Does Lysol Kill Bed Bugs?

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. 

This powerful product is effective on both hard and soft surfaces, disinfects and sanitizes, and, even more, with a few careful steps can eliminate bed bugs quickly and efficiently.

Removing Bed Bugs With Lysol Step by Step

Failing to adequately react to bed bugs fast enough can lead to serious infestations (and a whole lot of pain and suffering for everyone close at hand). That said, significant bed bug infestations should be handled by professionals (so, do yourself a favor and call one right away).

Here are the basic steps to removing bed bugs with Lysol:

Step 1: Identify the Infested Area

Before you can get to kick the butts of these little bloodsucking buggers, you need to know exactly where to attack. Therefore step one is to simply identify the areas of infestation. The most popular areas being bedding, mattresses, furniture, and clothing.

Step 2: Prepare By Cleaning Infested Area

Once you’ve identified the infested area of your home, it’s time to clean it the best you can. After you’ve removed bedding, cleaned furniture (including bed frames and chairs), and wiped everything down with disinfectant, it’s time to get a bit more aggressive.

Step 3: Spraying Everything Down With Lysol

When you have the infested area identified and cleaned up, bust out the Lysol and get to spraying everything down. Depending on the size of your infestation, you may need to invest in multiple cans of Lysol in order for it to be most effective. Make sure to spray clothes, bedding, furniture, floors, cracks, crevices, and anywhere else tiny little bugs might be able to shelter themselves.

Step 4: Follow Up

The final step it to reevaluate the situation and follow up properly. If you notice the pests are gone, simply wipe up all the residue from the Lysol spray and call it a day. On the other hand, if you have not successfully vanquished all of the bed bugs, it’s time to start with step one and go all over again. Continue to repeat the entire process until your problem is fixed. 

The Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs sustain life through the blood of their victims. That means that they can be in (and survive for long periods of time) any home, or businesses, even a clean one. That said, there are some pretty clear indicators that bed bugs are around including reddish-brownish stains and whitish-yellowish shells (which the bed bugs constantly shed).

So, if you happen to fall asleep and wake up with small red and raised or puffy bites, bed bugs could indeed be the culprit. To determine if bites (or other signs) are coming from bed bugs check for these key indicators:

  • An itch or pain that is worse in the morning and gets better throughout the day.
  • Bites on areas exposed and in contact with the bed.
  • Bites that are in groups of three in a straight line. 

Bed bug bites heal quickly. Over the counter anti-itch creams and pain relievers are effective treatments for discomfort.

Other ways to identify the presence of bed bugs are:

  • Small rust like spots near the corners and edges of the bed.
  • Strong musty odor.
  • Bloodstains on the sheets from bites.
  • Bed bug fecal matter or egg shell-like shed skin.
  • Signs of the bed bugs themselves.

It’s important to identify the presence of bed bugs with speed and urgency. The longer bed bugs live, the more they can multiply causing them to further spread. Large infestations need a professional to ensure they are completely addressed.

Preparing to Kill Bed Bugs 

Before attempting to go on the attack, make sure that you’ve cleaned up the area being assaulted by pests, and prepared yourself and home for battle (we’ll go into greater detail about this after we discuss Lysol in more depth). 

Killing bed bugs be a difficult mission to accomplish as the little buggers are excellent at avoiding humans as much as possible (when not feasting on their blood while they sleep). Heat draws out bugs so be sure to follow up with elimination steps quickly to target bugs directly. 

No matter what treatment method you go with it is important to take precautions. Normal bed bug removal chemicals can be hazardous with extended contact of the skin or can harm internal systems. Lysol contains chemicals that are dangerous if inhaled and has several known irritants. Be sure to wear protective gear while working in the treatment area.

How To Properly Use Lysol Against Bed Bugs

Lysol is not a registered pesticide, or a highly recommended method of pest control, but in a pinch, and the circumstances aren’t completely out of control yet, Lysol is an effective way to treat bed bugs when it is directly applied to the bugs themselves. 

The reason being? Simple; Lysol contains several active ingredients that can kill bugs on contact. 

Some of these active ingredients include alcohol, potassium hydroxide, and hydrogen peroxide. These compounds are used as antiseptics, sanitizers, and odor removers. When used for bed bugs, they are a potent pest removal tool.

The concentrated compound works by causing a chemical reaction. This reaction smother the bugs as they instantly burn to death from the irritation. The Lysol treatment is effective for all bed bugs including, those still in the egg stage.

Use Lysol generously on any bugs that have come to the surface after the steam treatment. Repeating the steaming treatment drives bugs to the surface and maintains dampness. Lysol is only effective while it is wet and only on the bugs that it comes in direct contact with. Repeat treatment as needed.

