You’ve moved into your new home in the posh part of the city, with peaceful mornings and sociable neighbors. What’s more: the furniture came with the house!
“I can’t believe what a great deal I’ve got!” you say to yourself as you wake up in one of the most luxurious mattresses you’ve ever owned. However, when you remove the blanket, you see something that makes your blood run cold: a bed bug rash!
Bed bugs are small, brown insects that survive on the blood of animals and humans. They hide inside mattresses, sheets, comforters, pillows and pillowcases, nightstands, cushions, and couches. In extreme cases, they might even hide in your clothes and shoes.
So, how to get rid of these pests that can cause severe rashes, infections, and allergic reactions? If you’ve asked yourself this question, you’ve come to the right place because we have the perfect answer.
Skincare and beauty enthusiasts already know what we’re talking about – Essential oils! They work wonders for your skin and are great at repelling insects if you know how to use them. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use them yet; that’s what we’re here to help you with!
Read on to learn about the top six essential oils that won’t let the bed bugs bite!
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are extracted from various plants and retain the scent or essence of that plant. The aromatic compounds give the oils their characteristic essence.
Extracted through either cold-pressing or distillation, their most widespread use is in aromatherapy. After extraction, they’re mixed with a carrier oil (oils extracted from seeds, nuts, and kernels) for dilution before use.
There are various uses for the more than 90 types of essential oils. In general, these oils can help reduce stress and have a pleasing effect on the nose. They can either be inhaled or applied to your skin post-dilution. However, they’re not meant to be swallowed; even a small amount can cause severe poisoning.
6 Essential Oils That Work Surprisingly Well as Bed Bug Repellents
If bed bugs are the one thing that won’t let you sleep peacefully at night, we’re happy and sad for you. We’re happy because no other problems plague you and sad because bugs shouldn’t have that influence.
Read on to learn how these eight essential oils can eliminate bed bugs from your life forever.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca, is a multipurpose essential oil containing antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. Among its other benefits, a 2016 study showed it contains a compound, 1,8-cineole, which gives it insect-repellent qualities.
There aren’t enough studies yet to effectively prove it is a bed bug killer. That being said, tea tree oil does have brilliant fly- and bed bug-repellent properties, so it’s definitely worth a try.
Wondering how to use tea tree oil for repelling bed bugs? Here’s what you need to do:
Mix 2/3 cup of water with eight drops of tea tree oil for a natural bed bug-repellent mixture. Mix it well, add it to a spray bottle, and you’re ready to go! Use it directly on the sheets and mattresses for the best results.
If you have some time and tea tree oil at home, you can get much more out of it! Read all about the super helpful uses of tea tree oil!
Did you know? Besides being an effective bug repellent, tea tree oil can also act as a natural sunscreen for your skin!
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil has a natural cooling effect and a strong but pleasant smell. It’s an essential oil that can drive away bed bugs with high efficiency. In a large study conducted with 18 essential oils, peppermint oil wiped out 90% of the bed bugs upon being applied to infested areas.
To make your own peppermint bed bug repellent, fill a spray bottle with water and add five drops of the oil. Swirl it around before spraying it in an empty area for a test: if you can’t smell the peppermint, it isn’t strong enough.
Add a couple of drops to the mix and test it until you think it’s potent enough to work.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil is among the best oils for insect repellence, including bed bugs, due to the presence of thymol, an active ingredient. also contains carvacrol, linalool, thymol, p-cymene, and alpha-terpinene: five known bed bug- and fly-repelling compounds.
To make your own thyme essential oil-based bug repellent, mix equal parts thyme oil and clove oil. You can also make a bed spray by mixing two drops of thyme oil with two ounces of water.
Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella is used in many insect repellents in the form of lotions, candles, and sprays and is highly efficient. It’s made from a mixture of herbs and can repel bed bugs efficiently.
In a study, the active ingredient in citronella-citronellic acid- was proven highly effective at keeping bed bugs away, especially in combination with other essential oils.
However, your formulation process must be perfect to reap maximum results. Add 10-12 drops of citronella oil for every ounce of water in a spray bottle for an effective repellent. You can also consider adding a dispersing agent, such as soluble, since oils don’t dissolve in water.
Mix the bottle well, and spray it over the infested surfaces.
Lavender Essential Oil
Besides the oil, you can hang dried lavender flowers around the house to repel bugs and insects while maintaining a pleasing smell. You can also add some dried lavenders in the pockets and folds of your clothing to ward away bugs.
However, keep in mind that lavender oil does not kill bed bugs. It only repels them with its strong smell, which is also pleasant to us, so that’s a win-win.
Mix 30 drops of lavender essential oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil and 30 milliliters of water for a homemade lavender oil-based bed bug repellent.
Note: Test it on a small patch of skin and let it sit for about a couple of hours before applying fully. If any irritation or inflammation occurs, immediately wash with soap and water.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil is well known for its pleasantly woody smell. However, few know that it contains compounds of limonene, eucalyptus, and camphor, making it an effective insect-repelling agent.
In fact, a study found that it eliminated 99% of bed bugs and is one of the few natural alternatives to commercial insecticides.
To make your own rosemary oil-based bed bug repellent, mix 10 drops of rosemary oil with 10 drops of lemongrass oil and combine with 60 milliliters of any carrier oil of your choice.
Bonus: How to treat bed bug bites?
Bed bug bites are not a pretty sight, and they don’t they feel any better. Thankfully, we’ve got one of the natural remedies to treat your bed bug bites quickly and efficiently.
If you’ve watched an ad for cinnamon sprays for bed bugs on the TV, we’re here with its homemade alternative! Just like a tiny bit of cinnamon spices up your dessert batter, just a few drops of it can help treat the nasty bed bug rashes and infections, too!
Although cinnamon oil is inefficient at bed bug repellence, cinnamon can help you with the rashes and marks these bugs leave on your body in their wake. Not only that, but they can also speed up the healing processes of almost all bug bites and mosquito bites.
To prepare your natural remedy for bug bites, make a simple cinnamon and water paste, and apply it to the affected areas. Remember to reapply at least five to ten times daily for the best results.
Cinnamon has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties that’ll make you good as new in no time!
Essential oils are a natural way of fighting bed bugs that won’t let you sleep after a long day at work. As long as you use the correct preparation methods, you won’t ever have to worry about bed bugs and the damage their bites cause to your skin.
However, it’s important to remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and are, therefore, you should only use them with dilution in a carrier oil of your choice.
If you have any funny incidents where you wished you had some natural bed bug repellent at hand, let us know in the comments below!