Will Soaking My Mattress in Bleach Kill Bedbugs?

Getting rid of bed bugs is no easy task; people go to extreme measures to rid themselves of these creepy-crawly creatures.

About Bed Bugs

Bleach will kill bed bugs, but should not be used on your mattress.Bleach will kill bed bugs, but should not be used on your mattress.
While bleach is effective at killing bed bugs and sanitizing your household, soaking your mattress in bleach is a bit too extreme. Bleach will ruin your mattress, and can seriously irritate your skin.

Bed bugs love hiding in nooks and crannies of mattresses and bedding; they come out at night and feast on the blood of unsuspecting humans. While bed bugs do not transmit diseases, they do leave behind itchy rashes on their hosts. These critters are stubborn, and cannot be eradicated by normal bug sprays and can survive in bedding for up to a year without food.

Properties of Bleach

Bleach is a powerful ingredient found in many household cleaning solutions; this product disinfects and sanitizes infected, bacteria-ridden surfaces. Bleach can be effective in getting rid of bed bugs when other cleaning solutions fail. When fighting bed bugs, you can get rid of the pests by cleaning your household surfaces with a mixture of bleach and water. Using bleach on furniture, however, is not recommended. You should wash your clothing with bleach and hot water, as well.

Applying Bleach to Your Mattress

Technically, soaking your mattress in bleach will send your bed bugs packing. Bleach kills the critters, but it will also severely damage your mattress in the process. You are better off throwing away all of your severely infested furniture than trying to save them through such extreme means. When bleach comes into contact with your skin, or you breathe bleach fumes in through your nostrils, there can be adverse effects on your health.

Alternative Treatments

If you find bed bugs in your home, vacuum all the nooks and crannies. In addition to throwing away all of your infested furniture, it is a good idea to call a professional exterminator to fumigate your apartment or house. Some exterminators also have technology that heats up your infested room to a temperature that is beyond the range that bed bugs can handle. Because bed bugs are so sneaky, it may take exterminators two or three trips to conquer your bed-bug problem.

About the Author

Ginger Yapp has been writing professionally since 2006, specializing in travel and film topics. Her work has appeared in such publications as "USA Today" and online at Hotels.com. Yapp also has experience writing and editing for a small California newspaper. She earned her B.A. in film and media studies and has worked as an ESL teacher at an international school.