Does Baby Powder Kill Bed Bugs?
A quick online search will reveal endless options about how to eliminate a bed bug problem using DIY solutions. Ideas range from wiping furniture down with dryer sheets to mixing essential oils with rubbing alcohol. People even search for options like "does baby powder kill bed bugs?" Fast, quick and seemingly inexpensive treatments abound, but it doesn’t mean they work or that they’re safe methods. The only proven solution for bed bug treatment is professional pest control, though there are steps you can take to safeguard your space.
Dual Purpose Baby Powder?
When thinking of baby powder, bed bugs may not be the first association you make, but there are some claims that baby powder kills bed bugs using two methods. The first is by sprinkling baby powder on a mattress, other furniture or flooring. Upon contact, the exoskeletons on bed bugs will supposedly dry out, ultimately leading to their death by dehydration.
The second popular method is to use baby powder in a trap, such as a cup or bowl, to make the interior slippery enough that bed bugs can’t escape. They’ll be able to climb in, but the composition of talc makes it nearly impossible for them to get out.
The Results of Combining Baby Powder and Bed Bugs
While the thought behind sprinkling baby powder to kill bed bugs is similar to the reasoning for using diatomaceous earth, there’s simply no evidence that talc is effective nor are these material comparable. If left undisturbed, diatomaceous earth can work mechanically, not chemically, as its properties are abrasive enough to pierce the hard shell of a bed bug. Baby powder, which is normally reserved for babies and kids, is an entirely different material that does not have sharp texture that is required for effective bed bug control. Plus, in terms of effectiveness, these pests have been known to evade baby powder on a mattress or carpet by just walking around any traces.
When baby powder is used in bed bug traps, it’s possible that baby powder may help kill them by keeping them confined inside the trap. It’s non-toxic, but it can make the surface of the trap more difficult for the bed bugs to escape. Though this may help trap and kill a few bed bugs, this is not a long-lasting solution against an infestation.
Any efforts to kill bed bugs using baby powder may do nothing more than irritate the pests or cover up their musty scent. Not only will you likely be disappointed in the results, but you could make matters worse.
For a guaranteed bed bug treatment that quickly and effectively eliminates the pests, contact a Terminix® pest control professional.