How to use Salt for Bed Bugs

How to use Salt for Bed bugs

Bed bugs, those tiny nocturnal pests, can wreak havoc in our homes, causing more than just sleepless nights. From itchy bites to the constant fear of infestation, these bugs present a significant challenge for many. Eradicating them can be tough, often requiring professional help. However, a simple and accessible home remedy that has gained attention is salt. In this article, we explore the efficacy of using salt against bed bugs, how to use salt for bed bugs, and additional tips for a comprehensive bed bug battle.

Bed bugs not only disturb our peaceful sleep but also pose health risks, causing red, itchy welts on our skin. Getting rid of them can be an arduous task, and the expense of professional exterminators can be daunting for many. This is where home remedies, like salt, come into play, offering a cost-effective alternative to combat these persistent pests.

What is Salt?

The chemical structure of salt, sodium chloride, consists of positively charged sodium ions (Na+) and negatively charged chloride ions (Cl-), which are bonded together through ionic bonds. This stable compound forms cubic crystals and dissolves easily in water. It is a vital mineral that occurs naturally in many environments and is commonly harvested for various purposes, such as cooking for example.


Can Salt Kill Bed bugs?

Salt, a common household item, is believed to be a natural remedy for bed bugs. The idea is that salt’s dehydrating properties can be detrimental to these bloodsucking insects.

Salt, particularly common table salt or sodium chloride, is thought to dehydrate bed bugs through osmosis. As salt is applied to the environment where bed bugs reside, it acts as a hygroscopic substance, absorbing moisture from the insects’ bodies. The waxy exoskeleton of bed bugs, designed to retain moisture, becomes a semi-permeable membrane through which water is drawn out by the higher concentration of salt. This disrupts the bed bug’s water balance, leading to cellular damage and ultimately dehydration.

Some individuals attesting to the success of salt in their personal battles against bed bugs. These accounts highlight instances where diligent application of salt in infested areas reportedly led to a reduction in bed bug activity or even the complete elimination of the infestation.

Salt can have some effect against bed bugs but the best is to combine with other DIY bed bug methods such as steam cleaning or washing your bedding on high heat. (source)


Which kind of Salt can I use for Bed bugs?

There are various types of salts, each with unique characteristics, flavors, and uses. Here are some common types of salts that you can use to dehydrate bed bugs:

Table Salt (Sodium Chloride) for Bed bugs:

This is the most common salt found in households. It is highly refined and often includes anti-caking agents. It is commonly used for cooking and seasoning.

Sea Salt for Bed bugs:

Harvested from evaporated seawater, sea salt retains some minerals from the sea, giving it a slightly different taste and texture compared to table salt. There are various types of sea salt, including fine and coarse varieties.

Kosher Salt for Bed bugs:

Kosher salt has larger, coarser grains than table salt. It is commonly used in kosher cooking and is preferred by some chefs for its texture and ease of handling.

Himalayan Pink Salt:

Mined from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, Himalayan salt gets its pink color from trace minerals. It is often used for both cooking and as a finishing salt for its unique appearance.

Rock Salt for Bed bugs:

Typically large, coarse crystals, rock salt is often used in ice cream makers and for creating homemade ice packs. It is also used in some cooking applications.

Flake Salt for Bed bugs:

Flake salt has thin, flat crystals and a delicate texture. It is often used as a finishing salt, sprinkled on dishes just before serving.

Black Salt (Kala Namak) for Bed bugs:

A type of rock salt with a distinctive sulfurous taste, black salt is commonly used in Indian cuisine, especially in chaats and chutneys.

Celtic Sea Salt for Bed bugs:

Harvested from the coastal regions of France, Celtic sea salt is naturally moist and has a grayish color. It is often considered less salty than table salt.

Smoked Salt for Bed bugs:

This salt is infused with smoky flavors, often through a cold smoking process. It can add a unique depth to dishes and is popular for grilling.

Sel Gris for Bed bugs:

Also known as gray salt, Sel Gris is harvested from salt evaporation ponds. It has a high mineral content and is often used in French cuisine.

