Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs and their Eggs? (With Infographic)

Its 2020 and we still have bed bugs that just won’t quit. These rigid pests can make a home in just any corner of your house.

Many people use home remedies like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, etc. but lately people have been wondering if bleach especially laundry bleach like Clorox, etc. is a good option for killing bugs and their eggs.

To put it directly, bleach does kill bed bugs by oxidizing their body through the peroxide, but you need to have direct contact of the spray with bugs to make them effective. To understand more, please keep reading.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, bleach does kill bed bugs.  This cheap substitute to various sprays and insecticides can be a major relief for people in getting rid of these bugs and even their eggs.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs

Even the good old home laundry Clorox bleach works great and is also easily available in the market at a very reasonable price.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

Yes, bleach does help in killing bed bug eggs. However, these eggs are very minute in size, almost like a grain of rice. So it is very difficult to spot them, and bleach only works if it is sprayed directly on the eggs.

Hence you need to make sure that the bleach is used directly on eggs for successful results.

How Fast Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Bleach is a quick remedy to get rid of bed bugs as they kill them the moment they come in contact with it.

The reason behind this is that the scent released by bleaches like Clorox etc. damages the bed bugs’ respiratory system and kills them immediately.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Bed Bugs?

Hydrogen Peroxide is effective in killing bed bugs. However Hydrogen Peroxide is a bleaching agent and if used without dilution, then it might ruin your beddings, carpets and other items.

Hence it’s always better to use color-safe bleach like Clorox and Hydrogen Peroxide but in an orderly manner if you plan to use it on or near your wardrobes etc.

Does Chlorine Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, Chlorine does help in getting rid of bed bugs and their eggs.

Household bleach like Clorox etc. is a liquid that has sodium hypochlorite, which is simply put, is just chlorine in its liquid form.

So basically, chlorine is just a component of bleach, which as we have established above, can be used to kill bed bugs.

Can Bed Bugs Survive Bleach?

Yes, bed bugs can survive bleach if they do not come in contact with them. The bleach and even its substitutes like hydrogen peroxide need to come in direct contact with the bugs and their eggs to be effective in suffocating them and thus killing them.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs with Bleach

Your common household bleach like Clorox can get rid of bed bugs, but you need to know how to use them. Following are the easy steps that you need to follow to treat your bed bugs infestation:

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
  1. Recognize and mark the area of the infestation.
  • Take out all the items from the area of infestation for example: if it is a wardrobe then remove all your clothes and other contents and soak them in a solution of color-safe bleach.
  • You also need to dilute the bleach before using it and therefore you need to create your bleach solution. You can do so by filling a spray bottle with equal quantities of hot water and bleach.
  • Once your solution is ready, you need to spray that in all the places in your infected surface and especially the hiding places like the crevices and corners in your bed frame or wardrobe and other such areas of your furniture. 
  • Finally when you are done with spraying, you then thoroughly mop the floor of the infested area just to make sure you have covered all the places.

Risk of Using Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs

One of the significant risks of using bleach to get rid of bed bugs includes damaging your furniture etc. Many mattresses get destroyed due to the usage of bleach, as they aren’t technically created to have those types of chemicals applied to them. Unlike our clothes, mattresses and even their covers are not made to hold out against heavy-duty washing.

Hence, in majorly all incidents of bed bug infestation, experts advise you to simply discard your mattresses rather than trying to treat them. If you have a lot of beg bugs present, it is very difficult to then get them out of their hiding place, and for bleach and even hydrogen peroxide to be effective, you need to make sure that the bugs come in contact with bleach. 

Another danger that bleach presents are of irritation of the skin. Bleach may be very harmful to bed bugs, but it is also very harmful to human skin. That is why it is usually advised to use gloves and wash your hands immediately after using bleach.

Also, quite frankly it doesn’t make a lot of sense to use bleach for getting rid of bugs only to have the resulting bleach irritate your skin some more. Hence it is always advised to use bleach in places where it won’t negatively affect your body.

Also, you will have to be extremely careful about using bleach if you have children, pets or both in your house. Small children especially must be watched and kept off from the surfaces in which you have applied bleach.

Even household bleach like Clorox is a chemical in the end and it is not safe for people, in general, to come in contact with, hence you need to be extra careful while using it around kids and pets.

Precautions to Take While Using Bleach for Bed Bugs

  • Now, although there are many risks in using bleach, you can take certain precautions to stay away from harm’s way. Some of these precautions are:
  • Make sure that the place you are about to use bleach is well ventilated.
  • As you clean the area using the bleach, make sure all the windows in that room are opened and use the fans to keep the air circulating. 
  • You can also wear a face mask while at work. Being extra careful never hurts.
  • Besides keeping the pets and the children away, you need to remember that ventilation is extremely important while using bleach to not suffocate yourself.
  • These are some of the basic precautions you must take while using bleach to get rid of bed bugs.

