in gaps and under seams and ridges. It may be difficult to hit it directly with the sprayer, so multiple applications and a thorough wipe-down with an ammonia product will be needed to kill all bed bugs and their eggs. 

How Does Ammonia Kill Bed Bugs?

When you mix water and ammonia in a spray bottle, it becomes ammonium hydroxide. When this comes into contact with bed bugs and their eggs, it destroys body tissues and cell membranes. Killing bed bugs with ammonia on a mattress and furniture require repeated applications. 

Ammonia needs to touch the pests to kill them and has no residual effects like other pesticide treatments. It can help with quick bed bug control but may not be the best solution for bedbug infestations. Ammonia for bed bugs can be useful in emergency treatment situations.

Where Do Bed Bugs Live?

Where Do Bed Bugs Live

Before you apply a treatment for bed bugs with ammonia in a mattress and cracks in the furniture, you should look for where the bed bugs live. If you can determine where bed bugs are hiding and cut off their escape, you can make ammonia even more effective. 

LocationWhat to Look For How to Kill Bed Bugs
MattressClumps of tiny dots and bites Spray ammonia on the mattress, on all sides. Repeat until all bugs are dead
Box Spring Tiny bugs moving in and out of the box. Spray fabric with ammonia mixture and wipe boards with a cloth wet with ammonia. 
CarpetBites on your feetWet carpet with spray, vacuum, and repeat
WardrobeTiny bugs, clean during any heavy infestation of bed bugs in a roomWipe down hard furniture with an ammonia cloth and spray the fabric with ammonia
LinensClumps of tiny pests, Bite when used.Wash and dry on a high heat setting 
Bed FrameTiny bed bugswipe the frame with an ammonia-wetted cloth. Spray cloth frames and headboards with ammonia solution.


The most common hiding place of bed bugs, where they have access to blood and shelter, is the mattress. A mattress can be the starting place of a bed bug infestation. The most common way to know there are bed bugs is to feel bites and see the results of bed bugs taking your blood. 

When a mattress is determined to have bed bugs, you need to spray the entire thing down with ammonia if using it as a treatment. Multiple applications of an ammonia treatment, as well as wiping down the surfaces thoroughly, can clean a mattress of bed bugs.

Box Spring

Sunlight and uneven temperatures can drive bed bugs out of mattresses and into box springs. Inside the box springs, bed bugs can lay eggs undisturbed and can quickly lead to future infestations. 

After you remove and clean the mattress, you will need to use ammonia for bed bugs in the box springs. Spray the ammonia into the fabric of the box spring to deal with a bedbug infestation under the mattress. 


Mix ammonia with water to make a good cleaning product for bed bugs. You will want to soak the fabric to get all of the bugs hiding deep in the fibers. The eggs will be hard to reach, so spraying and vacuuming can help to increase the effectiveness of the cleaning products. 


Clothes in a wardrobe are another hiding place for bed bugs. It can be hard to reach the cracks and gaps of these with ammonia or other more natural products. A pest control company may be needed to kill bed bugs in wardrobes.


Heat is a very effective treatment against bed bugs and can kill more bed bugs than cleaning products that only kill bugs on contact. Washing everything that can be put in the drier can eliminate a huge portion of a bed bug population and can prevent future infestations. 

Bed Frame 

Gaps around bed frames are common places bed bugs lay eggs. In the process of spraying into bed bug hiding spots, you can wipe the bed frame with an ammonia solution and a cloth. It’s important to leave no question that all bed bugs are dead. 

Steps To Using Ammonia to Eliminate Bed Bugs

Kill Bed Bugs

Ammonia is not the safest or most effective way to kill bed bugs and their eggs. There are both more natural and effective products that can eliminate bed bugs, as well as pesticides designed just for them. If you will be using Ammonia, safety steps must be taken to protect your health.

  1. Mix Ammonia with Water – Follow the product label to mix the correct amount of water and ammonia. Make sure the spray bottle you add the ammonia to has never been used with other chemicals, especially bleach. 
  2. Wear Rubber Gloves – Ammonia can burn your skin and irritate your eyes and throat. Wear gloves to make sure you do not expose your skin to any chemicals. It also helps to keep your hands clean as the areas you wipe down may be dirty.
  3. Open Windows – Ammonia burns your sinuses if inhaled, so it is important to only work with it in a well-ventilated area. When applying a treatment, open windows and turn on fans to move air through so there is no question of prolonged inhalation. Try not to get any spray near your eyes or face as it can burn badly. 
  4. Wash all Linens – The fastest treatment for removable linens is to use the heat in the dryer. Collect and wash clothing, bedding, and pillows in a high-heat setting. Heat will kill the bed bugs quickly. 
  5. Spray all Fabrics – Ammonium hydroxide sprayed on the fabrics where bed bugs live is another treatment. In the process of spraying everything, wipe down the entire mattress and all fabrics you can reach. 
  6. Wipe Down all Furniture – Any other surface crack or gap left needs treatment to kill bed bug eggs. All bed bug hiding places should be examined and sprayed with ammonia. If bed bugs still persist, you should call a professional pest control company to finish the process.