What plants keep bed bugs away? Here are some herbs that deter these insect pests.

Having a bed bug problem can be a tortuous and embarrassing experience.

First, these pests feed at night when you need to be resting and can be quite difficult to deal with. There are several bed bug extermination strategies available.

Here, we’ll be focusing on one of them; the use of plants as repellents that give off scents that bugs hate.

Bed Bug-Repellent Plant Species

Can plants provide real solutions to bed bug problems?

Though this seems weird, some plants repel bed bugs. If you’re still in doubt, read on as we supply details on what these plants are, how they work, how to use as well as side effects (if any) associated with the use of these plants.

Before we go any further, it’s necessary to consider the nature of bed bugs and how they can be expelled using plants. Bed bugs, by their nature, are indoor pests.

In other words, you mostly won’t find them outdoors. Rather, they need humans to feed.

Humans supply the blood they need. As such, they cling onto luggage, clothing, or whatever they can to find human hosts. You’re likely to bring in bed bugs unknowingly from hotel rooms, commute, or office.

Your bedroom is likely to be the ground zero of bed bug activity.

Having seen how these bugs get into homes and how they feed, it means plants will have to be moved indoors. Keeping them outdoors will have little effect (if any at all) in repelling bed bugs.

Luckily, some plants can either be grown indoors or having sprigs cut off such plants and kept around infested spots.

There are several plants with bed bug repellent properties as you’ll soon find out. All of these plants are used in much the same way to fight back or repel bed bugs.

Plants That Repel Bed Bugs

The natural solution to bed bug problems provided by plants is among the safest, you’d find.

Here, there’s no adverse effect on the environment, unlike chemical pesticides which are mostly toxic to humans and also harmful to the environment. So, what are these bed bug repellent plants?

They include Geraniums, Lemongrass, Lavender, Marigolds, Plant Derivatives, or oils (eucalyptus oil, lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, clove oil, and thyme oils).

  1. Geraniums

Geraniums do contain a chemical compound known by name geraniol. It has been proven that the chemical geraniol is a great bed bug repellent.

Therefore, growing geraniums is likely to give you the relief you seek from these pesky pests.

A proper application will be necessary if there are to be any real results.

  • How it Works

Fighting a bed bug infestation using geraniums is likely to give you desired results when done properly. The chemical compound; geraniol contained in this plant will help repel bed bugs.

However, geraniums will need to be grown close enough to the affected areas.

  • How to Use Geraniums for Bed Bug Control

Geraniums will only be effective when taken indoors. These plants can either be placed as close as possible to your bed area or sprigs cut from it and placed around infested points or at the sides of your mattress.

For this plant to have any chance of proper growth, it should be placed close to where it gets adequate sunlight such as the window area.

  • Side Effects of Geraniums

There’s a possibility of experiencing allergies due to geranium use.

Such allergies may result in rashes, itchiness, and swollen skin just to mention a few. The best thing to do whenever you notice such symptoms is to discontinue the usage and try other alternatives or plants.

  1. Lemongrass

This spiky and tall plant is also among those which can serve as repellents for bed bugs.

Like other plants, lemongrass can be grown indoors too. This is necessary since you’ll need to bring it near where these pests are.

When brought indoors, however, it must get some form of sunlight.

  • How it Works

Lemongrass can be used as a bed bug repellent due to the citronella oil it contains. This oil gives the plant its repellent properties. To make it work effectively, you’ll need to bring it close enough to your bed area.

Lemongrass produces a pungent odor that pests detest.

Lemongrass also contains geraniol too. This chemical compound coupled with citronella oil will have a repelling effect on bed bugs. These should limit their activity thus keeping them at bay.

  • How to Repel Bed Bugs with Lemongrass

Lemongrass can be used to repel bed bugs by bringing the plants indoors.

Of course, to do this, you’ll need to pot these plants. To get the desired repelling effect, it’s necessary to place them as close as possible to your bed.

