Can Baking Soda Kill Bed bugs?

baking soda to get rid of bed bugs

In the relentless battle against bed bugs, a multitude of strategies and DIY remedies have emerged, and one unconventional contender is baking soda. This common kitchen ingredient has piqued the curiosity of many in the fight against these elusive pests. But can baking soda kill bed bugs?

While the pursuit of an answer to this question continues, it’s essential to understand the nature of bed bugs, their resilience, and the science behind this method. Join us in this exploration of the potential role of baking soda in the ongoing quest to combat bed bug infestations.


What is Baking Soda?

Similar to bleach, baking soda is a product that everyone knows well and that is present in many households.
Baking soda is a white powder also called “sodium bicarbonate” or “bicarbonate of soda”. Its chemical formula is NaHCO3. Widely used in the culinary and cosmetic fields as a chemical leavener, it is also found in many formulations to clean and sanitize a wide variety of surfaces. It can also fight against bad odors in refrigerators, freezers. The white powder is also used to solve clogged drains and has many other uses. Baking soda is considered a Household staple and is sold throughout many retailers.
Sodium bicarbonate is very popular because it is very effective in many situations, is cheap, and ecological.
However, Can Baking Soda Kill Bed bugs? In addition to its many known benefits, you will discover that this white powder can prove to be an ally against this tough pest.


Is baking soda toxic to humans and pets?

Sodium bicarbonate has many uses. And for good reason, it is odorless and very easy to use. It is used in alternative medicine. It can be used for digestive disorders and other diseases. Because it has multiple health benefits and fights against intestinal parasites. Baking soda is a non-toxic active ingredient for humans.
Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda, is a natural compound and is safe for your pets.


Can Baking Soda Kill Bed bugs?

Using Baking soda to get rid of bed bugs, like vinegar, is backed by little scientific research unlike diatomaceous earth or Silica Gel Dust for example. There are indeed no scientific studies (we searched) suggesting this is an effective remedy for killing those critters. Sodium bicarbonate breaks down when it comes in contact with water, so the idea that it could dry out a bed bug is highly questionable. Like bleach or white vinegar, using baking soda against those bloodsucking insects will not resolve  all of your bed bugs issues. Especially if the level of bed bugs infestation in your home is advanced.

Another theory is that the bedbugs ingest the bicarbonate of soda causing them to die the same way cockroaches are supposed to. However, there are two contradictions with this theory. First, bed bugs only feed on blood! Second, they don’t have a mouth that can open wide enough to ingest solid Sodium bicarbonate crystals.

There is no quick fix for bedbugs. If baking soda had some effect on bedbugs, it still wouldn’t be an effective treatment solution on its own. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to exterminate. They can hide almost anywhere in your home, they reproduce quickly, and it’s hard to tell where they came from or how many there are. It is therefore necessary to use a combination of products and a rigorous treatment method.
Silica Gel Dust is a powder that is proven deadly to Bed bugs by scientific studies. Check our article if you want to learn how to use Silica Gel Dust to get rid of Bed bugs.


Are there  better methods than baking soda to get rid of bed bugs?

As mentioned, if you are in the presence of a massive invasion, baking will surely not be enough to completely get rid of it. Baking soda is primarily a preventive solution against those bloodsucking instects.
But if you are already facing a large infestation, if several nests are present in each room of your home, then you will have to find a more radical way to overcome it.

There are other chemical-free treatments that are comparatively more effective :

  • The use of steam with a cleaner steamer to get rid of bed bugs
  • The installation of an anti-bed bug mattress cover
  • The use of bed bugs interceptor cups under your bed legs
  • Vacuum thoroughly and regularly the infested area
  • Wash all your bedding, pillows, fabrics, etc. in hot water and dry them on the highest setting your dryer will allow (ideally, you should also steam clean your mattress). (source)


We cover all of those methods in our complete DIY Bed bugs eradication Guide

If you do not opt for the DIY method to exterminate them, the other option is pest control companies. You can hire professionals to make sure there are no more bed bugs in your home. Admittedly, it is a more expensive method, but it will save you some time. Professionals know where bed bugs and their eggs are hidden. And they have the right chemical products to get rid of these pests.


How to use baking soda against bed bugs?

