Does Lysol Kill Bed Bugs?

One of the most common questions you will find online is “What is Lysol spray?” To start with, Lysol is a chemical-based home disinfectant. It is principally used to kill germs – those microscopic organisms that live in and around homes and other shared spaces, such as public restrooms and workplaces. These places need constant disinfection, hence the need for Lysol.

While doing domestic chores, we come in contact with many of these microscopic organisms, especially bacteria, fungi, and viruses which can cause diseases. Lysol can be used to get rid of some of those germs on shared surfaces.

Lysol has also proven to be effective at eliminating a common household pest: bed bugs. It has been reported that Lysol kills bed bugs when applied directly on them and in infested areas. There are claims that as soon as the substance comes in contact with bed bugs, they will die within a couple of minutes.

Now, the question many may have is: Does Lysol kill bed bugs? You want to know if it really can kill bed bugs and how effective it really is against these pests. Let us try to answer that question.

What is Lysol made of?

There are different forms of the trademarked product Lysol produced by Reckitt Benckiser. While the chemical makeup can vary, the active disinfecting ingredient in most Lysol products is benzalkonium chloride (also known as alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride) while the active ingredient in the Lysol Power and Free line is hydrogen peroxide.

Will Lysol kill bed bugs?

Bed bugs are quickly becoming resistant to many of the disinfectants which can be found on the market. Lysol, however, contains a very potent ingredient that is too harsh for them to specifically get used to.

Bed bugs typically reproduce rapidly and it is important to kill them on the spot to decrease the chances of their laying eggs and breeding in your home.

When they lay eggs, it can be very difficult to completely get rid of them since their subsequent increase in numbers will make it even easier for them to reproduce and to hide in hard-to-reach places. Fortunately, regardless of where they hide, the fumes that Lysol creates will diffuse through the air until it gets to them. That is why, even without direct contact, Lysol is still very potent.

You can also make a mixture of Lysol and an anti-bedbug chemical for better results. Bed bugs do not like extreme heat, so you can use hot air or steam under furniture, window frames, bed frames, cracks on the wall, etc. to drive them out of their hiding places then spray Lysol directly on them to kill them.

So, to the question “Does Lysol kill bed bugs?”, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Expert advice

Wash all fabrics – including bed and pillow covers – in hot water with disinfectant. Bed bugs are easily killed by heat and the disinfectant added to the water will kill any eggs on the fabric.

Lysol and bed bug eggs

Unfortunately, spraying Lysol directly on these pests will not end the war on them. Bed bugs usually lay a lot of eggs in hard to reach corners and when these hatch, the cycle will start all over again.

This is not a problem with Lysol because it also sterilizes bed bug eggs when applied directly to them or when they come into contact with Lysol’s fumes. Just make sure that after you kill the adults with Lysol, you also thoroughly treat all other the areas in your home where they could possibly have laid eggs such as in pillowcases, cushions, old clothes, wardrobes, mattresses, bed frames, cracks in the walls, etc. Copiously apply Lysol to these areas, paying special attention to wooden furniture.

Here are a few things you should do to get the best results out of using Lysol:

  • Remove all garbage in and around your home that could serve as a breeding area for bed bugs.
  • Thoroughly vacuum all potential bed bug breeding grounds (that can be reached by the vacuum, of course), including all carpets, the corners of the couch, behind wooden furniture, and in all other dry regions of your home.
  • Treat all sleeping surfaces and cushions with hot air or steam. This will make sure that none of the bed bugs are left hiding inside your bed or couch. They will try to hide in the folds of the cushions to avoid being seen. This is why you need to use heat to drive out the ones you cannot reach.
  • Apply bed bug repellent before sitting on any bug-infested furniture to prevent bites.
  • Apply ample amounts of Lysol to all of the infested regions of your home. Apply it as you did with the hot air or steam, in all of the crevices in your walls and behind furniture including bed frames, because this will prevent the bugs from returning to breed in those areas.

Safety precautions

Just remember that Lysol spray can be dangerous to your health. The chemical formula Lysol contains can have long-term harmful health effects when misused as it contains toxic elements which can cause illnesses such as bronchitis, cancer, and pulmonary edema. Wearing protective clothing and covering your face and arms when working with Lysol is a must. Also, make sure that you wear a proper face mask when using Lysol so as not to inhale any fumes. Keep in mind that Lysol is flammable and should not be used around open flames to avoid explosions.

Finally, Lysol can also be damaging to some surfaces, so be sure to read the label carefully before application. Under no circumstance should you ingest Lysol itself or any food that has the chemical on it. This means that all food items need to be properly covered and removed from the areas where you intend to use Lysol.

While using Lysol may not be the best way to get rid of bed bugs, the chemical composition of most types of Lysol are effective at killing bed bugs when sprayed directly on them. Since Lysol is one of the least expensive ways to eradicate all types of bugs from your home, when used correctly, it can be an effective all-around bug killer.


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John C Edwards

Informative, well organized, and well written.

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