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7 Natural Home Remedies for Bed Bug Infestations

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Bed bugs are a big problem, as they feed on the blood of people and animals. They are hard to see because they are so small. But, they can leave you with itchy and uncomfortable bites. Lucky for us, there are many ways to get rid of them without harmful chemicals.

These solutions include things like vacuuming and steam cleaning. You can also use powders, salts, and oils from plants like tea tree, lavender, and peppermint. These natural methods are proven to work against bed bugs.

Key Takeaways

  • Bed bugs feed on human and animal blood, causing itchy bites
  • Effective home remedies include vacuuming, steam cleaning, and using powders, salts, and essential oils
  • Diatomaceous earth, baking soda, and tea tree oil are proven to be highly effective against bed bugs
  • Lemongrass and other plant-based solutions can repel and kill bed bugs
  • Proper identification and treatment are crucial to eliminating bed bug infestations

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny insects that live in hidden places and drink human blood. They come out mostly at night. They are very hard to spot because they are so small, about the size of a pencil’s eraser.

A single female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in her life. This makes it easy for infestations to grow quickly. Plus, bed bugs can live for a long time without a meal, making them tough to get rid of.

Identifying Bed Bug Infestations

Spotting the signs of bed bugs is key for getting rid of them. Look out for bite marks, blood stains, and their fecal matter or shed skins. Some places use dogs that are specially trained to sniff out bed bugs. This is because bed bugs can live a long time without food and reproduce fast.

These things make controlling them hard. You can find bed bugs in places like hotels, hospitals, and dorms. These spots offer plenty of chances for bed bugs to spread.

Not everyone reacts to bed bug bites. But some people get itchy, stressed, or anxious from them. In very rare cases, bed bug bites can lead to severe allergies, like hives and blisters.

Finding bed bugs early is important for stopping them. If you know what to look for and act fast, you can protect your home from these pests.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

When you have bed bugs, mixing simple home fixes can fight them off. You can vacuum well and use steam. Also, try special tricks with things most homes have. These all help kick bed bugs out.

Vacuuming and Steam Cleaning

Clean very carefully with a vacuum and steam to kill bed bugs and their eggs. These bugs are as small as the head of Abraham Lincoln on a penny. Pay attention to where they hide, like in the seams of furniture.

Heat Treatment

High heat can kill bed bugs. You need at least 120°F to do the job right. Dry infested items on a high heat or use a hair dryer. Since bedbugs can grow quickly and make many more babies in a year, you must use heat often to beat them.

Silica Gel Packets

Silica gel packets dry out and kill bed bugs. Putting them where bugs live can stop them from spreading. It’s a safe method, too.

Rubbing Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, is strong against bed bugs. Use it on bugs you find. Make sure it’s 80% alcohol or more. This is good for small bug areas.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets’ smell can push bed bugs away. Place them by your bed and under sheets. Bugs might not want to stay in your home.

Hair Dryer

Just like a dryer, a hair dryer can kill bed bugs with heat. Aim it at bugs and their hiding spots. It gets rid of bugs and eggs well.

Brushing and Double-Sided Tape

Brush your mattress seams and put tape around the bed. This makes it hard for bed bugs to move and eat. It’s a neat way to block them.

Using several home fixes can really help with bed bugs. Keep at it and watch for bugs to make sure they don’t come back. Fighting bed bugs off takes time, but you can do it.

Powders and Salts for Bed Bug Control

Two powdery substances are great for fighting bed bugs at home. These are baking soda and diatomaceous earth. Both are easy to find and work well if used right.

Baking Soda

A lot of people use baking soda to fight bed bugs. Some think it dries out the bugs and kills them. But, it might not work as well as other ways. You might need to use it a lot to keep bugs away.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth comes from fine, crushed rocks. It’s better than baking soda at killing bed bugs. The sharp edges hurt the bugs and make them dry out. Adding heat to this, like hot laundry, makes it even better.

