Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?
Bleach is one of the most commonly found ingredients at home. It is more than a garment and tile or floor cleaner. Bleach also has the properties of a pesticide. This article will tell you the exact mechanism that makes bleach a lethal substance for bedbugs and how you can use this humble home cleaner to your advantage.
What is Bleach? Understanding its Composition and Properties
Bleach is a common household disinfectant that is used to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. It is typically made from a solution of sodium hypochlorite and water, which can vary in strength depending on the intended use. Bleach is a strong oxidizing agent, which means it reacts with other chemicals to break them down and kill bacteria and viruses. It is important to handle bleach with care, as it can be harmful if ingested or if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes.
Chemical Composition of Bleach
Bleach is a chemical compound primarily composed of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) in water. It is a potent oxidizing agent and has strong disinfecting and bleaching properties.
Common Uses and Functions
Bleach is commonly used for cleaning, disinfecting, and whitening various surfaces, fabrics, and water. It is effective in killing bacteria, viruses, fungi, and some pests.
Process of Using Bleach Effectively
Being a good floor and clothes cleaner, bleach is also a pesticide. Sodium Hypochlorite can conveniently enter the body of a bed bug upon contact. Bleach attacks the immune system and suffocates the bed bug ending its life.
Mix bleach with water in a 1:1 ratio. Use a spray bottle while covering your hands properly. Get to know where the bugs are and spray the solution. Let it dry for a day or two and then clean the areas properly. However, it can ruin some surfaces and can prove to be powerful for humans. Make sure to use it with caution.
How Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?
Now that we know, bleach kills bed bugs, we ought to know the mechanism that works on these little creatures that rob you of a good night’s rest. Read on below if you want to know how exactly bleach works on bed bugs:
- The chemical name of bleach is sodium hypochlorite. This solution is extremely alkaline and can easily break down proteins.
- Once the bleach comes in contact with the body of a bed bug, the bed bug will automatically absorb the poisonous liquid.
- The bed bug will soon begin to experience fever-like symptoms. This is the rapid breakdown of proteins that have already begun.
- In a few minutes, you will notice the bed bug struggling to hang on to its life.
- This is the immune system of the bug that is under attack by the bleach solution.
- Soon you will notice that the bed bug has ceased to move and is dead.
- In addition to attacking its immune system, bleach fumes also suffocate the bed bug.
How To Use Bleach To Kill Bed Bugs?
Bleach is quite effective in putting an end to a bed bug infestation, but its effectiveness also depends on the way the substance is used and handled. We have come up with a protocol for you to follow when you want to use bleach to rid yourself of your bug infestation.
- Identify bed bug colonies – Begin with identifying the areas where the maximum number of bugs have congregated. This should be easy to spot with the telltale signs of black marks that bed bugs leave, on their excrement. Use a flashlight or any other source of bright light to look into the corners and crevices of your house like your mattress, seams of pillowcases and sheets, cushion covers, curtains, rugs, old electrical sockets, loose floorboards, etc.
- Deep clean your house – This will include cleaning the walls and ceilings, turning over the mattress, clearing out all the extra junk that might have got collected, cleaning picture frames and other surfaces that you don’t regularly clean, etc. This will rid any surfaces that might have the shells of these bed bugs.
- Arm yourself with the right equipment – It is not time to get going. Prepare a bleach solution with a 1:1 ratio of bleach and water. Put this into a spray bottle. Put on your rubber gloves so as not to ruin your hands in the bargain. Bring out the flashlight again, so that you can see better. Use goggles if the strong solution makes your eyes water.
- Time to get spraying – Spray the solution liberally over your mattress and every crevice of your bed. You might see the little devils running helter-skelter. Other furniture and surfaces can be tackled by wiping them down with a damp cloth that has been soaked in the bleach solution.
- Put on the finishing touches – Vacuum the surfaces you have sprayed for any eggs or shells. Run all your linen and other cloth in boiling water in the machine. You can add bleach solution to the machine as well. Let all the surfaces dry, including the mattress and bed for a minimum of 24 – 48 hours. Once it has dried completely, you may begin to clean up the bleach satins.
The Effectiveness of Bleach Against Bed Bugs
Bleach is not an effective treatment for eliminating bed bugs. While bleach can kill some bacteria and viruses, it is not effective at killing bed bugs because they have a hard outer shell that protects them from the effects of bleach. In addition, bleach is a strong oxidizing agent that can be harmful if used improperly, such as if it comes into contact with skin or eyes. Instead, it is recommended to use targeted bed bug treatments, such as insecticides, heat treatments, or steam treatments, to eliminate bed bugs from infested areas. It is important to work with a professional pest control company to ensure that bed bugs are eliminated and to prevent re-infestations.
Bleach’s Impact on Bed Bugs
Bleach can kill bed bugs on contact due to its corrosive properties. However, it is not an effective long-term solution as it does not penetrate surfaces well, leaving bed bug eggs and hiding bed bugs unharmed.
Limitations and Drawbacks of Using Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs
The effectiveness of bleach in killing bed bugs is limited by its inability to reach their hiding spots and eggs. Additionally, bleach can damage fabrics, upholstery, and other household materials, making it unsuitable for widespread use.
Closing Thoughts on Using Bleach to Kill Bed Bugs
Though bleach is considered to be effective against bed bugs, it has some drawbacks, eg:
- It might not be effective if used in a dilute solution form.
- It can damage some delicate surfaces.
- The bleach fumes might be too powerful for humans as well.
- It might not work if the infestation is too large.
Thus, bleach does kill bed bugs, but it has its drawbacks. We are not averse to trying it as a home remedy though.
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