Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Those who wonder, "does bleach kill bed bugs?" are probably suffering from a suspected bed bug infestation. This doesn't have to be the end of the world and there are many ways to treat this common pest problem.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are a nuisance insect that infests beds and couches. They are just about the size of a sesame seed and dark brown in color. They bite their hosts at night which can cause itchy reactions. They don't spread disease, they are simply an annoyance and highly contagious.

How can you get bed bugs?

Bed bugs are very easily spread. Hotel rooms, hostels, airplanes and movie theaters are all places that have suffered from bed bug infestations. All it takes is one or two eggs attaching to your clothes or belongings to bring bed bugs into your home. They are most common in larger cities but can occur anywhere.

How to tell if you have bed bugs

Bed bugs are very sneaky. It can be hard to tell if you have a rash, a spider bite or bed bug bites. First of all, bed bug bites may be in a straight line.

You can also tell if you have them by looking at your sleeping surfaces. Bed bugs shed their brown shells quite often and leave them behind in crevices of the bed. They leave their excrement, which looks black since it is essentially dried blood.

Bed bugs usually bite at night, but the bites don't itch until a few hours later. If you wake up in the middle of the night and feel a creepy-crawly sensation, it could be bedbugs. The insects are great at hiding, so it may take you a while to truly determine the cause of your night-time tickles.

Does bleach kill bed bugs?

There are many home remedies that people try to use to kill bed bugs. Bleach is a very strong chemical that is known for its disinfecting properties. However, it can also be corrosive and strips the color from fabrics and other materials. It does, in fact, kill bedbugs and their eggs, but it will damage your furniture and other items. There are other non-toxic methods for killing bed bugs, and others that will not damage your belongings. So bleach is a good option for items that won't get damaged by using bleach on them, but it's definitely not a good idea for everything.

If you do use bleach to kill bedbugs, there are a few things you can try. First of all, wash your clothes with a bleach detergent before putting them in the dryer on high heat to dry them. Of course, this isn't good for all clothes since bleach can make bright colors paler. There is color safe bleach which will work just as well as other bleach products. That way, your clothes will say bright and bed bug-free.

For other surfaces where you don't mind using bleach, mix some bleach and warm or hot water. Use a washcloth to wipe surfaces with the bleach solution and make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies of furniture like bookshelves and dressers. Remember, it only takes one egg left behind to create the problem all over again! Make sure you wear gloves when using bleach because it can irritate the skin.

Put a bleach solution into a spray bottle and spray bleach on your bed frame, box spring and in any crevices of furniture or the room where you have bed bugs. It is not recommended to spray your mattress because that can cause skin irritation once you sleep on it again. Instead, you can get a bed bug mattress protector. Once you put it on, bugs will get sealed inside and they will eventually die after a long while. They won't be able to get in or out so as long as you take care of the other ways to use bleach to kill bed bugs, your mattress doesn't need it.

Is bleach a permanent and effective solution for bed bugs?

Bleach is a permanent solution to killing bed bugs, as long as you are vigilant with your infestation and take care of it properly. Bleach is just one solution that can be used as part of a comprehensive plan to kill the nuisance bugs and make sure that your home stays bedbug-free for a long time. When used in conjunction with other methods to kill bed bugs, bleach is a very effective product, but the overall strategy is very important.

Other ways to kill bed bugs

Put your things in the dryer on high heat, put them in plastic bags in direct sunlight or even in a closed car on a hot day. Heat definitely kills bed bugs but you have to factor in the amount of time you put it in for. To make sure you kill all the eggs, you should heat for longer, up to 90 minutes if possible.

Things that can't be heated up safely can be frozen. Set your freezer to zero degrees Fahrenheit and leave everything in there for at least 4 days. Use a thermometer to check the temperature to make sure it stays at 0 degrees.

Pesticides are an effective way to kill bed bugs and their eggs. Make sure you look for products that list bed bugs on the packaging and that are registered with the EPA. Most professionals will use a combination of heat and pesticides to make sure that not only the bugs but also the eggs are gone.

What to do after treatment

After you've already treated for bedbugs with bleach and other methods, vigilance is the name of the game. You must check for signs of bedbugs at least every few days. Vacuum regularly to try to suck up any remaining eggs or bugs and dump the vacuum's bag or storage right away. Bed bugs are very persistent so this is pretty important. You can also place bed bug traps in strategic areas of your home like near chair or table legs, or under your bed frame.

The verdict on bleach

Bleach does kill bed bugs but it is just one small part of a comprehensive treatment plan to rid yourself of the nasty creatures. Bed bugs might sound dangerous or scary, but it really isn't much to worry about beyond itchy bites and an annoying situation. Covering all of your belongings in bleach is likely to damage them, but it can be used on specific items as part of a methodical strategy to kill all the bugs.