Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs

Calcium Hypochlorite or bleaching powder is widely popular for disinfecting swimming pool or drinking water. It is also used for killing household pests and removes moss and algae. Bleach has enough potential to kill most of the insects. The fumes are harmful to both insects and human. Does bleach kill bed bugs? Long exposure of bleach to bed bugs can eradicate it completely. It kills bed bugs only when it comes in direct contact with them.

Does bleach kill bed bugs

Chlorine bleach and other pesticides help to cope up the situation but they are harmful for humans and pets as well. Yet there exists different opinions regarding the same thing. Some people says bleach do not work to get rid of bed bugs. Bleach works most effectively when used in high concentration. However, nothing is better than a temperature of 114 degree Fahrenheit. No bed bug can escape this temperature. If bleach is used in combination to this temperature than it can definitely kill it.

How can we use bleach with 114 degree Fahrenheit temperature to get rid of bed bugs?

  • The very first thing which you have to do is to take out the sheets, pillows, pillow cases, bed spread and blankets. Remember roll them up and then take off from bed so that any bed bug which is cling there get out of it.
  • It’s better to throw away some old things like mattress pad. Replace these mattress pads with the new one.
  • Wash all bedding with the hot water. Heat above 114 degree Fahrenheit is highly fatal for bed bugs.

Bleach on Mattresses

Take cautions as you can damage your mattress in the process of killing bed bugs. Bleach adversely affects mattress. It’s better to throw away the most infested furniture rather than treating it with such an extreme means. When you lay on this bleach treated bedding, its fumes can damage your lungs.

How to use bleach so that it works most effectively?
does bleach kill bed bugs

Chlorine bleach can be used to get rid of bed bugs from the bedding. Pour in a cup of chlorine bleach and two cups of vinegar in water. Now put the bedding into this solution. Use your washing machine to get the best result. Wash the bedding again with detergent and chlorine bleach. Make use of hard-bristled brush to remove the bed bugs which get cling to the bedding. Preferably let it get dry under sun.

Though it is said that bed bug can harbor any place, yet keep your place ultra clean. Routinely vacuum and mop the carpets and floors. You can use bleach in your regular mopping of floor. Does bleach kill bed bugs?

Yes, it does but it works best when you use it in the following way:

  1. Sprinkle the bleach on the floor.
  2. Use alcohol mixed with the hottest available water to mop the floor. Bag up everything which is sensitive to any substance such as bleach and alcohol, being used to kill the bed bugs. This should all be sealed in plastic.
  3. Keep the bag with the bleach sensitive items away from the treated area. It is recommended that they are discarded in case of extreme infestation of bed bugs. Bleach sensitive items are bedding, cushions, clothes, food items, bathroom articles (towels, soap, etc.), and so on. The goal must be to protect those items from bleach which come in direct contact with the skin. Bleach is harmful for humans and pets as well.

Kill bed bugs with safety!

  • I generally keep the bleaching powder in the cupboard with other household products. It releases toxic chlorine gas, so keep it in a place which is away from the reach of children and pets. Place it somewhere which is not used much.
  • Once I removed some stains on my favorite sofa set with bleaching powder. After few days I noticed a crack had appeared. Bleach harms furniture by destroying the wood tissue. Strictly avoid using it to kill bed bugs hiding in furniture.
  • Always use a color-safe bleach so that your bedding does not become discolored especially sheets.

The conclusion drawn to”Does bleach kill bed bugs” is – you can eradicate bed bugs with the help of bleach to a large extent, but bleach is a harmful substance so go for substances such as diatomaceous earth if you want something safer. It is possible to get relief with the use of bleach. However, if the bed bug infestation is still uncontrollable then it is highly recommended to call an exterminator to get rid of these stubborn critters.

22 Responses to “Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs”

  1. ebony says:

    i saturated my bed in bleach and place my bed legs in cups of bleach. I am wondering if that will keep bed bugs off my bed? Hellllllllp me.

