18 Effective Home Remedies to Make You Home Bed Bug Free Completely

Remedies for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are the parasitic, creepy and tiny insects who feed only on blood. Cimex lectularius is the common type of bed bug that feeds only on human blood and causes itchy bites and skin irritation. Unlike many pests, bed bugs do not spread any diseases but certainly turns your nights into nightmares!

It bites the exposed area of the person and sucks the blood through an elongated beak. After its feeding completes, it moves away unnoticed. At first, bed bug bites are painless but the skin gets itchy and slightly-raised spots afterwards.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all consider bed bugs a public health pest.

Some Facts about Bed Bugs

  • Bed bugs not only feed on humans but also animals and birds.
  • An adult bed bug has an oval-shaped flat body, which is about the size of an apple seed but swells after feeding.
  • Bed bugs cannot fly but can quickly travel about 5 – 20 feet on walls, floors and ceilings to feed on humans.
  • It becomes active at night but comes out during the day time if it is hungry. It takes 3 to 12 minutes for feeding.
  • Bed bugs get attracted by body heat and the carbon dioxide that humans produce while breathing.
  • A female bed bug lays 200 to 500 hundred of eggs during her lifetime.
  • The nymph shed its skin 5 times before becoming an adult bed bug. It needs a feeding before each shedding of the skin.
  • In favorable conditions, a bed bug can produce 3 or more generations.
  • Bed bugs can survive without food for a few months.
  • A bed bug can survive at temperatures as low as 7°C (46°F), but it dies when its body temperature reaches 45°C (113°F).

Causes of Increase in Bed Bug Infestation

The problem of bed bugs was almost eliminated during the 1940 but again became active in the United States of America as well as other parts of the world. Bed bugs started spreading due to the following reasons.

  • Over the time bed bugs became pesticide resistant.
  • Government banned the use of certain effective pesticides.
  • The increase in international travel.
  • Increase in the exchange of the second-hand furniture and furnishings.

 

How to Know that Your House is Infested with Bed Bugs

It is really a daunting task to know whether your house is infested with bed bugs or not because bed bugs are really small and can hide in the smallest place possible. And on the top of that they become active only at night. The itchy bites on your skin, which you are thinking bed bug bites, may be caused due to some other insect bites.


So, it is very important to know whether your house is infested with bed bugs or not? It is advisable to look for physical signs of bed bugs. Some of them are:

  • You can find reddish stains of the crushed bed bug on the bed sheets or mattresses.
  • Dark spots on the bed sheets or other bed bug-infested areas that are caused due to bed bug excrement.
  • You can find bed bug eggs and shells. Also, you can find brown little bodies that look like dead bed bugs.
  • Creeping live bed bugs.

Where Can You Find Bed Bugs

To get rid of bed bugs, it is very important for us to know their hiding places. As these creepy creatures become active mostly at night, during the day time they hide in different places, which we can’t even think. Its tiny body shape helps it to slip into the tiniest of spots.

  • Bed bugs hide mainly in bed frames, mattresses, box springs, and headboards as they can easily bite people at night.
  • They lurk in groups in the seams of the cushions, sofas, couches etc. You can also find them between the folds of the curtains.
  • They hide in the joints of the drawers, chairs, cupboards, etc.
  • Loose wall hangings and wall papers make good hiding places for bed bugs.
  • The meeting point of the wall and ceilings is also a hiding place for the bed bugs.
  • They are also found in electrical appliances and receptacles.
  • To your surprise you can also find them even in the head of a screw.

Home Remedies for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs not only enter your house easily though clothing, luggage, bags or other items but also spread quickly to make your life more difficult. They can infest the entire room within a very short span of time and may spread to other rooms. Before it becomes very late, it is wise to get rid of them as early as possible. You can take the help of pest-control professionals to eradicate bed bugs if your house is highly infested with these pesky critters. But at the initial stage you can always go for the home remedies for the bed bugs that are effective, cost effective as well as easy to use.

1. Spread Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth powder is one of the safest, non-toxic and effective ways to get rid of bed          bugs. It dehydrates and kills the bed bud bug as it destroys the outer protective layer of these pesky critters. As per a study, diatomaceous earth powder can completely eradicate bed bugs within 12 days. This fine powder can easily work on furniture and can be placed easily on tight and tiny places.

Things You Need:

  • Pure and Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Powder –The amount depends on the area of infestation

Process:

  1. Take the powder and spread it on the places that are infested with bed bugs.
  2. Repeat the process in every 2 to 3 days for at least 2 weeks to remove the bed bugs completely.

