Does Bleach Keep Bugs Away?

Indeed, it does. Bleach not only keeps bugs away but also kills them. 

But how?

In this guide, you’ll learn –

  • Why does bleach keep bugs away?
  • How to use bleach to keep bugs away?
  • And why using bleach repeatedly to get rid of bugs isn’t a good idea?

Keep reading to know more!

Why Does Bleach Keep Bugs Away?

Does Bleach Keep Bugs Away

Or, what’s in bleach that makes it such a potent insecticide?

The answer lies in the composition of bleach. Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite that chokes bugs to death. 

Let us explain a bit more. 

Many bugs breathe through their exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is an external covering on the bug’s body that helps them breathe and protect their insides. 

When you use bleach on bugs, it leaves its residue on the exoskeleton of the bugs. With time, that residue inhibits the ability of the bugs to breathe. 

It also breaks the bug’s exoskeleton, penetrates the bugs’ body, and dissolves the waxy coating underneath the exoskeleton. 

And the end result, dead bugs. 

Also, bleach gives off a pungent smell that keeps the bugs away. Many bugs like bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, and spiders hate the smell of bleach. The smell of bleach also keeps rodents and mice away.

How To Use Bleach To Keep Bugs Away?

Will Bleach Kill Bed Bugs On Hard Surfaces

You can use bleach either to kill bugs or to keep the bugs away. 

The best way you can use bleach is by mixing it with water and spraying it on places where bugs can hide. 

For example, pouring bleach down the drains will eliminate drain flies, mosquitoes, and sewer roaches. Bleach will also kill bugs hiding in the drains.  

To kill bugs, you need to apply the mixture of bleach and water directly to the bugs. 

If you don’t, bugs will avoid the places where there’s bleach, and they’ll hide somewhere else in your home. 

But here’s a catch. 

Bleach isn’t an instant bug killer. It kills the bugs slowly. 

It’s because bleach takes time to penetrate the exoskeleton of the bugs that causes the bugs to die. 

Why Always Using Bleach To Keep Bugs Away Isn’t A Good Idea?

If you think that you’ll repeatedly use bleach in your home and yard and save on your pest control expenses, then think again. 

Because bleach isn’t safe for you, and repeated exposure to bleach can make you seriously sick

Children are at a greater risk of developing severe asthma when exposed to bleach. 

Not only kids but also adults too can get asthma when exposed to bleach. If you’re an asthmatic patient in your home, never use bleach because it can trigger an asthmatic attack.

Bleach causes severe irritation in the skin and eyes. Bleach can cause irreversible eye damage if it gets into your eyes.

That’s why always wear gloves and a mask while you’re using bleach to kill bugs.

Bleach is highly corrosive because bleach is an oxidizer that has chlorine. It destroys hard surfaces like your floor, tiles, granite countertops, and furniture.

Using bleach on plant soil beds and your garden will also damage the soil and can kill the plants.  

So, refrain from using bleach repeatedly for pest control. 

If you want to use bleach, then use it occasionally, and that too in places that are outside your home or you don’t frequent often. Catch basins in the yard and basement are examples of places where you can occasionally use bleach. 

Again, always wear gloves, mask, and glasses to protect your skin and eyes from exposure to bleach. 

So, Can You Get Rid Of Bugs With Bleach?

No, you can’t. It’s because bleach doesn’t guarantee complete bug infestation removal. 

Bleach may kill some bugs, and that too when you apply bleach on them directly, but it won’t make your home bug-free. 

Bugs like bed bugs, roaches, termites, and ants, which pose infestation risks, need a professional pest controller, not bleach. 

Also, the health risks associated with exposure to bleach and the damage that it can cause to your home aren’t simply worth it. 


Sodium hypochlorite is the ingredient in bleach that keeps the bugs away. 

However, you shouldn’t use bleach often to get rid of bugs. 

It’s because repeated exposure to bleach poses serious health risks to you, your children, and your pets. 

It’d be best to use bleach on places that you don’t frequent and outside your home. 

Bleach can also cause severe irreversible eye and skin damage. So, always wear glasses, gloves, and a mask to protect yourself while using bleach. 

Word of CAUTION – Never ever mix bleach with vinegar to kill bugs or for any other purpose. When you mix bleach with vinegar it releases chlorine gas which is lethal for humans and pets.

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