Does Bleach kill Bed Bugs?

bleach to kill bed bugs

Many people who have already experienced or are currently experiencing a bed bug infestation ask themselves this question: does bleach kill bed bugs ? To this question, there is no clear-cut and definitive answer. It all depends on how you use this substance, and how badly you are invaded. Depending on your situation, bleach can be both a valuable weapon and a completely useless tool.


What is Bleach ?

Bleach (Also called Javel Water) is a household chemical that is used primarily as a whitening agent and disinfectant.

It is a solution of sodium hypochlorite in water, and can also be mixed with other chemicals to create different cleaning solutions. It is a very widespread product. In every house, you can easily find a bottle of it. As far as cleaning is concerned, it is used on almost all occasions: cleaning the floor, the ceramic in a bathtub, a stainless steel sink, a stain on a piece of clothing. It is almost as if it were given magical properties! It is therefore normal, the day when insects as tough as bed bugs take up residence in your home, to wonder if it can help you get rid of them.


Does Bleach kill Bed bugs ?

If you immerse a bed bug in it, the answer is yes. If you immerse a live bed bug in a bath of pure bleach then, in a few seconds, the insect dies. The chlorine in the bleach solution will kill bed bug eggs on contact when pure. It is therefore a treatment that works to kill those pests. If you don’t have it on hand, you can always substitute it with ammonia or isopropyl alcohol, which will have more or less the same effects and will kill the submerged bug within seconds. But in general, it’s easier to get your hands on a bottle of this solution.

The issue with Bleach is that you cannot entirely rely on it to get rid of those blooduckers. Especially if the infestation is advanced as it is not applicable for large-scale treatment. Indeed you cannot soak a whole room in it and you cannot catch them all alive and then dip them one by one into the jar with the bleach solution.


How long does it take for bleach to kill bed bugs?

The time it takes for bleach to kill bed bugs can vary depending on the concentration of the bleach solution. In general, those insects and their eggs will be killed within seconds with a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. As for the eggs, it takes about 5 minutes of contact time with the same solution.

Alternative methods to handle a Bed bug invasion

If ever bed bugs have settled in your home and started to swarm there, bleach can be of great help to you, and help you in your fight in a way that is both direct and indirect. However, you won’t get rid of it just with it, especially if it’s a big infestation. It won’t be enough to get rid of every nest, to kill every egg before it hatches. If you want to get rid of a bed bug infestation completely, you’re going to have to find something else. The best way to fight effectively against those critters is to multiply the strings to your bow.

First, there are many insecticide sprays or kits that you can spray near bed bug nests. They are easy to find in stores or on the internet, and extremely effective. The only problem is that in general, this type of product is not chemical free and not the best solution if you are looking for natural options. However if you want to find the most effective Spray in the market for those invaders, you can have a look at our Best Bed bugs Sprays Buying Guide.

In terms of natural products, the most prominent product in the fight against those pests is diatomaceous earth. Made up of microscopic and extremely sharp crystals from algae, it will easily pierce their shells. Making diatomaceous earth traps around the infested room is probably one of the most effective methods for exterminating those bloodsuckers.

Finally, some essential oils can be used as a repellent against bed bugs. And, in addition to all these products, there is bleach.


How to use Bleach to get rid of Bed Bugs

Be cautious when using Bleach

You should handle Bleach with care as it can be harmful if ingested or if it comes in contact with the eyes or skin. You should use it in well-ventilated areas and always diluted before use.

To immerse the bug in it, use tweezers or a piece of wood to act as an intermediary. Otherwise, be sure to wear latex gloves. Never directly with your own hands and skin. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when dealing with Bleach.
If you want to know how to use insecticides designed for those bloodsuckers, you can have a look at our Bed bug sprays Tutorial.


Apply the bleach solution where Bed bugs are located

We saw that bleach is deadly to bed bugs on contact.  Now, the hardest part is catching those pests. They can hide in the smallest crevices of your room: seams of a mattress, inside cracks and crevices, inside furniture, in wall holes, etc. It is very difficult to spot them, but, with a little experience, your gaze will be sharper and you will be able to recognize them. Just know that generally bed bugs do not live far from their food source (Which is you in your bed!)

There’s more than one way to use bleach in your fight against those invaders in your home :

1) You can use it as a poison by directly immersing the insects found inside a container filled with the solution.

2) Also, bed bugs hate the smell of it. So if you are used to cleaning your room with this product, you are implementing an interesting preventive treatment as they may want to avoid it if possible.

They tend to hide in corners ,dark and tiny places. They leave excrement and small blood stains behind once they are full from blood. A good cleaning from top to bottom of your house will therefore not be too much to help you see more clearly, to clean the traces of their presence, but also to force them to remain in their hiding place instead of spreading in the room. If you clean your room with bleach, you will deter more than one bug.


Use Bleach for laundry to kill Bed bugs

Does bleach kill bed bugs in laundry ? It can be effective in killing them on clothing and bedding in the laundry.

Most bed bugs and eggs will die if exposed to a temperature of 131°F (55°C)  or higher. So if you put all your sheets and clothes in the washing machine and run it at 140°F (60°C), you have a high chance of killing them all.

To use bleach on bed bugs in laundry, If your fabrics allow it,  you should use a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Soak the clothing or bedding in the solution for at least 5 minutes and then wash and dry it on high heat cycles.

You can also add a small dose of bleach to the drum of the machine, which will strengthen your action and increase their chances of passing away. You will soon be able to find a healthy sleep and sleep soundly.


Bleach vs Vinegar for bed bugs

Both bleach and vinegar can be effective tools in getting rid of bed bugs. Using bleach on them can be effective, as we previously saw.

Vinegar, on the other hand, is a natural alternative that can be just as effective in killing those invaders. But it does not have the same harmful side effects as bleach. As it is a natural product and a home staple. If you want to know more about Vinegars to get rid of those insects. Have a look at our at our article on Vinegar and Bed bugs.


Bleach vs Rubbing Alcohol for bed bugs

Both Bleach and rubbing alcohol can be effective weapons to kill bed bugs.

As we saw, Bleach is a strong chemical that can be effective in killing both bed bugs and their eggs. But it can also be harmful to humans and pets if not used properly. It can also discolor or damage surfaces.

Rubbing alcohol is an alternative that can be just as effective as bleach, if not more. But it also can be harmful to humans if ingested or inhaled. So be cautious when using it.  It is important to note that 70% isopropyl alcohol is more effective at killing them than other types of alcohol. It will kill those bloodsuckers at all stages from adults to nymphs to eggs.



Bed bugs are definitely not easy to get rid of. Quite the opposite. In this article we answered the question : Does Bleach kill Bed bugs ?  If bleach and other “home” or “natural” treatments are a great help and can kill those pests. They are still insufficient in the face of a large-scale infestation. You should combine them with other Pest Control methods such as Steaming, Vacuuming and Encasing your mattress to win the battle against those bloodsuckers.