10 Best Home Remedies For Bed Bugs

Being bugged by bed bugs and losing precious sleep over it is a common occurrence which most people would have experienced at some time or the other.  These tiny, crawling insects (they can’t fly), also known as Cimex Lectularius, suck the blood of humans and are a menace that needs to be eradicated.

To make up for their inability to fly, these persistent pests make it up by scrambling at incredible speeds on almost any surface. However, they do not get attracted by unhygienic conditions and can invade the cleanest household at any time.

You might have allowed some of them to tag along from some hotel or resort you stayed at recently as they love crawling into open suitcases and bags and hitch a ride to wherever you are headed. Once they enter your house, they can spread to every nook and corner and cause havoc in your lives. While there are no shortcut remedies short of calling in the bug exterminators, there certainly are some amazing home remedies for bed bugs that work.

What attracts bed bugs into our homes?

  • Dirt or grime do not attract bed bugs
  • They hop onto blankets and pillows that you carry along while traveling
  • Warmth, human blood, and carbon dioxide attract bed bugs
  • Bed bugs are active between 10 pm and 6 am when most people are asleep

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

  • A cluster of red welts or bumps that are itchy
  • Itching does not subside for quite a while, even after frantic scratching
  • The bites are not toxic, though the vigorous scratching can cause bleeding

10 Best Home Remedies For Bed Bugs

Home Remedies For Bed Bugs

10. Cold Treatment

Procedure:

  • Hang your clothes out in the cold during winter season
  • You may also keep the bedclothes and clothing in a freezer for a while
  • Alternatively, wash the clothes and sheets in very cold water or soak in ice
  • Continue this treatment for a few days to eliminate all bed bugs
  • Repeat the process once in 2 or three months

How does it work?

It is rather simple logic – bed bugs just can’t stand the cold. They are used to the warmth of human bodies or warm blankets and bed sheets. Hence this alternative cold treatment has a very repulsive effect on them, leaving several of them dead, and the others scurrying away to safer climes. It is better to keep away from your furniture and refrain from using your carpets for a couple of days until all the bed bugs are exterminated. Once you are sure the bugs haven’t had a chance to recoup, you may start using your clothes and household articles as usual. Cold treatment is probably one of the cheapest and most effective of all home remedies for bed bugs that work.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • The temperature is not cold enough to discourage bed bugs
  • If some clothes or bedclothes are left out and allow the insects to thrive

9. Lavender Essential Oil

Procedure:

  • Take 6 to 8 drops of undiluted lavender essential oil
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and mix the lavender essential oil
  • Spray the mixture on the bed frame, legs, and below the carpet
  • Mix lavender oil in water and mop the floors in your house
  • Repeat the process continuously for a week or so

How does it work?

Lavender essential oil is a natural product that is effective as a bug repellent. The herbal oil has a strong odor that is quite unbearable by the nasty little bed bugs and sends them scuttling for cover. If you are unable to find lavender essential oil (it should be available on Amazon), you may use dried lavender, which can be inserted between the bedclothes or placed in the closet or wardrobe. Alternatively, you can sew some dried lavender between two pieces of cloth and place the cloth at the foot of your bed. The undiluted liquid retains the potency, and the effect lasts for a couple of days, keeping the pesky bed bugs at bay.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • You don’t use fresh, undiluted lavender essential oil
  • All the clothes, bedclothes and carpets are not covered

8. Tea Tree Oil

Procedure:

  • Take 6 to 8 drops of undiluted Tea Tree Oil
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and add Tea Tree Oil
  • Spray the contents on clothes, bedclothes and furniture
  • Repeat process twice a week 2 to 3 times

How does it work?

Tea Tree Oil is a wonder herbal oil that has excellent antimicrobial properties. It has great antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties and rids the house of harmful bacteria and germs. Spraying the water mixed with Tea Tree Oil helps get rid of bed bugs as they cannot stand the strong scent of this oil and scamper away to find new places to inhabit. Make sure all the furniture in the house is sprayed with this mixture as bugs tend to find safe places in the cracks and crevices in the furniture during the day.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • Some areas that bed bugs frequent are left out while spraying
  • Genuine, undiluted Tea Tree Oil is not used

7. Neem Paste

Procedure

  • Pluck a bunch of fresh Neem leaves
  • Crush the leaves to make a paste
  • Take a spray bottle, fill water and add Neem paste
  • Spray under the cot, near the furniture, under the carpet, etc.
  • Repeat the process twice a week for 2 to 3 weeks

How does it work?

Neem is a wonder medicinal tree that has some amazing curative properties. It is an effective antimicrobial agent and has some very good antibacterial properties as well. Neem has a strong odor and a very bitter taste and acts as a strong repellent against bed bugs. Spraying Neem water or simply spreading some fresh leaves in the areas bed bugs frequent is enough to keep these pests away. Neem is probably one of the safest and most effective home remedies for bed bugs that work. Applying Neem paste on areas bitten by bed bugs gives relief, making it one of the best home remedies for bed bug bites as well.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • You can’t find any fresh Neem leaves in your area
  • Dried Neem powder is used, it will work at half the potency

6. Steam Treatment

Procedure:

  • Get a steam cleaner (a machine that’s available on (Amazon)
  • Steam clean the areas infested with bed bugs
  • Alternatively, you may use heat treatment
  • Simply use a hot iron to iron bedclothes and clothes at high temperature
  • Repeat either process once or twice a week for 2 to 3 weeks.

