Bed bugs are a nuisance and your first thought upon sighting one is how to get rid of them immediately. Naturally, we all want a solution that is readily available in our home so that we do not have to spend time, money or efforts on treatment. When you have bed bugs, the chances are that you are getting bit each night which means you are getting very little sleep. So let us study ‘what kills bed bugs instantly?’ and also whether baking soda is an effective bed bug remedy.
Can baking soda be used to kill bed bugs instantly?
The reason why people may have thought about baking soda to kill bed bus is that it has water absorbing properties and, like diatomaceous earth, it can dry up the insects. However, things are not so simple. Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda does not have the sharp molecular structure as that of diatomaceous earth powder (DE powder). So it just does not have the capacity to shred the bed bugs’ exoskeleton like DE powder does. So even if you pour baking soda on your mattresses and rugs and furniture, it will at the most deter the pests from crawling through it but it will definitely not kill bed bugs.
Baking soda bed bug bites is a scientifically proven remedy though. If you have been bitten by bugs, you may apply a paste of baking soda in water on the bitten regions of the skin. The paste reduces the stinging, pain and burning that occurs due to the acidic venom in the bed bug’s saliva. Baking soda creates an alkaline action to neutralize the venom and soothe the skin. You can add a cup of baking soda to bath tub and soak in it for 20 minutes to soothe the blisters caused by bed bug bites on your back, abdomen etc.
Can I mix salt and baking soda to kill bed bugs?
Like baking soda, table salt has also been compared to diatomaceous earth. On first glance, ordinary table salt also appears to have sharp crystalline structure like DE powder that makes the latter so effective in shredding bed bug shells. However, just like baking soda, salt is ineffective in killing bed bugs. It cannot rip apart the bugs shell-it simply does not have the sharp molecular structure that DE has. Likewise, a combination of baking soda and salt for bed bugs is also ineffective. Many people have tried pouring tons of salt in their bed sheets and mattresses only to get bitten. So as far as myths about what kills bed bugs is concerned, salt is a big one.
Borax and salt for bed bugs
Borax and salt for bed bugs on the other hand is an effective remedy. You need to identify all the places where bed bugs hide and sprinkle borax and salt in these areas. However, a single female bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs and eggs can remain dormant in your bed room for up to a year. So this treatment may only show temporary results and within no time, you’d be faced with a bed bug problem again. The only thing that works for bed bugs is an integrated pest management approach consisting of the use of chemicals with IGRs or insect growth regulators. Please click this guide on which chemicals kills bed bugs and their eggs effectively.
Epsom salt for bed bugs
Epsom salt will not kill bed bugs but it is a great remedy to soothe the bitten skin. Epsom salt contains soothing compounds that heal and protect the skin. So if you have woken up with bed bug bites and are unable to sleep due to scratching, add a cup of Epsom salts to bath water and soak in it for 15-20 minutes to get relief.
Bed bugs and vinegar
Like baking soda, people have also tried vinegar to eliminate bed bugs. Bed bugs simply crawl over the substance as it has no effect on them. Vinegar is mildly acidic but bed bugs need stronger methods for elimination. You can, however, use vinegar to soothe bed bug bites. Dab some diluted apple cider vinegar on the bitten areas of the skin to heal the skin faster and prevent scars. Vinegar will only make your bed room smell like Chinese food and do very little to stop the bugs from reproducing and feeding.
Cinnamon for bed bugs
Cinnamon is a great spice that adds flavor to our coffee and baked goods. Many people sprinkle cinnamon oil or powdered cinnamon on their bed sheets with the hope to get rid of bed bugs. However, like salt, baking soda and vinegar, this method is useless. Bed bugs lay hundreds of eggs and they are also getting immune to many chemicals. Cinnamon has a strong smell and that might repel the bugs temporarily- however, this is not a permanent solution and the bugs will simply come back in some time. You can apply diluted cinnamon oil to the bites to heal and soothe the skin but the remedy will not do against bed bugs.
So what kills bed bugs instantly?
If you do not wish to enlist the help of a professional pest control company, then the few things to use to kill bed bugs instantly include bed bug sprays, bed bug powders and diatomaceous earth powder. These are the effective ways to kill bed bugs on contact. Most bed bug sprays and powders contain chemicals and they safely and effectively eliminate different stages of bed bug life cycle including nymph, larvae, eggs and adults. Moreover, these chemicals also stop the bugs from reproducing.
Here are some more easy ways to eliminate bed bugs:
Vacuuming will eliminate eggs, larvae and nymphs. It also removes dead and discarded debris of bed bugs. You must dust diatomaceous powder all over and vacuum after 8 hours to eliminate the dying insects. Discard vacuum cleaner bags immediately to prevent bugs from crawling back out.
Wash all bed sheets, mattresses and clothing etc in hot water to kill larvae and eggs.
Use a steamer to blast out bed bugs hidden in cracks and crevices. You can rent a steamer or invest in one. Steam cleaning eliminates bed bugs, larvae and eggs and you can easily use it on headboards, bed box springs, sofas, painting frames etc to get the hidden bugs.
This is the number one remedy for killing bed bugs instantly. Buy food grade diatomaceous powder that you can get at gardening supply stores (not the swimming pool filter powders). Sprinkle it everywhere-liberally and let it work its magic on the bed bugs. The sharp molecular structure literally rips the exoskeleton of bugs-killing them on contact. It is important the bugs come in contact with the DE powder. So be liberal in using. And do repeat treatment every few days. Vacuum thoroughly after 8 hours to trap dead and dying bugs.
Baking soda does not eliminate bed bugs permanently. At the most, you might see temporary results. The only thing that kills bed bugs is an integrated pest management approach along with washing, vacuum cleaning and using diatomaceous earth powder. Good luck!
Got bed bugs? Here are 10 products that can help you get rid of and prevent them.