Bleach is often touted as a wonder remedy to kill bed bugs and their eggs. Is it really effective? We provide some tips and guidelines about using bleach for eliminating these parasites.
Using bleach on the mattress is not a good idea, as it may irritate the skin and cause respiratory problems. Vacuum thoroughly and put it inside a bed bug mattress protector.
Combating a bed bug infestation can be a harrowing experience, as you try several remedies without any significant result. Apart from the wide range of sprays and other pesticides available in the market, there are numerous home remedies too. Though hiring professionals for bed bug extermination is an easy option, it is ideal for heavy infestation. You may resort to home remedies for eliminating a few bed bugs, who may expand their clan at your expense, if you fail to take immediate measures.
Though the Internet is flooded with innumerable home remedies for killing bed bugs, you must understand that only a few of them are actually effective. Bleach is one of the commonly used household items for bed bug extermination. It is said to be effective for reducing the bed bug population, but bleach has some limitations too. Given below is a brief overview of the proper methods of using bleach to kill bed bugs.
Tips for Using Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs
Undiluted bleach may kill bed bugs if they are applied directly on these insects. Prolonged contact is said to be more effective for killing bed bugs with bleach. Such an approach is almost impractical. It is not possible to isolate bed bugs and kill them. Here are some practical ways to use bleach, for bed bug elimination.
- Before starting with bleach, remove clutter from the infested area. Remove everything, like books, boxes, paper, carpets, wall hangings, etc. If possible, throw away those items that are not really needed.
- Remove everything from the wardrobes, nightstands and drawers. Separate items that cannot be washed. Vacuum them thoroughly and pack in garbage bags. Seal the bags properly, so that the bugs suffocate and die.
- Gather the washable items. Wash them in a solution of color-safe bleach, detergent, and hot water. Once done, dry them in the dryer at the highest temperature setting.
- The combination of bleach and heat is deadly for adult bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs. For the best results, dry the washed items for at least half an hour, at the highest temperature setting. Ensure that you seal the cleaned items in plastic bags, and store them in another location.
- Mix household bleach and hot water in equal amounts. Soak a washcloth in the solution and wipe the washable surfaces. Spray the solution on the mattress and the box spring. Avoid using the mattress for a few weeks. Use gloves while handling bleach.
- If possible, spray the bleach solution on other hiding places, like headboard, cracks and crevices, etc. You may use food-grade diatomaceous earth on other places, where the bleach solution cannot be applied.
- Don’t use the room for a few days. If possible, expose the mattress to direct sunlight. Vacuum the room every day, without fail. Seal the cracks and crevices before using the room.
- Vacuum the furniture, carpet, wardrobes, and drawers in the room. If possible, keep them in direct sunlight for a few days. Make sure that you vacuum the mattress, box springs, bed frames, and headboards, thoroughly.
- Once done, seal the mattress inside a bed bug enclosure or plastic cover for at least 12 months. This will ensure that the bugs get killed due to suffocation.
Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs and Their Eggs?
Yes. Undiluted bleach can be effective for killing bed bugs, if applied directly. You cannot soak the mattress in bleach, if you want to use it later. Even if you spray bleach on the mattress, the bugs may hide inside it. Even the eggs that are laid inside will remain unaffected. Diluted bleach may not be that effective, when compared to the undiluted form. But, is it healthy to use bleach inside the house, that too in large amounts? Inhaling too much bleach may cause respiratory issues, headaches, vomiting, etc. So, if you intend to use bleach for killing bed bugs, use a good mask. Go through the label of the product and the safety information provided by the manufacturer. Use the product accordingly. The method discussed above is the safest way to use bleach for killing bed bugs. In case of a really bad infestation, discard the mattress, rather than trying to kill the bugs in it. Other effective methods include steaming furniture, and extreme hot or cold treatments. It is always better to hire professionals to get rid of bed bugs in case of severe infestation.