Note:  Before applying this powder to kill the bed bugs, ensure to clean the linens with extremely hot water. Also vacuum clean your bed, furniture and your home completely.

2. Baking Soda:

Baking soda proves to be a good remedy for bed bugs. Its use dries out the bed bugs and kills them by sucking the moisture from them.

Things You Need:

  • Baking Soda – the quantity depends on the bed bug-infested area.

Process:

  1. Spread a layer of baking soda on the bed bug- infested areas properly. Look for all the tiny places where there is a possibility of bed bug infestation.
  2. Leave it for at least a week and then use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda, bed bugs and their eggs.
  3. Repeat this process till you get rid of bed bugs completely.

3. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil is best known for its antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic, antiseptic properties.  It also works as a good expectorant. Its properties help to kill the insects including bed bugs and at the same time checks further spreading of bed bugs.

Things You Need:

  • 100% Pure Tea Tree Essential Oil – 2 tsp
  • Lukewarm Water – 50 ml
  • A Spray Bottle

Process:

  1. In the spray bottle take the lukewarm water and mix 2 tsp of tea tree oil, and shake well.
  2. Spray it on your furniture, walls, carpets, mattresses, cushions, furnishings and all other bed bug infested areas.
  3. Spraying tea tree oil twice a day for a week will help to remove the bed bugs to a great extent.
  4. After using this tea tree oil spray, if there is no improvement, then you can add few more drops of tea tree oil to the water to get effective results.

4. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil works as a good bed bug repellant as bed bugs cannot withstand the toxicity of this oil. It also helps to destroy the eggs and larvae of bed bugs. Also bed bugs cannot tolerate the smell of this oil.

Things You Need:

  • Lavender Essential Oil – 10 to 15 drops
  • Water – 50 ml.

Process:

  1. Mix lavender essential oil with water and pour it into the spray bottle.
  2. Spray it generously on all the hiding places of the bed bugs.
  3. Use this spray regularly to get rid of bed bugs soon.
  4. You can also use lavender leaves and flowers to keep away the bed bugs.

5. Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oil Spray

Peppermint essential oil with its antibacterial and antiviral properties helps to move away the bed bugs and controls the further spreading of it.

Things You Need:

  • Lukewarm Water – 100 ml
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – 10 to 15 drops
  • Lavender Essential Oil – 10 to 15 drops
  • A Spray Bottle

Process:

  1. In a spray bottle, take the water and mix the peppermint and lavender essential oil.
  2. Shake well and spray it on the bed bug-infested areas.
  3. Repeat this process until you get rid of the bed bugs completely.

6. Clove Essential Oil:

Clove essential oil is a good source of insecticidal and insect repellent properties. Its rich eugenol content proves very toxic for the bugs and kills them. Also its strong smell helps to kill the bed bugs and prevents them from spreading.

Things You Need:

  • Clove Essential Oil – 1 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup

Process:

  1. Mix the clove essential oil with the water.
  2. Spray it on the bed bug-infested areas of your home.
  3. Use this home remedy for bed bugs regularly to get effective results.

7. Peppermint, Clove and Cinnamon Oil:

Apart from peppermint and clove essential oil, cinnamon essential oil also has properties that can kill and repel the bed bugs. So you can make a spray of these essential oils too to remove the bed bugs from your home.

Things You Need:

  • Peppermint Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Clove Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Cinnamon Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • A Spray Bottle

Process:

  1. Fill water in a spray bottle and add all the essential oils to it.
  2. Shake well and spray it on the bed bug infested area and their hiding places.
  3. Also spray it on the furniture, mattress seams and furnishings.
  4. Use this essential oil spray twice a day to remove the bed bugs completely.

 8. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is not only widely used in food, pharmaceutical products and perfumes but also work effectively as an insect repellent. It is loaded with antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Its use shows ovicidal activity, thus its use not only kills the bed bugs but also destroys its eggs.

Things You Need:

  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil – 30 drops
  • Water – 2 ounces
  • Vodka – 1.5 ounces

Process:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and pour it into a spray bottle.
  2. Shake well and spray it on the bed bug-affected areas in every two hours to repel the bed bugs effectively.

9. Orange Essential Oil

Orange essential oil contains d-limonene, which works as a good insecticide. It is a nerve toxin and kills the bed bugs as soon as they come in contact with this essential oil.

