Does Bleach Kill Cockroaches?

If you have a cockroach problem, you may be considering using bleach as an insecticide. After all, bleach is toxic to all forms of life. If humans can’t survive its consumption, surely cockroaches shouldn’t be able to either.

Chlorine bleach can kill cockroaches and act as a deterrent due to its strong smell. Its corrosive properties can eat away at cockroaches’ bodies, resulting in death. Bleach is only effective if a cockroach is soaked or drowned in it.

Bleach can be used for deterring roaches from certain areas or driving them towards roach traps. Bleach does disinfect areas that roaches have frequented, so it can remove any harmful germs and bacteria.

Does Bleach Kill Cockroaches?

Bleach can kill roaches, but not all bleaches are created equal. The type you use for your laundry may not be the most effective against cockroaches. Technically, “bleach” refers to a solution used to remove colors from a fabric.

  • Oxygen bleach is a softer bleach. It will protect colors while making a white fabric more vibrant. This is referred to as color-safe bleach.
  • Chlorine bleach is the bleach exclusively saved for whites because it’ll easily remove almost any color.

Whether under the brand name Clorox or not, chlorine bleach has the potency to get rid of cockroaches.

How Does Chlorine Bleach Kill Cockroaches?

Chlorine bleach refers to any bleach with chlorine as the active ingredient. In nature, chlorine occurs as a poisonous gas. However, when combined with sodium hydroxide, it’s possible to control when chlorine is released.

Chlorine is released when it comes into contact with proteins. This includes bacteria, mold, fungi, and pests. When it comes to clothes, the release of chlorine breaks apart the chemical bonds that give a fiber its color.

When it comes to cells, like germs and pests, the same chemical bonds are broken. However, while it lightens clothes, it effectively destroys the cells in organic life, killing germs and pests in the process.

does the smell of bleach repel roaches?

Does Bleach Keep Cockroaches Away?

While bleach can harm cockroaches, it won’t deter them for too long. In fact, out of all the homemade insecticides, it’s one of the least effective.

Need Direct Contact

To kill roaches, you must expose them directly to bleach for a prolonged amount of time. For example, by spraying them with bleach numerous times until they’re dowsed. This allows the bleach to fully soak into their bodies, where it does the most damage.

Bleach will only remove the roaches you can see. That can be difficult since roaches tend to be active when humans aren’t around. If you see one or two roaches in the daytime, rest assured that there are far more during the night.

Has A Potent Smell

Bleach has a strong smell, which roaches will avoid. Be it the underlying chemicals or fumes, roaches appear to avoid the scent of bleach.

That might sound like good news for scaring off an infestation. Unfortunately, it’s not. A full-blown infestation will learn to ignore the smell or work around it. For you, a cockroach’s distaste for the smell of bleach means you can’t set traps. Putting a bowl of bleach next to a suspected nest will do you no good.


Sure, bleach can harm roaches, but it can also harm the objects around your house. Remember that bleach will corrode a wide range of materials. This includes plastic and metal. Popular hiding spots for roaches are metal-based, such as:

  • Ventilation shafts
  • Electric appliances
  • Pipes
  • Drains

Pouring bleach down a drain to remove a nest will kill the roaches. However, it will also corrode your pipes.

Bleach Will Damage Fabrics

Aside from corroding, it will also bleach any fabric it touches. This can include:

  • Carpets
  • Rugs
  • Curtains

Bleach Can Harm People Or Pets

Bleach can harm pests, but its fumes, toxic chemicals, and corrosive properties will hurt other life, including:

  • Pets
  • Children
  • Roommates

So, bleach can reduce the number of cockroaches. However, its effects won’t last for long and come at a cost.

How To Kill Roaches with Bleach

While bleach isn’t a good insecticide, it can still kill roaches. If you need a temporary solution as you look for more effective means, it is an option, provided that the relevant safety precautions are followed.

does bleach spray kill cockroaches?

Will Cockroaches Drink Bleach?

The chemical composition of bleach is highly toxic. If ingested by any animal or person, it can result in organ failure, internal bleeding, and death. While cockroaches are resilient creatures, they aren’t exempt. Rumor has it that the best way to make cockroaches ingest bleach is with bait. This may include:

  • Soaking crumbs in bleach and leaving them in corners
  • Diluting water with bleach and setting it where cockroaches frequently visit

However, this has a low chance of working. Bleach has a potent smell that will deter cockroaches. No matter how tasty or appealing the bait is, cockroaches will know it’s deadly.

On rare occasions, a cockroach may eat it anyway. Usually, you’ll be wasting your time. Worse yet, the bait will seem far more tempting to unsuspecting pets or small children.

Will Drowning Roaches In Bleach Kill Them?

Drowning a roach in a tub of bleach is a sure-fire way to ensure that it dies. However, you will first need to transport the cockroach to this tub. That’s unhelpful in many ways:

  • Roaches are small, fast, and difficult to catch.
  • Cockroaches are covered in harmful bacteria, making it bad to touch them.
  • Roaches bite, so you won’t like holding them.
  • Once you’ve caught the roach, it’s easier to dispose of it in other ways.
  • There’s no way you’re hand-catching a full infestation.

A cockroach will drown in any substance. Hot water is recommended, as it will simultaneously scorch and drown the pest. This saves you the danger of splashing around in corrosive bleach.

