What does salt do to insects?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “What does salt do to insects” with an in-depth analysis of the effect of salt on different insects. Moreover, we are going to discuss the natural substances that can be used to get rid of insects.

So it’s summertime and your kitchen has become the home of some uninvited guests, the cockroaches hid in various crevices of your house, the houseflies flying here and there and the snails moving on your garden or porch. Your first instinct will be to get rid of them and what can be greater than using natural non-toxic substances for this purpose. Most locally available insect repellants and sprays are brimming with harmful chemicals, so on the off chance that you have pets or children, managing insects is particularly concerning. So that is where we are going to help you by giving you an idea about what salt does to insects.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

What does salt do to insects?

So when it comes to salt and its effect on insects, then it is worth mentioning that just like human beings, insects also need salt for the proper functioning of their body and that is the very reason that it is not only the food leftovers the insects are attracted to but also the saliva, sweat and other secretions of humans and animals owing to their salt content. So it won’t be wrong to say that some insects do crave salt.

Now all the insects do not react the same way towards the salt as for some of them it acts as a vital compound needed for their proper functioning while in the others it can cause detrimental effects and can even kill them by dehydration.

Snails and slugs

So when it comes to those slimy and slippery snails and slugs, salt is really detrimental to them and can even kill them. As soon as the body of a snail or slug comes in contact with the salt, the salt by the process of osmosis begins to draw water out of their body. To prevent the water from getting out of the body, the snail secretes a slimy and gooey secretion but if the body of the snail remains in contact with too much salt for too long, the snail will die owing to dehydration.

Bed bugs

So when it comes to those nasty bed bugs, unfortunately, the salt does not have any harmful effect on them. Their hard outer covering saves them from the detrimental effects of the salts. Thereby you need to use a pesticide to get rid of the bed bugs.


So when it comes to ants, they are attracted to the salt but the salt does not dehydrate or kill them as it does to the snails and slugs. So the salt does not have a really detrimental effect on the ants.


The most resistant type of insects, cockroaches, are hard to get rid of. Truly speaking, salt does not kill a cockroach until or unless you drown in a cockroach in a jar full of salt. But salt can repel the cockroaches to some extent. So no doubt the salt does not kill the cockroaches, but salt can keep the cockroaches at bay.


So the enemy of our wooden closets, doors, and cabinets, termite, can be kept away by using the salt as salt helps to keep the termite at bay. Moreover, a concentrated salt solution can also be used to potentially drown, dehydrate, and kill termites by pouring it into the holes that the termites have made.


So a concentrated salt solution can kill the small spiders if it is sprayed onto them directly.

Other FAQs about Salt which you may be interested in.

Does salt cause water to boil faster?

What does adding salt to ice do?

Are banana spiders poisonous?

Natural substances to get rid of insects


Many of us like the smell of the mint but the insects do not find it amusing. Therefore using the mint leaves or sprinkling the mint essential oil mixed with water proves to be effective in order to get rid of the cockroaches and other insects hidden in your house. It is a natural remedy that is free from any toxic chemicals which makes it safe to use around kids and pets. While spraying mint induced water, give special attention to places like

  • Cracks in walls or floor
  • Under the kitchen appliances
  • Food storage spaces 
  • Cabinets

You can also use essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, or lavender oil as a natural insect repellent.


We love the tangy smell of citrus fruits but that is not the case with the spiders. Therefore you can use the citrus-scented cleaners in your house or place some citrus fruit peels in your kitchen to chase away all the spiders from your home. You can also use the spray made by adding lemon or lime juice in the water to keep the spiders at bay. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “What does salt do to insects” with an in-depth analysis of the effect of salt on different insects. Moreover, we discussed the natural substances that can be used to get rid of insects.