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    • Joe says:


      Bleach fumes are dangerous to bugs and humans. Better to put diatomaceous earth (food grade because the other kind is poisonous) in a plate and under the legs to kill any bbs that try to climb up as well. The bedbugs will eventually dehydrate although they may survive to gave you a last bite. Also get bedbug barrier tape (online or from a store) and put on the bed legs. Bedbugs cannot climb up this. In a pinch, use double-sided tape to catch bedbugs. Put masking tape around your bedlegs and then put the stickiest double-sided tape around the masking tape.. The masking tape allows for easy removal..

      Here’s the most deadly and sterile way I could think of which iIuse:

      Bedbugs can also drop on you from the ceiling. Put bedbug barrier tape all around the walls near the floor or ceiling. Bedbugs cannot climb up this tape. In a pinch, get wide masking tape and double-sided tape (the stickiest kind – probably the outdoor tape although I’ve only used the indoor type) and put the masking tape around the walls near the floor or walls. Then put the double’sided tape on the masking tape. The masking tape make for easy removal of the double-sided tape. The bedbugs should stick on the tape. You need to do this because bedbugs will climb above your bed or where you sit for a long time and drop on you. They are attracted by the carbon dioxide you exhale as well as your body temperature. You can also put the barrier tape on the legs of furniture to keep them from climbing up.

      Also get some mattress encasements from online or in a store. The ones that keep mites out are good. Put on both mattress and boxspring. Remember to tape up the zipper handle to the zipper with a very strong tape (not masking tape) for an airtight seal. Unless something damages your encasement. Don’t open for a year and a half to starve any possible bedbugs in your mattress to death (over two years in rare cases). When you wash your linens, vaccuum the mattress pad for loose eggs and tiny baby bedbugs and spray with 90%alcohol/10% water solution to kill bedbug nymphs that may hatch. Let dry.

      To sterilize the vacuum attachment: Drop vacuum attachment into at least 120 degree fahrenheit hot water and submerge completely for an hour and a half. Bedbug eggs can lodge in the bristles. Water must not fall below 120 degrees fahrenheit. Leave room in container and add boiling water as needed. Or, if you prefer to use the stove, put the pot on the floor (in case loose eggs drop off the attachment you can vacuum them up) and put a steel rack in the bottom and put a plate on the rack so the plastic attachment won’t touch the bottom of the pot.

      Fill all cracks in a wooden bed and headboard with polyfiller.

      Put food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) on the edges of the fabric part of the mattress pad and between the mattress pad and boxspring. Put the earth in the cracks where the bed contacts the mattress and boxspring. The DE will attach to the bedbugs and cut into their waxy coating when they move and dehydrate them eventually when they walk.

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      • vonne says:

        Hello Joe I had bedbugs back in April of 2011 on my children bunk beds but it was only on the bottom We moved from an apartment, I sparyed the bed down with bleach and let it sit for a day and repeated it the next day with more bleach, they were dead but i then sprayed 91% acholol all over the bed and the used a steamer as well i was sucessful the first time! Now in Nov. 2011 we bought a used sofa set and haven’t had the sofa set for three weeks in Dec. 2011 and seen one crawling up my leg about 10 am and then another one later on that day crawling on my arm! i called Orkin and all they told me was to throw everthing out and mop, so immedatiely I sparyed my 91% acholol and cleaned my house with the bleach took everthinh to the laundrymat and went from there 7 days later which is today i saw one this morning I freaked out! i just bought a brand new sofa set and im like what to do now? I bought the D-Earth podwer and put it all around my house this will be the second one Ive seen.Im going to re-do everything again but im not sure if the the D-earth is working cause it was on my bed and moving slow… i have the D-Earth all on my bed and the rails and all of my basboards throughout the house and in the cracks and crevices, Im going to buy a steamer and spray the 91% alcoholol all over again and re-apply the D-Earth cause apprently I didnt do something right the first time, My D-Earth I bought from Home Depot, the Brand name is Called Safer, Im not sure if that matters about the brand or not? but thats the one i use. @Joe:

