In modern times people have become very conscious of using chemicals in their day to day lives. That has encouraged us to create an article about essential oils for bed bugs.
We are more aware of the dangers that could be attached to using chemicals. That is especially true on something like your bed, which comes into direct contact with your skin. With this awareness, people are turning to more alternative methods more and more. One of the fastest-growing alternative methods is Essential Oils. They have become ever more popular as they are readily available and are completely natural.
When using essential oils, be sure to select a reputable name and that they are pure in their blend. A general rule of thumb is that if the bottle has the scientific name on there, it is pure. So, if you were looking at lavender, then this would also show the name Lavendula Angustifolia.
We spend roughly 8 hours a night in our beds, which means that over a year you spend 2816 hours in bed. Unfortunately, bed bugs are something that occurs in all beds and can cause many issues. So, as not to add to these issues by adding chemicals, let’s look at the best essential oils for bed bugs.
What Are Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are an insect that feeds on human blood, as the name suggests they are typically found in beds, although they can be found on other furniture such as sofas as well. As they are in beds, they tend to feed during the night while you are sleeping.
Bed bug bites can result in a few health issues such as skin rashes and symptoms that may occur from being allergic to bed bug bites. Bed bug bites can be invisible but can range to as severe as blistering the skin. These bites can show within minutes, but they can also take several days to show. These bites are usually accompanied by itching to the skin.
Bites will typically only be on areas of the body that have been exposed to the bed directly, and you very often see that there will be three bites in a row. Although these bites can cause rashes and itching, they are not known to transmit any infectious disease.
There are two main types of bed bugs, the common bed bug is known as Cimex Lectularius, and there is the Cimex Hemipterus, which is found mostly in tropical countries. They tend to range from 1mm to 7mm in size, and so, therefore, are notoriously difficult to see. Bed bugs are very rarely due to poor hygiene and tend to live in dark places such as in your mattress.
As mentioned above, some people are allergic to bed bugs, and this will mean that your reaction to their bite will be more severe than most. That will mean that the bites will be larger and appear angrier. The bite may be painful, with burning and swelling at the area of the bite. In some rare cases, there may be an anaphylactic reaction.
What Are Essential Oils
Essential oils are the bi-product of plants. You can use all parts of the plant to create essential oils, and this includes the leaves, flowers, stems, and barks of the plant or tree. These plant materials then get put through a distilling process that uses water or steam to extract the oils from the plant material. So, to answer the question, what are essential oils? Essential oil is the extract of the essence of the plant.
It is crucial to remember that essential oils are incredibly concentrated. Not all essential oils are safe to be used directly on the skin, and as a rule, they are always best used diluted. There are also many side effects to essential oils; for example, Rosemary essential oil can bring on epileptic fits. So be sure to do your research before using essential oils. Also, never ingest essential oils as there are very few that are safe for this.
What Are the Best Essential Oils for Bed Bugs?
The best essential oils to use in your fight against bed bugs are Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Clove, Lemongrass, Citronella, Thyme, and Neem. All of these essential oils are readily available in your local alternative shops or online. Be sure that when buying online that you are buying pure essential oils. Some sites will state pure oil when they are not.
Some good names brands to look for are Botanics, Tisserand, Young Living, DoTerra, Edens Garden, and Plant therapy are a few good ones to start with first.
Essential Oils For Bed Bugs – Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil’s scientific name is Melaleuca oil, so when purchasing, look out for this name. The oil comes from the leaves of the Tea Tree, found in Southeast Queensland and new south wales, Australia. Tea tree is known to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic abilities and can be used neat on the skin safely. It is also one of the best essential oils for bed bugs.
Tea tree works by soaking into the bugs and suffocating them, so neat tea tree would work fast, but the amount of oil needed to do this would be very aggressive, and although this is safe to use on skin, this amount will be too much at once. So, the best-recommended way to use tea tree to combat bed bugs is to mix 20 drops of the oil with 30 ml of water. If you can use distilled water, then this will be better as there are fewer chemicals than tap water.
Combine this mix into a spray bottle and use this to spray your bed sheets, bed linen, and mattress. Tea tree is also suitable for treating eczema and psoriasis, so if this is something that you suffer with, then this could be an added benefit.
Add Tea tree oil to washing liquid when washing your bedding to repel and infestations
Lavender comes from the flower of the plant and has many, many health benefits. One of these health benefits is to bring about a feeling of calm and peacefulness, so using this as part of a process to get rid of bed bugs has the added benefit of aiding with sleep.
