How to use Garlic for Bed Bugs

using garlic to get rid of bed bugs

In this article, we will answer the question: How to use garlic for bed bugs?
In the battle against bed bugs, an unexpected ally may be found in the humble and pungent garlic. This age-old remedy has gained attention as a potential natural solution to help repel and deter these bothersome pests.

In this article, we get into the fascinating connection between bed bugs and garlic, exploring its properties and how you can use it as a simple yet effective tool in the fight against these resilient insects. Join us as we uncover the potential of this aromatic bulb and its role in keeping bed bugs at bay, offering a safe and natural alternative to traditional pest control methods.

Can Garlic help with bed bug infestations?

While garlic is known for its various health benefits and has repellent properties against certain insects, there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness specifically in treating or eliminating bed bug infestations. Garlic may have repelling properties on bed bugs due to its strong odor, but it is unlikely to provide complete eradication or control of an infestation.

Onions also are gaining attention as a home remedy for repelling bed bugs. To learn more you can check our article on Onions and Bed bugs.


How do Bed Bugs react to Garlic scent or extracts?

There is limited scientific research on how bed bugs specifically react to garlic scent or extracts. However, the strong odor of garlic could have a repelling effect on bed bugs. Like many insects, they rely on their sense of smell to locate hosts and food sources. The pungent smell of garlic may disrupt their ability to locate and feed on human hosts, potentially causing them to avoid areas with a strong scent.


How to use Garlic for Bed Bugs

Garlic can be used in a few ways to potentially repel bed bugs. Here are a few methods that some people have suggested:

  • Garlic spray: Crush several cloves and mix them with water to create a garlic-infused spray. Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and apply it to areas where they are present or likely to hide, such as bed frames, furniture, and cracks. Keep in mind that the strong odor may linger, so proper ventilation is necessary.
  • Garlic powder: Sprinkle garlic powder in areas where they hide, such as cracks, crevices, and along baseboards. The pungent smell of garlic may act as a deterrent. However, be cautious about using excessive amounts of powder to avoid staining surfaces.
  • Garlic-infused oils: Mix garlic cloves with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, and let it sit for a few days. Apply the garlic-infused oil to areas where they are present, keeping in mind that excessive oil may stain fabrics.


Will Eating Garlic Repel Bed Bugs?

No, eating garlic does not have a direct impact on bed bugs. While garlic has potential health benefits and repellent properties against certain insects, eating it does not affect bed bugs in any significant way. The odor and compounds released through consumption are unlikely to repel or eliminate bed bugs.


Are there any risks using Garlic for Bed Bugs?

When using garlic as a potential remedy for bed bugs, there are a few considerations and potential risks to keep in mind:

  • Skin irritation: Direct contact with garlic or garlic-based solutions may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals. It is advisable to perform a patch test on a small area of skin before applying garlic-based products extensively.
  • Staining: Garlic-based solutions, such as oils or sprays, have the potential to stain fabrics, surfaces, and furniture. It is important to use them with caution and avoid excessive application.
  • Odor: It has a strong and distinct odor, which may linger in your living space when using garlic-based solutions. This can be unpleasant for some individuals.


What are the limitations Garlic for Bed Bugs?

Using garlic as a bed bug treatment has several limitations to consider:

  • Limited scientific evidence: The effectiveness of garlic specifically in eradicating bed bugs is not well-established through scientific research. While it may have repellent properties against certain insects, its impact on them may be minimal.
  • Incomplete elimination: Garlic alone is unlikely to completely eliminate an infestation. They are resilient pests that can hide in various areas and reproduce quickly, making it challenging to eradicate them with it alone.
  • Short-term repellency: Even if it has a repellent effect on bed bugs, it may provide only temporary relief. They can adapt to certain repellents over time, reducing the long-term efficacy of garlic as a treatment option.
  • Safety concerns: Direct contact with it or excessive use of garlic-based solutions may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals. Additionally, garlic-based solutions can stain fabrics and surfaces.
  • Odor and inconvenience: Garlic has a strong odor that may linger in your living space when using it as a treatment. This can be unpleasant and inconvenient for some people.


