Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that can infiltrate homes and spread quickly throughout them. They are parasitic in their nature and feed off the blood of their hosts while they sleep. There are several at home remedies for bed bugs that you can use to keep these pests out. Since going through an exterminator can be expensive, we recommend these 12 easy home remedies for getting rid of bed bugs.
Try the following home remedies for bed bugs to finally get rid of the pest!
1. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth contains no pesticides and has been known to produce a mortality rate of over ninety percent in bed bug cases. As far as home remedies for bed bugs go, this one works but may take from ten days to up to two weeks. This remedy works best if bed bugs are hiding in a wall or crevice.
- Find infested area.
- Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth powder in a fine layer to avoid clumping.
- Continue to apply until the infestation is sufficiently treated.
2. Vacuum and Steam
General housecleaning such as vacuuming tends to not be good enough as other home remedies for bed bugs to clean out a house completely. Targeted vacuuming of infested areas, however, can clean out some of the pests before using other measures. One of the more effective of these measures is steam. Bed bugs react to extreme heat and extreme cold, and blasting them with hot air is a satisfying way to be rid of them.
- Vacuum targeted infested area as well as you can.
- Direct commercial steamer to bed bug nest or eggs.
3. Tea Tree Oil
A study from 2014 on tea tree oil’s insecticidal properties noted that it demonstrated repellency on the numbers of flies on cows treated with it. Therefore, its insecticidal properties recommend it for treatment of bed bugs as well.
- Apply tea tree oil directly to the infested area or on bed posts bed bugs may climb onto.
- Continue steady application until sufficiently treated.
4. Plastic Mattress Casing
If found early enough, a plastic mattress covering can serve as an affordable way to stop bed bugs. The plastic covering wraps completely around the mattress and traps the bed bugs inside. They will not be able to escape and eventually will starve and die. Stay vigilant, however, because according to some sources, “adult bed bugs may live up to a year without food”.
- Purchase commercial plastic casing.
- Completely cover box spring and mattress.
- Change casing if it shows any tears or rips.
- If unsure, keep using plastic casing on for over one year before removing.
5. Clove and Thyme
An extract of clove and thyme may seem like not believable in a list of home remedies for bed bugs, but oil and water extracts are known to have antimicrobial properties that kill some microorganisms. When you apply it to an infested area, this home remedy for bed bugs removal can be effective if given enough time.
- Soak 20g of clove and thyme in distilled water.
- Boil at 100 degrees Celsius for fifteen minutes.
- Allow extract to cool to room temperature.
- Apply extract to the infested area.
- Store extract in the refrigerator.
- Continue to reapply until bed bugs leave.
6. Black Walnut Tea
Black Walnut tea can serve as one of the natural home remedies for bed bugs, due to the properties of black walnut leaves. They have astringent and antifungal properties, but on top of that, they also can be used as an insecticide for killing bed bugs. The tea bags of black walnut tea themselves can serve as an easy home remedy in a pinch.
- Place tea bags in all known infested areas.
- Spread tea bags around to possible new hiding places once bed bugs flee original nest: corners of the room, underneath the bed, bookshelves, crevices etc.
7. Silica with Pyrethrins
This dust works by removing the waxy coating that protects a bed bug’s exoskeleton. As far as home remedies for bed bugs go, this powder is one of the fastest acting ones and can show signs of working in as little as twenty-four hours. It combines a quick contact kill along with long-term residual effects.
- Apply Tri-die dust in a fine layer to the infested area.
- Reapply if necessary, until the infestation is treated.
Lavender is a herb used in the making of medicine, but its powerful aroma can also be used in the form of oils, soap, or extracts, to drive away small infestations of bed bugs. Used much like black walnut tea, lavender can be applied to the infested area in an effort to drive the pests away. The scent will nauseate and eventually destroy them or cause them to move.
- Apply lavender in any form to known infested areas.
- Spread application around to all other possible hiding places: corners of the room, closet, bookshelves, cracks, creases in bed etc.
9. Beauveria Bassiana
Research has been done on this fungus in order to evaluate its potential for use as a possible insecticide for bed bug control. It has shown to be highly effective when the spores are first applied to a cloth and then the infested area of bed bugs, making this some of the most reliable home remedies for bed bugs. The fungus does not kill instantly but instead may take up to five days to eliminate the bed bugs.
- Apply spores to a plain cotton cloth.
- Introduce to the infested area.
- Wait and reapply daily until pests are gone.
10. Clothes Dryer
Sheets, clothing, and other materials that may have bed bugs or eggs on them should be dried after first washed with hot water in order to sterilize the fabric and remove bed bugs. If the dryer is running at high heat for at least twenty minutes it should kill them, but there is no guarantee that they will not become re-infested if there are still bed bugs hiding elsewhere.
- Gather clothes and other infected fabrics.
- Wash at high temperature.
- Dry at high heat for at least twenty minutes.
11. Bean Leaves
This method of home remedy involves a Balkan method of applying bean leaves to the floor surrounding beds in infested areas. Studies also show that the bed bugs become trapped on the leaves due to the microscopic plant hairs on the leaves’ surface that entangle the legs of bed bugs. This can also serve as a good method for monitoring your house if unsure of whether or not you do have bed bugs.
- Place bean leaves on the floor surrounding the bed.
- Check leaves for bed bugs in the morning, and burn them if found.
12. Baking Soda
Another powder home remedy for killing bed bugs is baking soda. Readily available in most homes, baking soda works by drying up the moisture from the bodies of the bed bugs due to its absorptive qualities. It works as the other powders do, but you must reapply it vigilantly in order to have any hope of eliminating an infestation.
- Apply baking soda in a thin layer to infested areas.
- After several days vacuum the sitting powder.
- Reapply as needed or until bed bugs are gone.
In summary, there are many different ways that an unlucky resident may choose to treat a bed bug infestation. Some of them can take effect immediately, while others can take as long as two weeks to rid a house of the pesky creatures. If one or more of the home remedies fail, as a last resort you may want to contact a professional, who may be the only option when an infestation goes on for too long. In case you have problems in your home with another type of pest, you can also check home remedies for ants.