Bleach Alternatives for Killing Bed Bugs

Bleach and its substitutes like hydrogen peroxide are surely not the only answers for bed bugs. There are many other safe and cheap alternatives that are just or even more effective.

Below are 3 other alternative treatments which have been proven successful against bed bugs:

Heat Treatment

Heat Treatment is one such extremely successful alternative used to kill bugs. Just as the name suggests, we treat the infestation with heat. We use high amounts of heat in the contaminated area to kill the bugs and their eggs.

This is usually done by using a steam machine or even an industrial heating machine that heats the entire area to a hot enough temperature to kill all the bugs through suffocation.

This one solution has proved to very useful in getting rid of these hell raisers.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is yet another solution that has been considered as one of the efficient ways to get rid of bed bugs.

Unlike bleach, diatomaceous earth it is a natural insecticide that is safe to use even with kids around. 

But diatomaceous earth is just a step in the whole process of bed bug treatment and it should only be used after you are done with steam cleaning the affected area and vacuumed properly. 

Alcohol

It has been found out that different types of alcohol can be made use of for killing bed bugs. To be more precise, the most useful alcohol is 91% rubbing alcohol and 70% normal alcohol. 

But you need to remember that alcohol is an extremely inflammable substance and hence it is better to use the 70% alcohol instead of the more flammable 91% which is also a lot harsher on many areas.

These are some of the easily available and tried and tested alternatives to bleach. And these alternatives not only get rid of bed bugs but also help in killing their eggs as well.

Conclusion

Of course, bleach is a good enough solution in getting rid of bed bugs but its 2020, and it is no longer just about the solution but also its effects, you need to weigh all the pros and cons while deciding to use any said remedies to treat the bug infestation.

When it comes to pest control, the health of your family should always be your priority, so no matter what you choose always take enough precautions to avoid any side effects or other major issues in the long run.

Dinesh Kumar
Hello, I'm Dinesh. I have 4 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable. In recent years, I've helped hundreds of homeowners to protect their home from pests like bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, house flies, snakes, rats and other pests.

12 Comments

  1. Yeah, but what happens when the bed bugs are all over the place, yet not to the point their all over the walls? Just you know, camping out in the seams and what not, what then? Is the bleach the best choice to get these evil little blood demons?

    1. Hey Jerry, as mentioned in the article bleach can kill bed bugs and their eggs but, it won’t be a good idea to use it on the mattresses and fabrics. For the camping purposes, it’ll be good if you use a professional bed bug killing product. As they’re made for this purpose, and you’ll find them more effective, pet safe, and they won’t stain any fabrics.

      1. Can’t afford them, I cant even tell where exactly they’re coming from. I got a futon sitting ontop of the mattress with the bed bugs, but the futon is not even affected by them. Could the bed bugs be living IN the bed rather then just ON it?

        1. Hey Jerry, bed bugs can live & hide in the tiny cracks of the furniture & beds. So, yes, may be they’re living in the bed. If they’re present in the cracks of bed, but currently your mattress is not infested with them, then use Bleach for the treatment. If you’ve a steamer, then you can also use it even on the mattress to kill them. You can check this article to read the specific section about how to use steamer for the treatment. Rubbing alcohol and using Diatomaceous earth are also the popular home remedies that you can give a try.

          1. They’re not “infesting” it. Thankfully, I hit the mattress where it hurt them the most, so its majorly decreased their numbers, but I don’t see any coming out of the tears in the bed, but I sprayed them anyway, just in case.

          2. Jerry, it’s good to hear that their numbers have decreased. But, still, I’ll suggest you to occasionally treat those areas to avoid any coming back.

  2. Hi my question is do I mis colorwd bleach powder to kill bugs or do I use it like powder n just put it in spots and how can I use colored bleach on my couch for the demons thank you

    1. Hello Dazia, to kill bed bugs you have to mix bleach with hot water, and then spray on the infested areas. As you mentioned, you want to kill these bugs from your couch, then you can use color safe bleach, in the same way as told earlier. But, don’t use bleach again and again on the couch. Bleach is not good for fabrics. So, after using it once, purchase a bed bug proof cover for your couch.

  3. Bedbugs are the worst! I came into contact with them at Motel 6 and then they got onto my clothing, shirt and bit my back and I had a bad allergic reaction to the Bedbug! Those things are hard to get rid of! I used rubbing alcohol and it made the Bedbug bite worse, peroxide is much better!

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