Killing Cockroaches With Bleach: Is It Effective?
Killing Cockroaches With Bleach: Is It Effective?

Insects like cockroaches and other microorganisms like mold have become a big problem for housing. One moment your house is fine while the next, you are being hoarded by them. It has become a significant health issue worldwide. An infestation does not affect just one part of the house, it tends to create disturbances in the balance of every aspect of your livelihood. Cockroaches can be found inside your furniture, under the sink, inside a pipe, inside kitchen appliances, storage racks, and almost everywhere. They get attracted to dampness and food. And what is a better place than a house for the same? People have shown concerns related to cockroach infestation. As of 2019 and 2020, around 45% to 70% of concerns have come up. There are different options to get rid of this problem, but only some are effective and safe. Amongst which, people ask, does bleach kill cockroaches? And the answer is yes. 

How Are Cockroaches A ‘ban’ For Health?

Cockroaches are the reason for numerous health hazards and a demerit for buildings. They cause the following troubles-

  1. Food contamination: Roaches cause spoilage of food by leaving the dirt they collect over them from garbage and sewer. They salivate and defecate on food causing food poisoning.
  2. Rapid reproduction: Insects are known for rapid reproduction. Every day, with their increasing reproduction, the population rises and the chances of harm grow. 
  3. Disease spread: Cockroaches can cause the spread of food-borne diseases by transmitting their saliva or fecal matter on food. They contain pathogens such as Listeria, Campylobacter, and Salmonella, responsible for such diseases. 

When you notice the signs of a probable cockroach infestation, exterminating them is the only way to have a safe living space. It is essential to periodically keep an eye on the insect situation. You can try bleach as a solution.  

What Is Bleach?

Killing Cockroaches With Bleach: Is It Effective?
Killing Cockroaches With Bleach: Is It Effective?

Bleach is a chemical compound which is known for its anti-microbial and whitening properties. It is made by combining water, caustic soda, and chlorine. It undergoes the oxidation process to lighten a surface and also tends to kill germs. 

 

Types Of Bleach-

  1. Bleaching powder: It is made with calcium hypochlorite.
  2. Oxygen bleach: It is made from a peroxide-releasing compound like hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, or sodium perborate.
  3. Chlorine bleach: It is made of sodium hypochlorite.
  4. Other types of bleach are made from sodium silicate (ammonium, lithium, and potassium analogs), sodium persulfate, calcium peroxide, sodium persilicate, zinc peroxide, carbamide peroxide, bromate, sodium peroxide, organic peroxides, and chlorine dioxide. 

All of these formulations are oxidizing in nature and act as reducing agents. As bleach is formulated in various categories according to the purpose of use, the common usages of bleach are-

  • Eliminating mold
  • Removing mildew
  • Does bleach kill cockroaches? Yes, it helps killing insects and germs
  • Sanitizing floors
  • Sanitizing toilet bowls
  • Cleaning water
  • Cleaning household appliances and furniture
  • Whiten the clothes
  • Removing stains
  • In beauty and self-care
  • Sanitizing swimming pools, etc. 

Does Bleach Kill Cockroaches?

Bleach kills insects like cockroaches very easily. Ingestion and drowning are the best ways for roaches to be killed by bleach but the smell can also be used. If not by killing, cockroaches can be driven away from the smell of very hard bleach. 

Usually, ingestion and drowning are some ways that need a specific cause to be chosen as a termination action.

  • If cockroaches are nesting inside your pipeline, you can drain bleach water and this will drown and kill them.
  • If a cockroach is intaking the bleach. But this has very slim chances to be successful as cockroaches will move away because of the smell. 

Both are considered to be persuasive techniques as you need to deliberately capture the roaches to ingest it or drown them. Catching them and killing them is not a wise way to do so. Many people are scared to do so. These are not safe, potent, or easy to use solutions. This is why driving them away with just its repellent smell is okay. 

Some people use roach bait for killing cockroaches. It has poison encased with ingredients that attract them and do not repel them with any strong smell. 

It does not give out any harmful chemical fumes like most of the pesticides used to kill insects do and are considered deadly for human beings. Although, it is a chemical compound that requires careful handling. 

When To Use Bleach For Killing Roaches?

When you start noticing the presence of cockroaches in your house, bleach becomes the best solution. Cockroaches tend to draw towards dampness, like water, and thus, nest in pipelines.

Does Bleach Kill Cockroaches: Truth Or Sham?
Does Bleach Kill Cockroaches: Truth Or Sham?

  • When cockroaches come out from shower drains or sinks crawling through them, a cup of bleach can be poured into the drainage hole following many cups of water. The roaches will die in the pipes. Remember, do not use a lot of bleach regularly, because bleach corrodes the pipes. 
  • If cockroaches are nesting under your furniture, a fumigation process is required and is probably a better option for comprehensive effectiveness of extermination of roaches. 
  • If you notice a roach nest inside your stove, refrigerator, and other appliances, a little bleach will do fine to clean it all up. Make sure you wear a glove on your hand and reach to every inch of the appliance leaving no trace of the nest.

After fumigation, it is wise to wipe the surfaces down with bleach solution so that the residue of cockroach litter is not left. A mild bleach solution can be made and used by following steps-

  1. Make a solution with 1 qt. Of water and 1 tbsp of bleach.
  2. Spray it on the surfaces you require.
  3. Let the surface air dry for a minimum of two minutes.
  4. Wipe off any moisture. 

Some Other Ways To Kill Roaches-

Many natural ways have come up. Some of which are boric acid and ammonia. The use of these chemicals reduces the chance of cockroach nesting. Use these alongside bleach to see the difference. Although, it will only work when you can to make sure that the cockroaches are coming in direct contact with these chemical substances. 

Precautionary Measures To Keep Away Cockroaches

As it is said “precaution is better than cure”, trying out ways to keep the roaches away in the first place seems safer for the family’s health. Try these measures to prevent hoarding of cockroaches in your place-

  • Take away their primary food source to which they get attracted. Store the food and water in the correct storage units.
  • Cover all the food and trash cans covered if left outside.
  • Clean your house by mopping and wiping the floors. 
  • Occasionally, use mild bleach on countertops, appliances, and other places where roaches can nest. 

Conclusion

Bleach is capable of both killing and repelling cockroaches. Yet, sometimes it becomes a less practical solution. If you can catch cockroaches and expose them to bleach, you are good to go. But if you cannot, try repelling them with the smell. 

Bleach comes in handy. But, if you notice that there is nothing you can do to keep the insects away, calling an exterminator is probably the best idea. Bleach alone cannot be a fighter in a place where there is no halt to the nesting of insects like cockroaches. You should be aware of other effective techniques that could solve your roach problem. 

If you have pets at home, bleach should be used carefully or completely be avoided. It is risky for animals and your health as well. Too much bleach causes irritations and can act as a poison. Follow precautionary instructions before using bleach. 

Moreover, there has been a review on how insects like cockroaches and houseflies act as a transmitter of COVID-19 and other diseases

So, does bleach kill cockroaches? Yes. But is it the most perfect solution for a big nesting? No. You should not choose bleach as your one and only ideal cockroach killer.