The destructive and illegal practice of using chemicals (bleach, dishwashing liquid, gasoline) to catch spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) is thought to be common throughout much of the Bahamian Archipelago. Injection of a chemical irritant into a lobster den will result in either a rapid escape response or a subduing effect, both of which make it easier to capture spiny lobster. We used both laboratory and field trials to determine the efficacy of a starch-iodide swab technique to identify lobsters that had been exposed to bleach solution (NaOCl). All lobsters exposed to bleach tested positive immediately following exposure and for varying periods thereafter. No false positives were detected on control lobsters. The average length of time that bleach remained detectable on the exoskeleton was 6.2 and 9.6 h in the laboratory and field, respectively, with some individuals testing positive 12 h after exposure. The swab technique will provide fishery officers with a powerful tool to reduce or eliminate the illegal use of bleach for harvesting spiny lobster.