Fleur de Sel for Bed bugs:

Harvested from the top layer of salt ponds, Fleur de Sel is a delicate, hand-harvested salt with a slightly moist texture. It is often used as a finishing salt.

Red Hawaiian Salt for Bed bugs:

This salt is often mixed with volcanic clay, giving it a red or pink color. It is used in traditional Hawaiian dishes and as a finishing salt.


How to use Salt for Bed Bugs

When employing salt as a bed bug remedy, a systematic approach ensures its effectiveness. Follow these simple steps to use salt for bed bugs:

1. Identify Infested Areas: Begin by identifying the areas where bed bugs are most likely to congregate. Inspect the bed frame, mattress seams, and any cracks or crevices near sleeping areas. Bed bugs are notorious for seeking refuge in these hidden spots.

2. Prepare the Salt: Using common table salt, prepare for application. The idea is to create a barrier that bed bugs find inhospitable. Salt’s dehydrating properties can help sap the moisture from these pests, eventually leading to their demise.

3. Sprinkle Liberally: With a generous hand, sprinkle the salt liberally around the infested areas. Ensure that the salt is distributed evenly, creating a protective layer. Pay special attention to the edges of the mattress and any seams where bed bugs may be lurking.

4. Let It Sit: After applying the salt, exercise patience. Allow it to sit undisturbed for a few days. During this time, the salt works by absorbing moisture from the bed bugs, interfering with their ability to thrive. This gradual process sets the stage for a more effective bed bug control strategy.

5. Monitor and Reapply if Necessary: Keep a watchful eye on the treated areas. If there’s a persistent bed bug presence or if you notice any resurgence, consider reapplying the salt. Bed bugs can be resilient, and periodic reapplication may be needed to maintain control.

6. Vacuum Thoroughly: Once the waiting period is over, it’s time to clean up the aftermath. Use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle attachment to thoroughly vacuum the treated areas. This not only removes the dead bed bugs but also helps eliminate excess salt, ensuring a clean and pest-free environment.

7. Dispose of Vacuum Contents: After vacuuming, carefully dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the vacuum canister. Seal it in a plastic bag before discarding to prevent any potential bed bugs from escaping back into your living space.

8. Additional Measures: While salt can be effective, consider complementing this approach with other preventive measures. Wash bedding, curtains, and clothing in hot water, and use bed bug-resistant mattress and pillow covers to minimize the chances of reinfestation.


Personal Experience using Salt for Bed bugs

I once battled bed bugs in my apartment and decided to give the salt remedy a try. After applying salt strategically around the affected areas, I observed a reduction in bed bug activity. While it may not be a foolproof solution, it offered a glimmer of hope in my fight against these persistent pests.

Picture of a Live Bed bug
Picture of a Live Bed bug

Does putting Salt on your  mattress for Bed bugs work?

The premise behind using salt against bed bugs is rooted in its ability to dehydrate living organisms. Salt has hygroscopic properties, meaning it can absorb moisture from its surroundings. When applied to areas frequented by bed bugs like the  mattress, salt could potentially draw out the moisture from these bloodsucking insects, causing desiccation and, ultimately, their demise. In any cases to know how to use salt for bed bugs is what will make the difference against these pests!

While salt may exhibit some efficacy against bed bugs, optimal results are achieved when it is combined with other do-it-yourself (DIY) methods in the battle against these pests. Integrating salt application with additional strategies can enhance the overall effectiveness of bed bug control. For instance, utilizing steam cleaning on infested areas can contribute to the elimination of bed bugs and their eggs, as the high temperature is detrimental to their survival. Additionally, washing bedding and linens with hot water serves as a complementary measure, targeting bed bugs that may have taken refuge in fabrics


How to use Salt for Bed bugs on Mattress?