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    • Joe says:

      @ebony: Referring to my other reply to your question: you can get useful double-sided tape from a home renovation or a good hardware store

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    • Joe says:

      Just wanted to add some more tips to my other answer for you and other bedbuggers:

      Just read that recent research says that bedbug eggs must reach a temperature of 118 degrees fahrenheit for 90 minutes to be killed. So that means that vauum attachments must be put into 120 degree water for two hours. The first half hour is to raise the temperature of the item.

      I meant to say that you should put the diatomaceous earth in aluminum pie plates, not regular plates, and put them under your bed legs.

      Throw out all pillows if you haven’t put mite-proof pillow encasements on them or, in a pinch, cover the pillows with plastic garbage bags and tape the opening completely shut. The encasement cannot be opened for over 2 years if the pillows have been infested.

      Also move all furniture away from the walls and make sure that nothing touches the furniture if it touches the walls or the floor unless you put double-sided tape or bed bug barrier tape on the parts that are touching both furniture and walls (such as electrical cords).

      - Here’s a fact on using chlorine: Chlorine can kill bedbugs and eggs after they have been in contact for a while with the chlorine in a soapy water solution but only if the chlorine molecules have made contact with the begbugs or their eggs (in other words – chlorine is not 100% effective – enough heat is 100% effective).

      I found a very small infestation and have done what I advised you to do up to now. Except for the part about clothes washing and making my home safe to use in a jiffy, which I’ve used, the following program is a program that I made up, based on my research into bedbugs, techniques from exterminators that I’ve found online, and my friend’s experience with a neighbor’s bedbug problem, that I’m beginning to put into place. I’ve thought about it a lot and I hope it helps:

      Here’s a way to herd the bedbugs into killing zones (must do this for over 2 years to be more sure that the bedbugs have died from exposure to the diatomaceous earth (DE) or starvation). Warning – it’s a bit austere.The theory behind this is to kill the bedbugs as they try to move or bite you or starve them to death. It also slows down bedbug infestation because bedbugs must bite you five times to grow into adults from nymphs as well as before having some egg-laying sessions. This is a second layer of defense after calling an exterminator:

      First: Quickly make it safe for you to use your home:

      – if you can handle a change to the way your bedroom looks – with a paint brush, paint diatomaceous earth in a square around your bed with the bed legs being inside your bed. You can also do this around your furniture. Put diatomaceous earth in lines that separate your furniture from your feet as well as from your fridge and stove, washer and dryer or computer desk. Move your furniture away from the wall. Put double-sided tape or barrier tape on electrical cords that can provide a path for the bedbug from the wall to the furniture. Now you can sit or stand with more confidence.

      - Put wide masking tape along the walls near the ceiling and double-sided outdoor carpet tape on top of the masking tape. This stops bedbugs from climbing up and dropping on you. You can do this near the floor but I’m assuming that you haven’t got time to clean up the clutter near the floor yet and are in a hurry.

      - Spray your ceiling with 90% alcohol/10% water solution twice to kill nymphs hiding on the ceiling waiting to drop on you. (I don’t know if this kills larger bedbugs but some other bedbuggers have indicated that it does. I killed a nymph with this). A cleaned Windex bottle makes a good sprayer.

      Second: Quickly prepare for an exterminator:

      - Seal all unnecessary clutter into plastic bags and throw away. Make sure the seal is air-tight for the garbage-person. (Ordinary tiwist-ties are not air-tight)

      - Contain your clutter. Contain your necessary clutter into sterile plastic boxes (boxes which are new or sterilized in hot water at 120 degree fahrenheit for two hours). The items inside are only contained and only 100% sterilized only after being heat treated. Heat treat them later when you have more time. (I’m buying a Packtite bedbug heater/killer for heat treatment -> small = $300, large = $600)

      - For easy cleaning, separate often used items from items that can be stored for over 2 years or more. Seal up the latter items with packing tape inside the sterile plastic containers and put these containers into a specially designated area
      - For must-use items, you can heat-treat them by submerging them in 120 degree fahrenheit hot water for two hours or by treating them in the bedbug killer made by Packtite. Treating them in an oven is dangerous.

