Does Lysol Kill Bed Bugs?

  • Written By Dan Edwards on January 8, 2018
    Last Updated: December 28, 2020

Bed bugs are often spoken of as one of the most annoying types of pests that can find their way into your home. Bed bugs get into tiny spaces, they’re hard to detect, and even harder to get rid of.

A lot of rumors and misinformation are spread about how best to deal with these pests. For instance, is Lysol an effective way of killing bed bugs? Let’s consider this question below.

Will Lysol Kill Bed Bugs?

Before we get into whether Lysol can be effective at bed bug extermination, let’s discuss a little bit about bed bugs, which will help you put the whole matter into the proper perspective.

The first thing to realize about bed bugs is that they do not simply hang out on the surface of your bed, couch, or other surfaces. This is because bed bugs only really need to eat about once per week. That means they only have to come to the surface of wherever they are living to nibble at humans every week. The rest of the time, they prefer to be way out of sight and hidden from view.

Now, will Lysol kill bed bugs? Yes, it will. The reason for this is the high ethanol content of Lysol, which can kill bed bugs on contact. However, there are some caveats to explain regarding this solution. The biggest one is that Lysol must be sprayed on the bed bugs to provide a high assurance that they will die. Spraying it in the area and hoping they’ll walk into it later isn’t going to work.

Can Lysol Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

When it comes to bed bug eggs, the prognosis for Lysol isn’t so good. A bed bug’s eggs provide an efficient protective environment that is designed to allow the bed bug to survive until they are ready to be born into the world. The eggs, therefore, provide protection sufficient to survive contact with many chemicals, including those contained in Lysol.

Bed Bug Eggs
CC Image courtesy of AFPMB

You may be able to kill bed bugs with Lysol, but you won’t have that same against the eggs themselves. Bed bug eggs hatch within a couple of weeks, so you may buy yourself a little time, but once the eggs hatch, you’ll definitely notice that the bed bugs have come around again.

The most effective way to kill bed bug eggs is through extreme heat or cold, since the eggs can only survive in certain temperature ranges. Heat treatment is a good way to kill the eggs, so we’ll discuss that in a later section.

Will All Types Of Lysol Work?

There are a lot of different types of Lysol that are used for a variety of purposes. However, they will all work about the same for killing bed bugs, with a couple of notable exceptions.

Any Lysol spray that does not include a high alcohol content is not going to be effective against bed bugs. As mentioned before, typically, Lysol has a 79% ethanol content, which is why it can be used to kill bed bugs when sprayed upon them. However, some varieties of Lysol that are meant for different purposes instead of disinfecting various surfaces may not have the alcohol content to get the job done.

Make sure that you check the ingredients label before you try to kill bed bugs with the Lysol that you have. Furthermore, make sure that the spray you use isn’t going to damage the surface that you’re spraying on. If you’re spraying a couch, for instance, you want to make sure that the Lysol isn’t going to ultimately ruin your upholstery or fabric.

How To Use Lysol Against Bed Bugs

Let’s get down to the details, then. How exactly is Lysol best used against bed bugs? Keep in mind what we have already discussed earlier, including the fact that Lysol is best used when sprayed directly upon an infested area.

Therefore, when you use Lysol to kill bed bugs, you really have to get into the surfaces and areas where you know bed bugs to be hiding out. If your mattress is a problem, you have to get into the seams, underneath the mattress, and anywhere else you can think of.

CC Image courtesy of louento.pix

If your couch is the problem area for your bed bug infestation, get the Lysol spray into all of the various nooks, crannies, and crevices. Be as thorough as possible and make sure to get all of the areas so that the bed bugs don’t have anywhere to hide or escape to.

Try to use your Lysol in a direct manner instead of with a preventative approach. Remember that in most cases, spraying Lysol in an area to keep it bed bug-free isn’t going to work. Instead, focus on spraying where they already are so that you can stop them in their tracks.

As for what type of Lysol you use, it’s up to you. Try to get something that has the 79% ethanol content but that also is compatible with the surface that you’ll be spraying on so that you can avoid damaging anything.

Finally, keep in mind that whenever you use something with a high alcohol content, the contents will be flammable to a certain degree. Be vigilant and safe about your use of Lysol and you won’t have anything to worry about regarding the flammability, however.

Risks Of Using Lysol To Kill Bed Bugs

There are a few risks associated with using Lysol to kill bed bugs. The first and most pressing risk is that your Lysol won’t get the job done. Remember that Lysol’s effect on bed bugs will be pretty negligible, so Lysol can’t be your only answer to the problem since the eggs will eventually hatch and you’ll have new bugs. You should be just as cautious with Lysol as you are with other products, such as boric acid and bleach.

CC Image courtesy of louento.pix

Furthermore, you have to keep in mind that Lysol can be damaging to some surfaces. In addition, it can also be flammable, so you need to be careful not to use it around candles or other flame sources.

Alternative Bed Bug Treatments

Let’s take a quick look at some other ways to kill bed bugs and their eggs. The below products can be good alternatives to Lysol, or can be effective as a supplement to complement your Lysol usage.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a good method of killing off bed bugs for a number of reasons. First of all, it can be used as a preventative measure by placing it in affected areas or areas that you are worried about bed bugs moving to.

Second, diatomaceous earth is organic and natural, so it is safe for use in homes where you have pets or children. Many of the chemicals used to fight off insect infestations are not safe for pets or kids, so diatomaceous earth is a good alternative when you have kids or animals to worry about getting into your sprayed chemicals.

When looking for Diatomaceous Earth to use, don’t worry about buying anything too special or expensive, as most forms are more or less similar to each other. However, choosing a food-grade DE is probably your best choice as it can be less hazardous than other forms. A bag like this DiatomaceousEarth Food Grade 10lb should work absolutely fine.


Alcohol is obviously an effective method of killing off bed bugs, as the 79% ethanol content in Lysol is what makes it effective in killing them when sprayed directly on bed bugs. There is also 91% alcohol that can be used, and it does have a strong killing effect due to the high alcohol content.

However, it must be noted that chemicals with such high alcohol content are highly flammable and can present a real danger. Some people have burned down their houses or apartment buildings when they were careless while using 91% alcohol to try to rid their bedrooms or living rooms of bed bugs and eggs.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is the last, and potentially most effective, method of killing bed bugs. Heat treatment is particularly helpful against eggs, which can’t really be killed with direct application of chemicals. Heat treatment simply heats an area past 118 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature where bed bugs & eggs will begin to die off if it’s maintained for at least 90 minutes.

This kind of treatment can be a good idea after you’ve used other methods to clear out as many bed bugs as possible.

Professional Bed Bug Heat Treatment

My favorite way to heat household items to a temperature that is sure to kill all bed bugs and eggs without needing to purchase expensive pest control heat treatment is to use a ZappBug Heater, which is specially designed to kill all stages in the bed bug life cycle.

Simply place infested items into the ZappBug heater and it will automatically reach the all-important bed bug killing temperature, so you can be sure the items come out all-clear.

Large and small versions are also available.


While using Lysol may not be the most highly recommended way of getting rid of bed bugs, the alcohol content of most types of Lysol can be effective at killing bed bugs when sprayed directly upon them. With the proper precautions, this can be a cost-effective way of culling down the bed bug population as part of a larger overall extermination effort.