The following guide refers to bleach as Clorox, which is regular household bleach. Any Household bleach will do!
NOTE: 5.25 percent
Chemically speaking, chlorine bleach is a water solution of sodium hypochlorite. Common household laundry bleach, used to whiten and disinfect laundry, is typically either 5.25 percent (“regular strength”) or 6 percent sodium hypochlorite (“ultra strength”). Chlorine Bleach chlorine.americanchemistry.com › Chlorine › BleachFAQs
How does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?
Bleach effectively kills bed bugs. Bleach is a harsh chemical that is used by many people to sanitize their garments.
Bleach has however many more uses that are being discovered with time and one such use is killing bed bugs.
Bleach kills bed bugs by suffocating them. You will realize that bleach has a very strong scent and some people even find it difficult to use it because of the smell.
It is this strong bad scent that suffocates the bed bugs by interfering with their respiratory system.
Bleach, being a disinfectant, removes viruses and any dirt from surfaces. When used for bed bugs, you may need to give bleach a few hours to completely kill the bed bugs. This is because, since it works by making it difficult for the pests to breath, it will kill them slowly and not instantly.
Research shows that, the active ingredient in bleach is hypochlorous. This and other chemical ingredients in bleach have similar properties of heat on proteins.
Bleach therefore kills bed bugs in laundry. When bleach is used in laundry, it exposes bedbugs to hypochlorous, the active ingredient.
Hypochlorous causes unfolding of the body structure of bed bugs. Bleach has the ability to denature the protein membrane of bed bugs causing them to experience a condition similar to fever.
This makes the immune system of the bedbugs defenseless and the bedbugs slowly die. The body of the bed is subjected to heat and this makes the bed bugs immobile. The next thing you know, all the bed bugs in your laundry will be dead.
Ways to use bleach to kill bed bugs Note: Any
There are different ways of using bleach to kill bed bugs but the best is using Clorox spray. Here, you spray Clorox (bleaching powder) on the infested area.
To kill bed bugs using this method, the following will be required;
- Clorox liquid bleach
- Laundry soap and washer with hot water capability
- Vacuum cleaner that has hose attachment
- Flashlight and a bucket
- Heavy weight kitchen (or yard-size) garbage bags with ties
- Water spray bottle, utility staple gun and heavy plastic sheeting.
- Scrub brush, washcloths, and Rubber utility gloves
If you wish to get rid of bed bugs for good, you will need to first of all inspect all around your house, most especially, the bed, mattress and all the furniture.
Using your flashlight, carefully examine the bed, mattress and furniture for any traces of alive or dead bed bugs or even their eggs.
You must also be on the watch out for their dung or husks. Presence of any of these is a sign that your house is infested with bed bugs.
Remove all unnecessary materials
You must know that crowding a lot of junk and any form of disorderliness is a perfect opportunity for bedbugs to create a hiding place in your house.
You must therefore remove such materials and create order in your house before you begin spraying the house. Pull all the drawers to ensure they open and also remove your mattress from the bed since they will be sprayed differently. Remove the box spring from the bed as well.
Do proper cleaning
Wash all your blankets and sheets since they are likely to carry some bed bugs with them. Wash them with boiling water, Clorox, and laundry detergent.
Dry all the washed items in the maximum possible heat that they can stand. This ensures nymph, bed bugs, and eggs that may have escaped the washing are killed.
Use the vacuum cleaner to clean the mattress and cushions. Vacuum the inside of all the drawers and available furniture in your house. Ensure you vacuum your carpet as well. The bed area must be cleaned with more care as it is likely to have the highest infestation.
Remove the vacuum bag
When you have cleaned all corners of your house, remove the vacuum bag from the cleaner then seal it well. Dispose it into a trash can.
Spray Clorox mixture
Make a mixture of hot water and Clorox bleach in a container. Put this mixture into a spray bottle. To prevent irritation of your hands, wear the gloves.
Position the nozzle well then begin to spray. The reason you cannot use bleach without mixing it with some water is that it irritates the skin even when dry.
Spread the mixture on the mattress especially on the edges and any folding. Spray the bed corners and the box spring. Spray the drawers ensuring you reach all the edges.
Use a washcloth for other infested areas
This method works together with spraying to ensure no bed bugs survive. When used alone, it may not be effective and therefore, you should do it after spraying.
There are other areas that are not your furniture or mattress but may be infested with bed bugs. Wear your hand gloves then make a mixture of Clorox with water and dip a wash cloth into the mixture.
Clean any areas in your room that are washable with the wash cloth. More precisely, use the wash cloth to reach for the innards of drawers, dressers, baseboards and fixtures.
You should only put your house in order after everything has dried. In fact, after spraying, you could leave everything for a whole day to dry.
This also ensures the bed bugs die completely. You are actually advised to leave the house for 48 hours to allow for the bleach to work. This is mostly advisable if you are allergic to the smell of the bleach.
What are the best Bleaches for destroying bed bugs
Most people who have used Clorox bleach for bed bugs confirm that it works perfectly.
Most of them advise that the bleach you use should be color safe so that it does not mess your items especially fabric.
Antonio McDonial, September, 2017
Antonio confirms that the bleach with water forms a corrosive solution which kills the bed bugs. Following the chemical reaction, the bed bugs shells are shed off. Antonio advises that you should spray your furniture and fabric; preferably using a color safe bleach.
Dana Jackson (YouTube), October, 2017
Dana confirms that the bleach kills the bed bugs within a very short period of time.
Any other bleaches
Clorox is the most common bleach used to kill bed bugs. However, there are other bleaches which are equally effective. They include;
- Oxygen bleach which contains hydrogen peroxide
- Chlorine bleach which contains sodium hypochlorite
Pros and cons of using Bleach for Bed Bugs
- Bleach is very effective as it kills all bed bugs in less than two days
- It is easily available
- It is affordable
- It is easy to use. You can do it yourself without any necessary skills.
- It has a very strong smell which may make some people allergic
- It is likely to irritate the skin when not properly diluted
- It may require you to vacate the house for a day or two since it kills the bed bugs slowly
- It is likely to discolor clothes and that is why you are advised to use color safe bleach
- It may also interfere with some furniture finishing and eventually cause fading of furniture surfaces
Any tips to make this bed bug destruction method effective
- Give the bleach enough time to work. This means that you leave your house for at least 24 hours without putting back your dressers or the drawers.
- Spray again after a week to kill any bed bugs that may have escaped the first time.
- Do not add too much water since you want the smell of the Clorox to be strong enough as to suffocate the bed bugs.
- Ask neighbors to do the clean up as well as the bed bugs in their houses may come to your house rendering your efforts use less.
- Vacuum the room every day as that ensures bed bugs have no hiding place.
- You must ensure that you clean the house to get rid of any eggs that the bed bugs may have laid. Failure to get rid of the eggs allows for hatching and hence more bed bugs.
New York City Department of Health Mental Hygiene explains that a female bed bug lays 5 to 7 eggs in a week. They further explain that it takes only about ten days for the egg to hatch.
In about two to four months, the bed bugs will be grown fully. This means, to get rid of bed bugs forever, you must get rid of any eggs before they can hatch. More at Source: