Does Boric Acid Kill Bed Bugs?

Does boric acid kill bed bugs? Boric acid is one of the most famous pest killer in the market. It has various home applications. Some people use it to kill bed bugs.

But does boric acid kill bed bugs? The answer to this question is NO! However, Boric acid can kill bed bugs, but only when eaten/inhaled or injected into them. 

Does Boric Acid Kill Bed Bugs?

On the other hand, bed bugs feed on blood and unless boric acid is mixed with blood, from which they feed and get it into their body; then it may never kill them.

So, let’s start.

What is Boric acid?

This is a salt chemical known as sodium borate, which is mixed with sugary baits and used to kill various insect. It is manufactured in different forms like powder (borax), gel or liquid.

So, how does Boric acid kill bed bugs?

Boric acid, when mixed with other pest killers or any powder or liquid substances may kill the bed bug once eaten.

Boric acid is manufactured with ability to dehydrate or suffocate the bed bugs thus killing them.

Borax is a common form of boric acid and is mostly used by people. This is easier to apply or mix with bait that may attract bed bug feed on it.

Steps to follow when using boric acid to kill bed bugs in your mattress or carpet.

Just in case you want to use boring acid to kill bed bugs in your house, then the most suitable form is Borax (powder Boric acid).

These steps will help destroy bed bugs’ eggs from mattresses and carpets. You can follow these steps:

  1. Remove the mattress covers.
  2. Take borax and sprinkle it over the bed to create a thick layer.
  3. Spray boiling water over the borax so as to create a foam that will suffocate the bed bugs.
  4. Allow the borax to penetrate the mattress and dry.
  5. Vacuum the dry borax.

This method works with the principle that once the bed bugs inhale the boric acid foam, they will suffocate and die.

Other bed bugs that will not be dead will be trapped in the wet borax, where they will be dehydrated. Later, the dry borax will then be vacuumed out.

It is important to note that this method is suitable to kill large population of bed bug when together. You will even be forced to wash out your mattress after destroying bed bugs.

In addition, this method may kill very little number of bed bugs since most bed bugs hide deep in the mattress and the suffocating foam may not reach them.

Why waste money and energy doing all that when there are other easier options!

Why does boric acid becomes ineffective when it is being used for killing bed bugs?

We clearly know that bed bugs feed on blood. They do not eat boric acid. If you want to make them eat boric acid, then you must mixed it with blood, else they will not eat. This is null as you can’t offer flesh blood for this purpose.

The other option of killing bed bugs is injecting boric acid into their body. You agree with me that this is impossible in the real situation. Therefore, these options of killing bed bugs offer you a very inefficient way of destroying their breeding sites.

The famous form of boric acid (borax), which is in powder form, is well known in market for its efficiency in killing home insects like cockroaches and ants. Do not be lied that when this powder is poured over bed bugs will kill them. No! It won’t.

In fact, in a study published in September, 2018 in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Schal and his team reported that boric acid dust has least effect on the bed bugs. Actually, the data from the report showed that none of the bed bug died out of the exposure to boric power.

This information, definitely tells you that the two options available as a way of killing bed bugs, may not be feasibly appropriate for your current need. Therefore, it is clear that boric acid will not kill bed bugs once sprinkled in their breeding sites directly.

Then, What do we do instead?

You will have to look for alternative means of getting rid of bed bug infestation in your house.

Before that, I will recommend you to look for an examinator, who will assist check on your current situation as you may even find it were other insects like flea instead.

Also, read properly our bed bug removal guide to acquire insight. To eradicate bed bugs in your house/home, you can use the options given below:

  • You can set bed bug traps.
  • Ensure you remove mattress cover to expose them.
  • You can use other chemicals/sprays that destroy bed bugs.
  • You can throw away the items that are having bed bugs.
  • Room heat treatment kills bed bug completely though it is much more expensive, but environmentally friendly.

It may not seem a nice advice, however it is worth rather that investing in boric acid that may not help, instead make you waste your resources/money.

Can bed bugs’ eggs be killed by boric acid?

Bed bugs’ eggs are the most complicated stage of bed bug eradication. Direct applications of boric acid over the breeding sites of the bed bugs will not kill their eggs.

Again, locating their breeding sites may be difficult and thus making the whole process challenging.

Nevertheless, you can mix boric acid with your washing powder and wash items infested with bed bugs. Use very hot water-of course, this needs a washing machine.

This will destroy the eggs and kill the living bed bugs. Follow these steps:

  1. Put powder form of boric acid (borax) into a washing machine.
  2. Put clothes infested with bed bugs.
  3. Add boiling water.
  4. Add powder-washing soap.
  5. Run the machine,
  6. Remove the clothes and hung after rinsing.

Which other ways can I use boric acid in my house/home?

Boric acid is one of most important substance in home use. It is commonly used in laundry activities. It is used as a cleanser, disinfectant, stain-remover, deodorizer as well as mould-killer.

More importantly, it removes stains and odor from your clothes.
If mixed with honey or other sugary baits, it can be used to kill home insects like cockroaches and ants.

Boric acid is an anti-fungal, natural antiseptic agent, and astringent which when mixed with water can be used to treat rushes, minor burns or wounds.

Can boric acid kill other insects?

Yes, it can. Indeed, when boric acid is mixed with honey or other sugary substances, it can be used to kill insects like ants and cockroaches in your place.

You will need to put the mixture of boric acid in a basin and place it in an appropriate location in your house or home where these insect are or pass.

Once they eat the mixture, they will die in a couple of seconds. The liquid form of boric acid is the best as it makes your mixing with other liquid easier.

Can boric acid make you sick?

Boric acid does not cause any irritation to skin when touched by hands. It is necessary to wash your hand once you use.

In case you rub your eyes with hands having boric acid, you will feel a basic sensation for a short time since boric acid is a salt compound.

It can’t harm your eyes, as you will even realize that the eye contact lens is made up of a portion of boric acid. Boric acid when swallowed may cause diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting and nausea.

It may not be extreme, however it is important to seek doctor’s checkup if symptoms persist. Boric acid is dangerous to human when inhaled.

It has a sharp irritation to the breathing/respiratory system, which makes you uncomfortable- it may be accompanied by coughing (though rare).

This will persist for a few minutes, then stops. You may not need to see the doctor unless the symptoms persist.

Which precautions do you take when using boric acid?

Boric acid is harmful to pets and humans when swallowed. It should be kept away from children. Cover your nose with breathing mask while using boric acid to prevent respiratory irritations.

Wear hand protections like PVC gloves when using boric acid and wash your hands after to reduce chances of touching your eyes or licking your finger thus swallowing it.

In case symptoms persist, kindly seek medication as soon as possible.


Boric acid can kill bed bugs only when eaten/inhaled or injected into their bodies.

It is not efficient enough to be used for killing bed bugs as compared to other available options. I recommend that you should opt for other ways I have suggested above.

Boric acid can kill cockroaches and ants when mixed with sugary bait. It may not kill you, however if symptoms persist, seek medication as soon as possible.

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