Many household cleaners are handy when dealing with pests as they clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces. Some cleaners help kill insects through spraying or when used in a trap. But when it comes to one of the most powerful cleaners available, does bleach kill roaches?
Roaches are among the most disliked insect pests and one of the few problems you’ll never want to deal with in your home. Cockroaches are small and fast, and their numbers multiply quickly without treatment. Equipped with six legs that enable them to climb walls, they are troublesome pests.
Handling a roach problem involves proactive pest control methods, including deep cleaning to eliminate the cockroach nest and placing roach traps. One or two roaches are easy to handle with the right tools; however, a cockroach infestation may require a professional. Continue reading to find out if bleach is an effective solution for killing roaches.
Can You Use Bleach to Deal with a Roach Problem?
Cockroaches are often confused for other household pests like bed bugs; however, the most significant difference is that roaches feed on debris from humans, animals, and plants.
It’s possible to manage cockroach activity by cleaning up any food and moisture sources and even killing them with some cleaners, but does household bleach kill cockroaches?
Does Spraying Bleach on Roaches Kill Them?
Despite chlorine bleach’s strength as a cleaning agent, it is not an effective roach killer. To safely use bleach, it needs diluting with water, and at this concentration, bleach solutions are most effective for cleaning, disinfecting, and whitening fabrics.
Part of the reason bleach isn’t an ideal option for killing roaches is that it does not kill them on contact. Bleach is a cleaner, and because it lacks insecticidal properties, spraying cockroaches with bleach isn’t the best way to kill them. Plus, there are easier and more natural ways to keep roaches out of your house and yard.
If you spray roaches with bleach, it doesn’t stick to them. Because bleach slides off their bodies, there is little chance of cockroaches ingesting bleach or spreading it to other pests in their nest. Other options for killing roaches work faster; to kill a roach by spraying it, you would have to saturate the pest.
We don’t suggest trying to kill roaches by spraying them with bleach. Because bleach is highly corrosive, spraying bleach around your home to get rid of roaches damages the surfaces you spray.
Does Bleach Kill Roaches?
Because bleach has a strong smell, it doesn’t work well as a form of cockroach bait. Trying to create bait for roaches by soaking crumbs of food in bleach creates hazards in your home.
Using bleach on cockroach eggs is one way to prevent the next generation of roaches from hatching. If you find the nest, roach eggs are small and almost bean-like in appearance. Most egg cases are dark brown and smooth, and German cockroaches have ridges on their egg cases. German roaches also lay egg cases that are light brown.
Just because the answer to “Does spraying bleach on roaches kill them?” isn’t a strong yes, doesn’t mean bleach is entirely useless against roaches. Bleach is strong enough to kill roaches; however, the method is inconvenient for pest control.
If you want to use bleach on roaches, the most effective way is to drown the roaches in bleach. This option is inadequate because it requires you to trap or capture roaches, which sticky bait traps also do. Additionally, drowning them in bleach requires you to work with a large quantity of corrosive bleach.
An alternative to using bleach to drown roaches is boiling water. Roaches drown in any liquid, and hot water is likely the easiest to manage. Although roaches float in water, they won’t survive long in water over 125°F.
If trapping roaches in boiling water doesn’t appeal, try creating a trap using boric acid powder. Borax, found in the laundry aisle, is a salt of boric acid and, when combined with a sweet element, draws roaches in and kills them.
Mix the two ingredients and sprinkle them in locations of roach activity. Borax is fatal to cockroaches and causes stomach problems for humans and pets, so leave it where it won’t be disturbed.
Note: Baking soda is an alternative to Borax that isn’t harmful to humans if accidentally ingested. Once a roach consumes the baking soda and sugar mix, the gas created by baking soda and water inside the roach kills it.
Does Bleach Keep Roaches Away?
If you have bleach on hand and want to do something about the roach problem, we suggest using it to clean. Cleaning your home with bleach is an excellent way to remove cockroach food sources and create areas that roaches avoid.
Due to the strong smell of bleach, roaches tend to avoid areas cleaned with it. Cleaning with bleach to keep roaches away is excellent because it ensures roaches avoid places like kitchen counters and cabinets where you store food.
The downside to cleaning with bleach is that you may disturb a roach nest, causing them to relocate to another area of your home. Cleaning up dead roaches and eggs with bleach is ideal for disinfecting; however, adult cockroaches may avoid returning to that nest and create another one.
To deal with eggs using bleach, soak them in a bowl of bleach for at least an hour before disposing of the eggs. Yes, bleach does keep roaches away, but to eliminate the roach problem in your home, be careful how you use bleach.
A safer roach repellent is white vinegar. The strong smell wards off roaches, and spraying it around your home won’t damage fabric or surfaces.
Mix water with vinegar in equal parts into a spray bottle. Treat your home with this spray in any location you see roaches. Fight bathroom cockroaches by spritzing all the corners and beneath the sink. Pouring vinegar down the drain helps eliminate pests in the pipes if you find roaches lingering around your sink drain.
Home Remedies for Dealing with Cockroach Activity
While bleach may seem like the go-to choice for killing a cockroach, there are more beneficial methods for getting rid of roaches. Many alternative roach control options involve significantly fewer harmful substances than sodium hypochlorite.
Does bleach keep roaches away? Yes, and so do essential oils that have the added benefit of making your house smell great.
Cockroaches dislike the smell of some oils. Mix your own DIY roach spray with water and your chosen essential oil in a spray bottle to create a fresh-smelling spray that doubles as a roach repellent. Other oils like lavender and citronella aren’t as good at repelling roaches and require mixing with other oils.
Neem oil is another great option for pest control, inside and out. Neem oil works great to kill and repel cockroaches, spiders, squash bugs, silverfish, and more.
Does bleach keep roaches away? Yes. However, bleach is a corrosive substance, and interactions with it should be limited. Spraying bleach around your home in small, poorly ventilated spaces is dangerous, and there are better options for getting rid of roaches.
We hope our article helped answer questions like “Does spraying bleach on roaches kill them?” and that you’ll share our ideas with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest who might have similar questions about “Does bleach kill roaches?”