People are terrified of bed bugs; even though they’re relatively harmless, these insects can cause anxiety, PTSD, and sleep disorders. While they will bite you and cause irritating bumps all over the body, they don’t really transfer any serious diseases. Nevertheless, most people react with panic and haste when they notice evidence of bed bugs on their property.
People use a number of home remedies and solutions to eliminate these bugs. Some of these solutions are mildly effective and don’t cause harm, others can have an impact on your health. Bleach is one such at-home solution.
Will Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?
The short answer to this question is yes. Bleach will kill bed bugs if you use it to wash your infested bed linen. Bleach is a known disinfectant and contains harsh chemicals. These chemicals can sink into the bed bug’s body and kill them. According to research, the scent of bleach can also suffocate bed bugs and drive most of them away. The pests that remain will be exposed to the scent of bleach for a long time and eventually die from the exposure.
Bleach will also kill eggs and larvae of bed bugs so it’s possible to eliminate bed bugs with bleach. Some people soak their mattresses in bleach to kill both eggs and larvae before they have had the change to mature and cause damage. However, it’s not entirely practical or safe for you.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Bleach
Bleach might seem like a simple and effective solution to combat bed bugs, but it has its disadvantages. Here are some reasons why you should avoid using this chemical to kill bed bugs:
- Bleach is a very strong chemical – Bleach is a strong chemical with a fairly strong odor. If you soak your mattress and try to sleep on it, you’ll experience breathing difficulties and problems like skin rashes. Prolonged exposure to bleach can cause a number of health problems so you shouldn’t apply bleach directly onto your bed mattress. You can wash your linens in bleach without any problems because that will remove the bleach residue. However applying it directly onto your mattress isn’t a good idea.
- You would have to soak the mattress and the linens – In order to effectively remove all traces of bed bugs, you’d have to apply a generous amount of bleach to your mattress, bed, linens like sheets and pillowcases, etc. If you’re not thorough, the bed bugs will keep coming back and continue to cause problems. This can be a waste of time and energy as many homeowners face resurgence in the number of bed bugs after a few weeks of the treatment.
- Bleach would damage the mattress and linens – You might be willing to sacrifice your bedsheets and pillow cases, but would you be willing to discard your expensive mattress? Strong bleach can damage your mattress by weakening the fabric and staining the surface. If you use too much, you’ll be forced to replace your linens and mattresses entirely and that can prove to be very expensive.
- Not all bugs will die – While bleach might eliminate most of your bed bugs, there’s always a possibility that a few will remain alive. These few can reproduce quickly and force you to deal with a new set of bugs. Without proper follow up, these bugs will keep coming back.
Why You Should Use A Heat-Treatment Solution
Instead of going through the hassle of applying bleach everywhere, why not choose a far more effective method? Bed bugs are vulnerable to heat and can’t tolerate temperatures around and over 115°F. This process will eliminate all bed bugs from the eggs to the adult stage. These pests have no defense against the extreme heat, which the heat-treatment solutions are so successful. Here are some reasons why you should consider heat treatment:
- Faster and safer. The heat treatment process only uses heat to kill bed bugs and there are no chemicals involved.
- Professionals will follow up to check whether all bugs are eliminated. They will apply follow up treatments if they still spot bed bugs.
- This treatment won’t damage your linens and mattress. In fact, the heated steam will sanitize these surfaces.
As you can see, at-home solutions are not always as effective as you would like them to be. Professionals will provide solutions that have proven to be effective in real life so you can sleep without the worry of bed bugs and bites. If you have a bug problem, don’t rely on bleach, rely on a professional.