10 Natural Remedies To Eliminate Bed Bugs

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • July 09, 2019

Eliminate Bed Bugs Naturally With These 10 Tips

If you know us, then you know how we feel about bed bugs. These tiny pests can infest your home or business quickly, leaving you with a big problem on your hands! And while bed bugs are visible (contrary to popular belief), they typically go unnoticed until they’ve colonized. 

If you are experiencing unexplained bites, especially at night, smelling a musty pest odor, or noticing dark stains around your home or mattress, chances are you have a bed bug infestation. In this case, it’s in your best interest to contact your local pest removal expert immediately. 

However, if you locate bed bugs in enough time before they have begun to colonize, you may be able to use the natural remedies below to eliminate bed bugs. In this blog, we’re going to discuss various organic options for treating bed bugs. Here at Killingsworth, we believe pest control should always be natural and safe, which is why you should always steer clear of toxic and harmful pesticides, especially inside your home. 

So, without further ado, here are 10 ways to eliminate bed bugs in your home safely and naturally. 

1. Cayenne Pepper

While cayenne pepper may not kill bed bugs, its antimicrobial properties will prevent them from resurfacing. The pepper is extremely irritating to the bodies of the bed bugs. In some cases, it can cause bed bugs to suffocate and die. 

You can use cayenne pepper in two ways. Your first option is to crush up the peppers and sprinkle the powder onto the affected areas of your home. Or, you can add the cayenne powder to a spray bottle with water and spray the target areas. 

Either way, make sure to coat the area well. If bed bugs have invaded your mattress, use a mattress cover to prevent the pepper from interfering with your sleep. 

After a few days, vacuum the area thoroughly and empty your vacuum’s bin outside. Dump the contents into a trash bag, and throw it away. You don’t want to risk any remaining bed bugs making their way back into your home! 

2. Tea Tree Oil

Oftentimes when we discuss natural remedies for pest control or mold prevention, we talk about essential oils. Essential oils are an organic and safe way to treat pests—bed bugs included. Below, we’ll discuss more essential oils that can be used to eliminate bed bugs, but let’s get started with one of our favorites: tea tree oil. 

Due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is an effective insecticide. Once a bed bug comes in contact with tea tree oil, the oil works to infiltrate the pest’s permeability barrier and break apart its cells, killing the bed bug. 

The best way to use tea tree oil is through a spray. To make your own spray, mix two teaspoons of tea tree oil with 50 milliliters of water. Shake well, and apply the spray to the affected areas. Make sure to keep a close eye on these areas, and spray again if needed. Just remember to shake the spray well before each use!

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Another non-toxic way to eliminate bed bugs is with diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is commonly used to treat garden pests, such as aphids, naturally. 

In your home, sprinkle DE powder in and around bed bug infested areas. We recommend leaving the powder for three days before vacuuming. Just like the cayenne pepper treatment, make sure to vacuum the area thoroughly and dispose of the contents in the bin immediately. 

Instead of using diatomaceous earth, some decide to use boric powder to treat bed bugs. However, boric power is not a natural remedy, and is known to be toxic. Baking soda, on the other hand, is a natural alternative to DE—more of which we get into next. 

4. Baking Soda

Similar to DE, baking soda is a safe way to treat pests like bed bugs. Baking soda removes moisture from the bodies of bed bugs, causing them to dry out and die. 

Sprinkle an ample amount of baking soda into every crack and crevice to make sure the bed bugs are coated. Wait a few days before vacuuming the baking soda, then empty the bin’s contents into a trash bag and throw it away.

To be sure that all bed bugs are taken care of, add one more coating of baking soda and repeat the process. You would always rather be safe than sorry when it comes to bed bugs! 

5. Clove Oil

Another one of our essential oil favorites is clove oil. Clove oil is known for its insect repelling properties due to its highly acidic pH levels and pungent smell. Both of which help to eliminate bed bugs!

To use clove oil, mix one teaspoon of clove oil into one cup of water and pour it into a spray bottle. Shake the contents well and get to spraying! Be sure to spray the areas completely, and check back to see if additional treatment is required. 

