Does boric acid kill bed bugs? (The answer is surprising!)

Home > Removal Guides > How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs (Complete Bed Bug Removal Guide) > Does boric acid kill bed bugs? (The answer is surprising!)

Boric acid or borax is a popular pest control ingredient renown for killing all kinds of nasty bugs like ants, cockroaches, etc.

But does boric acid kill bed bugs?

Does it have the ability to remove one of the most stubborn bugs on earth?

This article will break down what boric acid is and if it has any killing effect on bed bugs or their eggs.

Let’s get started!

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

    What is boric acid?

    You’ve probably heard about it before or briefly read about it in a magazine, but what is boric acid?

    In a nutshell, boric acid is a chemical that is included in other pesticide products that gives it that “kick” or “killing power”. It’s included in granules, liquid baits, and liquid gels.

    The key to boric acid working is that the target bugs need to be attracted to the bait and ingest it.

    If the bugs don’t eat the boric acid, nothing happens.

    This is why you usually see boric acid as the poison combined with a bait. The bait is usually sugar or protein the target bugs will want to eat. When the bugs eat the bait, they’re also eating the boric acid and then dying.

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    So does boric acid kill bed bugs?

    No boric acid is not good for killing bed bugs.

    Why?

    Because it’s near impossible to get them to eat it.

    Bed bugs feed on blood and unless you combine boric acid with human blood, you’re going to have a hard time killing them. Instead, keep your boric acid for your ant or cockroach problems.

    Borax vs boric acid… what’s the difference

    The only differences between borax and boric acid is that borax is more dangerous as it’s corrosive to your eyes and feels more like small rocks. Boric acid is more powder-like. When it comes to killing bed bugs, there’s not much difference. They both don’t work as bed bug killers.

    If boric acid can’t kill bed bugs what does?

    If you’re disheartened now that you’ve learned boric acid is terrible at bed bug removal, than you’re probably wondering…

    What else?

    Well, if you’re more concerned with natural solutions, we’d recommend taking immediate action by setting up some bed bug traps and getting a cover for your mattress and box spring.

    Definitely do not try to use Bleach or Lysol to try kill bed bugs because they also do not work!

    A good bed bug encasement can help protect your bed and keep it from becoming invested. Bed bug traps on the other hand, will monitor if you have bed bugs and capture a couple in the process.

    These are cheap, but natural methods of bed bug control.

    Other options include essential oils or silica gels.

    Borax vs boric acid… what’s the difference

    The only differences between borax and boric acid is that borax is more dangerous as it’s corrosive to your eyes and feels more like small rocks. Boric acid is more powder-like.

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    Is there any evidence for boric acid?

    In short, no there is no factual evidence that boric acid works to eliminate bed bugs.

    Most home owners read articles stating that boric acid works for ants, cockroaches, and other pests, and therefore it must work for bed bugs…

    Wrong.

    Every bug has their own dietary preferences, which drive the types of insecticides are used in an attempt to kill them.

    For ants and cockroaches, boric acid is great because these types of bugs like to eat sugar or protein rich foods. Killing them is as simple as creating an attractive bait and adding boric acid to it.

    Bed bug’s are a little different in that they prefer blood and normal baiting is ineffective.


    So, what should you do?

    When it comes to bed bug removal we highly recommend consulting an exterminator first and then reading our bed bug removal guide.

    Bed bugs are the hardest bugs to remove without professional help and you often risk making the problem worse if you attempt to try thing on your own.

    Once you inform the professionals of your situation, they’ll probably also want to come out and inspect your house to see if you actually have bed bugs or perhaps something else (like fleas).

    Anyway, that’s it.

    Please do not use boric acid or any other type of house hold chemical (like bleach) for bed bug infestations as these methods don’t work and will most likely end up getting you and your family sick.


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