Does Dettol Kill Bed Bugs?

The presence of bed bugs in your house can be a constant headache for any of us. If you are wondering whether Dettol can be your savior in killing bed bugs then continue reading!

What Is Dettol?

Dettol is a British brand that offers disinfectant, antiseptic, and cleaning supplies. The brand was introduced back in 1932. Its products are distributed and are widely popular all around the world (except the United States). The tagline of the brand goes as “Keep the memories, but not the bacteria”. As per the company’s claims, their products can kill 99.9% of the germs, viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

What Does Dettol Contain?

The main active ingredient in the antiseptic Dettol is a modified formula of antiseptic phenol. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), this modified version of phenol is called Chloroxylenol BP.

According to the UK Electronic Medicines Compendium, Dettol antiseptic disinfectant contains Chloroxylenol BP 4.8% weight to volume concentration. In addition to Chloroxylenol BP, other inactive ingredients or excipients are,

  • Pine oil
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Castor oil
  • Caustic soda solution
  • Caramel
  • Water

These inactive ingredients give antiseptic properties to Dettol, and also make it water-soluble.

Does Dettol Kill Bed Bugs?


Dettol is not an insecticide. Sure, it contains antiseptic properties, but it cannot kill bed bugs and other such insects. However, saying that, applying Dettol directly on the bed bugs or combining it with other efficient products can help kill bed bugs.

Precautions When Using Dettol

Like any other product containing chemicals, mild or concentrated, following safety precautions is important while using Dettol is also very important.

  • Depending upon your health condition, you may be more susceptible to certain side effects of the Dettol products. That’s why it is recommended to consult your doctor about your continuing medications and health condition. A few of such important conditions include,
    • Deep wounds
    • Animal Bites
    • Serious burns
    • Cuts/ rashes on the skin
    • Swelled skin
  • Stop using any product if irritation or allergic condition persists, and immediately consult your doctor.
  • According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information(NCBI), chloroxylenol and other such disinfectants can cause allergic reactions, mild skin irritation, itching, redness, and in worst cases swelling on the sensitive skin. So, before using it to kill bed bugs, do read the instructions carefully.
  • Dettol products are for external use only. So, do not ingest.
  • It is recommended to dilute the product before using it.

How To Use Dettol To Kill Bed Bugs?

Although, using Dettol is not the perfect solution to exterminate bed bugs, but in absence of any other efficient solution Dettol can come handy. The best way to use Dettol to get rid of bed bugs is by applying it directly on the bed bugs.

Alternative Methods For Killing Bed Bugs

  • Steam cleaning

Steam cleaning is one of the most efficient methods for killing bed bugs. And what makes steam cleaning the most attractive method is the fact that it is free from any toxic chemicals. So, how does it work! Steam cleaners work by heating water through an electrical supply. The steam produced is directed to different types of nozzles.

You can easily steam clean your drapes, mattresses, sheets, bedding, sofas, or anything else. When bed bugs come in contact with high temperature, the protective layer of their bodies shed off and they eventually die.

  • Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) powder is another chemical-free white substance that quickly and effectively gets rid of bed bugs, without harming pets or humans. Moreover, if the problem of bed bugs persists, then you can use Diatomaceous earth (DE) powder together with another bed bug exterminating procedure to be sure of their complete removal from your house.

  • Bed bug spray

There is a wide variety of bed bug sprays available in the market, all offering powerful formulas to kill bed bugs. These sprays are formulated using just the right ratio of particular chemicals and the final product is perfect to completely kill the bed bugs off your home.

There you go! We hope that this read has solved any confusion regarding the use of Dettol for killing bed bugs.

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