Lavender is the safest of essential oils to use in its neat form, and you can sprinkle some drops on your pillow, although you could need a lot to treat the whole bed. You can mix 30 to 40 drops of lavender essential oil with 30 ml of water, again distilled if possible. Use this mix in a spray bottle and spray the bed sheets, bedding, and mattress.
Lavender oil does not kill bed bugs, but with its strong scent, it does repel them. Therefore, it is also great to continue to use after you have treated your bed to keep the little critters at bay. Lavender also balances very well with tea tree, so if you have both oils, you can mix 30 drops of lavender, ten drops of tea tree, 30 ml of water in a spray bottle, and use this.
Lemon Oil and Lemongrass Oil
These oils come from a small evergreen tree, found in southeast Asia and used to invigorate your mind. Therefore, it is best not to use on your bedding too close to bedtime. The citrus in these oils creates an environment in which the bed bugs are unable to survive.
You can use either one of these oils or both in the following ways. You can add a few drops of one or both into your washing liquid when washing your bedding. That will help to clear any infestation from your bedding. That will also leave your bedding smelling fresh and clean. The second way to use these oils is to mix 10 to 20 drops of oil of 10 drops of each with 30 ml of water and use this to spray your bedding and mattress.
Lemon and Lemongrass are not safe to use directly on the skin due to its high acidity level. Therefore, always ensure that you dilute them.
Citronella comes from the leaves and stems of lemongrass, and therefore also balances well with lemon and lemongrass oil. You could add this oil to the above mixes. Citronella is universally known to repel bugs of all kinds, and this makes it an excellent addition to this list. Citronella should also not be used neat on the skin, so always be sure to dilute.
Peppermint comes from a mix of water mint and spearmint and comes from the middle east and has fantastic insect-repelling properties. You should never use peppermint oil neat as this can be very aggressive.
Use by mixing ten drops with 30 ml of water and spray as before on the bedding, bed sheets, and mattress. When using this mix in children’s beds, use sparingly as their skin is more sensitive. You can also mix peppermint with lemongrass, and this mixture creates an allergic reaction for the bed bugs.
Peppermint is also suitable for people who suffer from acid reflux, so if you suffer from this, there will be an added health benefit.
Eucalyptus oil comes from the leaf of the eucalyptus plant, which is native to Australia. That is another oil that you should not use neat as this can be harsh on the skin, so ensure to dilute it before use. Eucalyptus is good for killing both the bugs and their eggs.
You can add eucalyptus oil to your washer when you’re washing the sheet, and this will also kill mites. You can also mix 10 – 20 drops with 30 ml of water and use to spray the bedding and mattress.
Clove oil comes from the flower buds of the tree, which is native to Indonesia. The scent of Clove oil is overpowering, so be sure to test it before using it. Due to this strong scent, it makes it excellent to use to repel bugs. Clove oil also contains a compound called eugenol, which can be toxic to all insects and can kill them.
Use this by mixing ten drops with 30 ml of water and use to spray bedding, sheets, and mattress. Use in dark corners where they may use for breeding.
Thyme oil comes from the thyme plant, and you should use it with care. Do not use it around children or pregnant women. With this said, it is also very effective against bed bug due to its strong scent and insecticide qualities.
Use as before by mixing 10 – 20 drops for oil with 30 ml of water and spray all bedding, bed sheets, and mattress.
Neem oil comes from the seeds and fruits of the neem tree, which originates in India. In India, the trees alone will repel mosquitoes and flies. The oils have a powerful smell, so be sure to mix with a carrier oil if used on the skin.
For bed bugs, mix ten drops of the oil with 30 ml of water and spray bedding, sheets, and mattress with this mix.
Frankincense oil is not an oil to get rid of bed bugs or kill bed bugs. However, I do feel it is worth a mention as this is fantastic to use with the treatment of a bite from a bed bug. One drop of the oil on a bite will stop the itching in its tracks.
A rule of thumb with blending essential oils is to put no more than 20 drops of oil to 30ml of carrier oil, except for lavender oil. Do not mix more than three oils at once.
Some will argue that essential oils do not work as effectively as store-bought chemicals to kill bed bugs. However, essential oils are safe for the human body when used correctly. Aromatherapy is one of the fastest-growing alternative therapies, and you can purchase the essential oils for minimal cost. They may not rid the bed bugs instantly, but it is often effective after a couple of tries. Not to mention you can bring the beautiful smells of nature into your home at the same time without toxic chemicals.
Before using any oils that you are not familiar with, research them to find out if they are safe for your situation.