Does Baking Soda Kill Bed Bugs? (**A Quick Guide**)

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Bed bugs are indeed small but they are no doubt notorious in wrecking havoc inside your bedroom and even in your living room.

They are a serious household pest problem that can easily spiral out of control with economic as well as physical and mental health repercussions. Bed bug bites are irritating, and pest control companies can be expensive. But there is scientific evidence to support that this DIY home remedy is very effective.

In this guide, you will learn:

  • How baking soda affects bed bugs
  • If baking soda kills and/or repels bed bugs
  • What else you should consider when handling your bed bug problem

On the brighter side, bed bugs are not too hard to get rid of. In fact, there’s a plethora of DIY solutions that you can easily apply inside your home whenever you find yourself self deprived because of these stubborn and blood thirsty insects. And one popular choice is baking soda.

But does baking soda really kill bed bugs?

You’ll find out its effectiveness in getting rid of bed bugs and more with this quick and easy guide…

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

Table of Contents

    How Does Baking Soda Affect Bed Bugs?

    First and foremost, you need to know at least some important things about baking soda as well as bed bugs for you to know how the former affects the latter.

    Baking Soda

    Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda has leavening properties which makes it a very popular leavening agent for a wide variety of baked products such as cakes, muffins, pancakes, and a variety of quick breads. Baking soda is an alkaline compound that can quickly produce carbon dioxide gas when mixed with acids like yogurt, vinegar, lemon juice, cream, of tartar, and buttermilk.

    Apart from being a popular leavener, baking soda is also common in most households because of its many uses. It is reliable in absorbing erroneous odor in refrigerators, freezers, and cabinets. It is also used in cleaning stains on various surfaces, in solving clogged drains, and many others.

    Bed Bugs

    Bed bugs are among the most stubborn household pests. They live off on human blood and take refuge inside bedrooms and at times, in the living room.

    Bed bugs grow to about 5-6 mm in length and are reddish brown in color. These tiny insects bite on any exposed skin. Each bed bug feed on human blood at least once or twice a week leaving red and itchy bumps or welts along the way.

    Baking Soda on Bed Bugs

    Some people would think the abrasive nature of the powder can cut  through the skin of the bed bug that can lead to internal bleeding and and infection. Unfortunately, some people are just exaggerating. Baking soda powder is not abrasive enough to inflict significant damage on a bed bug’s tough and battle-hardened armor.

    You might however want to consider diatomaceous earth over baking soda.

    Click here to learn more about Diatomaceous Earth.

    Another possible effect of baking soda on bed bugs that a lot of homeowners are rooting for is the said compound’s ability to absorb the moisture on the insect’s skin.

    Although baking soda can indeed absorb erroneous odor from the environment, the compound easily breaks down when it comes in contact with water. In fact, baking soda only makes a significant chemical reaction on acidic compounds mentioned above.

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    Does Baking Soda Repel Bed Bugs?

    Baking soda may not be a viable solution in repelling bed bugs.


    Unlike most insect repellents, baking soda doesn’t give off a strong scent that can shoo bed bugs away. You would be better off using certain essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and thyme instead.

    Click here to learn more about Lavender Oil.

    In fact, baking soda absorbs odors from its surroundings. This however, can prove useful in masking the alarm pheromones that bed bugs release whenever they’re disturbed.

    Does Baking Soda Repel Bed Bugs?

    Unlike most insect repellents, baking soda doesn’t give off a strong scent that can shoo bed bugs away. You would be better off using certain essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and thyme instead.

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    Does Baking Soda Actually Kill Bed Bugs?

    We have already established earlier that baking soda is an alkaline compound. Physically, it is a fine white powder and reacts with acidic chemicals.

    Apart from leavening baked products, baking soda has a number of uses at home. It can be used to deodorize the inside of a refrigerator or any enclosed area. It can also be used to clean stains on various surfaces.

    Baking soda has also been known to have anti-fungal properties. This means that it can be used to prevent the growth or development of mold or fungus. Unfortunately, baking soda doesn’t have any insecticidal characteristics and is therefore ineffective in killing bed bugs.

    The following video will give you more explanation regarding the effectiveness of baking soda on bed bugs.

    What Else Should You Consider Besides Baking Soda For Your Bed Bug Problem?

    Bed bugs can easily infiltrate your home in various methods. They can hitch a ride on someone’s luggage or covertly invade your bedroom through second-hand furniture.

    Now that we’ve already established the fact that baking soda is not that effective and reliable in solving your bed bug problem, it’s now time to consider other options.

    Although calling in a seasoned exterminator is the best solution to the problem, there are still lots of other ways to make your home bed bug free without hurting your pockets.


    Vacuuming is perhaps the simplest and fastest way in dealing with your bed bug problem effectively. Just make sure that you do the vacuuming with a crevice tool and maximum suction power.

    After vacuuming, secure the bag and seal with a tape before disposing it. It is also recommended to use a steam cleaning system for a sure kill on those nasty and stubborn blood-suckers.

    Peppermint Leaves

    This power herb offers a cool solution to a number of health issues such as headache, nausea, cold, flu, and various skin conditions. Furthermore, peppermint leaves also pack powerful bug repelling properties.

    Simply crush these leaves and spread them evenly across areas infested by bed bugs. You can opt for more leaves if you have a more serious bed bug infestation issue. You can apply this method at least once or twice a week.


    Another reliable home remedy against bed bugs is vinegar. Yes, vinegar is quite effective in killing bed bugs because of its acidic nature.

    This acid based chemical is potent enough to inflict damage unto the pests’ nervous system. Furthermore, the chemical is considerably cheaper compared to other bed bugs solutions.

    Vinegar is also safe to use inside homes with children and pets. Simply pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray away directly on the bed bugs.

    The downside with this option is that vinegar has quite a foul and strong smell that can last for quite a while. This option is also not viable to apply on major or more serious bed bug infestations. Lastly, vinegar produces toxic chlorine gas when mixed with bleach.

    Read More: Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs?

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