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Does Lysol Kill Bed Bugs?

Good old Lysol has been in our homes for generations killing germs, fungi, viruses, and bacteria. It’s a chemical disinfectant with the active ingredient benzalkonium chloride. But the real question is; does Lysol kill bed bugs? The answer is a slightly complicated yes, with stipulations.

Yes, Lysol can kill bed bugs, but may not solve the problem

The short answer is yes, if Lysol is sprayed on bed bug infested areas or on the bed bugs themselves, it will kill them. Keep in mind that although Lysol is not toxic to human skin, it is toxic to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates (like hermit crabs).

Killing the bed bugs with the Lysol is not the tricky part. The challenge is finding the little guys. First, let’s look at how bed bugs operate. They require just one meal a week to survive. Therefore, it’s very difficult to find bed bugs moving around on surfaces like your bed, couch or night stand. And, they only come out at night, usually around 2:00 a.m., when they know you’re sound asleep.

Although Lysol will kill bed bugs on contact, it’s only effective if sprayed directly on bed bugs, AND while still wet. So, simply spraying Lysol on areas you think the bed bugs will frequent won’t work.

Can Lysol Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

There are differing opinions on this, but most experts say, no. The reason seems to be that bed bug eggs have a protective cover or exoskeleton that enables them to survive most chemicals, including Lysol.

Therefore, to effectively kill bed bugs and their eggs, you’ll want to use another bed bug control method. One non-toxic and full-proof way is a heat treatment.

How to use Lysol to kill bed bugs

If you have what you’d consider a very minor problem, and want to give Lysol a try, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Be sure to vacuum, clean and declutter, then steam your space prior to spraying the Lysol. Steaming ensures the Lysol won’t dry too quickly.

  2. Inspect areas prone to bed bug infestation, like creases in your mattresses, bed frames, electronics, and couch cushions.

  3. Fully encase your mattresses, box spring and the pillows in bed-bug-proof covers

  4. Spray the Lysol onto the floors and surfaces where you suspect the infestation. This will most likely take several cans.

  5. If you’re lucky enough to see live bed bugs (because they only come out at night and only once a week), spray them until they become motionless.

  6. If you find eggs, you’ll need to use a bed bug steamer or rubbing alcohol to break the protective outer layer.

  7. Once everything has dried, vacuum again.

What does kill bed bugs instantly?

Like we said, Lysol will kill bed bugs if you spray it directly on them. The same goes for the multitudes of insecticides you can buy at stores and online. Unfortunately, in addition to the issue of trying to spot the little critters out in the open, they rapidly become resistant to chemicals. For these reasons, most products you can buy to treat bed bugs aren’t completely effective and often require multiple products and applications.

Getting serious about insecticides If you are buying a pesticide, be sure to read and follow all label directions carefully prior to use Just know that they’re strong, dangerous chemicals that can make you sick. If ingested, they can be extremely harmful, sometimes even fatal, to children and animals.

Natural and Homemade bed bug treatments

There are natural ways to deal with early and minor bed bug issues. Here are just a few:

Tea Tree Oil has insecticidal properties that make it a great natural treatment to get rid of bed bugs. If you make it an put it in a spray bottle, you can spray in hard to reach places, like cracks, crevices, and furniture joints. A 2014 study found that a tea tree oil solution is an effective insect repellent as well as an insecticide. To make it, just put 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water and shake well. Keep using daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared completely. Remember to shake well before each application.

Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a powder containing about 80%-90% silica that kills insects by dehydrating them or drying them out. Like a spray you can sprinkle it in hard to reach places, like cracks, crevices, and furniture joints. A study found that it is a safe, non-toxic way to rid your home of bed bugs. Although it is slow acting, the advantage is that bed bugs transfer the powder to other bugs and help to distribute the natural insecticide. Usually within 4 days, 80% of all the bed bugs will have been killed with complete extermination in 12 days. Make sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth, as it is safe to use around the home.

For more natural solutions, check out this video on 8 steps to get rid of bed bugs naturally.

What should you do?

Bed bugs may be small but they’re formidable opponents. If you don’t kill all of them and their eggs, a small problem will quickly become a big one. That's why hiring a trained pest management professional is your safest bet in most situations. But if going it alone is your only option, we encourage you to begin your pest-ridding journey by learning more about how to recognize bed bug colonies and how to get rid of them safely.

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