Does Bleach Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

Bed bugs are known for their resilience and bleach is known for killing things, so does bleach kill bed bug eggs?

The Simple Answer

Yes, bleach and several other harsh chemicals used for cleaning and sanitation are potent enough to kill a bed bug egg. Before you get excited and start dousing everything in bleach, keep in mind there is more to the story than that. First and foremost, excessive exposure to bleach can be harmful to humans as well.

Is Sanitation An Important Part Of Bed Bug Control?

Since bed bugs feed on blood and blood alone, altering the cleanliness of a given location will not impact a bed bug’s food source.

On the other hand, bed bugs are attracted to other bed bugs and tend to congregate in the same location over and over again. Sanitation measures to reduce cast skins, fecal matter, and other scents left behind by bed bugs will help interfere with their normal processes and will aid in the control. In addition, it can help reduce the possibility of bed bugs being attracted back from neighboring units.

While not exactly sanitation, reducing clutter will reduce the places that bed bugs can hide and will add pressure to the population instead of allowing free reign to expand.

Hard To Reach Places

Bed bugs reproduce through a process of traumatic inception. This leaves the female bed bug hunting for a hiding spot for safety. The result is eggs being hidden in very hard to reach places. Since bleach needs direct contact to be effective, this leaves most eggs out of reach of bleach.

Electronics

Just as bleach is not healthy for bed bug consumption, it is horrible for a TV to consume bleach. Bleach and electronics do not get along at all, but bed bugs and electronics do. Electronics often have ventilation cracks or other seems that allow bed bugs to nestle up inside the warm protective compartment. Any bed bug eggs laid inside of these devices will be out of harm’s way with regard to bleach.

Effective Alternatives

Even though bleach isn’t a practical tool against bed bugs, there are some effective alternatives including:

  • Monitoring Devices
  • EPA registered chemicals
  • Extreme Temperatures

Monitoring

Several types of monitoring devices are available for detecting and capturing bed bugs. Some are passive elements such as glue traps or pitfall traps. Others are more active monitoring devices that include CO2 lures and/or ketone attractants. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses but can be used as part of a bed bug control program.

EPA Registered Chemicals

There are many products on the market that are labeled for controlling bed bugs. The ticket is to follow the instructions and learn how to apply them to target bed bugs based on their natural behavior. Some of the products will be a contact-based killer that must come in contact with the bug while wet. Others will hold a longer residual killing effect.

Chemical application is typically going to be targeting adults and nymphs. The idea is to kill nymphs before they are reproductive capable and to kill adults before they get a chance to reproduce.

Extreme Temperatures

Bed bugs in all life stages are susceptible to death in extreme heat and cold. Heat devices are available to raise temperatures to a lethal point for bed bugs and their eggs. In application, care must be taken to direct the heat to each place where bed bugs could find harborage. Keep in mind that heat penetrates certain materials better than others. Also, it is important to understand that bed bugs respond differently to convection and conductive heat. Understanding how these heat types flow and interact with bed bug populations will help achieve more effective control strategies.

Cryogenic devices are available for freezing bed bugs. Similar to heat, the cold must be directed into the cracks, crevices, and voids where bed bugs will try and hideout.

Multiple Tools

While it would be silly to combine heat and cryogenic treatments at the same time, there are various combinations of bed bug control tools and efforts that will lead to higher degrees of success in faster times. For example, an apartment manager may utilize monitoring devices throughout a building to seek early detection. Once bugs are detected, a heat and chemical application could be made to treat the bed bugs in a certain unit. Follow up treatments would be done as necessary until the problem is solved.

Experts Await

Bed bugs are frustrating to have and even more frustrating to try and evict. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the bed bug experts at Rove Pest Control to schedule an inspection, a treatment, or simply get advice on what to do next.