While these powders help, they might not beat bed bugs alone. You have to keep applying them and watching for bugs. Also, handle them with care because they can be bad for you if breathed in or eaten…

Essential Oils and Plant-Based Remedies

Essential oils and plant-based remedies are great for fighting bed bugs. These powerful natural compounds scare off and kill bed bugs in your house.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil comes from the Melaleuca tree’s leaves. It fights off bed bugs well and stops them from coming back. Its own chemicals work to beat these tiny pests.

Lavender Oil and Leaves

Lavender oil and leaves can keep bed bugs away. The nice smell of lavender makes bugs not want to come near. The oil also kills them when it touches them.

Peppermint Leaves

Peppermint leaves smell great to us but not to bed bugs. Use them around your home to stop the bugs from entering. They work as a natural shield against these bugs.

Black Tea Bags

Black tea bags have tannins that can fight bed bugs. Placing these tea bags in your home can stop bugs from growing in number. They work as a natural blocker.

To use these remedies well, learn to mix them right and where to put them. Always read the instructions first or ask an expert. This ensures you use them safely and that they work well.

essential oils bed bugs

These natural methods can help with bed bugs, but they might not be enough sometimes. For big bug problems or if they keep coming back, get help from a pro. They can offer better and stronger ways to handle the bugs.,

“Essential oils and plant-based remedies offer a natural fight against bed bugs. But using them the right way is key, and sometimes you might need more than these to really fix the problem.”

Other Plant-Based Solutions

Along with essential oils, plant-based solutions work well against bed bugs. For instance, catnip, bean leaves, and Indian lilac leaves are good at keeping these bugs away.


Catnip isn’t just for cats; it’s good for fighting bed bugs too. The smell of catnip makes bed bugs run. It’s safe and easy for people to use. You can put catnip plants or products around your house to stop bed bugs from coming in.

Bean Leaves

Bean leaves are helpful too. They have tiny barbs that catch and kill bed bugs. Put bean leaves near your bed or in cracks to keep bed bugs away.

Indian Lilac Leaves

Indian lilac, or neem tree, is another good option. Its leaves keep insects away. By crushing and placing these leaves where there are bed bugs, you can stop them from spreading.

These plant ways can work by themselves or together to get rid of bed bugs. The strong smell of catnip, the trapping of bean leaves, and Indian lilac’s bugs-killing power are all safe options. They fight bed bugs without using chemicals.

“Bed bugs can be a persistent and frustrating problem, but with the right combination of natural remedies, you can take back control of your home.”

Vinegar and Other Household Items

Vinegar is a great tool against bed bugs. Its acetic acid content messes with the bugs’ nervous system, leading to their death. White distilled vinegar works best because it’s more acidic than apple cider vinegar. But it’s not a long-term solution or the best for serious problems.

Isopropyl alcohol is another handy item. It can kill adult bed bugs right away. However, it can’t kill eggs or nymphs. Since vinegar doesn’t get through the egg casings, you’ll need to use other methods as well.

Household Item
Effectiveness Against Bed Bugs
Kills bed bugs on contact but limited effectiveness, does not address the root problem of infestation
Rubbing Alcohol
Kills adult bed bugs instantly, but does not eradicate eggs or nymphs
Diatomaceous Earth
Effective at killing bed bugs by dehydrating them, but takes a few days for complete eradication
Essential Oils (Lavender, Tea Tree, Peppermint, etc.)
Can act as effective repellents and killers of bed bugs, but not all essential oils work equally well
Heat Treatment
Effectively kills bed bugs and their eggs by raising temperatures to lethal levels

While vinegar is a good weapon, it’s often better to talk to professionals. They can fully get rid of bed bugs and ensure they don’t come back.

household items for bed bugs

Other Home Remedies for Bed Bug

Expert treatments are best for bad bed bug problems. Home remedies offer a natural and inexpensive way to help with these bugs. Sage or thyme burning and using pyrethrum can fight bed bugs. Yet, these may not always work well, especially if many bugs are present.

