We hate bed bugs. And we’re sure you want to keep bed bugs away from you and your home forever.
However, bed bug infestation doesn’t come knocking on the door.
It just explodes out of nowhere when you’ve ignored the signs of bed bugs in your home.
But there are ways to keep bed bugs away. And it’s by using the scents bed bugs hate.
In this guide, you’ll discover the scents and things bed bugs don’t like.
You’ll learn to use them effectively to sleep well without getting bed bug bites.
That’s not all. This short guide will also reveal two things that kill bed bugs.
Keep reading to know them all.
9 Smells Bed Bugs Hate
- Rubbing alcohol
- Black pepper
- Tea tree oil
- Neem oil
Not just bed bugs, spiders, roaches, ants, and many other home-invading pests hate the smell of these ten things.
Let’s find out how you can use them to keep bed bugs away from yourself, prevent bed bug bites, and ensure yourself a good night’s sleep.
Research has proven that peppermint oil has insecticidal properties that keep biting bugs like bed bugs away.
It’s because bugs, especially bed bugs, hate peppermint scent.
However, you’ll need to use it as an essential oil or a spray on your skin and around your bed to keep bed bugs miles away from you.
Use the peppermint spray around your bed, on the bed headboard, and on the furniture near the bed to keep bed bugs away.
You can also wear peppermint essential oil on your skin to keep bed bugs from biting you during the sleep.
As per Health Line, rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs, their larvae, and their eggs.
However, there’s a catch. It kills bed bugs on contact.
So, it’ll be difficult to kill bed bugs solely with rubbing alcohol because they hide in thin gaps and cracks.
But you can use it to keep bed bugs away. It’s because bed bugs hate the smell of rubbing alcohol.
Take a spray bottle and mix equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and water. Shake it well and spray it on your bed frame, headboard, mattress, and furniture near the bed.
But don’t use rubbing alcohol on the skin every night to keep bed bugs away. It’s because rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) can cause dryness and redness on the skin.
Do you know that lavender is a bug repellant? And many savvy homeowners keep lavender plants indoors and outdoors to keep bugs and pests away.
The smell of lavender repels spiders, moths, flies, gnats, and mosquitoes.
And bed bugs hate the lavender scent too.
But if you don’t have a lavender plant in your bedroom, it’s okay.
You can use a lavender essential oil on your skin. And you can also use it as a spray by mixing a few drops of lavender essential oil in water.
Use the spray around your bed and on your bed’s headboard and frame.
It’ll significantly reduce the chances of bed bugs crawling onto you and inserting their mouth in your skin to draw blood.
And if bed bugs are on your bed, the lavender smell will evict them from your bed.
Cinnamon is bug repellant. And it comes in handy to keep pantry pests away in your kitchen.
Keeping cinnamon in powder or stick form on kitchen shelves, pantry storages, and cabinets repels the bugs and beetles that damage stored food.
However, cinnamon repels bed bugs too. Bed bugs don’t like the strong smell of cinnamon. And they’ll avoid places that reek of it.
To effectively use cinnamon to keep bed bugs away from your bed, use it either in powder form or liquid spray.
You can prepare a liquid cinnamon spray the same way as a lavender spray.
And spray it in your bedroom.
Another kitchen product that bed bugs hate is grounded black pepper.
You can use it in the same way you’ll use cinnamon powder.
Black pepper contains a compound known as capsaicin. It’s a proven bug-repellant that keeps crawlies like ants, centipedes, and roaches.
Black pepper is also effective against mice, rats, and squirrels.
Black pepper oil is also readily available, and you can use it as a spray around your bed to keep bed bugs away.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and proven bed repellant for bugs like bed bugs, dust mites, ticks, spiders, and even fleas.
Tea tree oil contains a compound known as cineole which has both insecticidal and repellant properties.
So, when bed bugs come in contact with it, the tea tree oil also causes discomfort on their exoskeleton, making them quit where they found it.
And the smell of tea tree oil is disgusting for bed bugs and many home-invading pests.
Neem oil is one of the most underrated and ignored oil that you can use to keep bugs, including bed bugs, away.
Neem oil contains Azadirachtin, which bed bugs hate.
It also acts as an infestation deterrent by thwarting the bed bugs’ ability to mate and produce eggs.
But neem oil doesn’t kill bed bugs. Its smell keeps bed bugs away.
You can prepare a neem oil spray by mixing three ounces of neem oil with a gallon of water. Stir the mixture well.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. And spray it around your bed, especially on the bed frame and mattress.
Bed bugs hate the scent of citrus fruits like lemon. Lemon’s smell is pleasing to us humans, but for bed bugs, it’s traumatizing.
D-limonene is a compound in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges that is intensely fetid for many bugs, including bed bugs.
So, keeping lemon peels and spraying fresh lemon juice on and around your bed and bedroom furniture will keep bed bugs away.
However, using citrus essential is your best bet because it contains D-limonene extracts in large quantities.
Eucalyptus’ smell is intensely pungent for bed bugs. It impedes their olfactory senses and damages their ability to locate their hosts.
That makes the bed bugs lose their sense of smell, which plays a significant role in locating and biting humans and repels them.
Eucalyptus is effective in repelling mosquitoes.
Prepare a eucalyptus bed bug-repellant spray by mixing 5-7 drops of eucalyptus essential with half a gallon of water.
And spray the mixture on your bed and in its vicinity.
Diatomaceous Earth And Heat Kill Bed Bugs
Both diatomaceous earth and heat are bed bug killers. Diatomaceous earth doesn’t have any odor. But when it comes in contact with bed bugs, it penetrates their skeletons and absorbs the fats and bodily fluids that keep them alive.
Bed bugs face a slow and painful death when they come in contact with DE.
Diatomaceous earth has sharp particles, which are known as diatoms. These particles penetrate the bed bugs’ exoskeleton.
Scatter diatomaceous earth on your bed frame, headboard, underneath the bed, and bedroom furniture.
Let it sit for half an hour. And then use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dead bed bugs and the diatomaceous earth.
However, there’s a more effective way. And it’s using heat.
You can use a steam cleaner to clean your bed, mattress, headboard, and box spring to kill the bed bugs hiding in these places.
Heat is an instant bed bug killer. And a steam cleaner produces heat from 140 deg F to 200 deg F, which is lethal for adult bed bugs, their eggs, and bed bugs larvae.
So, heat kills bed bugs in all life stages. And so does extreme cold.
Both heat and diatomaceous earth are your best bets to get rid of bed bugs in your home when the infestation is just starting and you’re under a tight budget.
This guide revealed the nine scents that bed bugs hate.
You can use the compounds emitting those smells as a spray from their essential oils and water.
You can use diatomaceous earth and steam cleaner as an alternative to these bed bug-repelling smells.
The hacks you learned will significantly reduce the chances of getting bed bug bites.
But remember that these are not the hacks that will remove a bed bug infestation in your house.
Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may have to hire a bed bug exterminator to eliminate bed bugs.
We’re Mark and Jim, and we’re retired pest controllers who made homes pest-free for more than three decades. We, along with our team of experts, founded this site to give you the pest control hacks that work.