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Does Baking Powder Kill Bed Bugs? The Myths Uncovered

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 3 min read.
Does Baking Powder Kill Bed Bugs? The Myths Uncovered

The bed bug - those pesky, blood-sucking creatures that infiltrate our homes and interrupt our sleep. Desperate to solve the problem, many turn to DIY solutions.

One common household item that gets brought up frequently is baking powder. The pivotal question is: does baking powder kill bed bugs? Let’s examine the science and sift through the myths to bring clarity to this topic.

Will Baking Powder Kill Bed Bugs?

Cutting straight to the chase, baking powder is not a proven remedy for killing bed bugs. However, the myth persists. So, what’s the truth?

Factors to Consider

  • Chemical Composition: Baking powder consists mainly of sodium bicarbonate, a compound with limited pesticidal properties.
  • Efficacy: No scientific studies confirm that baking powder can kill bed bugs.

How to Use Baking Powder to Kill Bed Bugs

If you’re adamant about trying this unproven method, there are ways to increase its potential effectiveness.

DIY Methods

  1. Thin Spread: Apply a thin layer of baking powder around bed bug-infested areas.
  2. Frequency: Reapply every two to three days for at least two weeks.
  3. Monitoring: Check the areas for dead bed bugs or decreased activity.

Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda: What’s the Difference?

Many people confuse the two, but they are not interchangeable, especially when it comes to pest control.

Key Differences

  • Baking Powder: A mixture of an acid, usually cream of tartar, and sodium bicarbonate.
  • Baking Soda: Pure sodium bicarbonate, often recommended over baking powder for cleaning and pest control.

Does Baking Powder Have Any Effect on Bed Bugs?

With no definitive studies confirming its effectiveness, the question still looms.

Theoretical Mechanisms

  • Desiccant Effect: It’s speculated that baking powder can absorb moisture, potentially affecting the bed bugs’ outer layers.
  • Limited Mobility: The powder may interfere with the bugs’ ability to move freely, reducing infestation spread.

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Alternative Home Remedies to Consider

Since baking powder hasn’t been scientifically proven to kill bed bugs, what other DIY methods could work?

Possible Alternatives

  • Diatomaceous Earth: A natural, silica-based substance known to be more effective against bed bugs.
  • Rubbing Alcohol: A proven, though flammable, remedy.

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Expert Opinions: What Do Pest Control Professionals Say?

Leading experts in the field are wary of recommending baking powder as a bed bug solution.

Expert Recommendations

  • Skepticism: Most professionals do not recognize baking powder as a valid treatment.
  • Scientific Approaches: Experts prefer chemical treatments and heat solutions.

What Happens if Baking Powder Doesn’t Work?

If you’ve tried this method and haven’t seen success, it’s crucial to explore other, more reliable treatments.

Next Steps

  • Consult Professionals: Schedule a consultation with a pest control service.
  • Chemical Treatments: Professional-grade pesticides are available.
  • Heat Treatment: A more eco-friendly and often effective solution.


When we meticulously examine the claims, it becomes abundantly clear that baking powder isn’t the miracle cure for bed bugs that some may hope for. Despite its availability and relative safety, this household item has not proven to be an effective countermeasure against these troublesome pests.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.

For those struggling with bed bugs, more reliable options exist - from chemical treatments to specially-designed mattresses - providing tested ways to reclaim your home and your sleep. If the claims about baking powder seem too good to be true, it’s because they probably are.

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