      - You must also bag your clothes for the exterminator. But you can sterilize them as you go along. I’m sterilizing my clothes and, afterwards, put them into bedbug proof clothes encasements , into garbage bags tied tightly (no regular twist-ties because that isn’t airtight), and into new plastic boxes. (The boxes can be steam cleaned or vacuumed and wiped down with J-cloths and warm, chlorinated soapy water if you can’t afford a steam cleaner yet. Be sure that the J-clothes were stored in a sealed plastic container immediately after purchase or they may be infested. Aslo remember to sterilize the vacuum attachment in hot water like for the items above).

      - You can sterilize the clothes by washing them and drying them at the right temperature for the right amount of time. Put your clothes into plastic bags and empty them directly into the washer. Afterwards, put the clothes loosely in to the dryer and leave ample space for the air to circulate. Dry the clothes until they are bone-dry. Then continue drying the clothes on the highest setting for another hour. The center of your dry clothes pile in the dryer must reach 120 degrees fahrenheit first and stay that way for the rest of the drying cycle to kill the eggs. If the clothes are wet, the moisture will keep the eggs cool. Although the clothes can be dried without washing them, getting the clothes wet helps keep live bedbugs or eggs from falling into the lint trap (which may not get hot enough to kill the bedbugs and they may re-infest your clothes as you remove them from the dryer). Sterilize the washer for other users, after washing clothes in cold or warm water, by running the washer at high heat (with or without clothes) after putting in a cup of bleach (plain or color-safe) and two cups of vinegar. Remember to rinse down the spindle in a top-load washer with the vinegar and maybe another cup of water before sterilizing the washer by running it on high heat.

      Third: After the exterminator has finished, prepare your home for its defense:

      - Remove all coverings on electrical outlets. Using a squeeze bottle filled with DE ( like a mustard bottle or a pre-filled bottle bought online), puff the DE into the area between the lightswitch or outlet and the mess of wires behind the switches or outlets. Then puff some DE into the cracks between the plastic box holding the wires and the wall. This DE will last for 6 months. Seal up the cracks between the plastic box and the wall with silicon caulking (you can buy caulking kits for amateurs if you are an amateur like me) before putting the coverings back. For added security around electrical openings, put masking tape in a square-shape around the outlets and double-sided tape on top of the masking tape. Make the square as big as you want. Don’t use barrier tape for the square because the square is meant to catch any bedbugs that crawl through the outlet.

      – Put bedbug barrier tape or double-sided tape on the walls near the floor.

      - Fill in as many cracks, crannies, holes with silicon caulking (especially in the bathroom), wood filler and/or plaster polyfiller as possible where applicable. Tape up or fill up the extra holes in power bars, extra holes in shelving units cracks between bookshelves and walls (books must be heat-treated or they may also be infested).

      - Put DE along the cracks where the carpet joins the wall, on top and below heating baseboards and other nooks and crannies.

      - Cordon off your appliance areas. As best as you can, clean the inside and outside of your washer, dryer, stove and refridgerator. With bedbug barrier tape create a barrier on the walls around the areas where the appliances sit. Go up from the floor, across the wall and back down to the floor. You can use double-sided outdoor carpet tape on top of masking tape in a pinch. Then you must join the ends of the tape near the floor with diatomaceous earth and complete cordoning off the area. Under the appliance, start at one end of the tape, go around the appliance around its feet towards where your feet would be if you were using the appliance and back towards the other end of the tape still going around the feet of the appliance. You can also use double-sided tape on masking tape to do this but the tape will have to be changed once in a while as it becomes dirty. Also remember to replace the DE once in a while or after you clean the kitchen floor.

