Does Boric Acid Kill Bed Bugs?

  • There are many bed bug treatments known to be helpful to eradicate bed bugs from our households, such as diatomaceous earth, laundry soap, chemical pesticides, steam cleaner, boric acid powders, and many other treatments. 
  • Unfortunately, a bed bug’s body can stand many of our “displays of affection,” and prolonged use of some of these methods can trigger resistance in these tiny bugs.
  • In this article, we’ll go through several tips for managing bed bugs, focussing mainly on the question: does boric acid kill bed bugs? So keep reading to learn how to handle bed bug pest control.

Bed bugs in our lives

The worst thing about bed bugs is that they come out when we sleep. 

Their shy, nighty lifestyle makes killing bed bugs a lot harder, but not impossible!

Tip: When it comes to bed bugs, common German cockroaches, and other urban pests that we occasionally come across in our households, in some cases, it may be necessary to call for the help of pest management professionals.

Do you have bed bugs in your bedroom?

First off, let’s see what the signs of bed bug infestation are:

1. tiny blackish-red dots in the spots where their host stays, such as bed sheets, mattresses, and pillow covers;

2. bed bug shells;

3. bloodstains on the bed—caused by your body crushing and killing bed bugs with its weight;

4. minute translucent white baby bed bugs—super hard to spot (consider that an adult-looking bed bug makes only one-sixth of the population);

5. bed bug bites on your body;

Do bed bugs need humans to survive?

Unluckily, all the bed bugs prefer to feed on humans more than any other species. Yet, they can also feed on other mammals and birds if necessary. 

Bed bugs are great hitchhikers who often travel 5-20 feet from established hiding places (known as harborages) to feed on a host. Their favorite spot in the house is the living room. 

Important: While we usually encounter them at night, bed bugs will seek hosts also in full daylight if they’re hungry.

How to remove bed bugs?

After you’ve found bed bugs in your house, it’s time to take action! 

Leaving bed bugs without human blood is also a good idea—scientists have noticed increased unfed male mortality among them. As far as it’s hard to plan to deprive bed bugs of human blood (should we just leave the infested furniture and let them take over our couches?), it’s worth being aware of that mechanism. 

At our disposition against bed bugs, we’ve got diatomaceous earth, steam cleaner, laundry soap, pesticides, and many other methods.

Don’t forget the importance of early detection as females lie bed bug eggs in a huge number. 

Read about these other methods of bed bug control in previous House Rituals’ blogs:

Another way to eliminate bed bugs is using a common boric acid treatment.

We’ll emphasize boric acid treatments in the paragraph below as they’re a low-cost and easy way to deter bed bugs.

Using boric acid to eliminate bed bugs

Exactly how boric acid works and how to use it against bed bugs?

For starters, a few handy facts of how effective boric acid is:

1. A borax solution with a concentration of over 1% boric acid can kill all bed bugs in four to five days. 

2. A solution with a concentration of around 0.5% boric acid can kill all the bed bugs within seven-eight days.

Use Boric acid for severe circumstances of bed bug infestations. 

How to conduct the operation?

In your bedroom, provide light boric acid dust on the floor. 

When bed bugs walk through it, they’ll get it on their bodies, completely unaware of the fact. 

They will die later of boric acid when they groom themselves and eat it. Boric acid ingestion will kill bugs residing in your house. 

Boric acid is a preferable chemical candidate for use in bed bug baits.

Killing bed bugs with boric acid in a white powder is a powerful method.

It’s soluble and stable in water, it’s not highly toxic to mammals, and relatively low cost. 

Bed bugs possesses mechanisms of chemoreception—they are mediated by the odorant receptors on the membrane of olfactory sensory neurons. 

These mechanisms play a vital role in bed bugs’ host-seeking and risk aversion processes.

Yet, with boric acid, it seems that there’s no worry about triggering resistance by these insects. 

What about external boric acid exposure? How high is bed bug mortality if they come in touch with boric acid powder? Will boric acid particles interfere with an insect’s cuticle?

Bed bugs that eat boric acid (especially at concentrations greater than 2 percent) die quickly. However, external contact with high concentrations of boric acid dust doesn’t significantly affect bed bugs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

It's a curious case: a bed bug is such a lightweight insect that it's equally possible to feel actual bed bugs crawling on a person and imagine it. Let us explain. With a bed bug infestation in progress, you can feel itching or a sensation of bed bugs crawling across your skin —especially when multiple bugs are feeding—when you're lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. Yet, if you're already alert to this hidden danger (for example, if you had bed bug infestations in the past), you may fear it to the point of imagining the crawling sensation. This phenomenon is common—you can experience it after pest management professionals take care of eradicating bed bugs.
If you have bed bugs at home, be sure that they'll climb up almost any material—from walls to curtains and wooden furniture to bed frames—to reach their food source. They have some issues with extremely smooth glass, metal, and plastic.
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