Friday, November 7, 2014

Baking Soda as a Bug Killer

Before we moved to Hawaii, baking soda was just one of those ingredients to make fake “lava” for paper mache volcanoes in grade school. When we lived in Hilo we found baking soda very useful for improving the air quality on very voggy (bad volcano emission) days.  We had heard that soaking a towel in water and baking soda and putting it in front of a fan helped. Since vog is mostly sulfuric acid, the mildly basic baking soda helped make the environment less acidic.

Recently we started using baking soda to clean things.  We have a wooden table that had built up layers of dirt, oil and volcanic ash.  No wood cleaner or furniture polish we tried would take it off.  When we sprinkled baking soda on it, we were able to scrub the layers off and the table suddenly looked great again. We also started using baking soda on the rug to help reduce the musty smell.  We sprinkled some on the rug and let it set for 15 minutes  before vacuuming it up.  The rug seemed cleaner and felt better on our bare feet.  

We normally use ant baits to keep the ants under control, but with all the rain we have been getting the last couple of months there have been many more ants and bugs of all kinds.  We have had to replace our ant baits more frequently, about every two weeks instead of every two months. Our guess is everyone else is having the same problem because the local stores have run out of ant baits.  We noticed the ants, cockroaches, millipedes and other bugs seemed to slow down after a baking soda treatment on the rug.  So we tried sprinkling baking soda along the window sill and under the door to see if that would slow them down.  
Baking Soda on the window sill

Much to our delight, a few days later there was a pile of dead ants in the baking soda on the window sill.
 
Dead Ant in the Baking Soda
Is it possible that something as common and inexpensive as baking soda could really kill ants and other bugs?  If so, this would save us lots of money and keep us from having to deal with insecticides.   

We started researching how baking soda kills ants and it appears that ants and other bugs like the taste of baking soda. When they eat it is causes the production of C02 which causes their stomach to rupture and kills them.  It is apparently a very good pesticide. 

Now we buy 13.5 pound bags of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda on Amazon or at Costco. We even wash our clothes and sheets with soap that contains baking soda and seems to discourage bugs from crawling into the bed.  We sprinkle it on the furniture and put it in all the entry ways. The baking soda has greatly cut back on the bugs in the house. 


We wonder why we have never heard of this simple solution before.  But we are glad the local stores ran out of ant baits so we could find a new use for baking soda

3 comments:

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