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Does Baby Powder Kill Bed Bugs? (Updated)

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Alene Schill

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It can be tempting to take immediate action upon discovering that your home has a bed bug infestation.

Baby powder is one of the many “natural remedies” people turn to for bed bug treatment, aside from wiping down furniture with dryer sheets and mixing essential oils with rubbing alcohol. But does baby powder kill bed bugs? We’ll debunk myths with the truth. 

Will Baby Powder Kill Bed Bugs? 

Will Baby Powder Kill Bed Bugs? 

We hate to break it to you, but baby powder will not kill bed bugs. 

According to the many myths surrounding bed bug home remedies, baby powder can “allegedly” absorb the surface fluids of their shells and dehydrate them to get rid of bed bug infestations. 

However, there is no scientific evidence to prove that it is effective as a bed bug treatment. Baby powder isn’t strong enough to penetrate a bed bug’s exoskeleton and will not kill them. 

How About Locking Bed Bugs In With Talcum Powder? 

Some people use dual-purpose baby powder as a trap, and we think they might be onto something. 

They create bed bug traps by putting talcum powder inside a few bowls and leaving them underneath the infested beds. The powdery surface will make it difficult for them to escape the bowl. 

With that same logic, it’s also a great idea to sprinkle baby powder on their hiding places — around and under your bed frame, and underneath your bedroom furniture, for better bed bug control. However, this is by no means a permanent solution and won’t eradicate bed bugs. 

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Some Alternatives

Some Alternatives 

Use Bleach

One of the best ways to get rid of a bed bug infestation is to use bleach

Strip your mattress off its bedding and sheets, and run them through the washer with hot water and some chlorine-free bleach as heat treatment. Once done, put them into the dryer and run them for at least 20 minutes in the highest setting. The high temperature will kill the bugs instantly. 

Wipe down other furniture, such as your bedside table, box spring, cabinets, lamps, etc., with the same chlorine-free, color-safe bleach to get rid of bed bugs from your couch and bed. 

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Remember when we said that people applied baby powder in the hopes of dehydrating the insects? 

Diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs effectively because of its small, jagged particles, which are strong enough to pierce their tough exoskeleton. Once the diatomaceous earth has successfully punctured the arthropod, the insect starts to dehydrate and eventually dies. 

Diatomaceous earth is a common, non-toxic material used to treat many insect infestations. Many greenhouses use it to treat insects without endangering the lives of the plants. [1

Try Aerosol Spray

Some bed bug aerosol sprays are effective at killing bed bugs. You can spray it directly onto hiding spots. 

Be careful with this method, though — some aerosol sprays might send the bed bugs flying off into another location to create a new infestation. But can Lysol get rid of bed bugs?


Does baby powder irritate bed bugs?

Yes, it’s highly likely that baby powder will just irritate bed bugs. It’s not strong enough to kill bed bugs, nor will it dehydrate them, and many of them have been observed as just walking around the powder to avoid it altogether. 

While you can use it as a trap, it’s not a permanent solution to getting rid of the bed bug infestation. 

Can bed bugs crawl up baby powder?

No, bed bugs can’t crawl up baby powder. It’s a great idea to put some baby powder inside a bowl and leave it underneath your bed to serve as a trap. The powder will make the bowl slippery, which they won’t be able to escape from! 

Is it good to put baby powder on your bed?

Yes, it’s a great idea to put baby powder on your bed! Putting some on just a few minutes before snuggling in is a great way to keep the mattress cool. It is also an excellent sweat absorber. 

So, Does Baby Powder Kill Bed Bugs? 

No, baby powder will not kill bed bugs. 

There is no scientific evidence to prove that it effectively kills bed bugs. Its soft, silky texture is not powerful enough to pierce the tough exoskeleton of these pesky critters, unlike if you were to use diatomaceous earth. 

However, you can put some powder inside a bowl to create a bed bug trap and leave it underneath your bed. Its slippery texture will make it difficult for the bugs to escape the bowl once they’re inside. 

Of course, aside from these two methods, your best chance to finally get rid of bed bugs is to contact a licensed pest control company that can do the job for you. 



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