Should You Use Essential Oils for Bed Bugs? Let us Help!

By Allison Clayton

Clove, citrus, and lavender are popular smells for candles and oil diffusers. Did you know these scents can even repel some bugs?

Many household insects turn the other way when they catch a whiff of an unpleasant smell. Peppermint oil may help keep mice away for good, but can essential oils work for all pests? What about essential oils for bed bugs?

Bed bugs can ruin your sweet dreams and leave you with painful bites in the morning. Keep reading to find out if DIY oil pest control works against bed bugs and other tips on how to keep these nightmare pests away. 

Essential Oil Pest Control 

Essential oils are utilized for holistic remedies and hair and skin care. With a few drops in an oil diffuser, these scents can make your home smell squeaky clean too. Surprisingly, many homeowners tout their use as homemade pest control products. 

It seems easy enough. Spritz a few drops of your favorite scent around pest hotspots to remedy your pest problem. But is it that easy?

Depending on the pest, essential oils can help deter the number of critters on your property. Rodents have sensitive sniffers, so a high concentration of certain oils like peppermint or eucalyptus can keep them away. 

Mixing a powerful scent with water can create an easy-to-use homemade spray. Here’s a list of essential oils often utilized in at-home pest control treatments:

  • Sage
  • Clove
  • Citronella 
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint 
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary 

A few drops of your favorite oil can deter insects and rodents, and you can customize the scent to work for your specific pest problem. 

Peppermint oil is a solution for common pest infestations, while lavender and sage work well against pesky flies and ticks. Citrus and minty oils may help prevent cockroaches from creeping through the kitchen or bathroom. 

Will Essential Oils Work as Pest Control?

Essential oils for bed bugs, mice, or cockroaches seem like a simple solution to a traditionally challenging problem. Many homeowners often require extensive pest control treatments to make a dent in a sizable infestation. 

For some pests, essential oils can work in conjunction with other methods. In high quantities, peppermint oil can prevent rodents from invading your food, clothing, and storage boxes. 

For insects with heightened senses of smell, using specific scents can even ward them away from certain areas. Cockroaches are notorious for their presence in kitchens, hiding under appliances, cabinets, and pantries. 

Many citrus cleaners or water-based mixtures filled with your favorite fruity or earthy smell will turn these pests off. 

While essential oils can work to keep pests away from areas in your home, they won’t completely eliminate the problem. Unfortunately, oils don’t work the same as pesticides, so your pest problem may persist unabated. 

If your strong smells manage to push away the bugs, they could continue to flourish elsewhere, leaving you with an unseen infestation that grows by the day. Whenever you want to try essential oils as your pest control solution, consider the limitations of the products. 

Can I Use Essential Oils for Bed Bugs?

Placing soaked cotton balls or spritzing sweet scents won’t fully control creepy creatures, but can a direct approach work keep them at bay?

For many in proof.’s service areas, bed bugs are a major pest problem. A bed bug infestation is stressful, especially whenever they interfere with a good night’s sleep. Essential oils for bed bugs seem ideal, but will they work?

Surprisingly, essential oils might be a great choice for bed bug problems! According to a Purdue University study, the following essential oils are effective at eliminating bed bugs with a saturated application:

  • Carvacrol
  • Thyme
  • Lemongrass
  • Clove

Other oils like thyme, carvacrol, camphor tree oil, and linalool successfully eliminate bed bugs when used as a fumigant. Because these essential oils derive from many safe-to-consume plants, they pose little to no threat to humans. 

Essential oils are less likely to cause reactions and are a natural alternative to commercial pesticides at your local hardware store. 

However, you’ll need greater concentrations of these products to see substantial results. Pesticides or heat treatments for bed bugs quickly eliminate pest problems with relatively few products compared to the amount you’ll require for essential oils. 

Plus, for some of these oils, directly spraying the pests is the only way to eliminate them. Bed bugs are hard to see, as they often congregate along seams or difficult-to-reach nooks and crannies. 

If your bed is by a wall or closet, bed bugs may hide in wall trim, clothing, storage bins, or other furniture. They can travel over 100 feet in a single night to find their next meal. Now, that’s some dedication to dinner! 

While the study proves that essential oils for bed bugs are an option, you may want to consider other alternatives when you have a bed bug infestation. These pests have slowly adapted to common pesticides, so essential oils on their own may not work. 

Using essential oils with other pest control products could mitigate your problem, but avoid relying on DIY products to curb your bed bug infestation. If you neglect to eliminate all the bugs, they could breed and infest your bed again!

Directly spritzing the other pests around your home will eliminate the ones you see but won’t get rid of any hidden insects. Unless you can find their hiding place, colony, or hive, we suggest using other pest control methods.

Call proof. Pest Control for Your Bed Bug Problems!

proof. pest control employee checking under a bedsheet for bed bugs

Instead of struggling through a bed bug infestation or using essential oils for bed bugs, trust proof. pest control to remove the problem for you!

Bed bugs are nerve-wracking on their own, and DIY pest control can make the process even harder. No one wants to worry about the uncertainty of homemade pest control methods, and our EPA-Approved and organic products can eliminate stubborn pest issues. 

Contact us today to learn more! 

Call proof. pest control at , or send us a message online.

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