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Does Baking Soda Kill Bed Bugs?

If you’re looking for a simple, cost-effective way to get rid of bed bugs, baking soda may be the answer. But does baking soda kill bed bugs? I’m going to talk you through baking soda as a remedy for dealing with bed bugs, so keep on reading for the low-down…

A wooden spoon with baking soda powder

What Even Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are stealthy pests. They hide during the day in places like mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and even behind wallpaper.

At night is when they come out to feast on you. You might not even realize you’ve been bitten until you wake up with those irritating welts.

An infestation of bed bugs can be quite a nightmare because these little vampires reproduce quickly and are tough to eliminate once they’ve settled in your home.

Females can lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime. Each nymph (baby bed bug) needs a blood meal before each molt until it reaches adulthood – imagine how many meals that could be if you’ve got an infestation.

What Is Causing The Current Bed Bug Infestation Right Now?

The current bed bug infestation can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Global Travel: As people return to pre-pandemic levels of travel, bedbugs are also on the move. They are known to travel in people’s suitcases and end up in bedrooms, making them effective hitchhikers.
  2. Secondhand Furniture: The rise in the popularity of secondhand furniture provides another avenue for bedbugs to enter homes.
  3. Resistance to Insecticides: In the past, strong insecticides like DDT were used to control bedbug infestations. However, over time, bedbugs have evolved resistance to these insecticides. As a result, many of today’s bedbug populations are largely unaffected by commonly used insecticides.
  4. Climate Change: Warmer temperatures due to climate change are conducive to insect breeding. With more hot months in a year, there’s a higher likelihood of insects breeding in larger numbers.

It’s important to note that bedbugs are not just limited to certain areas or conditions. They can be found in any city around the world, from youth hostels to five-star hotels.

While their bites don’t transmit diseases to humans, they can cause stress and mental health issues for those affected. To protect oneself, it’s advised to be cautious when traveling, check for bedbugs in hotel rooms, and act quickly if an infestation is suspected at home.

bed bug infestation on a mattress with eggs

Why Do Bed Bugs Appear?

Bed bugs are common pests that can find their way into your home in a variety of ways. Let’s look at what causes bed bugs to appear and how a bed bugs infestation can occur.

  1. Travel: Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. They often latch onto luggage, clothing, or other personal belongings when you stay in hotels or other heavily trafficked places where they reside.
  2. Used Furniture: Purchasing used furniture is another common way for bed bugs to find their way into your home. These insects can live for months without feeding, so they might still be hiding in second-hand couches or beds.
  3. Neighbors with Infestations: If you share walls with neighbors who have an infestation, the bed bugs could easily spread to your living space through cracks and crevices.

Understanding these factors can help you protect yourself from future invasions by taking appropriate precautions like inspecting hotel rooms and used furniture before bringing them into your house.

Bed bug infestations aren’t always related to cleanliness levels; even the cleanest homes can fall victim if the conditions are right for these pests.

These critters are attracted more by warmth and carbon dioxide than filth, so simply keeping a tidy house won’t necessarily keep them at bay.

The best method of prevention is awareness: knowing what causes bed bugs to appear will give you the upper hand in avoiding an unwelcome encounter with these resilient creatures.

Close-up image of a bed bug crawling on the bedding

How Do You Know You Have A Bed Bug Problem?

Bed bugs are sneaky, small, and often hard to see. However, they leave several telltale signs that indicate their presence in your home, like discovering bed bug shells, or fluids found on a bed, or around the bed.

Here’s a quick guide on how to spot bed bugs:

Signs of Infestation Description What To Do
Bed Bug Bites These bites typically appear as small red welts in zigzag lines or clusters. They may itch intensely. Consult a healthcare provider for appropriate treatment and begin looking for other signs of infestation in your home.
Blood Stains You might find tiny rust-colored stains on your bed linens from crushed bed bugs. Wash all bedding in hot water and check corners/crevices of your mattress for live bugs or their shed skins.
Foul Odor A strong musty odor (like damp towel) could be released by their scent glands. Call a pest control specialist immediately if you detect this smell regularly.

These pests are not picky about where they set up shop; high-end hotels are just as prone to infestations as any other dwelling place.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs or symptoms, it’s crucial to take action promptly. A minor bed bug problem can quickly turn into an overwhelming infestation if left unchecked.

While identifying a potential bed bug issue is an essential first step towards eradicating them from your home, it’s equally recommended to seek professional help when dealing with such pests.

Their resilience makes DIY methods less effective than desired, leaving professional extermination as the most reliable option at hand.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

Dealing with a bed bug infestation isn’t as simple as it may seem. There’s more to it than just washing your linens and vacuuming your mattress.

These tiny pests are notorious hitchhikers, making their way into homes via luggage, clothing, or secondhand furniture. They’re known for being incredibly tough to eradicate once settled in.

A combination of chemical treatments, heat treatments, and preventive measures usually works best.

Professional exterminators often use insecticides that are specifically designed to kill bed bugs.

Heat treatment involves raising the temperature in your home or specific area to levels that bed bugs cannot survive – typically around 120 °F.

You might have heard about using baking soda to kill bed bugs. The theory goes that the baking soda will absorb the moisture from the bugs’ bodies, causing them to dehydrate and die.

However, this method is not scientifically proven nor recommended by professionals because it lacks consistency and efficiency.

While these methods can be effective in reducing the number of bed bugs in your home, they’re rarely enough on their own.

Also, wash all bedding and clothing in hot water followed by a high-heat drying cycle since this will kill any remaining insects or eggs.

Bed bug eggs infestation on mattress slats on the bed

Does Baking Soda Kill Bed Bugs?

The idea behind baking soda killing bed bugs lies in its supposed ability to absorb moisture from the bodies of these pests, essentially dehydrating them until they die.

It is also believed that when bed bugs ingest baking soda, it destroys their internal organs – leading to their demise.

However, while this method might sound appealing due to its cost-effectiveness and ease, there’s little scientific evidence supporting these claims.

In fact, many experts argue against using home remedies for bed bugs like baking soda. Bed bugs are notoriously hardy creatures and can survive in various conditions.

They’re known for their resistance to many pesticides and can live without feeding on blood for several months.

This resilience makes successful extermination challenging even with professional pest control methods.

Relying solely on baking soda as a treatment could give you a false sense of security and lead to more severe infestations over time.

While it may kill some bed bugs or slow down their reproduction temporarily, it won’t eradicate an entire infestation thoroughly.

So while sprinkling your house with baking soda might seem like an easy solution, it’s not guaranteed to eliminate your problem entirely or provide long-term relief from bed bug woes.

Instead, consider seeking help from professionals who have access to more potent treatments designed specifically for battling these stubborn pests.

Woman holding a magnifying glass examining her bedding for traces of bed bugs

How To Use Baking Soda For Bed Bugs Control

Using baking soda alone will not completely eliminate a severe bed bug infestation. It should be used as part of a comprehensive pest management strategy.

To use baking soda for bed bug control, start by thoroughly cleaning your surroundings, including your bedding and furniture.

Once everything is clean, generously sprinkle baking soda over the areas where you believe bed bugs are hiding or where you have noticed signs of their presence, such as black spots or blood stains.

This can include your mattress, box springs, headboard, couches, and any other dark corners in your room.

The idea behind using baking soda is that it dehydrates the bugs upon contact by removing moisture from their bodies, eventually causing them to die.

Be thorough when applying the baking soda and not miss any potential hiding places, as bed bugs can easily relocate to untreated areas.

Leave the baking soda in place for at least seven days before carefully vacuuming it up. Make sure to capture all possible eggs, nymphs, and adult bugs with the vacuum.

Best Bed Bug Treatments To Eliminate Bed Bugs

The key to getting rid of these blood-sucking pests is a comprehensive approach that targets the entire infestation.

Professional Treatments Home Remedies
Bed bug heat treatment Diatomaceous earth
Pesticide application Essential oils
Steam cleaning Vacuuming
Cryonite freezing Baking soda
Fumigation Alcohol spray

Professional bed bug treatments are often the most effective. They’re administered by pest control experts who have access to powerful tools and chemicals.

Heat treatment, for example, involves raising the temperature in your home high enough to kill off all stages of bed bugs.

Pesticide applications can be more targeted, focusing on areas where bed bugs tend to hide. Steam cleaning and cryonite freezing are other professional methods proven to eradicate an entire infestation.

But don’t lose heart if professional treatment isn’t immediately within reach; there are also several home remedies you can try in the meantime.

You might find success with diatomaceous earth, a natural powder that kills insects by dehydrating them. Essential oils like tea tree or lavender oil can deter bed bugs too.

Regular vacuuming helps remove live bugs and eggs, while baking soda reportedly dries out their bodies, making it harder for them to survive.

Woman holding a magnifying glass examining her bedding for traces of bed bugs

How Often Should I Apply Baking Soda for Bed Bug Control?

While there’s no scientific proof that baking soda kills bed bugs, some people still use it as a natural remedy. If you’re one of them, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in areas where you suspect bed bug activity.

Repeat this process every few days or until you see a decrease in the number of bugs. 

Are There Any Side Effects or Dangers of Using Baking Soda to Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, there are potential dangers in using baking soda for bed bug control. Although it’s not toxic to humans or pets, it can cause skin irritation if you’re sensitive.

