Does Borax Kill Bed Bugs? How to Use It Effectively

Finding bed bugs in your home is an unfortunate event, and no one likes to discover them in their beds. Those who have been so unlucky are immediately looking for the easiest and safest way to eliminate these insects.

One of the first solutions that come to mind is to use borax, but does borax kill bed bugs? Here you can learn more about this acid and whether it can give you the results you need.

Boric Acid and Their Influence on Bed Bugs

When you look for ways to eliminate pests, you will find an abundance of DIY methods. A lot of articles mention boric acid as a substance that can be used to get rid of bed bugs. But will boric acid kill bed bug?

Borax and bed bugs

Let’s take a look at borax and bed bugs. Borax or boric acid has been actively used for eliminating cockroaches for many years. Because it works so well on these insects, a lot of people assume that borax will also help get rid of bed bugs.

However, this information is not accurate. According to research, cockroaches tend to accidentally consume boric acid while preening themselves.

Bed bugs, on the other hand, don’t preen and are able to survive even when high concentrations of borax are used. As they don’t ingest boric acid and there is no influence of this substance on contact, using boric acid directly to get rid of bed bugs won’t bring the necessary results.

4 large bed bugs

At the same time, bed bugs tend to avoid different products and substances that they view as potentially dangerous for them. This may include some essential oils, herbs, alcohol, and more.

In a similar way, they will try not to get into places covered with borax, so it may be used as a diversion method.

Will boric acid kill bed bug eggs?

Can borax kill bed bugs eggs? Some people get the idea of using borax for bed bugs and their eggs. For boric acid to eliminate insects, it is important for it to be ingested. As bed bug eggs cannot ingest anything, it means that borax is unlikely to kill them.

There is a lot of misconception about the use of borax on bed bugs because people compare them to other insects. However, there is no proven information that boric acid destroys bed bug eggs.

Even covering eggs completely in boric acid will not have the effect, as these insects can hatch and survive even in airtight containers for a long time.

Is it effective against bed bugs in any other way?

Based on the available research, borax can still be used as a method of deterring bed bugs. While the powder won’t kill them, it should be enough to make them avoid the place where there is boric acid.

If you know that there have been bed bugs in your bed and you got rid of them using other methods, you can try preventing further infestation. To do this, you can cover different points of the bed where insects can get in – cracks, bed legs, and more.


Another solution that you can use is diluted liquid borax that should be placed in a spray bottle. With the help of this solution, you can make your bed or another object less friendly for bed bugs.

The scent of boric acid can also cover the smell of bed bugs, so they won’t be able to return to the same place where they have been hiding.

Is boric acid safe to use?

As opposed to many commercial pesticides, the benefit of boric acid is that it is a safe substance. Obviously, you should never try ingesting boric acid, but even consuming small quantities on accident won’t be fatal. The side effects may include headache, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and some others.

Luckily, the mentioned adverse reactions cannot be caused by inhaling boric acid. This means that you can use the spray and powder in rooms where you spend a lot of time without any negative influence. The only safety precaution you should follow is to wash your hands if you come in contact with boric acid and avoid rubbing your eyes with unwashed hands.

Alternatives to borax for bed bugs

bed bug crawling on the couch

If you don’t want to call professional exterminators or use pesticides, there are other alternatives that you can resort to. One of the solutions that are more effective than borax powder for bed bugs while remaining safe is diatomaceous earth. It not just deters bed bugs but also has a negative influence on them.

Diatomaceous Earth

When it comes to diatomaceous earth, the way it achieves its effect is by helping bed bugs dry out. These insects don’t feed as regularly as mosquitos and others, so their shell has a wax layer designed to keep water in their bodies. When they come in contact with diatomaceous earth, this layer gets damaged by the rough particles.

The only issue with this method is that the mortality rate is not too high, and bed bugs tend to avoid spots covered in this earth as they cannot walk through freely.

Similar to boric acid, you can put diatomaceous earth on spots where there tend to be bed bugs and they will avoid such places.


Pour the Borax solution

Borax is a common household remedy that allows getting rid of bed bugs. Here are some of the things that you should know when handling borax in your house.

Can you put borax on a mattress?

Yes. If you want, you can apply the powder or liquid of boric acid on a mattress and then wash it out.

Can you make a boric acid spray?

Yes. You can create a DIY repellent by using boric acid and several simple ingredients. For this purpose, you should use a cup of water, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of powder. Also, you can dilute some liquid boric acid in water and add some sugar.

Can I mix boric acid with bug spray?

It is best to mix boric acid with sugar and water instead of a bed bug spray.

Boric Acid as One of the Ways to Deter Bed Bugs

Will borax kill bed bugs? Now you know the answer to this question. Boric acid is only effective in redirecting bed bugs and preventing their further infestation. The insects don’t like crawling through borax and diatomaceous earth, so these methods can be used as additional ones when fighting infestations in the house.

Have you ever used boric acid for this purpose? What results have you got? Please, tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Also read: 


  • Bed Bug Biology and Behavior (Dini M. Miller, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech Andrea Polanco, Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech)
  • Cockroach Elimination Cockroach Elimination in Homes and Apartments (by Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist University of Kentucky)
  • Boric Acid (Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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