Best essential oils for killing bed bugs

The10 Best Essential Oils For Killing Bed Bugs


Dealing with bed bugs can be frustrating. They cause sleepless nights and itchy bites. Many people are now using essential oils to eliminate these annoying bugs.

This article will look at the top 10 essential oils that effectively kill bed bugs. Whether you want a chemical-free option or need more choices to control pests, we have you covered.
Let’s explore the power of essential oils in fighting bed bugs.

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. They can be used in different ways, including as a natural insecticide.

The top 10 essential oils to use in your fight against bed bugs are:

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Lemon Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Glove Oil
  • Lemongrass Oil
  • Citronella Oil
  • Thyme Oil
  • Neem Oil


What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are made from plants. You can use different plant parts like leaves, flowers, stems, and bark to create essential oils. A distilling process is used to extract the oils from the plant material. This process involves using water or steam. Young Living is a well-known company that produces top-quality essential oils. They are recognized for their dedication to producing pure and high-quality essential oils.

Essential Oils and Bed Bugs

There is a growing awareness of the dangers associated with chemical use. With this awareness, people are turning to alternative methods more and more. In a groundbreaking study by Purdue University, researchers discovered that essential oils derived from certain aromatic plants can effectively eliminate bed bugs.
One of the fastest-growing alternative methods for killing bed bugs is the use of essential oils. They have become increasingly popular due to their completely natural and readily available nature.

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10 Best Essential Oils For Killing Bed Bugs

1. Tea Tree Essential Oil

The scientific name is Melaleuca oil, so when purchasing, look out for this name. The oil comes from the Tea Tree leaves found in Southeast Queensland and new south wales, Australia.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

It is known to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic abilities and can safely be used on the skin. It is also one of the best essential oils for bed bugs.

Combine this mix into a spray bottle to spray your bed sheets, bed linen, and mattress. It is also suitable for treating eczema and psoriasis, so if this is something that Tea Tree leaves, this could be an added benefit. Read more details about Tea Tree essential oil for bed bugs.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Handcraft Tea Tree Essential Oil 

  • 100% PURE & NATURAL.
  • BLENDS WELL WITH different types of natural ingredients.

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender comes from the plant’s flower and has many health benefits. One of these 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 Essential Oil

Lavender is the safest essential oil 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. Mix 30 to 40 drops of lavender essential plant flower and distill it 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 using it after treating your bed to keep the little critters at bay. Lavender also balances very well with tea tree.

Lavender Essential Oil 

Lavender Essential Oil

Handcraft Lavender Essential Oil

  • LAVENDER OIL BLENDS WELL WITH different types of natural ingredients.

3. Lemon Essential Oil

These oils come from a small evergreen tree found in Southeast Asia and are used to invigorate your mind. Therefore, it is best not to use your bedding too close to bedtime. The citrus in these oils creates an environment where bed bugs cannot survive.

Lemon Essential Oil

You can use either of these oils or both in the following ways. 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 on 10 slides, each with 30 ml of water, spraying your bedding and mattress.

Lemon and Lemongrass are unsafe to use directly on the skin due to their high acidity. Therefore, always ensure that you dilute them.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil

Handcraft Lemon Essential Oil

  • 100% PURE & NATURAL.
  • BLENDS WELL WITH different types of natural ingredients.

4. Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella Essential Oil comes from the leaves and stems of Lemongrass and, therefore, balances well with lemon and lemongrass oil. You could add this oil to the above mixes.

Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella is universally known to repel bugs of all kinds, making it an excellent addition. Citronella should also not be used neat on the skin, so always dilute.

Citronella Essential Oil 

Citronella Essential Oil

Healing Solutions 60ml Oils

  • Highest Quality Pure & Natural Citronella.
  • Gc-ms Tested for Purity & Dilution
  • Bottled in a 60ml Glass Bottle with Built-In Eyedropper.
  • Used for a Variety of Uses & Applications.
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5. Peppermint Essential Oils

Peppermint Essential Oils 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.

Peppermint Essential oil

Mix 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 it 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 there will be an added health benefit if you suffer from this.

Peppermint Essential Oil 

Peppermint Essential oil

100% Pure, Uncut – GreenHealth

  • 100% pure, natural & uncut Japanese Peppermint (Mentha arvensis).
  • Steam distilled from Mentha arvensis leaves
  • 16 fl oz F-Style plastic jug, w/ child-resistant cap.
  • Pure and can be diluted for therapeutic grade and other applications.
  • Mixes well with basil, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, myrrh, pine, and rosemary to create your oil application

6. Eucalyptus Essential Oils

It comes from the leaf of the eucalyptus plant, which is native to Australia. That is another oil you should not use neat as it can be harsh on the skin, so ensure to dilute it before use. Eucalyptus is good for killing both bugs and their eggs.

Eucalyptus Essential Oils

Read this article for more information about Eucalyptus oil

You can add it to your washer while washing the sheet, which will also kill mites. You can also mix 10 – 20 drops with 30 ml of water and use them to spray the bedding and mattress.

Eucalyptus Essential Oils

Eucalyptus Essential Oils

Handcraft Eucalyptus Essential Oil

  • 100% PURE & NATURAL
  • BLENDS WELL WITH different types of natural ingredients.
  • Bottled in the USA.

