Does bleach kill bed bugs?

Will bleach kill bed bugs?

Yes, bleach is effective at killing bed bugs, if you apply it directly to the insect. However, it’s not a very good method of dealing with a bedbug infestation overall. Here’s why.

Why you shouldn’t use bleach to kill bedbugs

Chlorine bleach is really just a water solution of sodium hypochlorite. Most people use it to whiten and disinfect laundry, and other various household cleaning tasks.

But some people wonder if they should use bleach to get rid of bedbugs. The answer is probably not.

killing bedbugs with bleach

Regular strength bleach is about 5.25% concentrate, and ultra strength is about 6%. It has to be so diluted because it is very toxic. Bleach is a harsh chemical – think about it, most people use thick rubber gloves when they are using it to clean. The reason that it is lethal to bedbugs is because it’s also not that great for humans, either.

In order to kill bedbugs and their eggs, you have to spray undiluted bleach directly on the bedbugs. This means you will have to apply a lot of bleach. This can lead to respiratory issues, headaches, and vomiting in humans. It’s also not advisable to spray bleach directly on your mattress (the #1 spot for bed bugs to hang out) because it can cause severe skin irritation. We recommend a good bedbug mattress cover instead.

Does bleach kill bed bugs?

The other reason that bleach is not great for taking care of bed bugs is that it actually kills them by suffocating them from the noxious vapors and causing denaturing of their protein membrane. Bleach works nearly instantly on germs and viruses, but on larger organism such as bedbugs and other insects, it can take several hours for the fumes to interfere with their respiratory and immune system. Bedbugs are likely to move away from the area before they are killed, meaning they will spread throughout the house. There is not a pervasive effect, meaning that once it dries up, the bedbugs will be able to walk over the area once again. For comparison, a desiccant such as diatomaceous earth or cimexa will continue to effect bedbugs as long as the powder is down.

Moreover, the amount of bleach that you would need to apply in order to kill all of the bedbugs hiding throughout your home (or even a single room!) would be extremely unpleasant for you, as well – and perhaps dangerous. You will most likely have to vacate the house for a few days or up to a week. This is even worse if you are trying to treat an enclosed space, like a bedbug infestation in a car.

should I use bleach for bedbugs?

You are also going to have to spray the bleach directly on a bedbug egg for it to be effective. Since bedbug eggs are extremely small and hard to detect, this is going to be an almost impossible task. That means that a lot of eggs will remain, only to hatch in 1-2 weeks after your bleach application has completely dried up.

A lot of people think about using bleach for bed bugs because it’s very inexpensive, and most people already have it laying around the house. While it may kill a few bedbugs if you spray it directly on them, it’s probably not going to put a dent in your bedbug infestation. Furthermore, it may actually be dangerous.

Related: we also do not recommend paint thinner for killing bedbugs for many of the same reasons.

All things considered, bleach is not going to be an effective way to kill bedbugs. Plus, it’s just not worth the strong, noxious smell, or potential damage to your furniture. You are better off following the methods in this guide to killing bedbugs yourself.

Thank you for reading about using bleach to kill bedbug! Please refer to all manufacturer instructions and warnings when using a bed bug control product. This website is an independent resource. This site receives compensation from the Amazon Affiliates program, which allows us to run this site at no cost to you. Your purchase price and this review are NOT affected. This website receives NO compensation directly from the manufacturers of any product. We do not necessarily endorse any bed bug products that may appear on the 3rd party ads on this site, which will be clearly marked as such. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies or omissions, or any new information that has been released since the time of publication, or your actions taken as a result of any of these things. Content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for consulting with a professional. If you have any doubts about your ability to safely utilize any of these pest control methods, please consult a professional bed bug exterminator before attempting them. You can find a trusted local exterminator online. Read more about us here.

Leave a Comment