4 Household Scents that may Keep Bed Bugs Away

Bed Bugs

Truthfully speaking, scent isn’t an effective way of keeping the bed bugs away, but it doesn’t hurt to use it as one of several tactics to keep your home clear of bed bugs. Consider applying the following scents in your house during peak bed bug season.

Bed Bug Spray Scent

Blood Orange Essential Oil
Blood orange is one of many essential oils that may help repel bed bugs. Researchers at Rutgers university conducted a test on the effectiveness of essential oil against bed bugs and found that blood orange was the most effective of the oils tested.

There are a number of ways you can use essential oils to repel bed bugs. One method is to add several drops of essential oil into a diffuser. This is a quick way to fill up the bedroom space with the natural fragrance.

Another method is to spray diluted oil. Mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a medium-sized spray bottle. Apply the spray on areas where the bed bugs are likely to appear, such as the foot of the bed and the inner spaces of the bedroom cabinets.

Please take all safety precautions when you use essential oils at home. Just because it is made of natural ingredient doesn’t mean that it isn’t toxic. Some types of essential oils can be toxic when consumed. They can also be toxic to household pets.

Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another type of essential oil that may discourage bed bugs from getting too close. Bugs, in general, like to stay away from tea tree oil because a high concentration of it can dissolve their exoskeleton.

In addition to using the spraying and diffusing method, you could also add a few drops of tea tree oil with regular detergent the next time you wash the bedding materials. Some laundry detergent products already contain tea tree oil.

Cinnamon Powder or Cinnamon Sticks
The strong aromatic scent of cinnamon spice may help repel bed bugs. Cinnamon oil is an active ingredient in many natural pest repellent products. Keep in mind that cinnamon won’t kill the bed bugs, it will only repel them.

If you don’t mind the smell of cinnamon then consider placing a few cinnamon sticks in the bedroom. You can place them next to the bed legs, the bed headboard, inside the closet, and any other bed bug hiding spots.

Rubbing Alcohol
Bed bugs will try and stay clear of rubbing alcohol because it can dry their body out. The smell of rubbing alcohol may also discourage bed bugs from laying eggs in the vicinity. A study at Rutgers found that spraying rubbing alcohol can kill up to half of bed bugs.

Every once in a while, clean and disinfect the bedroom with rubbing alcohol. Make sure it is only applied on surfaces and materials, such as glass, that can handle the alcohol content. 70% alcohol may actually be more effective at disinfecting than 99% alcohol because the extra water can slow down the alcohol evaporation process.

Does Lavender Really Repel Bed Bugs?

Lavender is frequently quoted as an effective home remedy for repelling bed bugs. This may seem strange considering the beautiful and calming scent associated with lavender essential oil.

To be realistic, lavender in any form is probably not going to do much against a bed bug infestation. Time is truly of the essence when you fight bed bugs. The last thing you want to rely on is a natural remedy that some folks swear by based on their anecdotal experience.

Sam at Organic Lesson

is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.