If there’s a reliable essential oil that helps keep bed bugs away, it’s peppermint oil.
Bed bugs and peppermint oil can never exist in the same place.
Bed bugs will stay away from anything that smells minty.
In this guide, you’ll find out the best way to use peppermint oil to keep bed bugs away from your bed.
It’ll ensure that you don’t wake up with bed bug bites.
You’ll also learn why peppermint oil repels bed bugs and other bugs. And why it’s not the solution to the bed bug problem in your house.
And a lot more. Keep reading.
Peppermint Oil Doesn’t Kill Bed Bugs
Peppermint oil for bed bugs is a stop-gap arrangement to get some relief from bed bug bites and activity.
Peppermint oil doesn’t kill bed bugs. It doesn’t even kill other pests like ants and flies in the house.
However, some bed bugs, like baby bed bugs or bed bugs that have just shed their skin, may die when the peppermint oil touches their skin.
It’s because baby bed bugs and bed bugs with new shells have a sensitive exoskeleton.
When peppermint oil makes contact with their skin, it causes intense skin irritation on them.
And the oil also increases the bed bugs’ photosensitivity, making them prone to die due to even minor heat exposure.
But matured and adult bed bugs will keep away from places where you’ve used peppermint oil.
So, the bad news is that peppermint oil won’t eliminate bed bug infestation in your home.
Why Does Peppermint Oil Repel Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs hate the peppermint smell.
Researchers at the Rutgers University have found that the strong scent of peppermint oil is a natural repellent, and it plays a vital role in keeping bed bugs away.
The peppermint oil smell overwhelms the bed bugs’ nervous system, making them nauseous.
Bed bugs also get a severe burning sensation if they come in contact with peppermint oil. But peppermint oil produces a cooling sensation on human skin.
Most bugs, including spiders, go through the same agony when peppermint oil makes contact with their skin.
Peppermint oil works so well in repelling bugs and other pests.
In nature, stick insects, also known as walking sticks, secrete peppermint smell to repel predators.
How To Use Peppermint Oil for Bed?
You can directly use the peppermint oil spray on the bed frame, headboard, bed legs, and other furniture, like side tables, near the bed to keep bed bugs away.
Use the spray in the affected areas, and bed bugs will stay away from them till they smell minty.
You can make your own DIY bed bug repellent spray using peppermint essential oil.
Add a 5-7 drops of cold condensed natural peppermint essential oil in two cups of water.
Add a few drops of carrier oil, like coconut oil, to the mixture. A carrier oil ensures that the peppermint oil dilutes and mixes well with water.
Stir the mixture well. And pour it into a spray bottle.
Spray the peppermint essential oil and water mixture in the places mentioned earlier.
It’ll keep the bed bugs away.
You can also use peppermint oil to prevent bed bug bites. It forms a protective layer on the skin that bed bugs find repelling.
Bed bugs hide during the day. So, don’t use the peppermint oil spray during the day time because it’ll not have any effect on them.
It’ll be best to use the peppermint oil spray during the night, a couple of hours prior to going to bed.
But what about the bed bugs hiding in the mattress?
To tackle them, take your steam cleaner and clean the mattress covers, mattresses, and pillows.
Steam cleaning is more effective than vacuum cleaning when killing bed bugs.
It’s because a steam cleaner produces high heat that a powerful vacuum cleaner doesn’t.
Exposure to heat above 140 degrees Fahrenheit is lethal for adult bed bugs, baby bed bugs, and bed bug eggs.
The heat from the steam cleaner penetrates the thick surfaces of bugs and kills them.
That’s why professional exterminators use heat treatment as one of the go-to methods for bed bug control.
Pro Tip: You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the bed.
Diatomaceous earth is a desiccant that helps in killing bed bugs. The sharp sand-like grains of DE arefossilized algae and plankton that penetrate the exoskeleton of bed bugs.
And by absorbing all the bodily fluids inside the bed bugs’ bodies, it kills bed bugs.
Diatomaceous earth has insecticidal properties. It helps in removing many household pests like ants, roaches, and flying insects like gnats.
Wait for a couple of hours after sprinkling the diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth doesn’t kill bugs instantly.
After a few hours, take a vacuum cleaner and remove the diatomaceous earth and the dead bed bugs from your bed.
Ensure that thoroughly clean your bed. It’s because diatomaceous earth lying on the bed can get into your nose while you’re asleep.
However, you must keep in mind that diatomaceous earth will not remove bed bugs completely from your house.
Other Essential Oils That Repel Bed Bugs Dislike
Apart from peppermint oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and lemongrass oil are the best essential oils to keep bed bugs away from your bed.
These oils also produce a strong smell that bed bugs hate.
You can use these essential oils to prepare a spray with water and use it the same way as peppermint oil.
Caution: Do not use hot water to prepare the spray. Use water at normal temperature.
An alternative to essential oils is rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol is a contact insecticide. It means that it can kill bed bugs.
You can make a rubbing alcohol spray by mixing equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water.
Rubbing alcohol brings some relief from bed bug problems. But don’t think that it’s an effective treatment for bed bugs.
Bed bugs can easily detect rubbing alcohol when you use it as a spray.
On detecting it, bed bugs will hide in the thin gaps and cracks.
The worst side effect can be bed bugs spreading into other rooms and making the infestation worse.
Also, prolonged exposure to rubbing alcohol is risky for human health.
Best Way To Eliminate Bed Bugs
Most essential oils repel bed bugs. But they can’t make your home bed bug free.
Diatomaceous earth has limitations when getting rid of bed bugs in your house.
Bed bugs are nasty pests that are very hard to remove.
Bed bugs take time to manifest.
And when you can easily detect bed bugs, it can mean that the infestation has gotten from bad to worse.
The best way to get rid of bed bugs is by hiring professional help.
Reliable and professional pest control is the only long-term effective solution for bed bugs.
Peppermint oil tops the list of all the things that bed bugs don’t like.
This guide revealed why you can use the hateful relationship between bed bugs and peppermint oil to your advantage.
But peppermint oil doesn’t kill bed bugs. So, it’s not the solution to the bed bug infestation in your house.