8 Best Essential Oils for Bed Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them

8 Best Essential Oils For Bed Bugs-Vivorific Health Llc

Bed bugs are a nightmare; once you get them, it's more difficult to get rid of them than almost any other pest. They're tough to kill, they breed quickly, and their eggs can lie dormant for years before hatching. Adults can live for up to a year without feeding, too.

Often, people resort to fumigating their whole home to get rid of them. That's because it's one of the only ways to be sure that you've wiped out the entire breeding population of adults and all the eggs, too. The downside, of course, is that you'll have to leave your home for some time and your home will be filled with toxic chemicals.

While those chemicals will have dissipated by the time you're allowed to return to your home, you still be uncomfortable with the thought that they were used there.

In addition, some people simply can't afford the costs of fumigation. In addition to paying a pest control company, you also have to find a place to stay during the process, which often costs even more.

There are natural, affordable, and effective methods for removing bedbugs that can work just as well as fumigation, but by far the best approach is to prevent bed bugs from getting a foothold in your home to begin with, or at least to get rid of them before they spread throughout the home.

Essential oils can be an extremely helpful tool in preventing and removing bedbugs, and they're clean, safe, and frankly they smell much better than the pesticides used by pest control companies.

All About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They get their name from the fact that they're nocturnal. Since they're active almost entirely at night, they tend to live and infect beds more than any other part of the home, and most bites occur in bed.

That doesn't mean they only live in beds, though. Bed bugs can be and are found in all parts of the home, and if you're a night owl living with a bed bug infestation you'll likely see bed bugs crawling around on your skin while sitting on the couch watching TV late at night.

Many people mistakenly treat only their beds or bedrooms when trying to remove bedbugs. Even if they only live in your bed right now, they can easily travel to other parts of your home.

Bed bugs are small, flat, oval-shaped insects with a dark brown color. They only eat blood, and adults can live for a year without eating, so they can be very difficult to get rid of.

An individual bed bug only eats once or twice a week, so with minor infestations you may go several days between being bitten.

Body heat and carbon dioxide attract them to you, rather than scent. Since they prefer exposed skin, you're most likely to find bites on your face, neck, arms and legs. A bed bug infestation is not the result of poor hygiene, as is commonly believed.

Hygiene has nothing to do with it, and you can find your home infested with them no matter how clean you are. Bed bugs do not live on skin, so pets and other animals are also not a vector for bed bug infestation.

Instead, bed bugs spread on furniture, clothing, backpacks, and other personal items. They can also spread through proximity- in apartment buildings, for example, it's common for bedbugs to spread through the duct work and walls.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

While its rare, some people do experience an allergic reaction to bed bug bites. Other than these rare cases, bed bug bites are largely harmless. Bed bugs are not known to carry diseases like other biting insects, nor do they inject any sort of toxins.

The biggest problem with bed bug bites is that they're itchy and uncomfortable, not unlike a mosquito bite. While this doesn't sound too bad, a major bed bug infestation can result in dozens of bites every night, and it's enough to drive anyone crazy.

Bites are usually the first sign that you have bed bugs. Since they're active primarily at night and mostly bite while you sleep, it's unusual to spot them before you're bitten. If you're waking up each morning with new bug bites, you know you have bed bugs.

Bed bug bites produce swelling with no redness, although a red spot may appear when the swelling subsides.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to exterminate. If you don't kill every single bed bug, the infestation will come back very quickly. Pesticides are common and effective, but they are not the only option.

Heat is a very effective tool for killing bed bugs. Placing sheets and other fabric in the dryer can kill bed bugs at all life stages, and clothing steamers can kill them, too. One common approach is to buy specially made rubber mattress wrappers that trap the bed bugs inside the mattress.

While this works, it only kills bed bugs that are in the mattress, which may not be all of them, and you'll have to leave it one for over a year, since adults can go that long without eating.

Essential oils can be used to repel bed bugs, just like any other insect. Regular and consistent use of essential oils may even end an infestation by driving the bugs to leave your home in search of other food sources.

Essential oils may work better than other non-pesticide solutions simply because they're easier and more pleasant to use with consistency.

