“Good night sleep tight
don’t let the bedbugs bite
if they do then take your shoe
and knock them till they are black and blue”
If you are looking for a natural solution for bed bugs then essential oil is the best option. There are lots of essential oils in the market that claim to help us get rid of one of our bedroom enemies the bed bugs (1, 2). These small, brownish, oval insects with flat bodies live on the blood of animals and even humans.
They are not thought to transmit illnesses but are usually a nuisance. They bit and leave you with red, itchy spots and sleepless nights. The good thing is you do not have to deal with them for long. If you are already getting enough of bed bugs, here are some of the probable solutions to help you get rid of it.
Most Effective Essential Oils for Bed Bugs
1. Tea Tree Oil for Bed Bugs
Tea Tree Oil is an extract from a native plant in Australia called Melaleuca Alternifolia plant. The plant is comprised of more than 100 components and exudes a pleasant camphor odor. The oil possesses qualities that can be health benefits such as its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral qualities. However, users need to be cautious since the plant can also be toxic.
Tea Tree oil also possesses qualities that can help in repelling pests including ants, mosquitoes, and other insects. It can also kill parasites such as lice. The tea tree oil’s solvent properties can suffocate an insect as soon as it soaks in their exoskeleton, making tea tree oil a common effective home remedy to get rid of bug infestations.
However, bed bugs may be an exception. These pests may only be killed through direct contact with concentrated tea tree oil but it can be harmful to humans.
2. Lavender Oil for Bed Bugs
Lavender is known for its calming scent but its power can go beyond that. It can be used to get rid of the culprits of all itchy bites you have after sleeping at the bed. Just like the tea tree oil, the lavender oil can kill bed bugs if you spray it directly to the pests.
Although there’s no study that specifically proves that lavender is an effective bed bug repeller, it contains a toxicity level that can be as effective as other essential oils known for getting rid of bed bugs (3).
It may not be as effective as paraffin or silicone oils but it is somehow safer for humans and it smells good. Using lavender to kill bed bugs is like hitting two birds with one stone.
You repelled the bed bugs and have a good sleep because the lavender itself exudes a scent that promotes sleep and helps us relax. When using lavender to kill bugs, it is recommended that you get a diluted version of the oil.
3. Thyme for Bed Bugs
For those who do not know Thyme oil yet, Thyme oil comes from Thymus Vulgaris, a perennial herb from Southern Europe. It is typically used for mouthwashes, aromatherapy, etc. and known for its benefits such as it’s antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, calming properties and more.
It also has insecticide properties that help in repelling pests and even prevent future infestations. Its fragrant foliage has one or more phytochemicals that can be effective in repelling insects.
But if you are going to use it to ward off bed bugs from your territory, you should never use it in its undiluted form because it is not safe especially if you are pregnant. It is also not safe for kids. To make sure that your health and the health of your loved ones is not compromised, as a doctor prior to using any thyme oil product.
4. Lemongrass for Bed Bugs
Lemongrass, also known as Cymbopogon, is a genus of Australian, Asian, African, and tropical island plan. In Asia, lemongrass is typically used in cooking and even put in the tea too.
This tastes goods for humans but not for bed bugs as it can be fatal to them. It is also believed that this plant can also stop bed bugs egg from hatching, hence restricting their repopulating.
Lemongrass exudes a lemon-like citrus smell that can also help relieve small aches such as stomach-aches, headaches, and muscle pains. It can also help you live a life and have a sleep without having to deal with bed bugs and other insects such as lies or fleas in dogs and cats.
The lemongrass contains compounds that can repel and even kill bugs through augmenting the acidic condition inside an insect. But take precautionary measures as this plant, when used for cats, can cause liver damage.
5. Peppermint Oil for Bed Bugs
Peppermint oil comes from a peppermint plant that thrives in Northern America. Aside from being used as a flavoring in foods and beverages and a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps, peppermint is also used for numerous different health conditions.
The fragrance it emits, which people love is the same fragrance that can keep bed bugs away. These pests cannot simply stand the peppermint’s potent smell.
6. Clove Oil for Bed Bugs
Clove oil is a natural extract from a Cove plant which is native in South America and Asia. It features a strong and overpowering pungent smell and a compound known as eugenol, which can help in getting rid of bed bugs. It also possesses an acidic level that bed bugs cannot stand when exposed to it.
How to Use Essential Oils for Bed Bugs Effectively?
When using essential oils more than any other chemical to deter bed bugs infestation, safety should be taken as an utmost priority.
So you also won’t have to deal with further hassles and stress and focus on the activity that most of us often long for – the sleep.
When it comes to using tea tree, lavender, thymes, lemongrass, peppermint and clover oil, keep the following tips in mind.
For tea tree oil, put twenty drops of the oil in a spray bottle with water. Start mixing the two and afterward, all is good.
- For lavender, mix 1 drop of oil to each ounce of water that you use.
- For lemongrass, blend it with olive oil or any carrier oil. Put only a few drops.
- For thyme oil, you also only need a spray bottle with water. Just mix it and spray.
- For peppermint, you can simply drench cotton balls with the oil and keep them close to where you sleep.
- For clove oil, just get a few drops of it and distribute it on infected areas such as mattress and pillow.
Always consider your safety first when using these remedies or seek an expert’s help.
Essential oils can work and help lower the risk of bed bugs infestation. However, they are not the most effective (and convenient) tool. So if you really want to get rid of bed bugs, consider seeking help from the experts.
Janice Thompson is a nutritionist. She loves to share her healthy lifestyle and diet tips.