Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Bed Bugs?

Kill Bedbug with Hydrogen Peroxide

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The first thing that comes to mind when a bed bug infestation is suspected is how to get rid of it as soon as possible. Which drives us to use any or almost all types of procedures that may be at hand.

However, you can harm your furniture or even yourself with the wrong chemicals! So it is important to know what chemicals you should use and how to use them.

Disinfectants are somewhat effective against bed bugs, but they carry the risk of side effects. But some are potentially milder and can be deployed.

Hydrogen peroxide is another disinfecting agent that comes to mind that is both effective and compatible with household use. So how effective is it in killing those nasty bed bugs? And if so, how can you do it?

We will be answering all those questions and much more. So without further ado, let’s begin!

Bed Bugs Are Perhaps The Most Difficult Creature to Get Rid Of!

Before we can discuss how hydrogen peroxide can kill off bed bugs, we first have to know why it is so important to talk about this procedure.

People do not realize the magnitude of the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide when they are talking about killing off bed bugs.

These creatures are notorious for being stubborn and resisting all forms of pesticide procedures. And here is why hydrogen peroxide is amazing!

Unlike other common domestic insects such as cockroaches, flies, or mosquitos, bed bugs are quite small and blood-sucking. When we use the term “blood-sucking”, we mean literally. These bugs live off the blood of animals and humans. And they do so when the person is most vulnerable, sleeping.

Although bed bugs do not fly, they can quickly move over floors, walls, and ceilings and furrow into all kinds of niches.

And if this nuisance wasn’t enough, they are notorious for multiplying rapidly. Under favorable conditions, they can reach maturity in as little as a month and constantly reproduce throughout the year. As a result, each bed bug can produce three or newer generations per year!

We can imagine how a single bed bug can wreak havoc. So it is very important to eliminate them before the complications get worse.

Will Hydrogen Peroxide Affect Bed Bugs?

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best-known disinfecting agents available in households. It has been used universally to clear off microbes and bacteria from various surfaces because of its properties.

The non-discriminate way hydrogen peroxide can kill all microbes is admirable and makes it a worthy agent to kill a broad range of pathogens. So, does the range extend as far to pests?

Bed bugs are one of the vilest and fast-spreading creatures that infect your homes. So it is paramount to take action as soon as you can.

Calling in pest-controlling agencies is a long and thorough process. And by the time help arrives, bed bugs may even spread all over your house.

Hydrogen peroxide can provide a quick and effective solution to tackle pests at homes. The trusty brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide is present in almost all homes and can give you instant relief!

How Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Bed Bugs?

The claim of hydrogen peroxide killing bed bugs is a big one. And if you don’t know the mechanism behind how it happens, it is hard to put your trust in the chemical.

The process as to exactly how hydrogen peroxide can kill bed bugs is up for debate. However, one thing is for sure: it gives results.

Some possible ways experts suggest as to how hydrogen peroxide can kill off microbes are following:


Like almost all other animals, bed bugs require oxygen to live and survive. They feed off your blood and flourish in the air spaces of the mattress.

Considering this, we can predict that by introducing hydrogen peroxide to a set of these harmful insects, a drowning process can be initiated. Hydrogen peroxide is partly water and part oxygen.

But the oxygen which hydrogen peroxide liberates can not be utilized for breathing like the regular atmospheric oxygen.

By submerging bed bugs in hydrogen peroxide solution, we can easily kill them by suffocating.

Reacting With Protein Coat

Another theory that suggests why hydrogen peroxide may effectively kill off bed bugs is its tendency to react.

The same reactive oxygen mentioned above (liberated when hydrogen peroxide breaks down) can react with the outer protein coat covering all insects.

When the outer coat is damaged, bed bugs become vulnerable to external biota. Microbes like bacteria and viruses may even kill off bed bugs, apart from harsh environmental conditions.

How to Figure Out Bed Bugs Infestation?

Now that we know how hydrogen peroxide can be a great way to eliminate these nasty pests, the next step is to determine where they are present and if you actually need hydrogen peroxide therapy.


As hinted above, bed bugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live inside your bed. They have flat bodies almost the size of apple seeds and rely on human blood to survive.

One distinguishing feature is that their bodies become torturous and reddish after consuming blood. Which makes them easier to identify and kill.

Hiding Places

The most common way bed bugs enter the house is via old, previously infected luggage, clothes, beds, and couches. Therefore, it is important to check for these nasty creatures before buying older stuff such as beds.

Bed bugs have very slim bodies and can fit into almost all small spaces measuring up to the width of a credit card!

They do not have nests but tend to live in groups in their hiding places. This makes hydrogen peroxide therapy more effective as it can efficiently kill off larger numbers.

The most common hiding places for bed bugs are mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards. All of these places are typical of where bed bugs can easily access people and bite them at night.

Most Active

Like many other domestic animals, bed bugs are nocturnal.

They come out at night and bite people when they are sleeping. Bed bugs feed themselves by piercing the skin by sucking through their beaks.

The feeding procedure lasts for three to ten minutes when they become engorged and crawl away unnoticed.

Infestation Signs

The bed bug bites are very remnant of flea bites. However, unlike flea bites, they are non-localized. Flea bugs like to bite at the ankle region, while bed bug bites can be present all over the skin.

Bed bug bites appear painless initially. However, they turn into itchy welts later. Many people, without realizing it, mistake the itchy, red spots with mosquito bites.

To avoid that, you would have to identify the bugs themselves.

The striking feature of identifying if you have a bed bug infestation is considering any new furniture brought into the house with the time when itchy marks started appearing.

