The answer is yes and no. It can but the effort and risk of using bleach is just not worth it.
Using bleach-based products is not a good way to get rid of a bed bug infestation, it is just not effective.
Bleach can be used to kill adult bed bugs, eggs, and larvae but you have to get the bleach directly on each one. The areas where bed bugs hide bleach will not penetrate deep enough into cracks and crevices to reach any of them to kill them.
This is why we do not recommend bleach and advise you to use other methods like DIY pesticides that are designed to kill bed bugs or hire an exterminator.
How to Use the Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs
Many people believe that bleach can effectively kill bed bugs. However, bleach is not the best option for killing these pests.
Bleach is a really strong chemical that will negatively affect you and your family if you pour bleach into cracks and crevices. Even if you dilute the bleach the smell is very strong and toxic.
Bleach can also cause damage to carpets and cause areas to discolor. It is best to stick to sprays and gels that were made to get rid of bed bugs.
If you do use bleach to kill bed bugs, it is important to follow all safety precautions and to use only a small amount of bleach.
What Chemicals Does Bleach Contain?
Chlorine in bleach is effective at killing 99.9% of bacteria, and chlorine is a great disinfectant but not a bug killer.
Chlorine is a powerful oxidizer. The bleach we use is a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as liquid bleach.
Why Use Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs
Many people turn to harsh chemicals to eradicate bed bugs. The one chemical many people use since it is cheap and readily available is bleach.
While bleach can kill bed bugs if you directly spray them, it does come with some risks.
First, bleach is highly corrosive so it can damage different items such as clothing, carpeting, and upholstery.
Second, bleach also lets off very toxic fumes that you do not want to breathe in, especially when indoors.
Finally, bleach is also harmful to the environment and should be used cautiously.
Why People Shouldn’t Use Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs
Using Bleach to control bed bugs infestation is not always advisable as it can be harmful to humans. Chemicals in bleach can irritate your eyes, skin, and throat.
Bleach is a harsh chemical that can damage furniture and fabrics, and it might kill the bed bugs if the spray actually hits them. In addition, using bleach around children and pets can be dangerous.
There are safer and more effective ways to get rid of bed bugs, such as using a vacuum cleaner, steamer, DIY sprays, or hiring an exterminator.
Does Bleach Fumes Kill Bed Bugs?
Many people believe that bleach fumes can kill bed bugs, but this is not true at all. The fumes will hurt and bother your family more than the bed bugs.
Does Bleach Instantly Kill Bed Bugs?
While bleach has been found to be capable of killing bed bugs, it cannot provide total extermination.
The bleach solution must come into direct contact with the bugs. It is hard enough to see a bed bug let alone find them and directly spray them all with bleach.
Even if you spray a bed bug with bleach it will not instantly die and many will not die at all.
Can you Add Water to Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs?
Adding water to the bleach only dilutes the strength of the bleach and may still kill bed bugs but would be less effective than straight bleach.
To kill bed bugs, you’ll need to use highly concentrated bleach. This can create a ton of other problems from toxic smell to discoloring or damaging your home.
What else Works Besides Bleach?
Bleach might work against bed bugs in your home, but it is harmful to humans. If you want to avoid using bleach to kill bed bugs.
Here are alternative household products that people do try and use. We will explain the pros and cons of each one.
1. Vinegar to Kill Bed Bugs
Bed bugs may be tiny, but they are highly tenacious and almost impossible to kill. Since these pesky critters can hide in even the smallest crevices of your mattress, dressers, floorboards, and furniture it is often difficult to detect their presence.
While many people turn towards vinegar as a bed bug-killing solution due to its acetic acid content which may kill some of them. Here is the truth vinegar is not going to work effectively to kill the bed bugs in your home, plain and simple.
2. Lysol to Eradicate Bed Bugs
Most DIY methods simply don’t work and Lysol is one of those that is useless against bed bugs. This stuff was made to disinfect not kill bed bugs so do not waste your time spraying bed bugs with Lysol.