When applying salt for bed bug control, carefully sprinkle a thin layer of common table salt on the mattress, bed frame, and surrounding areas where bed bugs are likely to hide. It is essential to avoid applying a thick layer, as salt tends to work more effectively when distributed as a fine layer. Once applied, allow the salt to remain in place for an extended period, ideally several days.
During this time, bed bugs that come into contact with the salt may experience dehydration, as the salt’s dehydrating properties interfere with their ability to thrive. This patient approach maximizes the potential impact of salt in addressing the bed bug population. After the waiting period, vacuum the treated areas to remove dead bugs and excess salt, completing the bed bug control process.

Best type of Salt for Bed bugs?

When considering salt as a potential remedy for bed bugs, various types of salt, including Common Table Salt (Sodium Chloride), Epsom Salt, and Himalayan salt, come into the spotlight. Some individuals have reported success with certain types. Let’s explore how different salts may be used:

1. Common Table Salt (Sodium Chloride):

  • How it Works: The dehydrating properties of sodium chloride are the key here. Salt, when applied around infested areas, is believed to absorb moisture from bed bugs, potentially leading to their dehydration and demise.
  • Application Method: Sprinkle common table salt liberally around the bed frame, mattress seams, and cracks where bed bugs might hide. Leave it for a few days, allowing the salt to work, and then vacuum the treated areas to remove dead bugs and excess salt.

2. Himalayan Salt:

  • Composition: Himalayan salt is primarily composed of sodium chloride, but it also contains trace minerals that give it a distinctive pink color.
  • Application Considerations: While Himalayan salt shares sodium chloride’s dehydrating properties, its additional minerals may not contribute significantly to the efficacy against bed bugs. Its use in pest control is less common, and its expense may make it less practical for widespread application.

3. Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate):

  • Composition: Epsom salt is composed of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.
  • Application Considerations: Epsom salt is not typically associated with bed bug control. Its magnesium content may not have the dehydrating effects attributed to sodium chloride. However you can use Epsom Salt to treat bed bug bites.


Bed bug Facts and History

Bed bugs have plagued humans for centuries, with historical records dating back to ancient civilizations. In the early 20th century, the introduction of pesticides temporarily curbed the bed bug population. However, in recent years, bed bugs have made a resurgence, showcasing their resilience and adaptability.


Combining Remedies for Bed bugs: Salt and Diatomaceous earth:

To enhance the effectiveness of salt, consider combining it with Diatomaceous earth, a commonly used solution against bed bugs. For instance, Another Home Remedy such as diatomaceous earth can be applied along with salt for a dual approach. The combination targets bed bugs through different mechanisms, increasing the likelihood of successful control.
For further information, feel free to refer to our specialized article on how to use of Diatomaceous Earth for bed bug control.


Comparing Remedies: Salt vs. Baking Soda:

When comparing salt with Baking Soda, it’s essential to evaluate their strengths. While salt focuses on dehydration, Baking Soda may work by disrupting the bed bug’s exoskeleton. The choice between them depends on individual preferences, but a combination of both might provide a more comprehensive solution.

Alternative Uses: Salt Beyond Bed Bug Control:

Apart from battling bed bugs, salt can find alternative uses in the fight against these pests. It can be applied to soothe bed bug bites, providing relief from itching. Additionally, salt can be incorporated into DIY bed bug traps, potentially aiding in monitoring and control efforts.

Another Personal Bed Bug Pest Control Story:

A friend once shared their success using salt-infused traps to catch bed bugs. The traps, strategically placed around their bedroom, helped in monitoring and reducing the bed bug population over time. This personalized approach demonstrated the versatility of salt in different aspects of bed bug control.



In the ongoing battle against bed bugs, exploring simple and accessible home remedies like salt can offer hope. In this article we hope that you learned how to use salt for bed bugs. While not a guaranteed solution, the cost-effectiveness and ease of application make it a viable option for those facing these persistent pests. Experimenting with combinations, considering alternative uses, and sharing personal experiences can contribute to a community-driven approach to bed bug control. Remember, in this pest control journey, a bit of experimentation may lead to the right formula for a bed bug-free home.

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