Inhaling baking soda dust could also trigger respiratory problems like coughing or shortness of breath.

It’s not a foolproof method; bugs may simply avoid the treated areas.

Therefore, while it’s a cheap solution, professional pest control is usually more effective and safer overall.

Can Baking Soda Be Used in Combination with Other Bed Bug Treatments?

Can Baking Soda Be Used in Combination with Other Bed Bug Treatments?

Yes, you can use baking soda along with other bed bug treatments. It’s often used in combination with diatomaceous earth for enhanced effect.

However, always ensure the other methods are safe to combine and won’t cause harmful chemical reactions.

Also, don’t rely solely on baking soda as it isn’t 100% effective against bed bugs. 

What Other Household Items Can Be Used to Kill or Repel Bed Bugs?

Apart from baking soda, there are several other household items you can use to combat bed bugs. Rubbing alcohol is a powerful repellent that dehydrates and kills these pests.

Diatomaceous earth also works well by cutting their exoskeletons causing dehydration.

Vacuuming regularly helps remove any eggs or live bugs.

Heat treatment, like using a steam cleaner or washing clothes on high heat, is also effective against bed bugs.

Girl with bed bug bites all over her lower legs

If a Female Bed Bug Physically Encounters Baking Soda, Will It Kill Her Immediately?

It’s unlikely. While baking soda is theorized to cut into a bed bug’s exoskeleton and absorb fluids leading to dehydration, it won’t necessarily kill them immediately.

Exoskeleton damage may take some time, and the female bed bug may be still able to lay eggs before she dies.

up close photo of a bed bug crawling on a mattress topper


Baking soda is a common home remedy for killing bed bugs, but it’s unclear how effective baking soda works.

While some people believe it can dry out and ultimately kill these pests, there’s little scientific evidence that supports this claim.

The best method of eliminating an infestation is usually through professional pest control services.

If you choose to try baking soda for bed bug control, use it in combination with other treatments like rubbing alcohol or diatomaceous earth. Remember to be thorough when applying and vacuum up any residue after seven days.

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Sunday 19th of November 2023

Baking soda is powerful and cheaper way to rid Yourself of bedbug infestations! But it's time consuming, clean and vacuum the area your treating and every 7days vacuum up the old baking soda, get alcohol 91% or more is better and treat the floor let it dry. And then put your next week of baking soda down usually about a month or longer depending on your infestation level you should be bug free! Guaranteed I'm customer that had same problem and now my infestation is to only seeing one active bug on curtain! So I wash my curtains once a week in Hot cycle and dry in dryer just about bug free in a year.

Gemma Daniels

Sunday 19th of November 2023

Great recommendation Michael, thank you for sharing with us!

Peter Almonicar

Friday 20th of October 2023

Thank you for spreading useful tips regarding bed bugs exterminators

Gemma Daniels

Friday 20th of October 2023

Thank you for commenting Peter, I'm glad you found the information useful :)

William T H.....

Wednesday 18th of October 2023

Trying all of it thanks going to war found one that was having ot way with me in a 1 month period got bot maybe 3 times thouhgt it was spiders while having poison ivy got it also. Felt like i was going to loose my mind literally..but i get poison ivy often kind of a guru with it as scary as that stuff is ..any going to war and i will win.

Gemma Daniels

Wednesday 18th of October 2023

Good luck WIlliam, I really hope these tips help you get rid of bed bugs!


Wednesday 18th of October 2023

Regarding bed bug control and Diatomaceous earth , it should be noted that there are two, types ,depending on what you are using it for such as,Diatomaceous earth that you put in your pool filter and Food Grade Diatomaceous earth. There are a great number of people who are pet owners and need to be aware of the difference in these types as to the well bring of their pets as well as the safety of any young children who may be exposed to Diatomaceous earth should that be the choice of control method. Diatomaceous earth for your pool is not the type you use as it does have other chemical components that are not recommended for for young children or animals to come in to contact. While 100% Food Grade Diatomaceous earth is used by farmer and rancher . Food Grade Diatomaceous earth is mix in with grains and wheats ect.. In storage silos to as insect and parasite control. Farmer are known to mix 100%food grade Diatomaceous earth in with the hay ,oats,and grain that are feed to live stock as parasite control in livestock digestion

Gemma Daniels

Wednesday 18th of October 2023

Thank you Sanderson for such an insightful comment, I'm sure my readers will find it helpful!


Wednesday 18th of October 2023

I guarantee you diatomaceous earth will work it takes a little bit of time but guaranteed it will work just be careful not to breath the dust powder wear a mask

Gemma Daniels

Wednesday 18th of October 2023

Thank you for the helpful recommendation!

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