7. Ola Prima Essential Oils

Ola Prime Essential Oil comes from the tree’s flower buds native to Indonesia. The scent of Clove oil is overpowering, so be sure to test it before using it. This strong scent makes it excellent to use to repel bugs. Clove oil also contains a compound called eugenol, which can be toxic to all insects and kill them.

Ola Prima Essential Oils

Use this by mixing ten drops with 30 ml of water and using it to spray bedding, sheets, and mattress. Use in dark corners where they may use for breeding.

Ola Prima Oils 

Ola Prima Essential Oils

Bergamot Essential Oil 

  • Certified USDA Thyme.
  • 100% Pure Thyme.
  • Superior Experience: Healing Solutions Thyme is a great candidate for your new favourite oil!
  • Healing Solutions Offers a Purity Guarantee

8. Thyme Essential Oils

Thyme oil comes from the thyme plant, and you should use it carefully. Do not use it around children or pregnant women. It is also very effective against bed bugs due to its strong scent and insecticide qualities.

Thyme Essential Oil

Use as before by mixing 10 – 20 drops of oil with 30 ml of water and spraying all bedding, bed sheets, and mattress.

Thyme Essential Oils

Thyme Essential Oil

Healing Solutions Organic

  • Certified USDA
  • 100% Pure
  • Superior Experience: Healing Solutions Thyme is a great candidate for your new favourite oil!
  • Healing Solutions Offers a Purity Guarantee

9. Neem Essential Oils

Neem Essential 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 smell powerful, so mix them with carrier oil if used on the skin.

Neem Essential Oil

Mix ten drops of the oil with 30 ml of water for bed bugs and spray bedding, sheets, and mattress with this mix.

Neem Essential Oils

Neem Essential Oil

Handcraft Frankincense Essential Oil 

  • FRANKINCENSE OIL BLENDS WELL WITH different types of natural ingredients.

10. Frankincense Essential Oils

Frankincense Essential Oils

Frankincense oil is not an oil to get rid of bed bugs or kill bed bugs. However, I feel it is worth mentioning as this is fantastic to use with treating a bite from a bed bug. One drop of the oil on the edge will stop the itching in its tracks.

Frankincense Essential Oils

Frankincense Essential Oils

Handcraft Frankincense Essential Oil 


How to mix essential oils for bed bugs?

To create a bed bug control mixture using essential oils, dilute them in a carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil. This mixture can then be applied to your bedding or other areas where bed bugs might be found. Here is a simple guideline for mixing essential oils for bed bug control:

  1. Choose the desired oils.
  2. Measure out the desired amount of the oils. A good rule of thumb is to use around 5-10 drops per 1 ounce (30 mL) of carrier oil.
  3. Mix the oils in a small container, such as a glass jar.
  4. Mix the oils thoroughly. You can use a small spoon or a toothpick to stir the oils until they are well combined.
  5. Apply the mixture to the areas where bed bugs may be present. You can use a cotton swab or a small spray bottle to apply the mixture to your bedding, furniture, and other areas where bed bugs may be present. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label of the product you are using, as some oils may need to be diluted further or may not be suitable for use on certain materials.

Using them as a supplement to other pest control methods rather than a standalone solution is important. It may take multiple applications to eliminate bed bugs effectively, and following a thorough treatment plan to address all stages of the bed bug life cycle is important.

Safety Precautions When Using Essential Oils for Bed Bugs

While essential oils can effectively and naturally control bed bugs, using them safely is important to avoid potential health risks. Here are some important safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Always dilute essential oils properly before use, according to the recommended dilution ratio for each specific oil.
  • Use them in well-ventilated areas to avoid inhaling concentrated vapours.
  • Avoid direct contact with eyes, mucous membranes, and sensitive areas of the skin.
  • Keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  • If you experience any adverse reactions, such as skin irritation or respiratory issues, stop using the oils immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.
  • If you are pregnant or have a medical condition, consult a healthcare provider before using them.

By following these safety precautions, you can use them safely and effectively to control bed bugs without putting yourself or others at risk.

Ensure that the oils you choose to fight bed bugs are pure and from a reputable brand. A general rule of thumb is that if the bottle has a scientific name, it is pure. So, if you were looking at lavender, this would also show the name Lavendula Angustifolia.


What essential oils are good for killing bed bugs?

Several essential oils have shown the potential to kill bed bugs. The most effective ones include tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and clove oil. These oils contain insecticidal compounds and can help eliminate bed bugs.

What essential oils do bed bugs hate?

Bed bugs are known to dislike certain scents, and essential oils with strong aromas can repel them. Bed bugs commonly dislike lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and citronella oils. Regularly using these oils may help deter bed bugs from infesting your sleeping area.

What essential oil kills bed bug eggs?

Essential oils that possess ovicidal properties can effectively kill bed bug eggs. Among them, tea tree oil and clove oil are considered to be the most effective. These oils can penetrate the protective outer layer of the eggs and disrupt their development, ultimately leading to their demise.

Can I spray peppermint oil on my bed?

While peppermint oil is known to repel bed bugs, spraying it on your bed or bedding is not recommended. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can stain or damage the fabric. Instead, mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and use it to treat areas around your bed, such as cracks, crevices, and baseboards.

What scents attract bed bugs?

Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide (CO2) and body heat. These cues help them locate their human hosts. They are not attracted to any particular scents or essential oils. But, some researchers propose that the smell of dirty laundry might attract bed bugs. This is because it contains chemical cues that resemble the scent of human skin.


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