How to use Essential Oils for Bed Bugs

essential oils to kill and repel bed bugs

In this article we will answer the question: How to use essential oils for bed bugs?
We will explore the effective use of essential oils to tackle bed bug infestations. Discover simple and natural methods to repel and eliminate these unwanted pests from your home using the aromatic properties of essential oils.

Say goodbye to bed bugs and hello to a fresh, pest-free environment with this handy essential oils tutorial.


What do bed bugs look like and how can I identify them?

They are small insects with a flat, oval shape and a size similar to that of an apple seed. They are typically brown or reddish-brown. Here are some ways to identify them:

  • Appearance: They have a flat body with six legs and a segmented abdomen.
  • Color: Unfed bed bugs are brownish, but after feeding on blood, they may appear reddish or engorged.
  • Behavior: They are active at night and are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide. They prefer to feed on human or animal hosts.
  • Eggs and Nymphs: Bed bug eggs are tiny and pearly-white, while nymphs are smaller and lighter in color than adults.
  • Signs of Infestation: Look for dark stains (excrement), shed skins, and small blood stains on bedding or furniture. You can find live bed bugs or their eggs in cracks, crevices, and mattress seams. (source)


Misconceptions and Myths about Bed Bugs

There are several common misconceptions or myths about bed bugs. Here are a few examples:

  • Myth: Bed bugs are only found in dirty or unkempt environments.
  • Fact: They can be found regardless in clean and dirty environments. They are attracted to humans and animals, not necessarily to uncleanliness.


  • Myth: They cannot be detected with the naked eye due to their small size.
  • Fact: While bed bugs are small, they are visible to the naked eye. Adult bed bugs are about 8 millimeters, and their eggs are even smaller.


  • Myth: Bed bugs are only found in beds.
  • Fact: Although they are called bed bugs, they can infest other areas like furniture, cracks in walls, luggage, and clothing. They can travel and hide in various places.


  • Myth: Bed bugs transmit diseases.
  • Fact: While bed bug bites can cause itching and discomfort, they are not known to transmit diseases to humans. Their bites are mainly a nuisance.


How to use Essential Oils for Bed Bugs

Concerning essential oils for bed bugs, here are a few things to consider:

  • Diluted Sprays: Mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray the solution on areas where they are suspected or commonly found, such as bed frames, cracks, crevices, and baseboards. Repeat the application regularly.
  • Direct Application: Apply a small amount of diluted essential oil directly to bed bug-infested areas using a cotton ball or cloth. Focus on spots where they hide, such as mattress seams, furniture joints, and corners.
  • Steam Treatment: Add a few drops of essential oil to the water reservoir of a steam cleaner. Use the steam cleaner to treat infested areas, such as mattresses, upholstery, and carpets. The combination of heat and volatile oil can help eliminate bed bugs.
  • Sachets or Pouches: Fill small fabric sachets or pouches with dried herbs or cotton balls soaked in essential oil. Place these sachets in drawers, closets, and other areas susceptible to infestation. The aroma can repel bed bugs.
  • Infused Bedding: Add a few drops of essential oil to unscented laundry detergent when washing bedding, such as sheets, pillowcases, and mattress covers. The scent may help repel bed bugs.


Remember to follow the specific instructions and guidelines for each essential oil, including proper dilution ratios and safety precautions.


What are the recommended concentrations or dilutions for using Essential Oils against Bed Bugs?

The recommended concentrations or dilutions for using essential oils against bed bugs can vary depending on the specific essential oil and the intended use. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Diluted Sprays: For a spray solution, a common dilution ratio is about 10-15 drops of essential oil per 8 ounces (240 ml) of water. However, this can vary depending on the potency of the herbal oil and personal preference. We recommend you to begin with a lower concentration and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Direct Application: When applying essential oils directly to bed bug-infested areas, you should dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil. Such as almond oil or coconut oil. A typical dilution ratio is 5-10 drops of essential oil per ounce (30 ml) of carrier oil. This helps to prevent skin irritation and allows for better application control.
  • Steam Treatment: Add a few drops (3-5 drops) of essential oil to the water reservoir of a steam cleaner. The steam will disperse the herbal oil throughout the treatment area.
  • Sachets or Pouches: For sachets or pouches filled with dried herbs or cotton balls soaked in essential oil, a concentration of 10-20 drops of essential oil per sachet is commonly used. Adjust the amount based on the desired strength of the aroma.


It’s important to note that essential oils are potent and can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals. Perform a patch test before using them on larger areas and discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur.


How do you make bed bug spray with essential oils?

To make a bed bug spray with essential oils, you can follow these simple steps:

  • Choose your essential oils: Select essential oils known for their potential effectiveness against bed bugs, such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, lemongrass oil or clove oil. (source)
  • Dilute the essential oils: Essential oils are highly concentrated and you should dilute them before use. Mix a few drops of your chosen essential oils with water in a spray bottle. A general guideline is to use about 10-15 drops of essential oil per 8 ounces (240 ml) of water.
  • Shake well: Close the spray bottle and shake it vigorously to ensure proper mixing of the herbal oils with the water.
  • Test on a small area: Before using the spray on larger surfaces or fabrics, we recommend you to test it on a small, inconspicuous area to check for any adverse reactions or staining.
  • Apply to infested areas: Spray the mixture directly on areas where they are found or suspected, such as bed frames, mattresses, cracks, crevices, and baseboards. Be thorough in your application, covering as many potential hiding spots as possible.
  • Repeat regularly: For best results, reapply the spray regularly, especially after cleaning or vacuuming the treated areas, as essential oils may evaporate or lose their effectiveness over time.