Some people use diluted rubbing alcohol to instantly kill bed bugs on touch. Diatomaceous earth is also good. It is a powder that takes away moisture from bed bugs, killing them. Vinegar helps too but only kills bugs when you touch them. It can’t kill eggs or young bed bugs.

Essential oils like tea tree, lavender, and peppermint oil work against bed bugs. They can stop eggs from growing too. You can use these oils along with other tips. For example, heat, silica gel, dryer sheets, and hair dryers can also help.

Using home remedies is a handy part of fighting bed bugs. But remember, these methods might not solve the problem by themselves, especially with a lot of bed bugs. For a big problem, getting help from professionals is best. They can make sure all bugs are gone and help stop them from coming back.

Natural Fungal Treatment

A special natural way to get rid of bed bugs is using a fungus named Beauveria bassiana. This fungus can stop bed bugs from breeding and eating. Even though not many people know about it, this alternative method might be helpful for those who prefer no chemicals.

Beauveria bassiana spreads by infecting bed bugs and messing up their ability to reproduce. It sticks to the bugs’ outer shells and puts out enzymes. These enzymes eat away the bug, killing it. This treatment is great because it works on bed bugs at any life stage, from eggs to grown-ups.

A big plus of using Beauveria bassiana is that it’s safe for people and the planet. It’s not like using chemical sprays that are bad for health and nature. Also, you can keep growing and using the fungus again to control more bed bugs.

To start using Beauveria bassiana, you just need to put the fungal spores in places where bed bugs hide. Like in cracks, under beds, and in walls. The spores will catch the bed bugs and start wiping them out. This approach is a green and lasting way to handle bed bug troubles.

natural fungal treatment bed bugs

Yet, using the fungus alone may not be enough to stop bed bugs entirely. It’s important to also keep your place clean, look out for bugs often, and get help from professionals when you need it. A mix of good strategies is key to beating bed bugs for good.

Using Herbs for Bed Bug Control

In the fight against bed bugs, some herbs and spices work well. Lemongrass and cloves have special powers that can tackle these pests.


Lemongrass smells like citrus and is great at killing bed bugs and their eggs. It has a strong compound called citronellic acid that is bad for bed bugs. This makes them die when they touch it. Plus, its smell keeps them away, acting as a natural shield.


Cloves are another powerful herb. The oil in cloves, called eugenol, is a top natural bug killer. You can use cloves by putting them in places where bugs hide. You can also mix them into homemade sprays. Both ways help get rid of bed bugs.

Using lemongrass and cloves, among other natural ways, is key in fighting bed bugs. Combine these with other good methods, like heat treatment and oils. These ways help you fight bed bugs without using a lot of chemicals.

“Integrated pest management approaches using essential oil-based compounds have been suggested for bed bug control.”

Adding these herb-based tips to your plan is good for nature and your home. Acting fast and getting help from pros, when you need it, stops bed bugs from spreading.

Limitations of Home Remedies

Using home remedies for bed bugs might seem easy, but it often doesn’t work well. Penn State Extension advises against them. They can cause harm and break the law. Most pesticides are tested for safety but can still be dangerous.

Home remedies aren’t very specific. They could harm the environment. Without clear instructions, you might not control the bugs or hurt nature. Even helpful bugs like ladybugs can be harmed.

Some home remedies, like boric acid, can be deadly. Misusing pesticides is against the law. Food might be taken away if residues are too high.

Bed bugs are very tough to get rid of. They resist many bug sprays. Professionals might be needed to kill them all. They sneak into small places and love where people sleep.

Experts from places like Penn State can help a lot. They offer the best strategies safely. They know how to solve the bed bug problem.