This treatment is best suited for small infestations because of its limited efficiency. This drawback exists due to Lysol not being a targeted pest killing agent.

The largest pro of using Lysol is its low cost and ease of use. The product is a common household item and can be found locally for most people. It can be a quick fix as soon as bugs are noticed to prevent infestations before they can grow. Lysol is easy and familiar to use. This familiarity lowers the chance of incident and injury. 

If you would like to learn more about Lysol and bed bugs, goes into great detail about all the ways  this versatile product can be used as an effective bed bug remedy. 

Before Using Lysol For Bed Bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs can be simple, in its early stages. Treat the room that the infestation is in, and any room with adjoining walls to maximize results. If the bed bug infestation has spread, or become overwhelming large, a professional may be necessary. 

Before anything can be done to eliminate bed bugs you must prepare the room. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension breaks down how prepping a room improves bed bug treatments. Following their simple steps, anyone should be able to fight against bed bugs.

Seal anything that needs to be removed from the room for disposal. A plastic bag closed tight, prevents outside rooms from being exposed to the bugs. If the infestation has overwhelmed the bed it may be best to cut your losses and dispose of it. Use a bed bug cover to move the mattress out of the home. It’s good practice to label the cover so proper precautions can be taken during disposal. Trash should be immediately removed from the home. 

Laundry likewise should be removed from the room tightly sealed. Wash clothing, bedding, and pillows on the hottest setting possible to kill bugs and eggs. Seal and label dry clean only fabrics to be treated accordingly.

Next, vacuum carpets, rug, mattress, box spring, headboard, couches, and chairs. This helps to remove any surface debris left behind by the bugs to prepare the surface for steaming. Take special care to vacuum the seams and folds in furniture and mattresses. If the room has carpet vacuum the corners where rugs meet walls. Immediately throw out vacuum debris and remove it from the home. If left in a vacuum the bugs can continue to breed and multiply leading to a re-infestation of the space. 

Remove artwork and photographs from the walls for cleaning. Inspect drawers and cabinets for evidence of bugs. Sweep and dust all areas in the room including around windows, fans, furniture legs, and wheels. 

The final step is to heat treat as much of the room as possible. Bed bugs are very susceptible to high heat. Use a steamer to go over the entirety of the affected area, working slowly and methodically. Use the concentrated nozzle to steam folds, tufting, corners, and seams. Repeat the process as necessary.

Traditional Treatments For Bed Bugs

Conventional treatments for bed bugs are insecticides and pesticides. Most formulations decrease the ability of bed bugs to thrive or target and kill them. Bed bugs are very adaptable and may become resistant to different chemicals. For difficult strains of bugs, several treatments may be necessary. These treatments are effective but can be dangerous, or difficult to use. 

Bed bug treatments come in a powder or spray form. When using a spray treatment system, spray the chemical onto the affected areas. Take the time to focus the treatment onto areas that bed bugs frequent such as tufts, folds, and seams. Spray the treatment area until it is damp but not completely soaked through. Allow the treatment to dry before covering the area.

Some treatments need to be removed or washed before the surface is safe to use. Treatments can be repeated in seven to ten days if bugs are still present. Once the surface has been treated a bed bug cover should be used to prevent a re-infestation. 

These treatments are effective because they attract bugs. With targeted capability surface and burrowed bugs can are exterminated. With their high efficacy, these treatments make quick work of even large infestations.

While these treatments have their place, they do offer some drawbacks. Besides the hazardous chemicals, these treatments can sometimes be pricey. Active ingredients in pesticides have been linked to Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and cancer. Increased bed bug resistance to chemicals makes it difficult to find effective treatments. Several brand options may have to be tested to find the perfect one. 

Final Thoughts

It is important to acknowledge that Lysol is not tested or marketed as a bed bug insecticide. That said, it contains active ingredients that have been found at least 60 percent effective at killing bed bugs. So, yes, Lysol can be used to treat bed bugs (but, its efficacy is dependent on the severity of the infestation). 

More or less, when you first notice bed bugs in your home (or on your body) Lysol is a perfect tool to stop them before they can spread further and set up an actual infestation. On the other hand, If an infestation has already taken hold, it is best to forgo Lysol and go forward with an actual pesticide or professional exterminator.

Jordan Quinn Farkas
Jordan Quinn Farkas
Jordan is a full-time writer from his home in Southeast Europe. An avid outdoors-man and backpacker, he has gathered a plethora of tips and tricks for dealing with all sorts of pests.

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