One essential oil that is showing good results against bed bugs is lemongrass oil. To learn more you can check our article on Lemongrass Oil and Bed Bugs.


How often should Essential Oils be reapplied for Bed Bugs?

The frequency of reapplication for essential oils in bed bug control can depend on various factors, including the specific essential oil used, the severity of the infestation, and the desired level of effectiveness. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Diluted Sprays: For diluted spray solutions, it’s advisable to reapply every few days or as needed. Essential oil sprays can lose their potency over time, so regular reapplication helps to maintain their effectiveness.
  • Direct Application: If applying essential oils directly to bed bug-infested areas. We recommend you to reapply the oils every few days or when the scent begins to dissipate. They can become tolerant to the oils over time, so regular application helps to reinforce the repellent or insecticidal effects.
  • Steam Treatment: When using essential oils in a steam cleaner for bed bug treatment, you should add the oils to the water reservoir with each use. This ensures that the steam carries the scent and properties of the volatile oil during each treatment.
  • Sachets or Pouches: For sachets or pouches filled with dried herbs or cotton balls soaked in essential oil, it’s a good practice to replace or refresh them every few weeks or as the scent diminishes. This helps to ensure a consistent aroma and repellent effect.


Can natural remedies be used on different surfaces, such as mattresses or furniture, for treating Bed Bugs?

Yes, you can use many of the natural remedies, including essential oils, on different surfaces. Such as mattresses, furniture, and other areas where they hide. However, it’s important to consider the specific recommendations for each remedy and surface to ensure safe and effective application.

Here are some considerations:

  • Mattresses: You can use essential oils on mattresses, but it’s essential to dilute them properly and use them in moderation. Spray diluted essential oil solutions on the seams, edges, and corners of the mattress. Avoid saturating the mattress, as excessive moisture can lead to mold or damage.
  • Furniture: You can use essential oils on furniture to target bed bugs. You can apply diluted solutions to cracks, crevices, and other hiding spots where they may be present. Test a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture first to ensure there are no adverse effects.
  • Upholstery: If treating upholstered furniture, consider using steam treatment with aromatic oils. Steam can penetrate the fabric and deliver the scent and properties of the essential oils to the bed bugs hiding within. Ensure that the fabric can withstand steam and that the essential oils are safe for the upholstery material.
  • Carpets and Rugs: You can use essential oils on carpets and rugs by diluting them in water and using a spray bottle to apply the solution. Concentrate on areas where they are likely to hide, such as along the edges, under furniture, and in corners. Vacuuming the treated areas before and after applying the solution can help enhance the effectiveness.


Be cautious when using any remedies on delicate or sensitive materials and test in inconspicuous areas first to avoid any potential damage.


Do Essential Oils have long-lasting effects on Bed Bugs?

Essential oils can have varying degrees of effectiveness against bed bugs and their eggs. While some essential oils may exhibit repellent or insecticidal properties, their long-lasting effects on bed bugs and their eggs may be limited.

Essential oils primarily work through contact or repellency. When applied directly to them or their eggs, certain essential oils can disrupt their biological functions or act as repellents, reducing their presence. However, herbal oils generally have a shorter residual effect compared to synthetic chemical insecticides.

The volatile nature of essential oils means that their scent and active compounds can dissipate over time. This diminishes their efficacy in repelling or eliminating these pests. Additionally, their eggs are protected by a hard outer shell, making them more resistant to treatment, including plant extracts.

While essential oils can be a part of a bed bug control plan, it’s important to manage expectations and understand that their effects may be temporary. Regular monitoring and follow-up treatments are typically needed to address any remaining bed bugs or newly hatched eggs.


How long can bed bugs survive without feeding?

Bed bugs have the ability to survive for extended periods without feeding. On average, adult bed bugs can go without a blood meal for around six to twelve months. However, their survival time can vary depending on various factors such as temperature, humidity, and access to shelter. In favorable conditions, they can withstand longer periods without feeding, while extreme temperatures or lack of suitable hiding spots may shorten their survival time. It’s important to note that while they can survive without feeding for several months, they will actively seek out a blood meal to sustain themselves and reproduce when given the opportunity.



In this article we answered the question: How to use essential oils for bed bugs?
Essential oils provide a natural and effective solution for dealing with them. With their potent aromas and insect-repellent properties, these oils can help deter and eliminate bed bug infestations. Whether you choose to use diluted sprays, direct application, steam treatment, sachets, or infused bedding, essential oils offer a safe and eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides.

By incorporating essential oils into your bed bugs control methods, you can achieve a pest-free environment and enjoy a peaceful sleep without the worry of bed bug bites. Say goodbye to these pests and embrace the power of essential oils for a healthier and happier home.

If you’re searching for information about the most effective essential oils to get rid of bed bugs, we suggest checking our Guide on Essential Oils for Bed Bugs.