We use it to clean our kitchens and bathrooms, but does bleach kill bed bugs, too? While it’s a common household item, it is not an effective method for eliminating bed bug infestations in your home. Harsh chemicals like bleach pose many health hazards when misused. In cases like this, it may not be worth the risk. To answer the question “Can bleach kill bed bugs?,” let’s first understand how the chemical works.

bleach kill bed bugs

How it Works

Bleach is a common solution for destroying bacteria in our homes. By combining water and a chemical called sodium hypochlorite, bleach creates hypochlorous acid. It is this acid that can break down proteins to make them defective. But, will bleach kill bed bugs, too? To achieve success, bleach must make direct contact with the bed bugs. Even then, though, the bleach may fall off their bodies before it can be absorbed. In that case, the solution will be ineffective. And if the spray is too forceful, it may cause the bed bugs to scatter to other areas of your home. Similarly, bed bugs may disperse if bleach is used in conjunction with other treatments. If the infestation migrates or divides, treatment will become even more difficult.

Bed bug infestations should not be forgotten either. Spraying one location in your living space doesn’t mean that the infestation was resolved. Bed bugs can live in cracks and crevices of furniture, in mattresses, on baseboards and under carpets, to name a few places. The application of bleach in these areas may put you at an increased risk of exposure. In addition, you may end up over-spraying the chemical. The more bleach you spray, the higher the risk you have of experiencing negative side effects.

The Hazards

So, can you get rid of bed bugs with bleach? There’s no guarantee. Though bleach may kill one or more bed bugs, it will not eliminate an infestation. In this case, the possibilities of danger outweigh the likelihood of success. Since bleach is a toxin, it can be corrosive to your skin if mishandled. Common symptoms include irritation of the eyes, mouth, throat, skin and respiratory system. More serious risks include blurred vision and bronchospasm –a form of tightened lungs and airways. Bleach products can cause an even more severe impact on your pets’ lungs, stomachs and intestines.

Take Action

For a more effective and thorough solution, schedule an appointment with Terminix®. We can help to identify cracks and crevices in your home where bed bugs may reside. When it comes to treatment, our trained technicians will handle the solutions so you don’t have to.