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If you search "the interwebs" you'll find lots of articles and videos that may lead you to believe that you can get rid of bed bugs with natural things that smell bad to bed bugs. Unfortunately, much of this information is entirely inaccurate. It isn't the fault of those posting the information (well, mostly). When natural scents are used to deter bed bugs, they can work—a little bit. But we're here to tell you that it isn't likely that bed bugs will leave your home when you apply essential oils. And essential oils won't prevent bed bugs from getting into your Milford home in the first place. Let's take a look at the problem.

How Bed Bugs Get In

Bed bugs are indoor pests. They spread from one indoor location to another. When you go on vacation, you can pick bed bugs up and bring them home with you. When you purchase used furniture, you can purchase a bed bug infestation. When you go to work, you can come home with bed bugs. There are many ways bed bugs can get into your Milford home, but these bugs never come in through your exterior walls from the outside. They're not outdoor insects. This is super important to understand.

  • Bed bugs don't choose your home. They get picked up and carried to your home.

  • Bed bugs don't choose to stay in your home. If your home is not ideal for bed bugs, there is little chance they're going to go outside searching for a blood meal. They will simply go into a low-energy state and wait for an opportunity to get a meal.

  • Bed bugs can live in the cleanest of homes. The only benefit a clean home has is that it is easier to detect bed bugs when everything is orderly and clean. It makes it easier to detect warning signs such as black and brown stains on fabrics or shed insect skins.

  • Bad smells are likely to only make bed bugs avoid the stinky areas. They won't go outside to get away from bad smells.

  • Bed bugs need blood in order to reproduce. Female bed bugs will put up with something stinky to ensure the survival of her species.

Will Essential Oils Keep Bed Bugs Away From You?

You can have limited success keeping bed bugs out of your bed and away from you if you apply essential oils to your bedding and sheets, or if you apply them to your skin. But, according to a Rutgers University study, there are few essential oils that are  effective against bed bugs. It is possible to use the wrong ones and have no impact at all. It is also possible to use the right ones in the wrong amounts and have little impact. But people still try, and we understand why they would. Essential oils allow you to apply bed bug control to a sensitive location that can't be sprayed with insecticides—namely, your bed. Scientists who research the efficacy of natural plant-based substances for the control of insects are aware of this, and research is going on to determine whether or not essential oils can be viable for the control of bed bugs. What they've found might surprise you.

Can Essential Oils Kill Bed Bugs?

In a recent Purdue University study, 15 essential oil compounds were studied to determine their direct impact on the nervous system function of bed bugs. All of the chemicals tested were able to kill bed bugs when directly applied to the bugs. Some were more effective than others. Carvacrol, which is derived from oregano and thyme, was one of the most effective. But it took high doses of these compounds to achieve success. A bed bug needed to come in contact with 70,000 times more of these natural compounds than a synthetic insecticide. This was significantly reduced when natural compounds were administered as fumigants. Only 400 times as much was needed. While that may still seem like a lot, it has left researchers hopeful that they'll be able to formulate a product derived from these natural sources that can be applied in the concentrations needed to kill bed bugs effectively. We're not there yet, but we're on the way.

Right now, the best way to get control of bed bugs is through a process of inspection, monitoring, and an application of botanical compounds, heat remediation, fumigation, or a use of synthetic insecticides. Treatments should be selected and administered by a licensed professional.

Milford Bed Bug Control

If you live in Milford, or somewhere else in our extensive New England service area, reach out to Big Blue Bug Solutions for effective bed bug control. We use the most advanced products and strategies to eliminate bed bugs in a way that keeps your family's safety in mind.

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