Home Remedies
Professional Extermination
  • Lack of precise instructions
  • Potential harm to humans, pets, and plants
  • Violation of federal law
  • Lack of specificity in mix rates
  • Potential harm to beneficial insects
  • Health risks from exposure to chemicals like boric acid
  • Rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness
  • Expertise of licensed commercial pesticide applicators
  • Ability to effectively target hard-to-reach areas
  • Comprehensive and integrated pest management strategies
  • Compliance with federal regulations

Home remedies often fall short with bed bugs. For better results, listen to professional advice.

bed bugs

Professional Bed Bug Extermination

If you can’t get rid of bed bugs on your own, a professional pest control service might be your best bet. They check your home, figure out the bug problem, and make a plan to fix it. They use methods like heat, gas, or special sprays. Even though these pros cost more than doing it yourself, they’re really good at getting rid of bed bugs forever.

These experts use strong bug killers and know how to apply them properly. They know a lot about bed bugs, so they can find and kill them everywhere they hide. With special tools, they can do a much better job than using stuff from the store by yourself.

To get ready for the job, move furniture and other stuff away from walls. Clean all your bedding by washing it in hot water and drying it on high heat. You might need to leave your home for a few hours while they work.

The amount you pay for this service depends on how big your home is and how serious the bug problem is. It might cost about $200 for each room on average. It sounds like a lot, but it’s worth it to get rid of bed bugs for good and stop them from coming back.

Bed Bug Treatment Product
Mixing Ratio
Spectre 2 SC
3 oz per gallon or 0.75 oz per quart
CrossFire Bed Bug Insecticide
3 oz per gallon of water or 0.75 oz per quart

For the best results, professionals use different techniques at the same time. They may use products like Spectre 2 SC, Crossfire Bed Bug Insecticide, and more. They pick the best treatment based on how bad the bug problem is and your home’s details.

Yes, hiring pros to kill bed bugs is a big choice, but it’s a very good one. Their knowledge, tools, and treatments are the best way to kill bed bugs and stop them from coming back. In the end, it’s the most certain way to fix your bug problem.


Dealing with bed bugs is tough, but there are simple home remedies to beat them. You can try things like vacuuming, cleaning with steam, and using certain oils. These ways are cheap and can help you get your home back from bed bugs. Yet, if the problem is really bad, it’s smart to call in the pros. Mixing both home and professional methods is best to kick these bugs out.

Some home tips, such as baking soda, vinegar, and Lysol, do kill bed bugs when they touch them. But, these methods might not solve everything. Essential oils, diatomaceous earth, and using heat work better. They have been proven to do well against bed bugs both in the lab and real homes. So, trying different tricks can make your fight more effective.

So, home remedies are great for handling bed bugs, especially at the start. But, if things get out of hand, getting professional help is wise. Keep an eye out and use whatever methods you can. This way, you’ll soon have a home that is free from these tiny pests.


What are the signs of a bed bug infestation?

You might spot signs like bite marks and blood stains. Also, check for small brown fecal spots. You might see the bugs themselves, especially after they’ve fed.

What are some effective home remedies for getting rid of bed bugs?

Ways to control bed bugs at home include vacuuming well and steam cleaning. High heat can kill them. You can also use silica gel, or rubbing alcohol, and natural powders like baking soda.

How can essential oils and plant-based remedies help with bed bug control?

Some essential oils, like tea tree and lavender, are good for fighting bed bugs. Peppermint can also help. There are also plant-based options that work, such as catnip or Indian lilac leaves.

Can household items like vinegar and alcohol be used to get rid of bed bugs?

Vinegar and isopropyl alcohol do have some use against bed bugs. But, they aren’t as effective as other treatments.

What are the limitations of using home remedies for bed bugs?

Home remedies may not treat the whole problem. They might not kill all bug stages. For tough cases, professional help is often needed.

When should you consider calling in a professional exterminator?

If the home strategies don’t work or if the problem is severe, call the pros. They can do a full check and use treatments to show the bugs the door.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is for educational purposes only, always check with your medical doctor before stopping any prescription medications or when implementing any dietary and lifestyle changes.

Healthlyious has strict sourcing guidelines, believes in trustworthy and reliable sources, and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, medical journal publications, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

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