Talking about solutions, does borax kill bed bugs?

A lot has been said about the applicability of this product for a variety of uses including pest control. Since we’re discussing bed bugs, we want to know if borax has any exterminating effect on them.

Bed bugs are a nightmare to property owners as their resilience places them among the most difficult pests to eliminate. These pesky little creatures only need to feed on your blood once every five months to remain alive.

However, when there’s a ready blood supply, bed bugs will readily indulge themselves. With human presence, bed bugs will feed once every 3 to 5 days. In effect, most of these of their population is in the digesting state.

Of course, digesting the blood sucked until when they need a refill!

A reliable solution is what you need for your bed bug issues.

Bed Bug Borax Pest Control

Borax appears as a white and powdery mineral that also goes by the chemical name sodium tetraborate. Borax is used for laundry (added to laundry detergents) and also serves as a cleaning product.

This mineral compound can also be used as a deodorizer and most importantly for pest control.

Borax is effective in killing pests such as mites, ants, roaches, spiders, and several others. Are bed bugs among these pests? This question will be answered shortly.

When these pests ingest borax, it damages the gut lining, thus eventually leading to their death.

Will Borax Kill Bed Bugs?

This article is all about finding the right answers to the above question. Theoretically speaking, borax can be used for bed bug extermination purposes. However, these bugs need to ingest it for the mineral to have any effect.

The following explanation should help you better understand this point.

Bed bugs feed only on blood and nothing else. So, the only way to get them to ingest borax is if such blood is mixed with borax which is near impossible. However, if by some unknown way borax is ingested by these bugs, then they will certainly get killed.

As mentioned earlier, when borax gets introduced into the system through ingestion, it damages the gut lining. Due to such action, pests are unable to survive and eventually die out.

However, this mineral compound hardly makes its way into the system of bed bugs due to their food preferences.

Using Borax For Bed Bugs

Borax does not kill bed bugs. There’s little chance of it getting ingested by these pesky bugs. Plus, they only feed directly on targets and won’t fall for any bait made of blood. Blood bait? That is gross.

If you’re hoping to find any solutions for your bed bug issues, borax isn’t should be completely ruled out.

If you’re just learning about the unreliability of borax as a bed bug exterminator, the next likely question to pop up would have to be “what else works?” There are several effective alternatives for bed bug extermination.

These include calling a pest control service, cold treatment, use of steam cleaners as well as heat treatment. There are also pesticides you can deploy for extermination purposes.

Let’s consider each of these points

i. Calling A Pest Management Service

One of these involves calling the experts to get rid of the problem. We doubt this would be on your radar right now because you were interested in a DIY approach that involved the use of borax.

However, if you wish to get comprehensive treatment, consider using professional extermination services.

ii. Cold Treatment

The cold treatment for bed bug issues involves placing these bugs in zero or sub-zero temperatures. For this to be effective, such low temperatures need to be sustained for a time period.

The aim is to ensure it exceeds their point of tolerance.

Set the freezer to zero degrees and place bed bug-infested items in a sealed bag before placing them in the freezer. These bed bug-infested items will need to be left for upwards of four days for maximum effect.

iii. Use of Steam Cleaners

Whatever the stage of development, bed bugs can be eliminated using steam cleaners. First, attach a nozzle to your steam wand. Next, ensure that surfaces reach a temperature range of between 160 to 180 degrees F. Such temperatures mustn’t drop as bed bugs will easily survive the ordeal.

Ensure that the targeted fabric isn’t wet. It may be damp. Your steamer should be applied to all surfaces where these bugs hide. You can aerate the area after treatment using a fan. This helps dry up treated items.

iv. Heat Treatment

A cloth dryer is one handy tool that can give you excellent results.

When using the dryer, it should be set on high heat after clothing and other fabrics are loaded in. Pest management services have a more comprehensive heat treatment program.

Here, specialized tools are used to heat infested areas.

v. Use of Pesticides

When it comes to pesticide use, consider only using those approved by the EPA. Such pesticides fall under different classes consisting of pyrethroids & pyrethrins, biochemicals, desiccants, and pyrroles.

Others include neonicotinoids and insect growth regulators.

  • Pyrethroids & Pyrethrins

Pyrethrins are naturally occurring insecticides found in chrysanthemum plants. Pyrethroids on the other hand are synthetic insecticides designed to mimic pyrethrins. Both of these are powerful in bed bug extermination.

You’ll need to look out for insecticide products with these active ingredients.

  • Biochemicals

The sole EPA registered insecticide for bed bugs used is cold-pressed neem oil. Neem seeds obtained from neem trees contain this oil.

  • Desiccants

As the name suggests, desiccant pesticide products are used to kill bed bugs by drying them out.

Diatomaceous earth and boric acid are two known desiccant products. They destroy the waxy protective coating on these pests.

  • Pyrroles

Under pyrroles is Chlorfenapyr.

This acts on bed bugs by disrupting their cell functions. Such improper functioning eventually leads to their death.

  • Neonicotinoids

Bed bugs have nicotine receptors in their nervous system.

With neonicotinoids, these receptors are made to malfunction through constant firing until they collapse.

  • Insect Growth Regulators

If you wish to affect the development of bed bugs, this is the class of pesticides to use. Insect Growth Regulators either halt insect development or cause these pests to develop too fast.

Either way, a disruption happens which kills bed bugs.


Borax won’t kill bed bugs because it needs to be ingested to have any effect. However, we’ve gone out of our way to provide you with reliable alternatives. Use any of these for relief from bed bug issues.

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