Many essential oils repel or kill bed bugs. We will be looking at five of them in this article.

For many generations, oils from different repellent plants have been used in deterring bugs.

For this post, we will focus mainly on bed bugs and the various kinds of oils that deter and eliminate them.

What Essential Oils Are Good For Killing Bed Bugs?

As effective as chemicals are in bed bug control, oils are not safe for use around the house. They do come with a lot of risks. By constantly using them, you may be exposing your kids and pets to lots of health risks. It is often better to go with natural methods such as the use of odors to control bugs.

Of all bed bug control methods, the use of oils has over time proven to be very effective, no matter how you consider it.


Essential oils are natural insecticides in the form of oils, gotten from different kinds of plants. In their production, flowers, bark, stems, leaves, and roots from specific plants are used. They are passed through different processes to produce what we know as essential oils.

Though natural, these oils can be very concentrated such that they might end up hurting your skin if used without caution. Yes, they are that potent.

When it comes to killing bed bugs, many people have found essential oils to be very effective. While some oils directly kill bed bugs, others repel and help halt their activities.

Essential oils work, according to many people who have applied them. They help you sleep through the night without having to worry about a single bug bite.

However, like several other natural pest control methods out there, they have their limitations.

You cannot rely on them during heavy infestations to wipe out every bed bug there is in your house. Since they take much time to work compared to bombs and heat, it takes some time before you start noticing their effects in your house.

It is also important to bear in mind that the quality of oils differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. That is the main reason you find some working far more than others.

Below are some powerful essential oils that you can use to eliminate bed bugs from your house.


Let’s discuss some of the most effective essential oils to repel and kill bed bugs:

  • Lavender Oil

If sprayed directly on bed bugs, lavender oil can go as far as killing the critters. The scent from this oil is also so powerful that it repels bugs.

Apart from repelling and killing bed bugs, lavender oil also helps you relax and sleep calmly. The smell of this oil is pleasant when applied in the bedroom, living room, and several other places at home.

Lavender oil is very strong. You would have to dilute it if you intend to apply it on your mattress and sofas, so you don’t end up hurting your skin if you have contact with it.

  • Tea tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a very effective natural insecticide like lavender oil. When applied directly on bed bugs, it kills them. The scent from the oil is also known to scare bugs.

Apply the oil anywhere you have seen bed bugs around the house; the bedroom, the living room, etc. Places like under the sofa and bed are also among the best places to apply the oil.

Since bed bugs are nocturnal, it would be best to apply this perhaps in the night or toward the evening to kill many of them. The ones that escape being killed will have no other option than to leave your house in peace.

Tea tree oil has a pleasant scent, so you don’t have to worry about the odor being offensive when applied in the house.

Apart from just repelling and killing bed bugs, the oil has been known to help in treating and healing their bites. When applied to the skin, it can go a long way to help you deal with bites faster.

However, some level of caution is required when using tea tree oil. That is because, in the undiluted form, the oil can be harmful if ingested or applied directly on the skin to ward off bed bugs.

You should also ensure your appliances are well covered before applying them to the room.

  • Lemongrass Oil

Does lemongrass oil kill bed bugs? Let’s find out.

The smell of lemongrass may be pleasant to humans but it is very offensive to bed bugs. That’s why applying the oil on your body or anywhere around the house is a sure way to drive them away.

If applied directly on critters, lemongrass oil will kill them almost immediately. The oil is also known to act as a natural birth control method for bed bugs since it prevents their eggs from hatching. Without the eggs hatching, it is often easier to get rid of the pests from the house.

Apart from repelling bed bugs, the lemongrass smell is also known to repel other insects like mosquitoes, ants, lice, and fleas. So you stand to gain more using the oil as a bed bug repellent at home.

The only challenge with lemongrass oil is that it is not advisable to use it around cats. This is because it causes liver damage. So if you must apply it where you have your cats, you must ensure you remove them from the house first.

Since lemongrass is known to have some health benefits for humans, you may be getting more than just a repellent when you buy the oil for home use.

  • Peppermint Oil

Bed bugs are very smart creatures, so it’s not a surprise seeing them master how to withstand tough odors from natural insecticides. However, one sure oil that always works against them is peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil is derived from the peppermint plant, a very effective natural insecticide that is known to repel quite a lot of insects. When used against bed bugs, the odors from the oil can send bugs away from your home.

Unlike other essential oils that repel or kill bed bugs that have been mentioned here, many people cannot stand the smell of this oil.

Peppermint oil is as offensive to humans as it is to bed bugs.

When sprayed directly on bed bugs, peppermint oil eliminates them. Anyone that escapes that elimination will run as far away from your home as possible.

Peppermint oil also comes with some added benefits. When mixed with body lotions, it offers some relief from the bed bug bites. Applying it to your body before going to bed at night is a sure way to sleep calmly, without getting a single bite from bed bugs throughout the night.

So if you are searching for essential oils to use against bed bugs, consider adding peppermint oil to your list. It not only wards off bed bugs, but it also kills them completely.

  • Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme essential oil is another natural insecticide that can be used in the house to kill and repel bed bugs. The oil is very effective if used properly.

It is often best to apply it in areas around the room where bed bugs are known to live or come to feed. For instance on the bed, sofa, box spring, etc. You can also apply it to your body to prevent bed bugs from biting you while you sleep.

Thyme oil is also known to kill bacteria, increase circulation, and relieve anxiety, so you will be getting other health benefits from using the oil. It is also known to ward off other insect pests as well.

For heavy infestations, you may have to spray it in all the rooms in your home, to kill or repel bed bugs hiding in those places.

The challenge with using this oil though is that it is not a hundred percent safe for pregnant women, especially the undiluted form. You will have to apply a lot of caution when using this essential oil.

If you are pregnant or have pregnant women living with you, we strongly recommend that you consider other alternatives or inquire from your doctor before using this essential oil.

Essential Oil Bed Bug Spray Recipe: Best Way To Do It.

Essential oils have a lot of benefits when used against bugs. They kill or repel the bed bugs effectively. However, if you do not do it right, you may not achieve anything worthwhile with them.

Apart from not achieving any tangible results, you may even end up harming yourself.

For instance, in the undiluted form, lemongrass oil and others listed here can hurt your skin badly. Undiluted lemongrass oil, in particular, is known to burn the skin. So to use it, you will have to dilute it first.

You can do that by mixing it with water or any mild body lotion. That way it will not burn or hurt your skin.

While these essential oils are known to be very effective against bed bugs, it should be duly noted that none of them on its own can effectively handle heavy infestations. You will have to combine them with other bed bug elimination methods to truly obtain significant results.

Essential oils are slow-acting compared to other bed bug management methods, so do not expect them to just wipe out all the bed bugs living in your house in one day. Also, a single application of the oils will achieve little results. It is best to apply it repeatedly for some days or weeks.

While applying it, special attention must be paid to places like the bedroom, the living room, cracks and crevices in your home, etc.

After it has been well diluted, you can also use some of the oils to bring relief to sites of bed bug bites.

In Summary

Are you searching for natural ways to deal with bed bugs in your home? Do you want to learn of very effective bug control methods that won’t expose you and your family to the danger of using one chemical or the other?

This article features the best essential oils to kill and repel bed bugs. You can use any of them to eradicate the pests from your house.

I hope you find this information useful.

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