You can prevent bed bug bites till the bed bug problem exists in your home.
Bed bugs hate specific smells that you can use right now to keep them off your skin while sleeping.
With a combination of these scents and some simple hacks, you’ll bring down the chances of bed bug bites to zero.
Keep reading if you want an itching-free goodnight’s sleep.
How To Prevent Bed Bug Bites While Sleeping
Bed bug infestations are hard to eliminate. Even a professional pest control company will need to do repeated treatments till they’re sure the infestation is gone.
Unless your home is 100% bed bug-free, you’re at the risk of bed bug bites.
And it’s not a good idea to keep changing rooms for sleeping. If you do, bed bugs will spread from one room to another.
The solution to the bed bug bites problem is to use skin-safe compounds that emit scents which bed bugs hate.
Also, you’ll need to break the contact of your skin with your mattress so that the bed bugs hiding in the mattress can’t access your skin to bite.
Let’s find out how you can do it.
Wear Clothing That Covers Most Of Your Body
Bed bugs can’t bite through clothing.
So, the first step to prevent bed bug bites is to minimize the skin exposure as much as possible while sleeping.
For that, wear pajamas that cover your both legs. And wear a full-sleeved top or shirt.
You might be uncomfortable at the beginning, especially when you’re used to wear lesser clothes.
But it’s vital to cover your arms and legs while sleeping. Bed bugs bite in these areas a lot.
Use A Skin-Safe Insect Repellent
There are certain creams that contain insect-repelling compounds. And they’re safe for your skin too.
Use any creams that have DEET, Picaridin or IR3535.
These creams work super well in repelling bed bugs and other biting insects like mosquitoes bites, flea bites, and biting midges.
Campers and hikers also use these creams to keep biting bugs when they’re outdoors.
Use the cream on your palms, wrist, ankles, feet, and neck.
These areas of your body are left exposed to bed bug bites despite wearing full-sleeved shirts and pajamas.
Natural Essential Oils
Another option is to use essential oils. Essential oils are natural extracts of herbs and they’re definitely safe for your skin too.
Scents of many essential oils like lavender oil, peppermint oil, oregano essential oil, and tea tree oil repel bed bugs. Bed bugs hate their smell.
Mix a few drops of an essential oil of your choice with a carrier oil like coconut oil or sesame oil.
And apply the mixture on your exposed skin.
Research has proven that essential oils like oregano oil repelled bed bugs for nine hours straight, under lab conditions.
Now that’s a good enough time to get a bed bug bite-free sound sleep!
Your good old cream that you use to unblock your choked nose, vicks vaporub,is a bed bug repellent.
It contains peppermint and the it’s minty smell keeps bed bugs away.
You don’t want to stop after you’ve used the skin-safe bed bug repellents. You’ll need to do a bit of more due diligence to ensure a bite-free night’s sleep.
To start the process, take a vacuum cleaner.
And clean your bed frame, bed mattress (especially the mattress seams), headboard, and the furniture.
It’ll remove any bed bugs hiding in these areas.
Also, ensure that you dispose off the vacuum dust bag outside of your property. If you don’t, then the bed bugs inside the dust bag will crawl out and enter your home again.
Another proven hack that you can use is a steam cleaner.
Steam cleaners produce heat. And heat kills bed bugs.
That’s why exterminators use heat treatment to eliminate severe bed bug infestations.
Take your steam cleaner and clean the places mentioned above. It’ll kill all bed bugs in all life stages, and destroy their eggs too.
Spray Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) kills adult bed bugs, their eggs, and nymphs.
To prepare a spray, mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water.
Pour the mixture in a spray bottle. And spray the mixture where bed bugs can hide in your bed.
The cracks in the headboards, bed frames, box springs, in the loose wallpaper in your bedroom, and crevices in the bedroom furniture are possible hiding places for bed bugs.
These are the places where pros look out while they’re doing bed bug inspection.
Spray in these areas to kill bed bugs by acting as a desiccant and solvent both.
It dissolves the outer shell of the bed bugs and when it enters their bodies, it absorbs all the bodily fluids and fatty acids that keep the bed bugs alive.
However, there’s a catch. Rubbing alcohol isn’t a solution to the bed problem in your house.
The spray needs to make direct contact with bed bugs to kill them. And bed bugs are smart in detecting rubbing alcohol.
They hide deeper in the cracks or completely vacate their hiding places and hide elsewhere.
So, instead of treating bed bugs, rubbing alcohol can play a role in making the infestation spread.
Another draw back is that the rubbing alcohol is highly inflammable. So, you’ll have to dilute it before use it.
Accidents can occur. For example, a woman in Cincinnati tried to get rid of bed bugs by spraying excessive amount of rubbing alcohol on her furniture.
A nearby candle caused a massive fire which reported nearly 11 people dead. There are three such types of cases that The Washington Post reported.
It’d best to use rubbing alcohol sparingly. And don’t use it on your skin as it can cause skin infections too.
Mattress encasements are bug proof zipped mattress covers that are easy to put onto your mattress.
These encasements are highly effective in keeping bed bugs away from your skin and protect you from bed bug bites.
Even pest control professionals recommend sleeping on mattress encasements till the time they completely eliminate the bed bug infestation.
Encasements protect you from the bites by breaking the contact of the mattress with your skin.
The bed bugs that are hiding in the mattress can’t access your skin. So, no bed bug bites!
Also, it’d be best to wash your bedsheets, pillow covers, and other bed linen in hot water, daily, to eliminate any bed bugs, their nymphs, and eggs in them.
Should You Use Pesticides Or Bug Bombs Before Sleeping?
No, don’t use bug bombs or pesticides in your bedroom before going to bed.
Both are counterproductive.
Bed bugs are resistant to most over the counter pesticides. That’s the reason they’re so difficult to remove.
Professional exterminators use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) measures, which is a combination of heat and professional grade pesticides, to get rid of bed bugs.
And still they need to perform repeated treatments to eliminate bed bugs completely.
Also, bed bugs most readily available bed bug sprays have low residual toxicity. It means that they need to make contact with the bed bugs to kill them.
However, that’s not possible. Bed bugs hide in the thinnest of cracks and in unlikely places, like electrical sockets.
So, it’s improbable that the spray will make contact with them.
Bug bombs are the worst. They make the infestation spread.
Bug bombs have a limited reach. So, they’ll not cover they area beyond a particular limit.
And on detecting the aerosol spray, bed bugs will hide further inside your house, or in fresh areas, causing the infestation to spread.
This is also backed up by academia that bug bombs are ineffective in eliminating bed bugs.
But the most important thing is that you shouldn’t expose yourself to the risk of inhaling pesticide sprays or the aerosols of bug bombs while sleeping.
Bed bugs will bite you till they’re completely gone. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have to lose your sleep because of bed bug bites.
This guide revealed what can you put on your body to prevent bed bug bites and the hacks that you must use before going to bed.
The trick is to keep bed bugs away from your skin and use scents that keep them away.
But these hacks are not the solution to bed bug problem inside the house.
And sleeping in different rooms every night to escape the bites will make matters worse.
You can use DIY ways to get rid of bed bugs if the infestation is still low.
But you’ll definitely need to hire a professional to eliminate a severe bed bug infestation before it gets worse.