When you think of lavender, you probably think of nature, lilac and candles. But did lavender as a bug repellent ever cross your mind? Well, the more you know!
While most people use lavender for its aroma calming effects, bed bugs absolutely HATE the taste and smell of lavender oil, which makes it a great choice for repelling these pesky critters from your home without using strong smelling chemicals or pesticides that will disturb your environment.
By using lavender oil, you can fill your home with calming aromas while also preventing bed bugs from wreaking havoc – two birds, one stone!
How does lavender oil kill bed bugs?
Bed bugs are a stubborn bunch. In fact, they can live up to a year without feeding (but that doesn’t make them any less hungry!). That being said, there are ways to try and get rid of them before calling up your local exterminator.
Not only do bed bugs hate the taste and smell of lavender oil which is likely to deter them from spreading from your bed to other areas in your home, such as other furniture and clothes, but the oil itself can be toxic enough to kill them and their eggs. If not, it is still effective in preventing them from spreading.
Another piece of good news is that roaches hate lavender oil too!
How do I use lavender oil to repel bed bugs?
While the best way to kill off bed bugs with lavender oil is to apply it directly, usually it’s difficult to catch them because they love to hide in the most difficult to reach places, like the seams of your mattress. They say don’t let the bed bugs bite, but that’s easier said than done when they come out at night and you’re too deep in sleep to notice their presence…
How to apply lavender oil to repel bed bugs
As they say, too much of anything isn’t good for you, and this applies to essential oils as well. While you might be tempted to apply droplets of lavender oil all over your home, this may be overwhelming to the senses and can potentially cause irritation, especially if you have children. You may even want to test for allergies beforehand.
A recommended method is to dilute some lavender oil in water so the strength is reduced but still manages to do the job you hired it for. For ease of application, you can even put the mixture into a spray bottle.
To cover all your bases, start with your bed which is where they are most likely to be hiding and also laying their eggs. After that, spritz any other areas nearby which could be appealing to these sneaky insects. This includes all your bedroom furniture and your clothes. And if you want to go the extra mile, spritzing around the house is a great preventative measure to stop the bed bugs from wandering into new territories.
Another way to consistently have lavender oil working its magic is to use a diffuser. This way, you won’t have to reapply the mixture yourself. The diffuser will release the aroma into the air on its own, keeping your room fresh and the bed bugs stressed.
While these techniques are recommended, they may not be completely effective depending on the extent of your infestation. If you still find that the bed bugs are keeping you up at night despite your lavender-infused efforts to deter them, it might be time to call in the professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do bed bugs get into beds?
Humans are not the only ones who love to travel! Bed bugs love to hitch a ride on anything they can latch onto and make their way into beds, dressers, closets, sofas and more. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, they can simply hop onto your shoulder or into your purse, and from there it’s a grand tour of your home. If you live in an apartment building or stay at a hotel, there is a higher risk of them traveling from one place to another due to the high volume of people coming in and out. A great tip is to shake off your clothes in the shower or bathtub after any outdoor activity to make sure you don’t have any unexpected visitors.
How do I know I have bed bugs?
Bed bugs have a few tell tale signs of their presence, especially on your bed sheets. They leave behind tiny spots from their feces which can vary from black to brownish. Sometimes they may even leave behind blood spots if they’ve had a nice feast, which also leaves behind another sign – bug bites. Bed bug bites are unique in that they are usually several bites in a straight line. The bites are generally small bright red bumps. If you notice one or both of these, you likely have some unwanted squatters in your home.
Can I use other essential oils to repel bed bugs?
Essential oils aren’t just great for DIY self care, such as skincare and deodorants. There are several essential oils that are recommended for deterring bed bugs. Tea tree, lemongrass and peppermint oil are among the other options that can help to prevent bed bugs in your home. As with lavender oil, it’s best to dilute the oils if you’re applying to several areas. However, you can apply them as per your preference – for some, the more the merrier!
Can I use other lavender products to repel bed bugs?
There are several other forms of lavender that can be used to repel or kill bed bugs other than essential oils. In fact, anything with lavender extract or scent can deter them. Since they can hide and lay eggs in your sheets, duvet covers and clothes, a good choice is lavender scented laundry detergent. A round in the washer, especially with lavender, is a sure foolproof method to flush the bed bugs away.