Does Boric Acid or Borax Kill Bed Bugs?

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Bed bugs fill everyone with dread! We’ve all heard horror stories of bed bugs that will not move out, no matter what. Can a common household item, like Borax, eliminate a serious bed bug problem?  Let’s find out!

What Is Boric Acid/Borax?

Borax is a common household cleaner. It can be found in laundry detergent, or hand soap. It is a naturally occurring mineral.

Boric acid is a chemically refined and processed form of borax. It is found in many pesticides.

Does Borax Kill Bed Bugs?

Boric acid and borax are both toxic if ingested. However, since bed bugs consume blood, it is almost impossible to entice them to eat borax or boric acid. It would be tricky, messy, and dangerous to make a trap with blood as the bait!

Borax kills cockroaches when they clean it off their legs. Bed bugs do not preen like cockroaches, so they are unlikely to ingest the borax, even if it is stuck to them. Bed bugs also have a very sensitive sense of smell, so they will try to avoid borax or boric acid.

Borax or boric acid are also ineffective at killing bed bug eggs. They won’t permeate the eggshell.

How Can I Use Borax for Bed Bugs?

Even though borax won’t kill bedbugs in your home, you can add it to your laundry. There is some information that suggests adding borax to bed bug-infested laundry may kill the bed bugs faster. However, washing bedding in high heat will kill the bed bugs without the addition of borax or boric acid.

Borax and boric acid may be used as a bed bug deterrent. Remember, they don’t want to go near it! You’ll still need to find a different method to get rid of the pests, though. I recommend 20 Mule Team All Natural Borax as a bed bug deterrent.

To use borax or boric acid to deter bed bugs, sprinkle it around and across every path they may take. For example, if they are climbing into your bed, put it around each leg of the bed. A liquid solution of borax and water can also be sprayed around the bed bugs’ favorite hiding places.

How Do I Use Borax/Boric Acid Safely?

Borax is considered to be a very safe cleaning compound. However, do not leave it out where children or pets may consume it. If you suspect someone has ingested it, contact a medical professional.

How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?

You suspect your home may be a harbor for bed bugs. What signs should you watch for?


Bed bugs leave bites that look like red welts. Their bites are extremely itchy! If you wake up scratching at bites every morning, that’s an indicator that you may have a bed bug problem.

Eggs and Bugs

Bed bugs are very small, and you may not be able to spot them easily. Watch for these clues:

  • They leave behind spots of dark, brown fecal matter.
  • Bed bugs shed their skin. It looks like small, white shell casings.
  • Sometimes, bed bugs have a musky smell.
  • Their eggs are small white dots and may be found along the seams of furniture.
  • There may be bloodstains on your mattress from their midnight feast.

How Do I Get Rid of Bedbugs?

Mattress Encasement

A mattress encasement like this one zips around your mattress. The bed bugs won’t be able to hide in your mattress anymore!


I recommend a bed bug spray to kill the bed bugs. Spray down carpets, furniture, baseboards, vents, and anywhere else you suspect the bed bugs may be hiding! Reapply every two weeks until all signs of bed bugs are gone.

Call an Exterminator

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eliminate! A trusted exterminator will be able to get rid of the problem quickly. Use an internet search to find a well-reviewed pest control professional in your area.

Final Thoughts

Even though borax and boric acid may be a good solution for many pests, like cockroaches and ants, they won’t work on bed bugs! Try another solution, or call a professional, and hopefully, the bed bugs won’t be biting anymore!

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