Can baking soda kill bed bugs? If you are confronted with this question, chances are you are fighting this infamous pest in your home. When this is the case, it’s important to follow the most effective method of extermination – and the solution isn’t baking soda.
Bed bugs are among the most despicable and dangerous pests that homeowners can face, and it’s important to take action against them as soon as you see them. If not, this insect can feed on your blood while you sleep — leading to a variety of health problems like rashes and blisters. And while there are many things you can clean with baking soda, its most effective use is outside of the bedroom.
Here, pest experts decode the myth and share what to do instead.
Can baking soda kill bed bugs?
No, baking soda generally has no effect on bed bugs. They won’t absorb it and if they walk through it won’t cause them any problems.
“Bed bugs may avoid areas with baking soda, but they would simply relocate to hide in cracks and crevices or find another way to get to the bed’s occupants.” explains Tim McMahan, the owner of The Pest RX (opens in new tab).
(Image credit: Future)
The expert adds that bed bugs can hide for over 18 months without being fed. So, you must opt for another more powerful solution that will ensure your bedroom ideas are pest free forever.
What Can Kill Bed Bugs Faster?
“The best way to kill bed bugs (when you’re at the beginning of an infestation) is with heat,” says Tim. He recommends using a handheld steamer [such as this one from Amazon (opens in new tab)] before steaming areas where bed bugs hide. These are usually found in the cracks and crevices of your best mattress. You should therefore steam at the edge between the mattress and the headboard and between the mattress and the box spring.
It’s also worth steaming your bed frame or anywhere any two materials meet (e.g. where two pieces of wood are bolted together). However, the steam can damage your glue and wood veneers, so it pays to be extra careful with this step.
(Image credit: Sanderson)
After you’ve steamed your best linens, it’s always a good idea to know how to deep clean your bedroom so you can sleep knowing you’re in a safe, freshly cleaned space. Mike Duncan, National Technical Director and Entomologist at Truly Nolen of America (opens in new tab)also asks you to dust all cracks with diatomaceous earth [also available on Amazon here (opens in new tab)] with a nylon brush.
“This statically charges the product to cling to the surrounding material,” he says. “The absence of cracks or fissures could lead to a recurrence. Please note that 100% elimination is the only way to fix the bed bug problem.’
What Permanently Kills Bed Bugs?
The above method should help kill bed bugs permanently, but there are a few reasons why it might not work. If your infestation is increasing or you have lived with the pest for a long time, you need to call in a professional. They have the specialized equipment to deal with the pest quickly and efficiently.
(Image credit: Future)
Can bed bugs walk through baking soda?
No, as the experts warn, bed bugs cannot walk through baking soda, so using it as a deterrent would do no good. It’s far more efficient to use the steam cleaning method for a recent infestation – or to seek professional help for a larger problem.