Many people have tried Lysol as a way to get rid of these bugs. Lysol is a powerful disinfectant that can kill a wide range of bacteria and viruses but it can’t kill bugs.
However, there’s no scientific evidence that Lysol is effective against bed bugs. In fact, most experts agree that the best way to rid your home of these pests is to call in a professional exterminator or DIY with the chemicals we recommend on the site.
Lysol is a good option for cleaning your home but we know it is not the right solution for getting rid of bed bugs.
3. Killing Bed Bugs Using Baking Soda
While there are many methods for killing bed bugs, one of the most popular is using baking soda. Baking soda is a natural substance that is safe to use around children and pets because it is cheap and safe many people try to use it to get rid of bed bugs.
Baking soda is cheap and can be found in every grocery store. We don’t recommend using baking soda but if you want to do it anyways you just sprinkle it around the areas you have seen the bugs like mattresses, furniture, and baseboards.
The basic premise is that baking soda is supposed to absorb the moisture from the bed bugs, causing them to dehydrate and die.
We have found that baking soda does not work to kill bed bugs. People have tried to use it probably because it is cheap and plentiful. The problem is you are wasting your time with a solution that does not work as the bed bugs keep multiplying.
I was selling one of my houses that I was using as a rental. When I took the house back and started renovating it to sell I found out the tenant had bed bugs. They did not tell me so it was a surprise.
I hired a company to come in and heat the house to 140 F to get rid of the bugs quickly. I also sprayed after the heat treatment to make sure we got them all. It worked for me and they were eliminated so I could then sell the house.
One way to get rid of bed bugs quickly is extreme heat. Companies bring in heat equipment that will heat your home or business from 125F to 140F. The trick is the bed bugs must be exposed to this high temperature for long enough to kill them.
This treatment if done right will kill all bed bugs that same day. If you miss any bed bugs then weeks later they start to come back.
If you do heat treatment I would buy the DIY sprays that we suggest here to spray for several weeks after the heat to make sure they are all eradicated.
Bed bugs will die if exposed to 113 F for 90 minutes. If you raise that temperature just 5 degrees to 118 F then everything but bed bug eggs will die in 20 minutes. Bed bug eggs are like a fortress so at 118 F it takes 90 minutes to kill bed bug eggs.
A dryer can also be used on high heat to kill bed bugs on your clothes.
You can take different small objects in your home and put them in the freezer to kill bed bugs. The issue is you can’t put much in a freezer and you have to leave it in there for 4 days.
5. DIY – Get Rid of the Bed Bugs Yourself
I do this all the time for my home. I know this is not a bed bug story but it proves the point many times you can do it yourself. One time I had termites in the flower bed next to my home. I bought the spray from an online pest control pesticide company and followed the directions to get rid of the bug problems.
I did get a quote on spraying for termites and it was $1500 which is cheap. I bought the same stuff he used for $50 at a DIY store and killed all the termites in one week.
The termites were only outside they had not come into the home so doing it myself was easier. If you have bed bugs and not much money then you might want to look at getting rid of bed bugs using the sprays below.
Here are the products we use to get rid of bed bugs.
6. Professional Bed Bug Treatment
If you do not want to get rid of the bugs by doing it yourself you can hire a pest control company.
You need to make sure you understand their policy on getting rid of bed bugs. Some companies will not guarantee they will get rid of them.
If they spray your home a couple of times and they tell you it looks like the bed bug problem is gone. Then 4 weeks later you start getting bit again and you find the bed bugs are back.
You will call the pest control company to come back out for free but they can say they got rid of them and you brought them back in so then they will charge you again.
Make sure you have in writing what exactly it is they are promising for the cost.
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that bleach can kill bedbugs. In fact, bleach is not an effective insecticide and can even be harmful to humans and pets if used improperly.
You can get rid of bed bugs using the products we recommend on this site or by hiring a professional exterminator.