Some essential oils may simply prevent the bed bugs from locating you, while others will actively repel them, or even kill them. Using a combination of several essential oils may prove to be most effective. You can also use essential oils to relieve the symptoms of bed bug bites.

8 Best Essential Oils For Bed Bugs-Vivorific Health_

Best Essential Oils for Bed Bugs

Not every essential oil will repel bed bugs, so it's important to choose the right essential oils. The following oils are all known to be effective against bed bugs.

Clove Essential Oil

Cloves are more commonly used as a spice and an herbal remedy for oral problems. They're dried flower buds that are especially common in Indian and middle eastern cuisine, although their sweet-spicy flavor shows up in desserts all over the world.

Clove oil is famous for it's numbing qualities, and it's a common oral painkiller in Ayurvedic medicine. It's also a powerful antiseptic, and so using cloves to treat dental cavities is very effective both for treating the symptoms and treating the bacteria that cause them.

The active compound in clove oil is eugenol, which kills insects on contact. In fact, spraying clove oil directly on insects like roaches and ants will kill them quickly and effectively. For bed bugs, spraying the oil on your mattress and bedding can kill the bed bugs that are already there, and the lingering smell will repel other bugs, thus making clove oil one of the best essential oils for bed bugs.

This clove oil is steam distilled from India's finest cloves. This gentle extraction process yields the best possible oil by preserving all of the delicate compounds that make the oil so effective.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint is one of the most popular essential oils, both because it's a familiar smell and because it's incredibly versatile. The aroma is both soothing and stimulating, and is especially helpful for treating nausea.

Peppermint's aroma is relaxing and pleasing, and can alleviate respiratory issues like congestion and allergies. It's also a mild pain reliever and has anti inflammatory properties, so it can be used to treat bed bug bites and relieve the swelling and itching.

Peppermint doesn't appear to actually harm insects like bed bugs, but the smell does repel them very effectively. As an added bonus, it can also repel other pests like spiders.

Spraying your bedding with peppermint oil will definitely repel bed bugs, and it'll make your bed smell great. Some people find the aroma so soothing that it actually helps them to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer.

This peppermint oil is steam distilled from high-quality peppermint leaves, and it has an unusually high menthol content. That means it's especially potent and pleasant, so it'll be even more effective against bed bugs.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil has several health benefits including: alleviating headaches and energizing the body.

Vivorific’s peppermint essential oil is: 100% Pure and natural, free from fillers, additives and harmful chemicals, vegan and kosher certified and sealed with tamper evident closure and Euro style dropper cap. 

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood Oil is commonly used as an outdoor insect repellent in gardening, and it's very effective. In fact, cedar trees produce this oil specifically to repel insects to protect themselves from predation. It is literally a natural insecticide.

The aroma of cedar oil repels insect, and if the oil comes in to physical contact with them it's lethal. That means cedarwood oil has a double effect as an insecticide, as it both repels and kills them.

If you've ever smelled a cedarwood scented candle, or just fresh cut cedarwood, you know what cedarwood oil smells like. It's a sweet, woody, fresh smell that's remarkably pleasant.

Cedarwood has numerous other benefits, as well. It's an anti inflammatory, so you can apply it to bed bug bites for quick relief. It also regulates blood pressure, improves sleep, and can even treat acne.

This cedarwood oil is steam distilled from Moroccan cedar trees. The scent is a bit sharper than other cedarwood oils, and the oil itself is pure and potent.

Lavender Essential Oil

There are times when it seems like lavender can do literally anything. Lavender may be the single most versatile essential oil; it can treat anxiety, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and repel insects.

Because of its anti inflammatory effects, lavender can be used to treat bed bug bites and relieve the symptoms of the bites.

Lavender oil contains the compound linalool, which gives lavender it's distinctive, soothing aroma. That aroma, which is so soothing to us, is quite offensive to bed bugs and other insects. It doesn't seem that lavender oil is directly harmful to insects, but the smell certainly repels them.

As an added benefit, using lavender oil will probably help you sleep better too.

