DIY Guides Does Bleach Kill Roaches? Why Bleach Is Not a Good Roach Killer

Does Bleach Kill Roaches? Why Bleach Is Not a Good Roach Killer

Planning to use bleach to kill roaches in your home? You might want to reconsider that after you read the true answer to the question: Does bleach kill roaches?

Since pesticides have a nasty reputation of having harmful chemicals, we often look for less conventional ways to solve our pest problems.

Using bleach is no exception. In fact, bleach is often used as a DIY method to get rid of many different insects, including spiders.

It’s a strong house cleaning agent, so a lot of homeowners think that it would be effective in killing of roaches. But is this true? Does bleach kill roaches? Is it a better alternative to commercial roach products?

Here are some points that might change your mind.

One photo each of bleach and a cockroach side by side
Bleach is not quite the roach killer that you think it is.

It Doesn’t Work as a Bait

Let’s just get this out of the way. Does bleach kill roaches? Yes, bleach can definitely kill roaches. However, it’s not in a way that would be easy for you. Traditional Roach baits and other natural solutions like diatomaceous earth will be more effective.

If you drown roaches in bleach, they will absolutely die. But other than doing that, there are no other practical ways that you can use the household cleaner in getting rid of your cockroach problem.

Bleach doesn’t work as a bait. It has a very strong chemical smell that can dwarf any food’s inviting scent. So not surprisingly, if you pour bleach all over bread or peanut butter, it won’t smell like food anymore. And that will certainly not attract any cockroach in the area.

Also, bleach doesn’t get transferred from one roach to another. If you are ever lucky enough to get a roach to eat your bleached bait, that insect will die on its own. That’s because unlike specially formulated baits or boric acid, bleach doesn’t get passed from one cockroach to another. So your chances of killing the nest is majorly slim.

Use Bleach to Destroy Nests

There is a silver lining to using bleach though. You can use it in thoroughly clean a cockroach nest. So once you discover where these bugs usually hide, use the cleaning agent to drown them and drive them out.

You can also use this household cleaner to deter them from coming back. But this method will only take a few days to work since its strong smell will die out eventually. You should also avoid frequently drenching an area with bleach because it has strong corrosive properties that can destroy wood, plastic and even metal.

Use Bleach to Clean Pipes, Drains and the Sink

water swirling down a metal sink

Lastly, you can use bleach to kill and ward off roaches that use your plumbing system as gateways into your home.

According to Pest Killed, if you’ve witnessed roaches constantly crawling out of your sink and drains, all you have to do is pour a cup of bleach down the drain. Follow this with a lot of water to wash them out.

Again, don’t forget that bleach has corrosive properties. Frequently doing this can weaken your houses’ pipes. So only do it as a last resort.

Overall, does bleach kill roaches? Of course. However, it’s not in a way that would be practical and easy for homeowners. Bleach needs to either drown roaches or be ingested by them to work. It’s not as effective as baits or adhesive traps. So we don’t recommend using it to get rid of the roach infestation in your home.

Managing Editor & CEO Jack has been writing as a contractor and for businesses for over 10 years. He owns his own home, and has been doing his own pest control since he bought his first house.

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