Does Baking Soda Kill Bed Bugs?
Many people try baking soda as a first resort when they realize they have bed bugs in their home. That’s because baking soda is purported to dehydrate bed bugs, and while it may have limited use in slowing their spread, it will not solve an ongoing infestation.
Here’s how baking soda treatment is supposed to work:
- Sprinkle baking soda around areas of high bed bug activity, like your bed and surrounding area
- Vacuum it up and repeat a few the process again a few days later
- Continue as needed if you’re seeing progress, or call a professional bed bug exterminator if not
What does baking soda do to bed bugs?
The scientific theory behind eliminating bed bugs with baking soda is based on the chemical properties of baking soda when it’s introduced to water. There are various fluids in a bed bug’s shell, so when they come in contact with baking soda, the baking soda absorbs that fluid and causes them to become completely dehydrated. The baking soda granules will also cut through the bug’s shell and cause internal bleeding.
While this method may succeed in eliminating some bed bugs, it’s not a solution that will work at scale. To completely eliminate an infestation, some combination of heat treatment and/or insecticide will probably be needed.
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At-Home Bed Bug Solutions
Aside from baking soda, the internet offers many other at-home bed bug treatments you can try. While it’s unlikely any of these will succeed in eliminating a full-blown bed bug infestation, it may be worth a try first before you hire a professional exterminator.
Some popular DIY bed bug removal methods include talcum powder, rubbing alcohol, mothballs, diatomaceous earth, and tea tree oil.
Why baking soda doesn't get rid of bed bugs
Baking soda is a spot treatment that can eliminate a small number of bed bugs in an area. It is not a solution to an ongoing bed bug infestation.
If you rely on baking soda to control your bed bug problem, their numbers will slowly increase where you can’t see them, and you may end up dealing with bed bugs for a lot longer than you would prefer.