How does it work?

Although bed bugs like warmth and thrive in a warm atmosphere, they cannot survive in very high temperatures. When treated with very high temperatures like steam or very hot iron the bed bugs get killed due to the excess heat. Hence, this is one of the easiest and safest home remedies for bed bugs that work. Make sure that while steam cleaning, you turn the carpets over and cover the areas completely. Bed bugs cannot survive in temperatures exceeding 50°C or 150°F as the steam will permeate through the fabric and destroy all the bed bugs and any eggs they may have laid.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • Extremely hot iron is used on nylon or other soft material which will melt at such temperatures and ruin the clothes and furnishing material.
  • Hot steam does not reach into the cracks or crevices if any in the areas you are cleaning.

5. Cayenne Pepper, Oregano, Ginger

Procedure:

  • Take 1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Take two fresh Oregano leaves and dice them
  • Take one finger of ginger and peel and grate it
  • Boil all three ingredients in 500 ml of water
  • Strain and fill in a spray bottle and spray cots and furniture

How does it work?

Cayenne pepper is a natural repellent for most pests, and works wonderfully on bed bugs and drives them away. When Oregano and raw ginger are mixed with Cayenne pepper, the mixture is so very potential that it has a devastating effect on bed bugs and makes sure they are eliminated without a trace. The advantage with this concoction is that it is organic and has no harmful effect on humans. What’s more, it is easy to prepare and not very expensive too. This probably makes the Cayenne pepper mixture one of the most effective home remedies for bed bugs that work.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • You are unable to reach bed bugs hiding deep in cracks or crevices.
  • Some areas in the house are not disinfected as the bugs will find a safe haven in those areas.

4. Boric Acid

Procedure:

  • Sprinkle some Boric Acid (Borax) powder in the bug-prone areas
  • Alternatively, fill the vacuum bag of the vacuum cleaner with Boric Acid
  • Pressure vacuum the areas that are infested with bed bugs
  • Vacuum under the carpets and the furniture as well
  • Repeat the process a couple of times a week for the next 2 to 3 weeks

How does it work?

Boric acid is an excellent bed bug repellent and helps get rid of the pesky bed bugs that infest your homes. Spraying the cots, furniture, carpets, and other areas that bed bugs frequent helps rid your home of the bed bug menace. Ensure that the kids and pets are kept at a safe distance while using this method to clear off the bed bugs. You may use this process as many times as required as it is one of the easiest and most effective home remedies for bed bugs that work.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • All areas infested by bed bugs in the house are not covered. Bed bugs can survive without food for long periods of time and resurface after the toxic effects have subsided.

3. Baking Soda

Procedure:

  • Sprinkle baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in cracks and crevices
  • Cover all the furniture in the house, including the cots
  • Repeat the process twice a week for 2 to 3 weeks

How does it work?

Baking soda has a tendency to absorb moisture wherever it is present. When the bed bugs come in contact with the baking powder the moisture in their bodies is absorbed, and the bugs suffocate to death. Moreover, baking soda has excellent antimicrobial properties that have been tested and proved, hence spraying the house with baking soda does a lot of good by destroying harmful bacteria.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • Some areas in the house are left out, giving the bed bugs a chance to survive and multiply within the house.

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Procedure:

  • Take about 500 ml of undiluted rubbing alcohol
  • Take a spray bottle and fill it with the rubbing alcohol
  • Spray the bed bug-prone areas in the house
  • Repeat the process twice weekly for 2 to 3 weeks

How does it work?

Rubbing alcohol, also known as 2-proponal, propyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol is very bitter and works as an excellent repellent on bed bugs. Spraying 91 percent proof rubbing alcohol in the bed bug-prone areas helps exterminate them completely. Make sure that pets and children are kept away from the areas where the chemical is being sprayed. Note that rubbing alcohol should not be consumed by humans as it is poisonous, with the lethal dose being a little more than 200 ml.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • 91 percent proof rubbing alcohol is not used. Diluted forms of rubbing alcohol seldom work with the same effect and may leave behind some bugs that have survived and which can later multiply.

1. Fresh Mint Leaves

Procedure:

  • Pluck a bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • Crush the mint leaves and extract the juice
  • Take a spray bottle and fill with water and add mint juice
  • Spray mint leaf juice mixed with water in bug-prone areas
  • Repeat process twice a week for 2 to 3 weeks

How does it work?

Fresh mint has a strong, pungent odor which acts as an effective repellent on bed bugs. If fresh mint leaves are available you may use them; else you may have to purchase peppermint oil and add a few drops to the water in the spray bottle and spray all the bug-prone areas in the house. The strong smell of mint is a deterrent for bugs that quickly vanish from the scene the moment they sense the smell. Fresh mint is a natural product that has no side effects whatsoever and is safe to use in all households making it the perfect choice as one of the best home remedies for bugs that work.

The remedy may not work, if:

  • There are no reasons why mint leaves or mint oil should work as an effective repellent on bed bugs unless the spray does not reach all areas infested by the bugs.

I used the pesticides to kill the bugs in my bed rather than trying these natural remedies. Is that okay?

  • There are chances that the chemical contents in pesticides may harm you later or it may have some side effects on you. Our suggestion would be to go with the natural way itself.

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