Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

It is safe to say that the most terrifying insect is bed bugs. These tiny, oval-shaped insects cause skin problems (when they bite) and do not let you fall asleep. We know how helpless you feel when you are tired but you can’t sleep.

Besides, it is one of the most difficult things to get rid of these insects. Obviously, these are the few reasons why the name ‘bed bugs’ sends shivers down a person’s spine. And those who have the experience of dealing with bed bugs shudder at the insect’s name.

The best way to get rid of a bed bug infestation is to call pest control and pay for fumigation services. Although it is effective, these services come at a very high cost. Spending thousands on getting rid of the infestation is not an ideal choice for many. This is why some people are now turning to less expensive home remedies to get rid of these blood-sucking creatures.

Macro photo of a bed bug

Choosing Bleach

There are so many home remedies available to get rid of bed bugs. One of them is bleach. It is a multi-purpose chemical that is used for cleaning and sanitation purposes as well. Some people use the chemical while gardening to get rid of the unwanted weed. Bleach’s active ingredient is chlorine. Other types of bleach contain sodium hypochlorite solutions. Typical bleach will have the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sodium Carbonate
  • Sodium Hypochlorite
  • Sodium Chlorate
  • Sodium Polyacrylate
  • Sodium Hydroxide

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs  

Since there are so many home remedies available to get rid of bed bugs, people ask if bleach can kill bed bugs. This cheap alternative to different sprays and insecticides can be a big relief for people who are living with difficulty in a home which has a bed bug problem.

There is a divided opinion on the effectiveness of bleach. There is a large number of people who strongly believe that bleach does nothing in getting rid of bed bugs. On the other hand, there are people who swear that they get rid of the bed bugs infestation with bleach.

Both aren’t wrong and let us tell why. Over the years, many bed bugs develop a form of immunity against pesticides and spray. People believe that if these insects cannot be killed with a custom-made spray, there is no other way to get rid of them. This, in parts, is true. And it can be true that after using bleach, you still spot bed bugs running here and there.

This is however due to the fact that bed bugs are the most stubborn insect and are too quick in hiding. Bed bugs hide in unusual places like the cracks in the wall, at the bottom your sofa, and inside a cushion. It is difficult for humans to access these places. Taking advantage of their host’s weakness, these insects remain there for long periods.

When they say you attacking them or disturbing their resting places, they crawl back to their hiding places or to the nearby safest place. While these insects are tiny, they crawl at a significantly fast pace. Your killing spree often bears no fruit mainly because large bunches of bed bugs escape the killing and flee the ‘crime scene’.

For any home remedy to be effective, it is essential that you locate all hiding places of these insects and use the spray on all the places. Only then you have the chance of getting rid of the bed bug infestation.

So, yes, there is ample evidence to support the claim that bleach kills bed bugs. But you have to keep in mind that no chemical can be effective unless all hiding places of bed bugs are sprayed.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs Eggs

Funny that we mentioned eggs because they have another story to tell. A female beg bug is capable of laying 5-7 eggs per week. Each egg takes around 10 days to hatch and within a few days, the female can fertilize again. In her lifetime (which is normally between four and six months, although some bed bugs can live up to years), a female bed bug can lay between 200 and 500 eggs. That’s a lot!

These eggs are tiny and look like a grain of rice. Also, it is difficult to spot them if they are hidden inside a gap in the wall or in the carpet. There is a possibility that you treat the area with bleach, but fail to get rid of the eggs. Before using bleach in your house, it is best to check for the bed bugs’ hiding places. Keep electrical tape with you and mark the areas where you spot the clusters of bed bugs.

When you start your mission to kill the bed bug eggs, first treat the areas that you marked. Spray bleach directly on the eggs to get rid of them. If you are uncertain, leave a very small amount of bleach on the surface. As soon as the eggs hatch, the nymph will come in contact with bleach and die.

Bleach Kill Bed Bugs

How Does Bleach Work

There is obviously a scientific explanation for bleach being effective on bed bugs. Bleach kills bed bugs by oxidizing their body/outer shell through the sodium hypochlorite. However, it is essential to spray the chemical directly on the bug otherwise you will fail to get the desired result.

How to Use Bleach Against Bed Bugs

You have to be thoughtful while using bleach. This is for the following two reasons: First, bleach can cause irritation to your skin. Second, it gives off poisonous fumes. Before spraying it on bed bugs, save yourself from possible harm. Wear disposable gloves and a surgical mask to avoid the chemical from causing harm.

Since it is a skin irritant, use it wisely and don’t leave the bleach on the surface or on things that you use daily or have regular contacts with. If you have bed bugs infestation in your mattress, the best solution is to buy another one. You can use bleach on the mattress as well but the chemical doesn’t act well with the mattress’s fabric which is not made to withstand heavy washing. Instead of spoiling your mattress, it is better to get a new one and dispose of the older with a warning sign for people to avoid using it.

It is important to remember that bed bugs do not only reside in mattresses. They love to live in the corners of your bed frame. These insects also adore climate-controlled spaces and can be found literally anywhere in the house. So search for them vigorously. Find every nook and corner, and use the bleach in these places to kill these pests who turn your house into a hellhole.

Before spraying the bleach, remove the fabric from infested places. Use bleach that is a fabric cleaner and soak all fabric items into it. This mild bleach will help kill bed bugs. Now for your dressers and wardrobe and other wooden shelves, mix bleach with hot water in a 1:1 ratio. Spray the mixture directly on bed bugs and on places where you believe they are hiding (as discussed above, you can spray them on places that you marked with the tape. This also shows how the marking exercise can help you). Don’t forget about the opening in your walls or any other tiny crack that you may think of.

Use the same mixture to mop off the floors to completely get rid of bed bugs. You will notice that we are stressing on the fact that you have to spray it at all places. You have to remember that bed bugs can survive even if they are in close proximity to the bleach. They will die only when they come in contact with bleach. So it is better to spray it thoroughly across your house and directly on the bed bug.

But be careful of using the bleach if you have pets or children at home. Try to keep both away from the areas which you have treated. Bleach is a harsh chemical and can cause harm if it comes in contact with pets or children. So be extra careful.

After you are done spraying the chemical, or even while doing it, open the windows for proper ventilation. A room full of bleach fumes can be suffocating.

Good Riddance

Bleach is a cheaper alternative available to get rid of bed bugs. You can easily buy it from any superstore. It is effective and can kill the insects, but you have to be careful while using it. You have to protect yourself from its harmful effects too.

Bed bugs are a nuisance — we all agree. The treatment which is available to kill them is even tiresome. We agree with this as well. These methods are tested and they have produced results. So if you want to give them a try, go for it. Once you get rid of bed bugs, you will realize what a blessing this chemical was.