You could still use bicarbonate of soda for its potential repellent properties to bed bugs as it is an easily accessible and economical product.

There are two ways to use baking soda against them: the powdered way and diluted in water.

Use baking soda in powder form against Bed bugs

You can use baking soda in its natural state, that is in powder form, to eliminate those bloodsucking insects. To do this, you will only have to sprinkle a small amount of this white powder and wait for it to take effect.

Here are the areas where you could sprinkle this white powder :

  • Mattress
  • Headboard
  • Carpet
  • Couch
  • Cracks in the floor
  • Baseboard
  • Power outlets
  • Fill the cracks and crevices around your room
  • The interstices of the plinths
  • Curtains
  • Bedroom furniture
  • Armchairs
  • Bean bags
  • Anywhere where you suspect bed bugs could be hiding


You don’t need to sprinkle a lot: count about a tablespoon of baking soda per square meter of surface. Sprinkle a bigger quantity of the white powder around your bed legs. Indeed a large quantity of baking soda around the bed legs could help isolate your bed. Which means that those bloodsuckers could not be able to enter your bed. This will decrease bed bug bites during the night. To isolate your bed you should also pull it out from the walls, to create a free-standing island, giving you access to every angle and also to prevent pests from climbing the wall to access your bed. Remember that those critters feed on blood and that you are their food source.
With the same reasoning you can place a large quantity of baking soda at the base of your couch, so that when bed bugs want to leave it, they would have to crawl through the white powder.

Afterwards, you will need to thoroughly vacuum your room to remove the bicarbonate of soda residue before reapplying some if the bed bug infestation is still ongoing. Repeat the operation after a few days to catch the unhatched bugs. Repeat the process until you do not see any signs of those critters.


Using Diluted Baking soda in Water against Bed Bugs

As with the powdered version, You should use baking soda diluted in water in every corner of your home. In order to keep insects and bed bugs away. But this time, you can bring yourself a vaporizer, in which you will have poured bicarbonate of soda diluted with water.
Spray it in places where you suspect the bloodsuckers are hiding. Do not forget to spray the mattress as well as all the objects and places that could serve as shelters for bedbugs. The diluted form makes it easier to reach inside cracks, crevices and holes where they like to nest. After application with the spray bottle, let it dry.

Diluting bicarbonate of soda in water is convenient in that you won’t have to clean your house a second time. Plus, the baking soda stays on longer and will scare away other pests and insects in your home, such as roaches, mites and ants, among others.

Bicarbonate is in no way harmful to fabrics and belonging. Moreover, in addition to contributing to the extermination of bed bugs that have taken up residence in your home, the bicarbonate will repel other types of insects such as ants or cockroaches, who do not really like its corrosive action.

In the case of a bite from a bedbug, Sodium bicarbonate helps relieve pain and itching, due to its alkaline power.


How to get rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress with baking soda?

Baking soda alone is not considered an effective method for eliminating bed bugs from a mattress. While baking soda may have some absorbent and deodorizing properties, it does not have the ability to kill or eradicate these insects. However, you can use it as a supplementary measure in conjunction with other proven methods. Indeed, you can still sprinkle baking soda on the mattress.

After vacuuming, lightly sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the mattress surface. Baking soda can help absorb odors and moisture, which may make the mattress less appealing to bed bugs. Leave the baking soda on the mattress for a few hours or overnight.


Benefits of baking soda against bed bugs

  •   It is very economical
  •   It is easy to use
  •   Has a potential Bed bugs repelling effect
  •   It is a cleansing and sanitizing product
  •   It is ecological
  •   Sodium bicarbonate is also effective against mold formation
  •   Can help to relieve pain from bed bugs bites when diluted with water


In conclusion, Can baking soda kill bed bugs? The answer is that baking soda can help in the eradication process. When the level of the bed bugs infestation is not too advanced. It is safe of use, economical and has a wide variety of housework use. So you should try this natural remedy if you are dealing with bed bugs.
Other Powders than baking soda can be important weapons against those critters. Diatomaceous earth and Silica gel are often used with great success against bed bugs. They have proven to dehydrate and kill those pests with success. If you want to learn about the best powders available in the market. We suggest that you read our Bed bugs Powders Buying Guide.