How to make a Petroleum Jelly Trap for Bed Bugs

using Petroleum Jelly to trap Bed Bugs

In this article, we will answer the question: How to make a Petroleum Jelly Trap for Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs have long been a nuisance, causing sleepless nights and itchy bites for many people. In the search for solutions to combat these persistent pests, some have turned to a common household product: petroleum jelly.

Petroleum jelly, also known as Vaseline, is a versatile substance famous for its moisturizing properties. But can it also help in the fight against bed bugs? In this article, we will explore the potential uses of petroleum jelly for dealing with bed bugs and whether it can be an effective tool in your battle against these unwanted intruders.

What is Petroleum Jelly?

Petroleum jelly, also known as petrolatum, is a semi-solid mixture derived from petroleum, a naturally occurring fossil fuel. You may know this substance as Vaseline. It is a translucent, smooth, and odorless substance that has been used for various purposes for over a century. Vaseline is typically composed of a combination of mineral oils and waxes. Which gives it its characteristic texture and properties.

Petroleum jelly is widely used for its moisturizing and protective properties. It forms a barrier on the skin, helping to lock in moisture and prevent water loss. Many people use Vaseline to moisturize dry or chapped skin, soothe minor burns or irritations, and protect the skin from harsh weather conditions.

Additionally, Vaseline has other applications beyond skincare. You can use it as a lubricant for various purposes, such as easing the insertion of medical devices or treating diaper rash. It is also sometimes used as a component in certain cosmetic products, lip balms, and hair products.

It’s important to note that petroleum jelly is for external use only and should not be ingested or used on open wounds. If you have specific concerns or questions about the use of petroleum jelly, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist.


Does Petroleum jelly stop Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs have difficulty walking on surfaces coated with petroleum jelly. The thick and sticky consistency of Petroleum jelly can block their movement, making it challenging for them to escape. If they come into direct contact with Vaseline, they may get trapped and find it difficult to escape.

However, please note that they are highly adept at finding alternative routes or hiding in cracks and crevices. While Vaseline can create a temporary barrier, it may not completely prevent these pests from reaching their intended destination if there are alternative pathways available.

Another economical way to trap bed bugs is using kidney bean leaves. To know more check our article on Bean Leaves and Bed Bugs.


Do Bed Bugs like petroleum jelly?

Bed bugs do not have an attraction to petroleum jelly. Vaseline does not emit any specific scent or chemical that they are naturally drawn to. They are primarily attracted to heat, carbon dioxide, and certain chemicals emitted by humans, which signal the presence of a potential host for feeding.


How to make a Petroleum Jelly Trap for Bed Bugs?

Creating petroleum jelly traps for bed bugs is a straightforward process. Here’s a simple method:

  • Start with a shallow container: Choose a shallow dish or container, such as a small bowl or a plastic lid, with smooth sides. Make sure it’s wide enough to accommodate the bed bugs.
  • Apply petroleum jelly: Coat the inner walls of the container with a thick layer of petroleum jelly. Ensure that the entire inner surface is covered, leaving no gaps or dry spots.
  • Place the trap strategically: Position the traps near areas where they are likely to travel or hide, such as along baseboards, near the bed legs, or under furniture.
  • Monitor and dispose: Check the traps regularly for trapped bed bugs. If any bugs become stuck in the petroleum jelly, carefully remove and dispose of them by placing them in a sealed plastic bag. Reapply petroleum jelly as needed.


Petroleum jelly traps work by creating a sticky barrier that prevents bed bugs from moving freely, causing them to become trapped.


Vaseline vs Olive oil for Bed Bugs Traps

When it comes to bed bug traps, you can use both Vaseline and olive oil as lubricants to create barriers that trap and immobilize the bugs. However, there are a few factors to consider when choosing between Vaseline and olive oil:

  • Stickiness: Vaseline tends to be stickier and thicker than olive oil, which can make it more effective at trapping bed bugs. The high viscosity of Vaseline allows it to create a stronger barrier.
  • Longevity: Vaseline has a longer shelf life and does not degrade or evaporate as quickly as olive oil. It can maintain its stickiness for a longer period, increasing the effectiveness of the trap.
  • Availability: Vaseline is readily available in most households and you can easily find it in stores. Olive oil, on the other hand, may not be as commonly found in every household.


Ultimately, you could use both Vaseline and olive oil as lubricants in bed bug traps. However, due to its stickier nature and longer-lasting properties, Vaseline seems to be a better choice for this purpose.


Does Petroleum Jelly stop Bed bugs Bites?

Petroleum jelly is not an effective method for preventing bed bug bites. They feed by piercing the skin with their mouthparts to extract blood, and applying Vaseline to the skin does not act as a deterrent or barrier to prevent their bites.


Homemade Bed bug Repellent for Skin

While there are various homemade recipes and natural ingredients that some people claim can repel bed bugs. You should note that their effectiveness is not scientifically proven. However, if you wish to try a homemade bed bug repellent, here is a recipe you can consider:


  • 10-15 drops of essential oil (choose one or a combination of: lavender oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, or citronella oil)
  • 1 cup of water



  1. In a spray bottle, combine the essential oil(s) with the water.
  2. Ensure the bottle is securely closed and vigorously shake to thoroughly blend the ingredients.
  3. Before use, conduct a patch test on a small area of your skin to check for any adverse reactions.
  4. If no negative reactions occur, you can lightly spray the homemade repellent onto your skin, focusing on exposed areas.


It’s important to understand that homemade repellents may have limited effectiveness and may need to be reapplied frequently. Additionally, some essential oils can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals, so it’s important to exercise caution and discontinue use if any adverse effects occur.

If you prefer to use electronic devices to repel bed bugs. Then, you can have a look at our article on Ultrasonic Pest Repellers and Bed Bugs.


Can Vaseline provide Relief from itching caused by Bed bug Bites?

Vaseline (petroleum jelly) can provide temporary relief for itching caused by bed bug bites. Its thick and oily texture can create a protective barrier over the bite area, helping to moisturize the skin and potentially reducing itching.



In this article, we answered the question: How to make a Petroleum Jelly Trap for Bed Bugs?
While petroleum jelly is a widely used product with various benefits, its effectiveness in combating these insects remains uncertain.

While it may provide temporary relief by moisturizing the skin and potentially creating a physical barrier, petroleum jelly does not have inherent properties that repel or eliminate these insects. Dealing with an infestation requires a comprehensive approach, including professional pest control measures such as using traps designed for Bed Bugs. If you are interested about this topic you could check our Bed Bugs Traps Buying Guide.