Will Bleach Spray Kill Roaches?

Bleach can kill roaches on contact. The most effective way to accomplish that is with a spray bottle. To use this method:

  1. Pour a diluted solution of household bleach and water into a spray bottle. While non-diluted bleach may be more effective, it can cause damage to your bottle.
  2. Bleach will damage some types of bottles, even those made of plastic. Glass is ideal.
  3. Never leave a bleach solution in a bottle for a long period of time. Unless it’s the original container you bought it in, pour out the solution after a few days.

Keep in mind that spraying a cockroach once or twice will be insufficient. You’ll need to dowse it completely. Because roaches are fast and small, this can be tricky to achieve.

Does Bleach Kill Cockroach Eggs?

Bleach can kill roach eggs, but it’s not easy to find them. Once you’ve found the nest, it’s better to apply a strong insecticide to eradicate the infestation. Spraying it with bleach may only cause the nest to scatter and reform elsewhere. You may even find it breaks them up into multiple nests, worsening your infestation.

If your set on destroying the roach eggs with bleach, then it can be done. You’ll need to soak them in a tub of bleach. Be sure to leave them for 30 minutes to an hour before disposing of the mess.

Does The Smell Of Bleach Repel Roaches?

The smell of bleach does appear offensive to cockroaches. Just as importantly, cockroaches will find it difficult to root themselves in a well-cleaned home.

They’ll struggle to find leftover food, mold, fungus, or spilled sugars. If you’re recently cleaned your home from top to bottom with bleach, it’s unlikely that you missed the big messes. This creates a two-fold advantage because you’ve:

  • Taken away the cockroaches’ food
  • Replaced this food with a smell that’s offensive to them

Does Pouring Bleach Down The Drain Get Rid Of Roaches?

Pouring straight bleach down your drain can deter cockroaches. However, this isn’t the most effective approach.

Bleach Must Be Diluted

Dilute bleach before pouring it into drains. By doing so, you’re lessening how effective it is against cockroaches. By not diluting it, you risk damaging your pipes over time.

You Need A Lot of Bleach

To rid your drains of cockroaches, it takes a large amount of bleach. It must then be poured for a prolonged amount of time to create equal coverage. That may not be a cost-effective solution.

does bleach kill cockroach eggs?

How To Use Bleach with Insecticides Against Roaches

Normal insecticides are the best option for killing roaches. However, that doesn’t mean bleach is wholly ineffective. In fact, you can pair insecticides with bleach to get more immediate results.

Use Bleach As A Repellent

As mentioned, roaches avoid the smell of bleach. This can be used to your advantage. For example, you can trap cockroaches by herding them in certain directions. Here’s how:

  1. Set up roach traps in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc.
  2. Rub down all other hiding spots with a bleach wipe, including corners, underneath furniture, and behind appliances.
  3. Wait for the roaches. They will avoid the bleach-touched points and be funneled into others. This could make your traps more effective.

Just be sure not to spread bleach on clothing or colored surfaces, like wallpaper, as it will lead to discoloration.

Use Bleach As A Disinfectant

Bleach is an effective sanitizer. Despite the many alternatives, it continues to be the choice of disinfectant for hospitals, according to Clinical Microbiology Reviews. That can be invaluable during a cockroach infestation.

After all, roaches are pests that can bring germs, bacteria, and diseases into a household. In fact, cockroaches can harbor and transmit about 40 species of bacteria, according to Boletín de la Oficina Sanitaria Panamericana. While you’re removing them with insecticides, you’ll need to keep their footprints off your countertops.

After you’ve killed a roach, be sure to disinfect the space around you. If a roach, alive or dead, has touched your food, it should be discarded.

How To Use Bleach Safely Against Cockroaches

When using corrosive materials, it’s always wise to take precautions. If it’s inhaled, kept on the skin for a prolonged amount of time, or otherwise mishandled, bleach can:

  • Burn the skin
  • Cause dizziness
  • Induce vomiting
  • Lead to confusion
  • Affect your balance
  • Even result in death

With the right protection and knowledge, you can avoid the dangers of bleach.

Always Wear Gloves

Wearing gloves can help you avoid any chemical reactions from spills. Gloves can also protect your hands from cockroach poop, the cockroaches themselves, or their bites.

  1. Be sure to wash your hands before putting on the gloves.
  2. Do so again after wearing the gloves. This will help ensure the set remains fully sanitized long term.
  3. If you’ve just killed a cockroach or applied bleach, be sure to wash the gloves thoroughly. Even thick rubber gloves may corrode under bleach residue.

Wear Face Protection

Bleach can release chlorine gas, which is a toxic and corrosive material. When breathed in, it can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. This can lead to:

  • Watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing

You must wear a mask. As roaches frequent confined, unventilated spaces, it’s also a good idea to wear goggles.

Bleach does kill cockroaches as it’s deadly to all forms of life. The problem is that you need to soak each roach in bleach for it to work. Obviously, this isn’t easy to achieve as roaches are accomplished at hiding. It’s also a corrosive material that can cause damage to your home. You’re likely to find that roach traps are more effective.

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Jack Andersen

Hi, I'm Jack. A close friend of mine went through a cockroach infestation about 5 years ago, so I'm here to share what I've learned with everyone. I hope that you find the information useful.

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