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Can Bleach Kill Cockroaches?

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You see a cockroach scurrying across your kitchen floor. Right now, you're wondering: Does bleach kill cockroaches? The answer might surprise you. There are many ways to get rid of cockroaches, and even more ways to keep them out in the first place. Whether you decide to take the DIY approach to solving your cockroach infestation or call the professionals, this information is for you.

Here, we'll learn more about cockroaches and how to tell them apart from other common bugs. Then, we'll break down what you should look out for when it comes to pest infestation. Then, we'll discuss how effective bleach is against these tiny invaders, and what other ways there are to prevent and kill cockroaches. Finally, we'll look at how to get rid of cockroaches and how to keep them out of your home or business.

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are medium-sized insects with a brown or black body consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen. They have six legs and two very long antennae; each leg is covered with sharp spikes that help the roach climb walls and furniture. Cockroaches have three distinct life stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults.

Other insects, such as beetles, bedbugs, and termites, are often confused with cockroaches. Cockroaches feed on a variety of detritus; including plants, animals, and human waste. There are many ways to manage cockroaches in your home, but, will bleach kill them? Read on to find out.

Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

Certain species of cockroaches, such as German and American cockroaches, are more likely to enter your home than others, such as wood cockroaches. Things like trash, leaky pipes, missed food, and cluttered, dark areas can all attract cockroaches indoors. Unfortunately, once inside, they make their presence known through unpleasant odors and stains, as well as the spread of pathogens.

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Signs of a roach infestation range from seeing one roach to finding an entire roach "nest." Cockroach nests are places where cockroaches congregate; they are usually dark, damp, warm and close to food. Wherever cockroaches go, they leave behind feces, shed exoskeletons, egg shells, bad smells and stains. Many people are allergic to cockroaches, so your body may know they're there before you do.

Does Bleach Kill Cockroaches?

small cockroach cockroach eggs
Bleach will only kill cockroaches that happen to fall into the bucket of bleach, which is unlikely to happen. It is not an effective weapon against cockroaches

©Georgy Dzyura/Shutterstock.com

When you see cockroaches, your first instinct may be to grab the bleach. But, does bleach kill cockroaches?

Unfortunately, bleach is a very ineffective method of killing cockroaches. It has a strong smell, so it won't work as a bait, and cockroaches won't want to use it. The only real way to kill cockroaches with bleach is to drown them, and there are more effective ways to kill cockroaches. Bleach is also very corrosive and can easily damage any surface you use it on. It also doesn't stick to roaches, so they won't ingest it or spread it to other roaches while grooming.

What can instantly kill cockroaches?

Bleach probably won't kill cockroaches, but other insecticides like boric acid are much more effective. Boric acid can be sprinkled on cockroach-infested areas, or even on cockroaches. Unlike bleach, boric acid will stick to roaches. When they cleanse themselves, they swallow it and die quickly.

If a cockroach is coated with boric acid, it will quickly become dehydrated or lose its ability to breathe. This is the closest you can get to killing a cockroach instantly without you having to crush them, one at a time, under your shoes.

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What smell keeps cockroaches away?

While bleach isn't effective at killing roaches, it does repel them. However, extreme care should be taken when using bleach as it is toxic when ingested and has the potential to bleach or damage anything it comes into contact with.

When it comes to using scent to deter cockroaches, bleach may not be the best choice. There are many folk remedies involving oils and spices, although these remedies have not been proven effective. Regular application of an insecticide by a pest professional may be the best option for keeping roaches at bay.

Can Lysol kill cockroaches?

Lysol can be used to smother cockroaches, but it shouldn't be your first choice. Lysol is designed to kill bacteria, not bugs. Consider setting up bait traps designed for cockroaches instead of Lysol, or have a professional exterminator treat the infestation.

Does Bleach Kill Cockroaches - Dead Cockroaches
Household products like bleach and Lysol are not effective against cockroaches. Instead, choose an insecticide designed to control cockroaches

© pixfly/Shutterstock.com

How to get cockroaches out of hiding places?

Cockroaches come out at night and hide during the day. This can make it difficult to know if your traps and insecticides are working. Many people ask: How to draw out the cockroaches that are hiding? Well, the truth is, you really don't need to.

When cockroaches smell food, they will eat it. If food falls into a baited trap, they will die. If you put down perboric acid or professionally spray it with insecticide then the roaches will die. So while bleach may not kill roaches, insecticides can, and there's no need to actively get roaches out of their hiding place to get rid of them.

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With cockroaches, where bleach really works is after they die. Using a bleach solution with proper precautions (such as gloves and a breathing mask) is very effective at cleaning up roach remains. As always, use with caution; too much bleach can do more harm than help.

How to Prevent Cockroach Infestation

As you might have guessed, the best way to keep cockroaches away from your home is to clean it yourself. Remove all uneaten food immediately, and store all food in plastic containers. Cockroaches are also attracted to clutter, so cleaning up clutter is also a good idea. When you're dealing with any clutter, remember that cockroaches love cardboard boxes; replace any corrugated cardboard boxes with plastic tote bags.

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Does Bleach Kill Cockroaches - Dead Cockroaches

© pixfly/Shutterstock.com


about the author

Brandi Allred


Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She has degrees in English and Anthropology and writes horror, science fiction and fantasy stories in her spare time.

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