Can Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

While bleach will kill bed bugs that are directly exposed to it, it will not eliminate bed bugs that are hiding and do not come into contact with the bleach spray. Bed bugs are extremely good at hiding in cracks and crevices in mattresses, box springs, in walls and floors, and in furniture near their source of food (blood). Although killing bed bugs with bleach does work, applying it safely presents several problems.

How Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

When directly applied to bed bugs, bleach attacks and changes the proteins in a bed bug’s exoskeleton, or outer “skin,” so the bed bug cannot survive. Further, bed bugs are not attracted to bleach, which makes achieving direct contact with them incredibly difficult.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

If bleach makes direct contact with bed bug eggs, they likely will not survive.

Does Bleach Repel Bed Bugs?

Bleach does have a repellent action on bed bugs. While this may seem like a benefit, it will instead likely cause the bed bug population to move from one area to another and inadvertently drive them to expand into locations not previously populated.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs in Your Laundry?

The high temperature of the hot water in which clothing is being laundered is more effective at getting rid of bed bugs than bleach application.

Drawbacks to Using Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs

Drawbacks to using bleach on bed bugs include strong, unpleasant odors, damage to clothing and furniture, potential irritation to exposed skin and possible respiratory problems. Bleach may also cause irritation to pets and is very harmful if swallowed.

Successful bed bug control involves getting rid of all bed bugs in the infested area. While bleach may kill a limited number of bed bugs, the risks of using it will outweigh the benefits. Getting rid of bed bugs is a job best left to our Orkin Pros.

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