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Does Baking Soda Kill Bed Bugs? (2022 Updated)

A bed bug infestation is probably the most common problem that disturbs peaceful homes. Pest control experts are usually contacted to eradicate bed bugs but only during normal business hours.

With this being said, are there easy home remedies you can opt for? We spent 72 hours testing and researching to help you answer the question: does baking soda kill bed bugs?  

Using Baking Soda To Kill Bed Bugs

Using Baking Soda To Kill Bed Bugs

Baking soda is typically used to make cleansers and detergents due to its high content of alkaline salt [1]. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, it is usually found in nature (like mineral springs). It has become one of the most popular at-home treatments to eliminate bed bugs in bed frames, furniture, and behind wallpapers.

But does baking soda kill bed bugs? The answer may vary depending on the area you wish to treat. Like other home remedies to control bed bugs, it may or may not work.

What Makes Baking Soda Deterrent For Bed Bugs

What Makes Baking Soda Deterrent For Bed Bugs

Dries Out Bed Bugs

Myth:

Baking soda works great for cleaning as it highly absorbs liquid and odor. Due to its absorbent quality, baking soda breaks down when it interacts with water. Thus, baking soda is believed to absorb the thick fluids found on a bed bug’s exoskeleton, which dehydrates their bodies, resulting in death.

Fact:

There is no doubt that this natural cleaning agent is good for absorption. Nonetheless, it is soluble in water, so absorbing all the fluids on a bed bug’s shell is quite questionable as it will become unusable once it dissolves. 

Highly Abrasive

Highly Abrasive

Myth:

Since baking soda work as a scrubbing agent when cleaning, its abrasiveness is believed to lacerate the body of bed bugs, leading to injuries and death. This idea is the same as the Diatomaceous Earth, which gets rid of the outer wax coat of an insect exoskeleton [2]. 

Fact:

Baking soda is certainly useful in removing rust and stains. However, its abrasiveness is not sharp enough to cut or remove the wax of bed bugs’ shells. However, if bed bugs are confined in an enclosed space where they constantly move around baking soda, their exoskeleton may suffer enough injuries, thereby killing bed bugs.    

Dangerous When Ingested

Myth:

Baking soda releases a carbon dioxide gas once it warms up, caused by the breakdown of chemical bonds and changes in composition. If an insect ingests the baking soda, the gas will pass through its digestive tube and cause internal bleeding, leading to death.

Fact:

While this scenario seems scientifically reasonable, bed bugs feed on humans and other warm-blooded animals. They only consume blood, and their mouthparts are too small to ingest baking soda.

How To Use It Against Bugs

How To Use It Against Bugs

Even if you’re sleeping at night, these insects can sense body heat and feed on your blood without you even knowing. So, if you don’t want to use chemical pesticides, you can sprinkle baking soda on bed bug hotspots where they lay eggs. 

Another baking soda method is to mix it with water to create a paste. Afterward, grab a brush and paint the paste to key hotspot areas such as box springs, drawer joints, and wall ceiling junctions.

Piling is also a good bed bug control technique. Place a thick layer of baking soda on the legs of your bed since bed bugs love to hide where humans sleep. In fact, these pesky bugs are a bit difficult to lure out of hiding. If all else fails, a pest control expert is the last resort.

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How Long Does It Take For Baking Soda To Kill Bed Bugs?

Although some claim that baking soda works, our research team found no scientific evidence proving how long it can eliminate or repel bed bugs. Also, the bed bug shell is covered in wax, so it will only dissolve in contact, losing its abrasiveness. We also found that treated areas attract bed bugs due to the carbon dioxide, making it unideal for insect repellents.

On the other hand, you can use a spray bottle filled with certain essential oils. Other treatment strategies include moth balls, rubbing alcohol, talcum powder, tea tree oil, Diatomaceous Earth, and ultrasonic devices. However, note that these DIY pest control techniques cannot completely treat an entire infestation in your home.

FAQs

Can baking soda help you with bed bug bites?

No, it cannot. Bites are the most irritating bed bug problem, and you cannot treat them with baking soda. If you suffer from multiple bites, wash it with soap and water to prevent infection and lessen itchiness. You can also apply low dosage corticosteroid creams to reduce itching.

What other insects does baking soda kill?

Though baking soda cannot get rid of bed bugs, you can make a trap by adding sugar to it, attracting ants and cockroaches, and killing both. It can also kill slugs that pester your plants. If you wish to eradicate your bed bug problem, it is best to get a free quote from pest control experts.

Key Takeaways

Getting rid of bed bugs lurking in your home is not easy and can lead to severe infestation if left untreated. If DIY remedies can’t do the trick anymore, especially if your home has active bed bug infestations in every corner, getting a free quote from pest control experts and seeking their help is ideal.

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/science/sodium-bicarbonate
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-diatomaceous-earth#insecticide

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