Things You Need:

  • Orange Essential Oil – 2 ounces
  • Compost Tea – 1 cup
  • Blackstrap Molasses  – 1 ounce
  • Water – 4 liters

Process:

  1. Mix well all the ingredients in 4 liters of water.
  2. Pour it into a spray bottle and use it on the areas that are infested with bed bugs.
  3. Regular use of this spray is believed to destroy the bed bugs completely.

10. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is more effective to remove bed bugs naturally. It not only kills the bed bugs but also destroys the eggs. It increases the acidic condition within the bugs and kills them.

Things You Need:

  • Lemongrass Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Water – 1 bowl

Process:

  1. Mix lemongrass essential oil in the water to make a natural bed bug spray.
  2. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray it on the bed bug-infested areas to get rid of them.

11. Neem Essential Oil

Neem essential oil is an herbal remedy that has been used in preparing various types of herbal medicines since ancient times. And cold pressed neem oil has high toxicity level and antifeedancy, which works to repel the bed bugs to a great extent. It is also a good source of larval growth inhibition properties. 

Things You Need: 

  • Neem Essential Oil – 1 ounce
  • Water – 4 ounces
  • Soap Powder – ½ tsp

Process:

  1. Take the water and mix all the ingredients in it.
  2. Pour the solution to a spray bottle and spray it on all the nook and corner of the home as well as on other things that are attacked by bed bugs.
  3. For 3 days, spray this solution 3 times a day and then spray it 3 times every alternate day for 18 days to get rid of bed bugs totally.

12. Essential Oil Blend

We came to know about the insect killing properties of many essential oils. So when we prepare a blend by mixing few of these essential oils, it works wonders to kill as well repel the bed bugs effectively.

Things You Need:

  • Lavender Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil – 6 drops
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil – 6 drops
  • Neem Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Water – 50 ml

Process:

  • Mix all these essential oils in water and pour into a spray bottle.
  • Spray it on the bed bug-infested areas every day to kill as well as repel the bed bugs completely.
  • You can also mix the same quantity of all these essential oils to a carrier oil like jojoba, coconut or grape seed oil to make body oil. Applying this oil will keep the bed bugs away from you and will help you to get a good night’s sleep.
  • This essential oil blend without the carrier oil also treats bed bug bites and disinfects bitten area.

13. Thyme

Thyme has natural insecticide properties which make it an effective home remedy for bed bugs. Its use helps to kill and repel bed bugs. Its use also prevents further infestation of bed bug.


Things You Need:

  • A Thyme Stick
  • A Cotton Cloth

Process:

  1. Tie the cloth on the thyme stick and burn it near the area that is affected by bed bugs.
  2. You can also take few hands full of thyme leaves and place them near the infested areas.
  3. Place new leaves in every 3 days at least for 1 month for the complete extermination of the bed bugs from the infested area.

Note: Thyme is not safe for children and pregnant women. Be careful while using it at your home, if there are children or any pregnant woman.

14. Black Walnut Tea

The leaves of black walnut contain insecticidal properties and works well to repel bed bugs.

Things You Need:

  • Black Walnut Tea Bags – as per the bed bug infested area

Process:

  1. Place the tea bags on the areas affected by bed bugs or else sprinkle tea leaves on the infested area like all the corners, bed creases, closet and interior area.
  2. Repeat this home remedy till you become successful in getting rid of bed bugs.

15. Sweet Flag

Sweet flag, which is loaded with anti-microbial and insecticidal properties, is a major ingredient in many chemical-based insecticides. Its use delivers effective results to curb the menace of bed bugs.

Things You Need:

  • Sweet Flag – 100 gms
  • Turmeric Powder – 50 gms
  • Water – 1 liter

Process:

  1. Take the water and heat it in medium flame.
  2. When the water starts boiling, add the sweet flag and turmeric powder to it and mix well.
  3. Boil this for 1 hour and leave for 1 night.
  4. Filter it and dilute it with 10 times the mixed water.
  5. Pour it into a spray bottle and use it generously on the bed bug-affected areas.

16. Cayenne Pepper, Ginger and Oregano Spray

Cayenne pepper is a good source of antimicrobial properties which help to kill the bed bugs. The combination of the spiciness of cayenne pepper and ginger along with the strong smell of oregano essential oil makes it an effective insecticide.

What You Need:

  • Cayenne Pepper – 1tsp
  • Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  • Oregano Essential Oil – 1 tsp
  • Water – 2 Cups

Process:

  1. Add all the ingredients to 1 cup of water and mix well.
  2. Boil the water for 5 to7 minutes.
  3. Strain the water and pour it into the spray bottle.
  4. Spray it on all the hiding places of bed bugs and on the things that are affected by bed bugs.
  5. Use this spray twice daily to repel and kill the bed bugs.

