Does Baking Soda Kill Bed Bugs?

  • Having bed bugs at home is one of the least pleasurable life experiences. Bed bugs infestations (and their eggs ) force us to not only face obnoxious visual phenomena; these barely visible monsters also bite people when they sleep and feed of their blood! 
  • No wonder humanity did everything they could to find the best way to get rid of bed bug infestations. Have you already heard of a bed bugs remedy such as professional heat, carbon dioxide fumigation, DIY vinegar, diatomaceous earth, rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil (and other essential oils), or any other? 
  • In this article, we’re tackling one do-it-yourself solution considered helpful by some people—baking soda. But, does baking soda kill bed bugs and their eggs? Or is it better to search for a professional exterminator and kill bed bugs with a chemical treatment? Let’s find out below!

How to kill bed bugs?—methods

In the previous House Rituals posts, we learned a lot about bed bugs. 

For instance, there are some scents that bed bugs hate—when it comes into contact, these scents can repel bed bugs or even make them die. 

Among them:

  • Lavender (read “Does Lavender Repel Bed Bugs?”)
  • Peppermint,
  • Essential oils (for example, tea tree oil).
  • Vinegar, 
  • Cinnamon, 
  • Basil, 
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Citrus, and many others. 

Getting rid of bed bugs seems easy with the methods above: just spray your bed to repel or get rid of vicious bed bugs. 

Discover “What Scent Keeps Bed Bugs Away?” in this post.

Among other methods, there are talcum powder, mothballs, and even ultrasonic devices.

Are you looking for more ways for killing bed bugs? Consider pesticides, carbon dioxide, or heat—these are proven, efficient ways to get rid of bed bugs. 

Tip: You can deal with bed bug infestation with rubbing alcohol. However, it’s a risky procedure. Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable and can put your house on fire.  

We reviewed a couple of solutions to bed bugs infestation in the post “How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs in Clothes And Luggage?

Are bed bugs pests easy to get rid of?

The short answer is: not at all. 

First, these pests can live for several months without a meal. It means that they can linger in furniture, bags, and suitcases for a long time, waiting for a host to appear. 

Second, bed bugs can survive freezing temperatures. 

There are, therefore, no easy DIY methods to get rid of bed bugs infestations 100 percent and for good. 

To ensure that we’ve eliminated these pests, we should invest in professional pest control. 

A bed bug problem can and should be handled quickly and effectively by a professional exterminator.

Baking soda

If you’re looking for a remedy to the bed bug’s issue, you’ve undoubtedly heard talking about an alkaline white powder called baking soda. 

Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate. 

This ingredient has been present on our planet since at least 4 million years ago, when salt lakes evaporated and formed trona deposits.

Baking soda is very ubiquitous in modern kitchens and not only. 

When used in baking, baking soda acts as a chemical leavener. It produces carbon dioxide in reaction to an acid, which produces bubbles. 

This solution helps the cake or cookie rise to get its perfect: 

  • tenderness, 
  • moist, and
  • fluffiness; 

Moreover, baking soda is a popular antacid for heartburn and indigestion—it can neutralize stomach acid.

There are plenty of other potential uses for baking soda—many people believe this method works magically against various household issues. 

Using baking soda to kill bed bugs

So can this historic omnipotent substance efficiently deal with bed bugs? 

We’re here to discover that. 

Let’s look at what we know so far about bed bugs baking soda treatment.  

Some sources claim that killing bed bugs insects with baking soda is a myth. There is allegedly no scientific evidence that baking soda is a successful DIY remedy for bed bugs. 

Here is one of the reasons: Baking soda breaks down when it comes into contact with water. So the idea that it can absorb the thick fluids found on a bed bug shell is questionable.

Baking soda treatment

Let’s say that you decided to give baking soda a change anyway. 

Use baking soda kill bed bugs with the following steps:

1. Scatter baking soda around infestation’ hot spots: the mattress, spring box, and other localizations surrounding your bed. Ensure that no place where bed bugs can stay is free of baking soda. 

What are the next steps?

2. Leave the powder for a few days. Pick another bed to sleep and let the baking soda soak into the surface of your pest control. You want every bed bug to contact the baking soda you left there. 

3. Vacuum the baking soda and repeat the process. Finally, it’s time for thorough vacuuming. Ensure you’ve cleaned your bed and surroundings. It’s crucial to care about hygiene and get rid of any remaining bed bug’s and their eggs’ debris. 

Important: Be ready to acknowledge that you can’t get rid of the entire infestation of these pests only with baking soda. This solution is too delicate for these hardy pests. You may need to call for a professional exterminator at some point. 

Does baking soda kill bed bugs? Let’s see in the paragraph below. 

How baking soda works?

How can using baking soda resolve the bed bug problem?

This method—although there is no scientific evidence that we can kill the bed bug insect with baking soda—in theory, is based on the following process:

Baking soda breaks down when it comes into contact with water, so it dehydrates a bed bug’s body. 

Baking soda is supposed to absorb the thick fluids found on a bed bug exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate. 

Moreover, the small granules of baking soda are said to cause internal bleeding within the bed bug. 

Does baking soda kill bed bugs? According to this theory, it does, and it seems to be rather painful. 

As we mentioned, although you may have a degree of success in killing off some bed bugs with baking soda, getting rid of a bed bugs infestation ultimately requires professional treatment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

To encourage bed bugs to get out, introduce heat to the space they're in. In nature, heat indicates that their host (meaning you, when you're sleeping) is nearby. Bed bugs are likely to stay a few meters away from the source and venture out when they want to feed. They do it at least once before each molt (molting means shedding their outer exoskeleton), although they could feed as often as once a day.
Bed bug's feeding pattern is predictable: they usually feed for 5 to 10 minutes until repletion. After feeding, bed bugs move to secluded places and hide for 5-10 days, digesting their meal, mating, and laying eggs.
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