Steam distilled from the best Bulgarian lavender flowers, this lavender oil is pure, clean, and strong. It's an ideal oil to use in your home because there are no added ingredients and it has dozens of uses.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil is mostly known for its application in beauty and hygiene products, but like most essential oils it has a wide range of uses that many people don't know about. It boosts the immune system, has anti fungal properties, and it's a natural stimulant.

Tea tree oil soaks into an insects exoskeleton and suffocates them, killing them quickly and efficiently. Because it's fatal to them, insects will avoid tea tree oil when they smell it.

The best tea tree oils, like this one, come from China and are steam distilled from tea tree leaves. This yields an oil with a strong, fresh, scent and a high potency that will prove very effective as an insecticide.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is often used just for it's pleasing scent, but it has many benefits. It can treat flu symptoms, boost the immune system, treats nasal congestion, and has antibacterial properties as well.

Eucalyptus oil can kill insects immediately if used in large enough quantities, and in smaller quantities can be fatal, albeit more slowly. As with other oils on this list, insects may avoid areas that have been saturated with eucalyptus oil, since they smell a substance that's fatal to them.

Eucalyptus is native to Australia, and that's still where the best Eucalyptus is found. This oil is steam distilled from the best Australian eucalyptus trees. It's sure to help you beat a bed bug infestation.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon oil is most common in cleaning products, where it provides a fresh scent as well as powerful cleaning properties. It helps to relieve stress, promotes sleep by relieving insomnia, and can also treat fevers.

The scent of lemon oil repels insects, although it may work best in combination with other oils rather than on its own. As with other oils listed here, it probably doesn't actually harm them, but they still find the smell offensive and it will repel them.

While many oils are distilled, lemon oil can be easily obtained by pressing lemon peels. This cold pressed lemon oil is made with pristine Italian lemons. It has a wonderfully bright, fresh scent that instantly freshens up a room.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil has several health benefits including: supporting the immune system, alleviating stress and reducing insomnia.

Vivorific’s peppermint essential oil is: 100% Pure and natural, free from fillers, additives and harmful chemicals, vegan and kosher certified and sealed with tamper evident closure and Euro style dropper cap. 

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense has been used for medicinal and religious purposes for thousands of years. Frankincense comes from the sap of a species of tree native to the Middle East, India, and parts of North Africa. The oil is distilled from that sap.

Frankincense is a very powerful anti inflammatory, so it's an excellent choice for treating bug bites. It's also a very soothing scent that can help you to relax- a valuable benefit in a situation as stressful as a bed bug infestation.

Frankincense has been used as a natural insect repellent since ancient times. The smoke of burning frankincense keeps mosquitoes away, much like modern citronella candles. Bugs hate the smell of frankincense, so it's an effective insect repellent.

This frankincense comes conveniently packaged in a roll-on bottle, so it's an ideal choice for treating bed bug bites. The only ingredients are frankincense oil and MCT oil, so you don't have to worry about any toxic ingredients.

How to Use Essential Oils as Insect Repellent

The best way to use essential oils as insect repellents is to mix a few drops of essential oils with water in a spray bottle. Once you have your anti-bed bug spray mixed, you'll need to apply it correctly.

First, spray your mattress, box spring, and bedding thoroughly. Once that's done, spray all along the base boards in every room of your home. Bed bugs like to hide in the walls, and covering the base boards in insect repellent prevents them from climbing the walls or finding cracks to hide in.

Next, spray down all of your fabric-covered furniture. Couches, chairs, guest beds, etc. Every place where bed bugs could potentially hide needs to get a good dose of insect repellent. You don't want to drive them out of your bedroom and into a different room in the house.

The next step is critical: keep applying that spray. Remember: adult bed bugs can survive for a year without eating. One application isn't going to be enough, and you definitely want to reapply the spray before you see bed bugs again. Two or even three applications a week for a year should do the trick.


Essential oils can be a great way to get rid of bed bugs. They're non-toxic, effective, and they smell great. It might take a bit more work on your part than other treatments, but it's much more pleasant and usually much cheaper than using pesticides. Any of the essential oils on this list will work, but for best results mix a few of them together.

Are there any other essential oils for bed bugs which were not mentioned in the blog post? Share them in the comments below.

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