Some other tell-tale signs are:

  • Bloodstains on sheets
  • Rusty bed bug excrement spots on sheets or mattresses
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bed

Using Hydrogen Peroxide To Kill Bed Bugs

Now that you know how effective hydrogen peroxide is in killing bed bugs and ways you can identify a bed bug outgrowth, we can move on to discuss how you can effectively incorporate hydrogen peroxide in your pesticide routine.

Why Hydrogen Peroxide

When it comes to online articles, many suggest the use of household cleaners like bleach, vinegar, or dish soaps to clear bed bugs. However, there are complications associated with the task.

Using vinegar or dish soap for bed bugs is a long and strenuous procedure that requires a lot of time and hard work.

To remove bed bugs using these agents, you will first have to identify all the spots in not just your bed but the whole house where bed bugs are and where they might have burrowed into. Then drown them using water and dish soap in hopes of it working.

All in all, it is not an efficient procedure.

On the contrary, when it comes to using bleach and Lysol, they effectively kill off bed bugs. However, they come carrying a risk of ruining the upholstery, furniture, and carpets of your house.

Therefore, hydrogen peroxide, with its natural by-products (oxygen and water), does whatever bleach does without destroying your possessions!

However, you should be careful while using it on colored and textured surfaces as it is a known bleaching agent.

The Procedure

We have divided our procedure into two parts, cleaning and exterminating


It is important to clean places where the bed bugs live before introducing a chemical agent.

You can clean beddings, linens, curtains, and clothing using steam or a hot dryer.

Make sure to get all nooks and crannies of your mattress using a stiff brush. This removes all the remaining bed bugs and eggs and makes room for vacuuming.

The next step is to vacuum the affected sites thoroughly. After you are done with the procedure, cover the vacuum in a plastic bag and place it outside (this makes sure to avoid any bed bugs that might have stuck to the machine). It is ideal for getting rid of the mattress that has bed bug growth.

However, if you plan to use it, make sure to cover it in a plastic bag for at least a year so that all the insects can die out.

Ensure to repair all the cracks in the plasters and niches where bed bugs can hide.


After a thorough cleaning, you might think that the task is done. However, chemical treatment is essential for complete extermination.

Using a disinfecting agent may be harmful in this case, as it can harm the furniture. However, hydrogen peroxide can be utilized safely by making sure it does not come into contact with bleach-able surfaces.

The excellent reacting properties of hydrogen peroxide will make sure that all of the nasty bed bugs are gone, and you can sleep peacefully once again!

We suggest taking a spray bottle and pouring 3% hydrogen peroxide into it for using hydrogen peroxide. Spray all over the affected sites as well as places around them. Do not forget to spray the corners and grottos where the bed bugs love to hide.

Is It Safe to Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Bed Bugs? – The Ideal Concentration

Unlike other disinfecting agents that use harmful chemicals like ammonia and chlorine in their composition, hydrogen peroxide is a natural and mild agent that is compatible with household use.

However, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide you use in your procedures should be monitored. For almost all household procedures, we suggest using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, which is present in all household kits.

At this concentration, hydrogen peroxide is strong enough to eliminate most kinds of microbes and pests and does not have any adverse side effects. Moreover, this concentration of hydrogen peroxide is most economical and easily accessible.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Bed Bug Eggs Too?

We have already established how hydrogen peroxide can be an effective therapy in managing bed bug infestation.

The primary way hydrogen peroxide can perform its task is by directly suffocating and killing bed bugs. Here the question arises, is it also effective in eliminating the notorious bed bug eggs?

Unfortunately, as tempting as it is, hydrogen peroxide is not an efficient therapy for eliminating bed bug eggs. For once, the eggs are protected by the outer shell, which helps to breathe and other outside chemicals.

And even if hydrogen peroxide could somehow kill bed bug eggs, you would have to find all the nooks and crannies where bed bugs might have laid them.

And these nasty bugs are known to lay their eggs in hidden and tiny places. So the application of hydrogen peroxide would be very difficult and time-consuming.

The best way you can manage them is heat therapy for eggs combined with hydrogen peroxide for outer bed bugs.

Safety Precautions You Must Take All Times!

Hydrogen peroxide is a household chemical and is not hazardous like other disinfecting agents. However, it does not mean you should be careless and use it without a safety protocol.

Because, after all, hydrogen peroxide is a chemical that may be a mild one.

One important safety protocol you should follow is not letting hydrogen peroxide touch your skin for extended periods.

Certain DIY tips recommend applying hydrogen peroxide all over your skin before sleeping in bed. Unfortunately, not only is this “procedure” ineffective, but it can also lead to adverse side effects.

For once, bed bugs do not live inside your skin, rather in the mattress you sleep on. Moreover, hydrogen peroxide over your skin would not stop their growth, just give you burns.

Another important factor to consider while using hydrogen peroxide for bed bugs is making sure the surface you are spraying on is not prone to bleaching.

Apart from being a great disinfecting agent, hydrogen peroxide has strong bleaching properties as well.

So if the surface you are spraying hydrogen peroxide on is deeply colored and prone to whitening, avoid using hydrogen peroxide. Instead, using a hot dryer to bring out and kill bed bugs from those surfaces would be a great idea!

The Bottom Line

Though it may sound very tempting to get a hydrogen peroxide bottle right now and spray away the nasty bed bugs from your house. However, you should always take certain precautions to do that.

The ideal situation is to call in an expert and let him do all the procedures. However, with hydrogen peroxide, you can get near-perfect results yourself and save some bucks!

Moreover, hydrogen peroxide is used in various other procedures. Therefore, it is almost essential to have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide at home.

So order your set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today!

Faizan Khan
Faizan Khan
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