There are many in the Bay Area who are turning to essential oils to keep bugs away. People use them in sprays to keep mosquitoes and ticks off while they're outside, and they also use them in their homes to deter ants, spiders, and more. Peppermint oil is one of the most commonly used. It can be effective when used properly. It can also help to keep rodents out of a home—though we wouldn't recommend using peppermint as your only pest control for rodents and other bugs. At face value, peppermint oil, and other essential oils, seem like a pretty good idea. They're derived from natural sources and some of them smell nice. So why not use them to keep bed bugs away, right? If you're thinking of doing this, there are a few things you should know.

bed bug free home
bed made in bedroom

You Can't Keep Bed Bugs Away From Your Home

If you spray your home with something bed bugs don't like, such as peppermint or lavender, that smell won't keep bed bugs away from your home. They don't crawl through your yard and through holes in your exterior like many other bugs. Bed bugs hitch rides into your home.

You Can't Drive Bed Bugs Out Of Your Home

If bed bugs are carried into your home and they begin to create a population, they're not going to like it very much if your home smells like peppermint or lavender. But that bad smell isn't going to drive them outside. They survive on blood, and all of their instincts tell them to find a location near where you sleep or lounge. It is a matter of life and death. They won't go outside and hope to find another place to live. What is most likely to happen is bed bugs will find a void that shields them from the bad smell and come out when the scent isn't as strong.

You Can't Prevent Bed Bugs From Biting You

The downside to essential oils, whether you use them outside or inside, is that they don't last long. If you spray yourself to keep mosquitoes away, the application won't last anywhere near as long as a synthetic mosquito repellent. This might not be so bad when it comes to mosquitoes as you might not mind frequent applications of a sweet, naturally derived product instead of applying a stinky chemical. But it is nearly impossible to keep bed bugs away from you by applying essential oils. If you sleep for eight hours, that will be plenty of time for the product to lose its strength. If a bed bug is hungry enough, it can tolerate the smell to get a meal that will save its life and ensure the continuance of its species.

Do Essential Oils Work At All On Bed Bugs?

Yes. There is a way to use essential oils to prevent a bed bug infestation, and it has nothing to do with spraying it in your home. Some travelers have had great success using lavender to keep bed bugs from getting into their luggage. This is actually pretty smart. The scent of the lavender masks any smells that might lure bed bugs into luggage, such as the oils from your skin left on objects and clothing you've touched. Bed bugs will just go around your luggage. Your luggage won't give off the other attractants that bed bugs use to find you, such as carbon dioxide emissions and body heat. When you use an essential oil in conjunction with other bed bug prevention methods, you can prevent bed bugs from coming home with you.

Bed Bug Prevention

  • Always do an inspection when you spend the night somewhere away from home. Search for black stains, brown stains, shed skins, white eggs or bed bugs in tight spaces and creases.

  • While you are staying somewhere away from home, store your laundry in a sealed bag. Bed bugs are strongly attracted to your scent. A garbage bag and a bread tie is enough to accomplish this task.

  • When you return home from spending the night somewhere else, put all your clothing through a 30-minute dryer cycle. This kills bed bugs in all stages of development.

How To Stop Bed Bug Problems

If you find bed bugs in your San Jose home, you might be tempted to try and get rid of these insects on your own. This can be the biggest problem of all. Bed bugs are not easy to exterminate. They have natural behaviors and characteristics that make them difficult or impossible to control with conventional methods. At the first sign of bed bugs, contact Bay Pest. Our licensed pest professionals use trusted strategies to locate and eliminate bed bugs. We'll guide you in selecting the right bed bug treatment for your specific needs and budget.
Do you live in San Jose or the Bay Area? Contact Bay Pest and request a bed bug inspection to get started. Our experienced team is standing by to assist you with all of your pest control needs. Don't let the bed bugs bite. Get relief by reaching out to Bay Pest today.


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