Salt is cheap and readily available and is also easy to use. However, not all of them will give you the best result. So, does salt kill bed bugs?
The short answer is, Yes and NO, Bed bugs have a waxy shell. Therefore, if you apply salt on them, the waxy shell will prevent the salt from being absorbed into their body to dehydrate them. Also, bed bugs feed solely on blood. Therefore, there is no way you can poison them with salt.
Does Salt Kill Bed Bugs? 7 Bed Bug FAQs
Why salt Might Kill Bed Bugs
For many reasons, individuals believe that they can use salt to exterminate bed bugs. For instance, salt has been used for a long time to kill other insects such as snails and slugs.
- People link this association to think that salt can have the same effect on bed bugs, bed bug babies.
- Diatomaceous earth can kill bed bugs – this makes it easy to believe that salt can be used in same way. Diatomaceous earth is one of the natural ways to rid bed bugs. Also, it is a short leap to create a connection to salt.
- Bed bugs are best killed by dehydrating them, and salt might be a great tool to provide that result.
The statement above tends to show that salt cannot be used to exterminate bed bugs. Nevertheless, there are tips to help you use salt in the right way to help you eradicate bed bugs in your house successfully.
Does Salt Kill Bed Bugs?
It is hard to make it obvious that salt kills bed bugs. Actually, there is no scientific proof of the claim.
Also, there are no blogs that prove that it actually works. With that, good reasoning reveals that it might not be effective.
Unlike other pests, bed bugs do not ingest poison since they only feed on blood. Still, you cannot expose them to salt and expect them to dry up and die off. Below are many other reasons why salt my not work to achieve your expectations.
- Bed bugs know the things that might hurt them, and they know how to avoid such. Even if salt were poisonous to them, they’d simply walk around it.
- Bed bugs are highly mobile. If you treat one area of the house, they will relocate to safer areas. Therefore, you need something that can spread widely to kill them.
- Unlike pesticides that diffuse to other locations, salt simply sits there.
From that, you can see that you might not use salt to get rid of bed bugs. Compared to other treatment methods, you will achieve the least with salt.
Can Table Salt be used on Bed Bugs?
Table salt is one of the best solutions for other pests, but not at all for the bed bugs. The top reason why table salt doesn’t work is that people have formed many misconceptions about bed bugs.
They think you can just use salt to kill them through dehydration. Though it is possible, you can’t use salt to dry bed bugs out.
Diatomaceous earth is a perfect solution if you want to dry them out. The reason you can’t do the same with salt is that diatomaceous earth uses a different technique to dry bed bugs and their eggs out.
Instead of sucking water directly from their body, diatomaceous earth peels the exoskeleton of bed bugs. It does this without drying them off, but they end up dying.
The property that gives the diatomaceous earth the ability to do this is that it is quite rough at a molecular level. Though table salt is also coarse, it cannot match diatomaceous earth.
Related: How to Kill Bed Bug Eggs?
Can Salt Water Kill Bed Bugs?
Sprays are the most effective way to kill bed bugs. This is because, with spraying, you get to spread the toxic substance widely. This way, bed bugs will have to walk through them.
If you spray a highly effective substance, you will get the best results. Alternatively, check these commercial bed bug sprays.
However, in this case, we are talking about saltwater. Salt is not toxic to bed bugs. Hence, it cannot kill them even through spraying. If you took a jar full of salt water and dropped the bed bugs in it, they’d die.
But if you spray, they will live on and keep reproducing. This is true because it is not the salt that kills them; the water in the jar drowns them. Spraying salt water on your mattress will give you the following results:
- They will run and hide in other parts of the room until you are done trying to spray them.
- They will back and infest your mattress as soon as you are done trying to kill them using the salt water.
You certainly will not kill the bed bugs by spraying them with salt water.
Salt and Baking Soda on Bed Bugs
The chances are that you have heard about using salt and baking soda to kill bed bugs. For a long time, people have used salt and baking soda to do some cleaning around the house. Some also use it to clean their teeth.
The idea in this belief is that salt and baking soda can be used to suck moisture from the body of bed bugs to kill them. However, this cannot happen as long as their waxy shell is not broken into. Sadly, baking soda does not have the right texture. Hence it cannot do that.
Also, there is nothing so special in the mixture than just baking soda. Mixing salt and baking soda does not improve anything or create a special mix that can be great to kill bed bugs.
Related: Best Bed Bug Steamers
Can Salt and Borax Kill Bed Bugs?
Sodium borate or simply borax is another cleaning powder. However, unlike other solutions that we have mentioned on this list, it can be effective against some bugs.
How Sodium Borate Works on Other Bugs
- It sticks on the legs of bed bugs when they walk through it
- By trying to clean themselves, they ingest some borax accidentally
- Though it does not kill them instantly, it is a slow-working poison that can be used to control some bed bugs.
That said, borax might kill other bugs such as cockroaches. However, there is no way it can kill bed bugs since they only ingest blood. Therefore, it is not possible that they will ingest sodium borate accidentally. They don’t use mouth to feed. Instead, they have an elongated tube similar to that of mosquitoes.
Can Epsom Salt Really Kill Bed Bugs?
Also known as magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is another type of salt that is used for many home and industrial purposes. Farmers use it to add sulfur to the soil to enhance productivity by getting rid of pests. Also, Epsom salt is used to brew beer.
Whether it kills bed bugs, there is no proof of that. Just like other types of salt, Epsom salt will not dry bed bugs off. Moreover, bed bugs don’t ingest anything other than blood, which means you will not use the salt to poison them.
It is accurate to mention that it is not possible to use Epsom salt to exterminate bed bugs. Instead, you want to try tested and proven methods to rid bed bugs in your home.
Can Salt in your Bed Sheets Really Kill Bed Bugs?
This would only make sense if salt can kill bed bugs. If it was some kind of toxic material to bed bugs, then you can use it to kill them. It makes sense since the bed bugs will be forced to stay around the salt since that is where they get their food, which is your blood as you sleep.
How to Use Salt to exterminate bed bugs
If you are looking to kills bed bugs using salt, there are a number of ways to achieve that.
- You can put some salt around the feet of your bed. This will keep the bed bugs from around your house to come and feed on your blood.
- Use salt to target their entry and hiding points. These can be the holes, cracks, and crevices in your house. They will not be able to come out and feed.
- Look for the bed bug harborages and apply salt in those areas. Consider doing this under the mattresses and the furniture in your bedroom.
Salt can only help you starve the bed bugs to death by keeping them from reaching you to feed at night.
It is not possible to use salt to exterminate bed bugs. It is not rough enough to destroy the exoskeleton of the bed bugs.
Still, bed bugs cannot ingest it since they only feed on blood. For effectiveness, use something that would dehydrate and kill the bed bugs.