      - Cordon off your cupboards in the kitchen. Put barrier tape on the cupboards to stop bedbugs from climbing up. Bedbugs can also hide in knife-blocks. Puff some DE into the openings in the knife block at both ends once in a while-

      - You can also creat bedbug barrieres to separate your rooms by putting barrier tape or masking tape and double-sided tape on the walls or doorframe around the doorways. Then join the ends of the tape near the floor with a line of diatomaceous earth painted on the carpet. Put the tape on before applying the DE so the tape will stick to the walls. This should slow the progress of any venturing bedbug.

      – Then buy a low-vapor steam cleaner and sterilize your furniture, shelves, cupboards, the plastic containers for your items, refridgerator, stove, etc. Such good steam cleaners come from businesses that cater to the home user with allergies or bedbugs. A good one is not cheap. One by Vapamore costs $300 or so. The cheap ones from stores like Wal-mart produce too much wet steam and could create mold-problems in furniture. Use the steam cleaner once in a while to re-sterilize your furniture and cupboards among other things to be safe and to make sure that you get what you may have missed before.

      With the bedbugs unable to climb-up your protected furniture or your walls, or your cupboards, they will have to wander into the cracks along the carpet and walls, where you have put diatomaceous earth, to be killed.

      I recommend not having your friends come over to visit for 2 years so you can more easily control movement in your home. It also takes two years to guarantee that your bedbug enemies have starved to death. Just tell your friends why -now you’ll know who your true friends are.

      Fourth: Now that you’re safer you should have time to sterilize your contained items:

      - I’m buying a Packtite bedbug heater/killer for this.

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    • Joe says:

      Hi. I just added some more information about using plastic boxes that I forgot to mention. It’s under your question on “Does Bleach Kill Bedbugs?”

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    • vickie moore says:

      what do the bites look like? an how do you treat it?

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  2. Cliff says:

    That will definitely not help, and pure bleach isn’t safe to use like that. Wash your blankets, sheets, pillowcases on the hottest setting in the washer and make sure its hot! If that doesn’t work, ll an exterminator! I know its not cheap but do it! You don’t want to harm yourself by getting bleach on you or breathing in its fumes! Good luck!

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  3. Joe says:

    You can get useful double-sided tape from a home renovation store.

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    • Ann says:

      @Joe: guess what i did to get rid of bed bugs completely. i put all my furniture outside my house in the freezing winter covered with plastic. fortunately for me it even snowed a little, gave the house a major bleeching. i even sprayed bleech in the air vents. then heated the house to about 120. for 2 hours, bed bugs gone.

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  4. Joe says:

    An extra note on using plastic boxes to store your items:

    Plastic boxes are more convenient than plastic bags but there are some things to be aware of if you use them.

    Be careful with the ones with latches, they may have holes where the latch attaches to the box. The holes can open directly into the box. Avoid them.

    Plastic boxes without latches may not be airtight unless something is placed on the lid to weigh it down. So its a good idea to put bed bug barrier tape all around the boxes below the lid. It’s even better to put boxes, that you use often, onto a table that has been protected by bedbug barrier tape or double-sided tape after it has been vacuumed and, hopefully, steam treated. Make sure there are no cords or unprotected chairs or things that could contact both the table and foor or walls that could provide a pathway for the bedbugs to get onto the table.

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  5. christian says:

    uhh bleach does work and it kills them i could really give 2.6 fucks if it harms me allong as there dead!

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  6. morgan says:

    bedbugs are digusting ewwww

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  7. morgan says:

    i really need to kill these bugs

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    • Ann says:

      @morgan: make sure when you do finally kill dem bastards, that who ever homes that you and your house members visited during this terrible time has there homes inspected and treated, or youll be starting all ova again. god bless.

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  8. sue says:

    if i try the bleach tonight on my bed can i still sleep on it i dont see a lot just a littler

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