Considering these limitations, it is advisable to approach garlic as a supplementary measure. Rather than relying solely on it for bed bug treatment.


Garlic vs. other Bed Bug Control Methods?

When comparing garlic to other bed bug control methods, it’s important to note that garlic is not considered a primary or highly effective treatment for eliminating infestations. Here’s a comparison of garlic with some commonly used pest control methods:

  • Heat treatment: Employing a targeted technique, heat treatment utilizes specialized equipment to elevate temperatures in areas affected by bed bug infestations. This method proves highly efficient when executed accurately, as it can effectively eliminate them and their eggs, even in hard-to-reach cracks and crevices.
  • Insecticide treatment: Professional-grade insecticides specifically formulated for bed bug control can be used by professionals to target bed bugs and their hiding places. These treatments are designed to kill these insects and disrupt their life cycle.
  • Physical methods: Vacuuming, steaming, and encasing mattresses and box springs in bed bug-proof covers can help manage insect populations, but these methods may not eliminate infestations entirely. (source)


Can eating certain Foods help in repelling Bed bugs?

While there is no specific food that can repel bed bugs when ingested, some people believe that certain strong-smelling foods or spices may have a repellent effect on insects in general. However, the effectiveness of these foods as a bed bug repellent is not scientifically proven.

Certain individuals believe that they may be repelled by the aroma of garlic, lavender, cinnamon, and peppermint. Those are commonly used as food and spices. However, it’s important to note that relying solely on these foods to repel or eliminate bed bugs is not a reliable solution.


Are there any natural substances or herbs that are known to repel bed bugs?

While there are some natural substances and herbs that are believed to have repellent properties against bed bugs. Their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven. Some commonly mentioned natural repellents include lavender oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, diatomaceous earth and neem powder. These substances could repel them due to their strong scents or abrasive nature.


How do natural remedies compare to chemical treatments for bed bug control?

Chemical treatments are generally more effective in eliminating bed bug infestations compared to natural remedies. They are specifically formulated to target bed bugs and their eggs. While natural remedies may have varying degrees of effectiveness. They often require more frequent application and may not completely eradicate the infestation.


Insecticide vs Natural Remedy for Bed bugs

The debate between insecticides and natural remedies for bed bugs revolves around the choice between chemical-based solutions and non-chemical alternatives.

  • Insecticides: Insecticides are chemical-based products specifically designed to kill bed bugs. They often contain powerful synthetic compounds that can effectively eliminate bed bug infestations. Professional pest control companies commonly use insecticides as part of their treatment protocols. However, some concerns associated with insecticides include potential health risks to humans and pets, as well as the development of resistance in their populations over time.
  • Natural Remedies: Natural remedies for bed bugs involve the use of non-chemical approaches and substances derived from nature. These can include heat treatments, steam cleaning, vacuuming, and the use of natural products such as diatomaceous earth, essential oils, or plant-based sprays. Natural remedies are generally safer for humans and pets. But they may require repeated and thorough application to achieve effective results. It’s important to note that the efficacy of natural remedies can vary. And they may not completely eliminate severe infestations.


Ultimately, the choice between insecticides and natural remedies depends on several factors. Such as the severity of the infestation, personal preferences, and concerns about potential health risks.



In this article, we answered the question: How to use garlic for bed bugs?
Garlic is often suggested as a DIY remedy for bed bugs, its effectiveness in eliminating infestations is not well-established.

Garlic may have some repellent properties against certain insects. But it has limited impact on bed bugs. You can use garlic as a supplementary measure, but you should not rely on it as a standalone solution for bed bug control.

If you are looking for information on the best insecticide available on the market specifically formulated and tested for eliminating bed bugs. You can have a look at our Bed Bugs Spray Buying Guide.