Bed bugs can easily live on hard surfaces like wooden floors, tiles, plastic, metal, and furniture.
They sneak into the tiny gaps and cracks on the hard surfaces where they live, breed, and lay eggs.
One of the home products that many homeowners often use to get rid of pests is bleach.
Bleach is a proven insecticide that kills the toughest pests like cockroaches and termites.
But will bleach kill bed bugs on hard surfaces? And should you use bleach to kill bed bugs or any pests?
Keep reading to find it out.
Will Bleach Kill Bed Bugs On Hard Surfaces?
Yes, bleach will kill bed bugs on hard surfaces. But bleach isn’t an instant bed bug killer.
Given the way bleach works, it’ll take some time to kill the bed bugs. You’d need to wait for at least two hours for the bleach to kill the bed bugs.
So, how does bleach kill bed bugs?
Bed bugs use their exoskeleton for breathing. The primary chemical of bleach, sodium hypochlorite, covers the exoskeleton of the bed bugs, making them unable to breathe.
So, bleach kills the bed bugs by choking them.
How Long Bed Bugs Live On Hard Surfaces?
Bed bugs can live on hard surfaces for two to three months before they’ve their first blood meal at room temperature.
But in colder climates, bed bugs’ metabolism slows down. That enables them to live for a year without a blood meal.
How Can You Spot Bed Bugs On Hard Surfaces?
Look for signs like bed bug shells, tiny bed bug eggs, and baby bed bugs (nymphs) in the gaps and cracks on the hard surface.
The best way to ascertain if there are bed bugs on hard surfaces is by inserting a piece of paper in the cracks on the hard surfaces.
Insert a small piece of paper in the gap and slowly pull it out. If there are bed bugs in the cracks, then you’ll find bed bug shells and eggs stuck on the paper.
Are All Types Of Bleach Bed Bugs And Pest Killers?
No, not all types of bleach kill bed bugs. Like Clorox Splash Less, some bleaches are not sanitizers or disinfectants because they don’t contain chlorine.
Ordinary household bleach has sodium hypochlorite, which has both anti-pest and disinfecting properties.
Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs In Laundry?
Yes, bleach will kill bed bugs stuck on clothing if you use it while doing your laundry.
Bleach will kill the bed bugs in the washer by suffocating them.
Should You Use Bleach On Hard Surfaces To Kill Bed Bugs?
No, you shouldn’t.
Despite bleach being a lethal bed bug killer, we don’t recommend using it on hard surfaces, especially on the wooden floor.
It’s because bleach is highly corrosive, and using it on hard surfaces can severely damage your floors and furniture.
So, What Is The Best Way To Kill Bed Bugs On Hard Surfaces?
The best way to kill bed bugs on hard surfaces is steam cleaning the hard surface.
Bed bugs can’t withstand the heat steam cleaners produce. Heat is an instant bed bug killer.
And it’s practical too, because heat kills bed bug eggs, bed bug nymphs (baby bed bugs), and adult bed bugs.
If you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of bed bugs on the hard surfaces.
No matter what you use, ensure that you’re slowly doing the cleaning and covering every inch of the hard surface.
While vacuuming or steam cleaning a wooden floor, be slow on the cracks and gaps between the wooden beams on the floor. It’s in these gaps where the bed bugs hide.
Also, ensure that you spend quite an amount of time vacuuming or steam cleaning the junction between the wall and the wooden floor.
Can You Use White Vinegar To Kill Bed Bugs On Hard Surfaces?
Yes, you can use white vinegar to kill bed bugs on hard surfaces.
You can make a bed bug killer spray by mixing white vinegar with water in a 1:4 ratio. However, you can also use white vinegar without mixing it with water.
Spray it directly on the hard surface. The best part is that white vinegar will kill the bed bugs on contact. Alcohol does the same. It kills bed bugs instantly on contact.
But there’s a catch. White vinegar doesn’t kill bed bugs eggs.
So, even if you use white vinegar to kill bed bugs, they’ll be back again once the bed bugs’ eggs hatch.
Word Of Caution – DO NOT mix white vinegar with bleach to prepare bed bug killer spray. The mixture will produce gas that is lethal to humans and pets alike.
Bed bugs can survive for 2-3 months without a blood meal on hard surfaces. They hide in the tiny gaps and cracks on the hard surfaces waiting for a host, which is you, to latch onto.
Bleach will kill bed bugs on hard surfaces. But it would help if you don’t use bleach on hard surfaces like wooden floors, tiles, and furniture.
It’s because bleach is highly corrosive, and it’ll damage the surface.
Bed bugs hiding in the gaps of hard surfaces is a tell-tale sign of severe bed bug infestation. Heat treatment is the only solution that guarantees 100% results against bed bugs.
We are Mark and Jim. We dabbled with bugs and pests for most of our lives. And we provide information and hacks that work in making your home pest free.