6. Thyme

While thyme won’t eliminate bed bugs, it can help repel them and draw them out of the areas where they are hiding. 

Once you have located the infected areas of your home, wrap a stick of thyme in a cotton cloth and burn it. The fumes from the thyme should disturb the bed bugs and cause them to evacuate. 

You can also put thyme leaves in a net bag and hang them around the affected area. You will need to replace the leaves in the bags every three days for about a month, though! So take that into consideration before using thyme to eliminate bed bugs. 

7. Bean Leaves

If you have an excess amount of kidney bean leaves—and a good chunk of time on your hands—you can use these leaves to eliminate bed bugs. 

Interestingly enough, the trichomes (microscopic hairs) on kidney bean leaves penetrate the legs of bed bugs and trap them, preventing them from moving and spreading. 

Cover the floor of affected rooms with kidney bean leaves, and place the leaves underneath your mattress. After a few days, replace the leaves and throw the old ones away. Chances are, you’ll notice a number of bed bugs trapped on the leaves! 

Plus, you won’t have to worry about any living bed bugs making their way back into your home. There’s no escaping kidney bean leaves!

8. Orange Essential Oil

Orange essential oil has two main benefits. One, it’s sweet smell will eliminate the musty smells bed bugs leave behind while also refreshing your home. Two, orange oil contains a nerve toxin called d-limonene. Once bed bugs have come into contact with this toxin, it typically kills them within minutes. 

Unlike the other oils on this list, creating an orange oil spray mixture requires a few more ingredients. Start with four liters of water, then mix in two ounces of orange essential oils. Next, mix in one cup of compost tea and one ounce of blackstrap molasses. Shake it up well and spray! A few days later, reapply the spray if needed and vacuum any dead bed bugs. 

9. Essential Oil Spray

If you keep essential oils around your home, you probably have household favorites such as rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus. Even if you don’t have these three oils, research the oils you do have and see what their insecticidal properties are. Use these to create your own custom spray! Add a few drops of each oil into water, then shake and use.

10. Steam Treatment

One thing bed bugs don’t like is steam—their bodies simply can’t withstand the heat. A steam treatment will help eliminate bed bugs and is easy to do! Simply locate the infested areas, such as your carpet, mattress or pillows, and blast the heat. The more heat you can apply, the better. 

Repeat this treatment as needed, and vacuum well in between. Be careful with steam treatments though. Too much trapped moisture in your home could cause mold and mildew growth

When DIY Isn’t Enough, Eliminate Bed Bugs With Killingsworth!

The best way to eliminate bed bugs once and for all? Killingsworth!

We know how quickly a bed bug colony can spread, which is why we’ve developed and perfected our three-step bed bug treatment process. 

Step 1: Bed Bug K-9 Protection 

We have trained our team of Jack Russel terriers to detect bed bugs quickly and accurately. In fact, humans are only 30 percent effective at locating bed bugs. Our K-9’s, on the other hand, are 98 percent effective at detecting bed bugs! Bed bugs don’t stand a chance against our canine pest experts. 

Step 2: Thermal Remediation

Like we said before, bed bugs can’t survive the heat! Using thermal remediation, we heat bed bug infested areas to 135 degrees—the ideal temperature for bed bug elimination. Any hotter, and you may damage your household items, which is why it’s crucial to leave bed bug treatment to the professionals!

Step 3: A Second Visit From Our K-9 Team

Once thermal remediation has been completed, we bring our skilled K-9s back to make sure bed bugs are gone—and gone for good!

While there’s no denying the effectiveness of essential oils and other natural remedies for pest prevention, the only sure-fire way to eliminate bed bugs is with professional help. If you’re dealing with bed bugs, don’t wait to reach out! Schedule an inspection with our team (both two- and four-legged) today!

Experiencing bites or other pest odors and not sure if you’re dealing with bed bugs after all? Download our free Pest Encyclopedia to learn everything you need to know about the different pests that may be invading your home!

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