Another option is to apply its essential oil to affected areas. We’ll be covering more on this shortly.

  • Side Effects

Whenever you use lemongrass as a bed bug repellent, you may experience allergic reactions such as stomach ache, musculoskeletal pain, and headache among other possible irritations.

It’s important to find alternative repellents from our list of plants with having bed bug repellent properties.

  1. Lavender

Lavender is a known natural insecticide that also doubles as a repellent.

However, bed bug infestations are quite challenging to tackle. There’s insufficient evidence about the ability of lavender plants to repel these pests.

Nevertheless, a lot of claims have been made about its capacity to give you the relief you seek.

  • How it Works

How do lavender plants work to repel bed bugs?

Lavender contains a non-toxic chemical compound known as linalool. What this does is that it helps to keep a wide variety of pests at bay. This compound is also widely used in a variety of pest control products.

It remains to be seen if this chemical compound is effective enough in repelling bed bugs. There are claims and counterclaims about the efficacy of lavender to bring solutions to bed bug issues.

With further research, there should be clear evidence about whether it does or not.

  • How to Use

As with most bed bug repellent plants, lavender should be taken indoors as there’s little chance of it having any impact outdoors. Place the plants as close to your bed area as possible.

However, we recommend observing for signs to determine if it indeed repels bed bugs or not. If not, be open to other options.

  • Side Effects

Lavender is generally safe to use as a repellent.

However, there’s a possibility of it causing irritations. Anything out of the ordinary should give you sufficient reason to discontinue its use. Give other alternatives a shot.

  1. Marigolds

Like lavender, marigolds are used for a variety of pest issues as repellents.

However, we aren’t talking about other pests but bed bugs which are much tougher to get rid of. There’s no fact that marigolds do repel bed bugs although there’s a possibility that it could.

The reason we’ve included marigolds among plants that repel bed bugs is because of the claims made by a lot of people about its success in keeping these pests at bay.

So, will this be effective? It remains to be seen. There’s no better way than trying it out to confirm if it does.

  • How it Works

Scented marigolds though having a pleasant aroma will easily repel a wide variety of pests. These pests detest scent released by marigolds.

The same effect should apply to bed bug infestations although there’s no certainty that it will.

  • How to Use

Get potted marigolds indoors to your bed area as this is usually the ground zero of bed bug activity in homes.

By getting these plants closer, you’re increasing the chances of getting the desired effect. Sprigs of marigold can be cut and placed close to your bed area to still serve the purpose.

  • Side Effects

It’s unlikely that you’ll experience side effects due to marigold’s use. However, this isn’t to say that you won’t witness any at all? There’s a possibility that you may.

If you do, discontinue its use and seek medical attention as well as trying out another option. This action should take care of any risks that may arise.

  1. Plant Derivatives or Oils

Asides using plants for bed bug control, an equally effective alternative will be to use plant derivatives or essential oils from such plants.

These are extracted from the plants and still contain the same (sometimes even more effective) bed bug repelling properties.

Several essential oils are known to repel bed bugs. Some of these oils include lemongrass oil, lavender oil, thyme oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, and tea tree oil among others.

  • How Essential Oils Work to Repel Bed Bugs

These oils contain a variety of chemical compounds known to repel and even kill bed bugs on contact. These are mixed or diluted with water and sprayed wherever you suspect bed bugs to be hiding.

  • How to Use

Before using essential oils, you’ll need to dilute such oils in the right quantity and pour it into a spray bottle. This spray bottle is used for applying it onto your bed area and other surfaces close by.

  • Side Effects

There are possibilities of experiencing irritations when using essential oils. You’ll need to try them out to find out which one(s) are less likely to cause adverse reactions.

Here, we’ve discussed plants with bed bug repellent properties in addition to essential oils extracted from such plants which have similar effects. Try these out to find which is most suitable for solving your bed bug problems.