Can You Flush Bed Bugs Down the Toilet?

There are a lot of things to consider when dealing with a bed bug infestation. Not only do you need to clean all the furniture and practically every surface you also need to consider how to kill these blood-sucking pests. Killing insects with alcohol, poisons, or high temperatures can be effective, but even that isn’t the end of your insect ordeal. 

Once the pests are dead through contact with the insecticide, I always struggle to find the best way to collect them and dispose of them. I have tried sticky tape, vacuuming, and various other broom and bin contraptions, and it is still a headache.

At the end of cleaning a serious bed bug infestation, I am always weary of just tossing the waste in the trash where the survivors, hidden nymphs, and stubborn eggs might get knocked out and reinfest the room. Sometimes, I turn to the toilet to get rid of these blood-eating pests; read on to see how I do it and why. 

Will Bed Bugs Die in the Toilet?

Getting bed bugs off your bedding and furniture and into the toilet water can be tricky at first. If you have killed the bugs with alcohol or a blow dryer, you just need to dump them into the water or collect them with a vacuum or scoop. If they are alive, you will want to dump them quickly and get them flushed into the sewer or septic tank as soon as possible to make sure they die completely.

Adding hot water or making the toilet water soapy can also speed up how quickly the bed bugs die in the toilet. Adult bed bugs cannot really swim, but because they are light, they may get blown around and out of danger. Flushing them into the sewers and septic tanks makes sure there is no escape possible for any surviving indoor pests. 

Bed bugs cannot climb the porcelain-like they can bed posts and furniture and will be stuck inside if they fall in. Spray the water with alcohol to make sure it’s clean, and also mist the toilet bowl and floor around the toilet with alcohol to kill any nymphs and eggs that dropped. Bed bugs have an aversion to water and are aware water can kill them, so they will try to escape. 140-degree water or bleach with water will kill bed bugs before they can escape a bowl or basin. 

When Should You Flush Bed Bugs Down the Toilet?

If you aren’t interested in calling a pest control company to get rid of all of your adult bed bugs, then you may want to rely on flushing them down the toilet. A bed bug bite can be annoying, and any fabric item in your house is a potential home for them. Getting those pests into your toilet sewer and septic tank can be the quickest way to get peace of mind. 

Quick Disposal

If you have dirty bedding or other bed bug-infested items that you need to get the bugs out of quickly, you can carefully shake it over a toilet to drop them and send the pests into the septic tank or the public sewer. Once you have a bed bug bite, you will want to get the ones you can find out as soon as possible the toilet is the fastest exit possible. There is no return from the public sewer for bed bugs. 

Combination Method

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There are plenty of methods to kill bed bugs, and these can each be carried out with different degrees of efficacy. Heat, chemicals, and physical removal are all options I employ to clear places of bed bugs. A blow dryer, isopropyl alcohol, and diatomaceous earth are my favorite bed bug-killing combo. 

Once the bug has stopped moving and the areas they occupied are sterilized, I collect them and dump them in the toilet to get rid of them. Collecting as many of the bugs and their eggs as possible and getting them into the toilet can help reduce the amount of treatment needed in a second round. Using a bowl of water to collect bugs and then dumping that in the toilet once it is full is another variation of this method. 

Vacuum Bag Emptying

If I will be collecting the bed bugs in a vacuum cleaner. I always try to remember to empty it before sucking up the bugs. If I empty all the dust and pet hair first, then there is less of a chance of clogging the toilet when I try to flush the bed bugs. I like to flush them right away because any bugs that survive in the vacuum tube or trash bag could escape. 

Steps to Flush Bed Bugs

Flushing bed bugs in a bit of water is extremely effective, but getting the bed bugs into the toilet to do that can be tricky. Since they are only the size of an apple seed, it’ll be hard to track down these pests, let alone catch them, kill them, and dispose of them. A good strategy is needed to stop bed bugs without needing a professional’s help. Below are the steps I have used to rid my home of bed bugs when they came in from an old bed set. 

Locate the Bed Bugs Spot bed bugs and bed bug signs like blood marks near mattresses and beddingMake sure bed bugs are the culprits and that the bug bombs or insecticide you will use is the correct one
Trap or Kill the Bed BugsUse traps, sprays, or powders to kill bugs on bedroom furniture Once the bugs are dead, they will be easier to collect and dispose of and no longer be able to impart painful bedbug bites
Collect the Dead BugsFind all the dead bugs near old blood spots and in the corners of furniture Gets the bugs out and prevents bad odors and other insect pests 
Dump Bugs into the ToiletGet the bugs in a pile in a bowl or on a piece of fabric and dump them into the toilet carefullyGets the bugs into a place where they will be flushed out of your home and not able to reinfest
Flush the ToiletMake sure all the bugs are inside the water and flush to get rid of themGetting the bed bugs into the sewer and septic system ensures they are dead and cannot reenter your home 
Re-Flush the ToiletSometimes a few of the bugs will be able to cling to the sides or pop back up flush again Any bed bugs that aren’t pushed down the first time will be washed away with the second flush
Clean the Bowl and FloorWipe down the rim and outside of the bowl, then spray around the area with alcoholBed bugs, nymphs, and eggs may have fallen around the toilet, and quick spraying can kill them and prevent them from spreading more bugs 

Stopping the Bugs

Searching for blood on pillowcases and odd blood spots and then treating furniture legs and furniture seams can stop these difficult household pests. Once you have located and stopped the bugs, you will need to get rid of them. 

Disposing of the Bugs

Collecting all the bugs spread around your bedroom or infested areas can be difficult. Bagging all linens and getting them in a hot dryer is a start, but vacuuming and sweeping will yield more bugs and bed bug detritus. If you can collect them all, you will be able to get rid of them in one go and save yourself multiple times cleaning the same room. Once the bugs are all together, dump them in the toilet and be rid of them forever. 

Cleaning after the Bugs

After the bugs are gone, you will want to thoroughly clean them to avoid any future infestations. Just because the bugs are gone doesn’t mean the environment that allowed them to get established has disappeared. Figure out what made your home a target and fix it. The easiest way to start this is to clean the room the bugs were in, then work outwards through the rest of the house.

Once the house is spotless, your bed bug problem should be a thing of the past. 

Are There Any Risks to Flushing Bed Bugs?

Bed Bug

While it is pretty safe to flush bugs, and there are no risks of damage or injury, there can be some downsized that are worth mentioning. If you miss the toilet with the item holding the bed bugs, you may accidentally spread them throughout your bathroom. No one wants bed bug bites when they are using the toilet. 

Flushing, again and again, to get rid of a handful of bed bugs is a waste of water. There are easier ways to kill and dispose of bed bugs that don’t involve using a finite natural resource. Tossing the bugs outside would be better than continuous flushing and probably as effective in the long run.

If you make the mistake of not dumping the vacuum waste out before hitting the bed bugs, you might dump hair and dirt that could clog the toilet. In an effort to get rid of bed bugs, you might give yourself a plumbing problem. If this happens to you, then you probably won’t feel that flushing bed bugs was worth it.