17. Bean Leaves:

It contains a property called trichomes, which works to kill the bed bugs. Its leaf has microscopic hairs on its surface that pierce the bedbug’s feet and kill them.

Things You Need:

  • Bean Leaves – few hands full

Process:

  1. Take the bean leaves and spread them on the corners of the room, bed, mattresses, cushions and other affected area.
  2. Repeat this process everyday till you get rid of bed bugs from your home completely.

18. Neem Leaves

Neem leaves, which is loaded with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties works as a good pesticide and insect repellant.

Things You Need:

  • Neem Leaves – 3 hands full
  • Water ½ liter

Process 1:

  1. Take ½ liter of water in a sauce pan and boil it.
  2. When the water starts boiling, add neem leaves to it and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain it and pour it into a spray bottle.
  4. Spray this hot neem water on the bed bug infested areas.
  5. Regular spraying of neem water on bed bug affected areas will help to get rid of the bed bugs effectively.
  6. Taking a neem water bath also keeps the bed bugs away from you. This bath soothes the infected area of your skin.

Process 2:

  1. Crush the neem leaves and spread it on the bed, sofa and other areas.
  2. The smell and antimicrobial properties of neem will check the further spreading of bed bugs.
  3. Spread crushed neem leaves on your bed before going to sleep to stop bed bugs biting you.  

Other Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Steam Treatment: Bed bugs cannot withstand high temperature. If you want to make your cushions, mattresses, carpets, furnishings, etc., free from bed bugs, then go for steam treatment (minimum temperature should be 113 degrees Fahrenheit). Steam treatment not only kills the bed bugs but also destroys the eggs.

Vacuum Cleaner: The use of it removes the bed bugs from their hiding places. It also removes the bed bug, larvae and eggs. Ensure to change the vacuum bag after using it and clean all the attachments of the vacuum cleaner in hot water and detergent.

Hair Dryer: As bed bugs die in high temperature, you can set your hair dryer in highest mode and use it on the bed bug-infested areas and things for 1 hour to kill the bed bugs and destroy the eggs. Remember to vacuum clean the dead bugs and eggs. Clean the vacuum cleaner bag thoroughly after the use.

Stiff-bristled Brush: Use a stiff-bristled brush to remove bed bugs, larvae and their eggs from your bed, mattresses, cushions, furnishings and other areas. Then vacuum clean as well as steam clean the infested things and areas. Ensure to change the vacuum bag after the use and clean the attachments with hot water and detergent.

Double-sided Tape: If you want to get a sound sleep, then put double-sided tape around the bottom of your bed. When the bed bugs become active at night they get stuck on the tapes.

Silica Gel: The fine silica gel suffocates, dehydrates and kills bed bugs. Take some silica gel and grind. Apply it on the areas that are infested with bed bugs. Follow this process for 5 weeks to remove bed bugs from your home completely.

Rubbing Alcohol: It acts as a natural pesticide. The strong smell of it kills the bed bugs. It dehydrates the bed bugs and kills them. Spray some rubbing alcohol on the things or areas that are infested with bed bugs.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

Bed bug infestation scares us as to get rid of this problem is a daunting task. So it is very important to protect our house from bed bug infestation in the first place.

  • Keep your home clutter free to reduce the hiding places of bed bugs.
  • Protect your beds and spring boxes from the bed bugs with encasements. Regularly check for the holes in the encasements.
  • Vacuum clean your home, mattresses, furniture, furnishings, etc., regularly.
  • Be careful while opting for shared laundry facilities. Send the clothes to be washed in a plastic bag and use a new bag to carry the clean clothes. Take the clothes directly from the dryer.
  • Use a portable heating chamber to treat the bed bug affected items.
  • Seal the crevices and cracks to prevent the bed bugs reside there.
  • Dry clean your luggage and clothes immediately after you return home from travelling.
  • Check for bed bug infestation before buying any second hand furniture.
  • Do not share jackets, hats, coats, etc.
  • Check your bedding and mattresses regularly.

Bed bugs do not transmit any diseases, but sometimes the bites cause allergic reactions, bite marks and in some rare cases cause anaphylaxis, (severe reaction in the whole body).  It sometimes causes insomnia, anxiety and systemic reactions if the house is severely infested.

It is absolutely essential to get rid of bed bugs as soon as possible. So, use these effective home remedies that are discussed here to make your house free from bed bugs. But if your house is severely infested with bed bugs and after using all these home remedies, still you have sleepless nights, then it is time to go for professional help.

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