Lysol is a trusted name brand disinfectant that’s been a staple in American homes for over 130 years. You’ve probably heard of it, even used it yourself once or twice.
It is an aerosol spray that kills 99.9 percent of fungi, viruses, and bacteria, including viruses that cause colds and flu.
But can it be used to kill bed bugs? And will it work as an effective home remedy to eliminate a bed bug infestation?
In this article, we’ll answer just that.
Does Lysol Kill Bed Bugs?
A commercial disinfectant, Lysol’s primary use is to kill microbes (bacteria and viruses), microscopic organisms living around homes, shared spaces, and on surfaces.
So why do people believe Lysol is an effective remedy against bed bugs?
Most Lysol products contain the ingredients ethanol (found in rubbing alcohol, another common DIY remedy) and alkyl dimethyl benzyl, which, when directly applied can be known to kill bed bugs.
How To Try To Kill Bed Bugs Using Lysol
If you wanted to try and test for yourself if you can kill bed bugs with lysol, you can follow these steps:
Step 1: Clean and Dry
Before you start applying lysol, first wash and then dry all your bedding at a high temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes.
The high heat of the drying will help kill any bed bugs.
Then vacuum the infested areas and empty the vacuum bag to stop them returning.
Step 2: Spraying Bed Bugs With Lysol
If you want to fully make sure you’ve given the lysol method the best shot of working, you need to spray as directly as possible.
You’ll need to get into all nooks and crannies of your infested areas and ensure a good direct soaking.
Step 3: Follow Up Treatments
One round of lysol won’t eliminate an infestation. You’ll have to continuously follow up with repeat sprays and cleanings in order to help control your infestation.
Safety Precautions When Using Lysol
Lysol can cause adverse health effects. The chemical compounds in lysol have been associated with reproductive, endocrine, respiratory, skin, or eye hazards, as well as trigger allergic reactions.
How Effective Is Lysol For Killing Bed Bugs At Home
In short, Lysol is not an effective DIY method for killing or eliminating a bed bug infestation.
Firstly, I couldn’t find any studies showing the effectiveness of lysol on bed bugs.
What I did find was this study in the Journal of Economic Entomology by researchers Rutgers University, tested a disinfectant called Proxi (has similar ingredients to Lysol).
After spraying this directly on bed bugs, it was ineffective at killing them.
So, now we both know it isn’t an effective way of killing bed bugs, what can you do?
What To Use Instead of Lysol To Kill Bed Bugs?
People have been coming up with DIY remedies to get rid of bed bugs for years.
Here are some we’ve already covered:
- Using tea tree oil to kill bed bugs
- Using cold to kill bed bugs
- Using baking soda to kill bed bugs
- Using bleach to kill bed bugs
- Using alcohol to kill bed bugs
But in reality, if we’re talking about the best method to get rid of bed bugs here, it’s to call in the professional exterminators.
They’ll use a combination of heat (generally steamers) and pesticides to eliminate bed bug infestations.
However, this can be costly and so there are some precaution you can take to control a bed bug infestation and help slow down it’s growth.
Using Integrated Pest Management Procedure
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a process created by The Environmental Protection Agency that uses proven chemical and non-chemical bed bug treatments.
Here are some you can easily do at home:
- Add bedding and clothing to a dryer at high temperatures for 30mintues (generally washing will not kill bed bugs).
- Heat items (furniture, luggage, anything that can’t go in your dryer) or rooms to at least 120 ºF (approx. 49 ºC) for 90 minutes to ensure that eggs are killed (higher the temperature the more effective and faster results).
- Cold treatments (below 0 ºF (-19 ºC) for at least 4 days) can exterminate infestations.
- Use mattress, box spring, and pillow protection/encasements to trap and detect bed bugs.
- Use bed bug monitors to ensure extermination is complete.
- Use an EPA registered product to fight against bed bugs.
Typically, one type of treatment alone will not effectively kill a bed bug infestation.
Though it is possible to kill a bed bug by directly dowsing it in lysol, it’s not a recommended or proven method to kill bed bugs.
Therefore, I would recommend you call in an expert, or follow the IMP methods and use a proven product to remove bed bugs.