How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs with Essential Oils (2023)

It has been spread that essential oils can get rid of bed bugs. There are tons of articles that discuss it and just mention “essential oils” without specifically telling you how effective it is, right? So, here we are, trying to share the truth behind this information.

Well, it is true that essential oils can kill bed bugs but to a certain level of effectiveness. It depends on the source plant. So, what essential oils kill bed bugs? Recent research shows that so far blood orange essential oil and cedarwood essential oil are the best.

However, surprisingly, there is no essential oil that can kill bed bugs 100% effectively even for the best that I have mentioned more. So, how effective are they? Read more about this article and let’s find out.

how to get rid of bed bugs with oils
How to get rid of bed bugs with oils

What are essential oils?

Essential oil or commonly abbreviated as EO is a concentrated liquid that is included in the category of pure organic chemicals obtained through the extraction process from plants that have an aroma.

Essential oils contain several chemical compounds that come from plant extraction liquids. These oils are usually obtained through the process of steam distillation and can be used for various purposes.

Generally, essential oils are usually associated with fragrance sources that have many benefits. That is why essential oils are used as the main ingredient in beauty products and fragrances.

Check other guides at How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Do essential oils kill bed bugs?

Based on this research, essential oils can kill bed bugs. It is because essential oils have a toxic effect on bed bugs. The substances of each essentials oils are different but poisonous to insects such as Limonene, Thujopsene, Cedrol, Thymol, Carvacrol, etc.

However, based on the research, there are only a few varieties of essential oils that work well to kill bed bugs. It is important to be understood that there are only a few substances that can kill insects.

So, choosing the right one is important.

What essential oils will kill bed bugs?

There are various types of essential oils depending on the type of plant they are extracted from. Generally, it takes about 3 days to kill bed bugs with essential oils with the dosage of 0.1-mg oil per bug.

Of the various types of essential oils, the percentage of mortality is different. Honestly, based on the research, the effectiveness of essential oils is just like 10-66%. It all depends on the contained substance and its toxicity.

Well, here is the list of essential oils that get rid of bed bugs.

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Blood orange essential oil

Surprisingly, blood orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil is the most effective essential oil to get rid of bed bugs. The effectiveness is about 66%. It contains 98% Limonene which is a citrus extract that is scientifically proven to kill insects.

Here, Limonene itself has been known as one of the natural substances that can be used to control insects. Based on this research, it is a safe and natural insecticide.

Well, even though the effectiveness in killing bed bugs is only about 66%, it can be used as a better option when you have some problems with chemical sprays or insecticides.

Cedarwood essential oil

In the second position, we’ve got cedarwood essential oil. It is one of the popular essential oils that we can get easily. It is also believed that cedar oil can kill bed bugs.

Does cedar oil kill bed bugs?

This typical essential oil has poisonous substances that can kill bed bugs. The effectiveness is about 32-57% which depends on the source plant. So, it is good to use cedar oil for bed bugs.

If you want to use this essential oil, make sure you choose the right one. So, here is the list of cedarwood essential oil based on the rank of effectiveness from the top to bottom.

  1. Cedarwood Chinese 57%
  2. Cedarwood Virginian 51.6%
  3. Cedarwood Himalayan 43.8%
  4. Cedarwood Texas 35.5%
  5. Cedarwood Atlas 32.8%

Well, based on the data, Cedarwood Chinese and Virginian are the best options you can take to get rid of bed bugs since it has at least 50% of effectivity. Substances like Thujopsene, Cedrol, and a-cidrene in these essential oils can help you a lot to kill bed bugs.

Thyme essential oil

In the third position, we’ve got Thyme essential oil. The effectiveness of this essential oil is 51.6%. The substance in the oil like Thymol and Carvacrol is well known to kill bed bugs.

This is why we can use thyme essential oil to get rid of bed bugs. Here, we need to repeat the treatment a few times to get a better result. It will be effective if we repeated the treatment more than four times.

Less effective essential oils’ list

There are so many essential oils out there with different substances contained and plant sources. That is why each of the essential oils has its own effectiveness. Here is the list of essential oils that has less than 50% effectiveness in killing bed bugs.

  1. Oregano (44.8%)
  2. Eucalyptus Lemon (40.6%)
  3. Oregano (44.8%)
  4. Tea Tree (40.3%)
  5. Eucalyptus Blue Mallee (36.1%)
  6. Palmarosa (32.8%)
  7. Peppermint (27.1%)
  8. Eucalyptus Dives (26.5%)
  9. Neem (23.0%)
  10. Basil Sweet (20.8%)
  11. Anise star (15.1%)
  12. Spearmint (11.8%)

So, it is quite surprising that some popular essential oils are actually not that effective to kill bed bugs. Well, the choice is yours.

How to get rid of bed bugs using essential oils

Generally, to get rid of pests and insects with essential oils such as bed bugs, we can use them as a spray. This method is more efficient and easier to reach areas that are difficult to clean.

Here is how to get rid of bed bugs with essential oils as follows.

  1. First, we need to move the stuff to a larger space or outside the house.
  2. Spray the essential oil four times.
  3. Leave and wait for about three days.
  4. Check if there are any escaping/alive bed bugs.
  5. After that, repeat the process again.
  6. Leave and wait again for about four days.
  7. Clean your stuff.

Important notes.

  • Spraying essential oils is only for nymph and adult bed bugs. It doesn’t kill eggs. Wait about 6-10 days for the eggs to hatch before you repeat the process.
  • If you think it is necessary, you can keep your stuff inside a sealed plastic bag after being sprayed. After that, you can wash/clean it.
  • Make sure your stuff is fine with essential oils. Some stuff can be broken like old books.

The key to doing bed bug treatment is the understanding that we need treatments frequently. It is because sometimes there are some bed bugs eggs left and we miss that. So, the cycle will be repeated again.

The other reason is that bed bugs can be spread so far from the beds/nest. It is because female bed bugs sometimes escape during breeding due to the aggressiveness of male bed bugs.

That is why we can find bed bugs in unexpected places like on the wall, behind paintings, printers, etc as long as they can hide. In this case, you need to check your house comprehensively.

It is better to spend more time observing and cutting off the cycle.

Well, that is how to get rid of bed bugs with oils. If you have any suggestions, important news. or the latest update about this topic, feel free to let us know.