Bed Bugs and Baking Soda: A Myth (2023)

So, I believe you have ever heard about how to get rid of bed bugs with baking soda, right? But, you keep searching the valid data since you are not sure about it. Well, here you are, coming to this article, trying to convince yourself to do it or just simply validate your doubt.

Just like you, I do the same and try my best to find out. After researching it, I find that baking soda or bicarbonate of soda cannot get rid of bed bugs. It is just a myth that I have no idea who starts it. People say it is supposed to absorb bed bugs fluid which leads us to a term called desiccation.

Here, I have a better option for desiccation and it is not baking soda. Let’s dive in.

how to get rid of bed bugs with baking soda
How to get rid of bed bugs with baking soda

What is baking soda?

Baking soda or bicarbonate of soda is commonly known as one of the raw materials in the manufacture of food. Baking soda is easy to get because it is available in small shops and supermarkets.

Having a low sodium bicarbonate content makes baking soda safe for human consumption. Of course, its use must also be limited so as not to cause problems or damage to body organs.

Usually, in baking, the use of baking soda is only used in small amounts. Its function is to make it easier to mix other ingredients together to make cakes.

In addition, the chemical reaction in baking soda can help develop the cake batter when in the oven. Baking soda is a mixture of carbon, sodium, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. This baking soda has the same texture as salt.

The content of sodium carbonate in baking soda can also control the amount of acid so that it can balance the content of a product. Usually, baking soda is also used as a raw material for making toothpaste and deodorant.

Does the bicarbonate of soda get rid of bed bugs?

Baking soda or the bicarbonate of soda cannot kill bed bugs. So, we cannot use baking soda to get rid of bed bugs around us. There are some claims that are not based on scientific research.

Here is one of the claims that you might have ever heard.

Baking soda is believed to absorb all the liquid in the waxy coating on bed bug shells, which can cause them to become dehydrated. In addition, bed bugs that are directly exposed to baking soda will experience internal bleeding which can cause bed bugs to die.

Well, so far, there is no research that can validate this statement, but for some people, it states that this method is effective in getting rid of bed bugs. So, this is why people still try to do it.

Do soda crystals kill bed bugs?

Soda crystals do not kill bed bugs. There is no research showing that soda crystals can kill bed bugs. So, it is better to not use soda crystals to get rid of bed bugs. I believe that you don’t want to clean it after doing a useless treatment, right?

Therefore, instead of doing this, there is a better option to do desiccation for bed bugs. Here, desiccation means drying out insects, and the powder works in absorbing the liquids, fat, and oils, from the insect exoskeleton.

How to do desiccation for bed bugs?


Bed bugs cannot survive in places that have high temperatures or heat. Research conducted by the University of Minnesota proves that bed bugs have a life limit when they are in a room that has a temperature between 45°C to 48°C.

Adult bed bugs cannot survive more than 94.8 minutes at a constant 45 °C temperature. While on the other side, bed bugs cannot survive more than 71.5 minutes at a constant 48 °C temperature. So, it is more effective to desiccate bed bugs than baking soda.

Ideally, bed bugs will live and thrive in warm or humid room conditions. If bed bugs are exposed to the higher heat temperature, they will become dehydrated, and damage the respiratory system, which then damages the internal organs of the body, and will then die.


Although accustomed to living in a humid environment, bed bugs also cannot survive if they are in an environment where the temperature is too low. If you notice, the freezer dries out the liquids inside the foods we store.

Here, the same thing happens to bed bugs. Bed bugs cannot survive with a temperature at or below 0°F (-18°C) for four days in a row. So, freezing them is completely much more reasonable and effective than using baking soda.

Other methods to get rid of bed bugs

There are other methods that are also effective for getting rid of bed bugs. Here are some methods of getting rid of bed bugs using natural and chemical ingredients:

Diatomaceous earth

This powder has been used as a pesticide since the 1960s. So, it is one of the oldest substances that people use to kill bed bugs. It works much better than baking soda.

Based on this study, diatomaceous earth damages the waxy layer and penetrates the bed bug’s body. There, the sharp particles of diatomaceous earth will cut the bug organs when the bed bugs move.

So, it is a completely deadly substance for bed bugs.


Vinegar has a better result in getting rid of bed bugs. It is because the acetic acid in the vinegar can kill bed bugs. So, instead of using baking soda, you can try vinegar. It is safe, natural, and much more effective.

Read more : How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs with Vinegar

Essential Oils

Essential oils have a toxic effect that will cause damage to the organs of bed bugs and make them die. There are several substances of essential oils that you can use to get rid of bed bugs, namely thymol, geraniol, citronella, carvacrol, and eugenol.

Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner is the easiest and most effective method of getting rid of bed bugs. This cleaning method requires one object to be able to suck up all bed bugs and their eggs on an object. Also, the use of this vacuum cleaner is environmentally friendly and can be done by anyone.


There are several ways to use pesticides as bedbug control products such as fogging, spraying, or applying pesticide liquid to objects that are nests of bedbugs. This method, although fairly effective, has weaknesses that are considered by the community.

There is a possibility of residue left on the object and the object is used in daily life which creates a perception of long-term danger to human health. So, please do this properly.


When using insecticides, it is important to note that you know how to select the right insecticide. This is because there are different effects or after-effects if you use the wrong chemical product. In its use, it is also necessary to note that the number of uses per day should not be more than the limitation.

If you feel that this method is still not effective, do not repeat the extermination in the near future. This is to avoid the amount of residue that accumulates and is difficult to remove. It is also advised to avoid using insecticides on mattresses, mattresses, or objects that you use every day.

Calling Professional

If you have tried all methods but the problem of bed bugs still haunts you every day, it is better for you to call an expert in dealing with pests or insects at home.

This is because they are professional in dealing with bed bugs. Professional bed bugs exterminators have effective methods for killing bed bugs by paying attention to the effects on the health of their customers.

Although the cost of paying for professional services may be more expensive than getting rid of bed bugs independently, the results will certainly be better and maximum than cleaning bed bugs yourself at home.

So, please wisely and carefully choose the method you want to do.