Can Bleach Kill Bed Bugs? Is It Safe & Effective?
In this generation, most people use natural remedies such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and so on as a common alternative chemical, but recently, some people have been wondering whether bleach, especially laundry bleach such as Clorox, is a good choice for killing bugs and their nests.
Let’s find out whether it’s effective or not by the end of this article so, read on!
Does Hydrogen Peroxide 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.
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 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
- 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 on 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 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 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 is yet another solution that has been considered as one of the efficient ways to get rid of bed bugs.
Unlike bleach, diatomaceous earth 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.
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 70% alcohol instead of the more flammable 91% which is also a lot harsher in 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.
Of course, bleach is a good enough solution in getting rid of bed bugs but its 2021 and a lot of companies are producing new and more effective solutions, and most likely, it is no longer just about the solution but also its effects, you need to weigh all the pros and cons of using a specific product.
When it comes to pest management, your family’s safety should still come first, so no matter what you use, take adequate care to prevent any long-term side effects or major problems.