Does Salt Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bug killers could be very expensive and difficult to have access to. If we are being honest, you would hardly bother getting some from the store. Hence when you notice a bug infestation, your first thought is for an immediate remedy and as you think of the best home remedies to try, salt comes to mind since it has been proved to kill other pests. 

Salt contains 1614% of sodium chloride, a chemical component. So it would not be out of place if it is believed that salt can kill bed bugs. But does salt kill bed bugs? The answer to this question is what this post seeks to give. 

Bed bugs possess waxy hard exoskeletons that prevent salt from drying them out. Salt can’t penetrate through their shell. Also, bed bugs feed on human and animal blood and would not ingest any other substance. This makes it impossible for salt to work its magic on them. 

Does table salt kill bed bugs?

Salt generally is used to dry out fluid from the tissue of slugs, snails and other pests. Table salt, the regular salt you use at home is an example of such salt. It is a good control agent for these insects but it would hardly be effective on bugs. It might make them uncomfortable but will not eliminate them. 

If you apply salt on a bed bug infestation, the salt won’t dry out the moisture from these bugs due to the tough skin they possess. This means table salt is not effective for killing bed bugs. You could try other bug killing agents. 

Can Epsom salt kill bed bugs? 

Epsom salt is magnesium sulphate used in homes, farms and gardens to get rid of pests. But can Epsom salt kill bed bugs? The answer is no. Epsom salt is as ineffective as regular table salt on bed bugs. Bed bugs are very careful pests. They avoid things that would put them in harm’s way and since they do not feed on anything but blood, they would avoid coming in contact with salt if it is sprayed around where they have infested. 

Epsom salt may only help keep them away from you for a while. If you sprinkle a considerable amount at the top of your bed, these bugs might stir clear. The question is for how long? 

Why people believe salt can kill bed bugs 

The belief that salt can kill bed bugs may stem from a couple of reasons. One being the misconception that since salt dehydrates and kills other insects, it can also kill bed bugs. 

Also salt is cheap and easily accessible as an immediate remedy, so it may not be out of place to give salt a thought. Besides, it has proven to be useful and effective on other pests and it has a powder-like nature just like Diatomaceous earth. 


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Reasons why salt may not kill bed bugs

Scientifically, there is no proof that salt kills bed bugs, it is almost if not very much ineffective. What makes it harder is that bed bugs are pretty much different from other insect pests, they have tough skin. 

Here’s why bed bugs won’t be killed by salt; 

  • Bed bugs possess a tough exoskeleton that is hard to penetrate. 
  • Salt is not capable of scratching off the hard shell to gain entrance and dry off the moisture from this bug.
  • Bed bugs avoid things that are harmful to them. Once they see anything that suggests harm, they would crawl around it and avoid coming in contact with it.
  • They are adaptable and would easily move to a new environment when disturbed. 

Does borax and salt kill bed bugs?

Borax is a popular remedy for eliminating household pests. It is a powdered substance that is very effective for killing other bugs and insects. However, Borax mixed with salt will hardly get rid of bed bugs. Bed bugs do not ingest anything other than blood so if you try using borax and salt mix on bed bugs in your home, it will hardly affect these insects. 

Can salt and baking soda kill bed bugs?

Well, baking soda and salt like borax are known for killing insects. It is also effective for brushing your teeth. Just like salt and borax, baking soda dries out the moisture from insects until they die from dehydration. This is hardly possible with bed bugs because of the hard exoskeleton they possess. As much as this substance is effective for getting rid of household pests, baking soda and salt mix would not kill bed bugs. 

Does salt water help with bed bug bites?

You may be wondering if salt is useful at all for any bed bug related issue since it does not eliminate bed bugs. The truth is, salt is useful in bed bug related issues such as bed bug bites. Though salt may be futile if used on bed bugs themselves as it is not toxic to them, it is effective on bed bug bites.

Salt can function as a natural antiseptic or antibacterial agent used to heal rashes and inflammation. If you apply salt on the affected area, it can stop any stingy sensation or pain. Apply a considerable quantity to the affected area, it would reduce the swelling and heal any rash present on the skin. 

Saltwater, on the other hand, may not be as effective as salt itself when it comes to bed bug bites. It may be a good antiseptic agent for bed bug bites but may not give the desired result. 

Other natural ways to treat bed bug bites include the use of toothpaste, mouthwash, banana peels, cinnamon and honey. They are all reliable and would give you a much-desired result. 

Other home remedies for killing bed bugs

Bed bugs are fast-breeding insects capable of spreading and re-infesting a place. Knowing now that salt is not an effective method for eradicating bed bugs, there are other ways to get rid of bed bugs. 

Home remedies for killing bed bugs;

When you notice an infestation of bed bugs in your bed, the first thing you need to do is to take out your bed to air. Ensure you take out the sheets and wash them properly, clean off the affected area and use the following methods to get rid of any traces to avoid another infestation. 

1) Vacuum clean

Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the infested area thoroughly. You do not want bed bugs finding a new home in other corners of your home.

2) Use rubbing alcohol 

Rubbing alcohol is effective in killing bed bugs. It dries up the bugs once in contact with it. You can pour some considerable quantity on the bed bug infestation, and watch it dry up those bugs.

3) Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is very efficient. The powder-like substance is capable of cracking or scratching the exoskeleton of bed bugs. It is highly effective and recommended. Apply a large quantity to the infestation. Have in mind that bed bugs have eyes and will crawl around anything that seems harmful to them. Ensure you spread this substance in a way that they are unable to avoid it. 

After successfully killing these bugs, proceed to cleaning up the place and taking out the dead bed bugs to avoid ants and bug-eating insects. 

4) Acetone nail polish remover

Like the rubbing alcohol, acetone nail polish remover is effective for killing bed bugs. It would kill them on contact. Just pour acetone on a crawling bed bug and watch how this bed bug dries up. 

5) Dryer

One way to get rid of bed bugs is by drying. You can take out an infested mattress to dry out in the sun. In situations where there is no sun, you can use a dryer. Bed bugs cannot withstand heat of about 120 degrees Fahrenheit and dryers reach this temperature. You can put in curtains, bed sheets and clothes that have been infested by bugs. Endeavour to load in batches to ensure proper heating. 

6) Steam mop

A steam mop contains steam hot enough to kill these bugs. It is effective because it can be used to treat your bed frames, baseboards, couches etc. it is not as restricted as the dryer. The steam mop is quite expensive but will keep your house clean. 

You can try all methods at once in case of a heavy infestation, it will give you a long-lasting result and keep bed bugs far away from you. 


Bed bugs are tiny creatures and will feed on you to survive. They even go as far as frustrating you with their very itchy bites that leave blemishes on the skin. They are versatile insects and would easily find a new environment to infest in your home if they are not properly eliminated. Using salt to get rid of them is fruitless. Salt is harmless to bed bugs. But you can try other methods like bed bug killer sprays or bed bug killing remedies. 


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