Bed bugs have become common in households in the past few decades. Naturally, it is no fun waking up night after night with bites and scratches. As much as the situation is difficult, you do not have to suffer as there are many chemical and natural approaches for keeping bed bugs away. I have discussed many such resources on this site and I hope you check them out. Today though, I wanted to talk about essential oils for bed bug bites. Essential oils are great for relieving the itch, pain and swelling that accompany all kinds of bug bites. So let us discuss the natural oils to stock up your medicine cabinet with. Before we talk about oils for bed bug bite prevention, let us talk about Coconut oil.
Will coconut oil keep bed bugs from biting?
Coconut oil is a soothing and healing remedy for all kinds of bug bites. It heals and protects and also prevents infections. Coconut oil also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. When you apply a thick layer of coconut oil on the body, you can prevent not only bed bug bites but mosquito bites as well. So the question whether coconut oil will help bug bites, the answer is yes. It will and it is also a wonderful base oil (carrier oil) for mixing essential oils with. I will shortly discuss some homemade bed bug repellent recipes with coconut oil and essential oils.
Best essential oils for bed bug bites
The best essential oils for bed bugs come in two categories-ones that repel bugs and others that soothe their bites. Let us discuss both these types.
Lavender oil is a healing, soothing oil. It is sold by perfume stores but the authentic oil is best obtained from top suppliers and distributors. DoTerra and Young Essentials are some good brands to buy pure oils. Authentic essential oil of lavender can soothe sunburns, cuts, wounds and all kinds of bug bites. Apply the oil undiluted on the bite site and you will soon get much needed relief from pain. Lavender oil also soothes swelling and prevents itching. The antibacterial properties of the oil help prevent infections and blisters. A single drop of oil is all that you need for relieving itch. So it is a worthwhile investment in case you are balking at the high price of pure Lavender essential oil.
Just a single drop of Frankincense essential oil is enough to soothe itch caused by bed bug bites. Apply it on the affected area and let it work its magic. The best part about this oil is its aroma; it is very uplifting. So if you are feeling a bit foggy or down, frankincense oil will instill a sense of clarity. That is why Frankincense essential oil is a great oil to stock up at home as it plays dual role of soothing bug bites and uplifting mind and spirit.
The fresh aroma of peppermint oil is irritating to roaches, ants and bed bugs. People are known to keep cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil all around the kitchens to keep them bug free. A mixture of peppermint oil and sweet almond oil applied all over the skin before camping and hiking trips can help prevent mosquito and bed bug bites. Spraying or diffusing peppermint oil in bedrooms can, to an extent, keep bed bugs away. However, this is not a fool proof method to prevent bed bug bites, and I definitely recommend an integrated pest management approach for the purpose.
Almost all bugs hate citronella and it is no wonder that many commercial bug repellents contain this important essential oil. The smell of citronella is lovely and fresh but mosquitoes, flies and other household bugs hate it. Citronella essential oil is a great alternative to DEET. In fact; so potent it is, that EPA has banned formulations of with concentrations over 10% citronella. Spray citronella all around your mattress to keep bed bugs away. As always, use an integrated pest management approach as this is not the only method of repelling bed bugs. (Do not use citronella oil on the skin for soothing bed bug bites; it is only for repelling bugs).
Another oil that is almost as powerful as citronella oil for bed bug prevention is eucalyptus. However, the EPA has not yet tested this oil much. That said; you can spray and diffuse eucalyptus oil in your bedroom and all around the mattress to keep your home bug free. Do not use eucalyptus oil on the skin for bed bug bites.
If you are wondering what to put on your skin to repel bed bugs, calendula oil is the answer. The oil is anti-inflammatory and heals, soothes and protects. If you are suffering from red, angry weals on the skin owing to bed bugs, just apply calendula oil and you will get instant relief.
Now that you know the best essential oils for bed bug bites, let us discuss some easy homemade bed bug repellent recipes.
Easy homemade bed bug repellent recipes
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 3 drops peppermint oil
- 5 drops citronella oil
Mix the oils and soak cotton balls in them. Place all over the bedroom.
Here is another recipe:
- 4 drops each Thyme, Lavender and Peppermint oil
- 8 drops lemongrass oil
Mix the oils and place cotton-wool dipped in it all around the bed. The strong smell will confuse the bugs and also repel them.
Bed bug bite soothing recipe
- 10 drops each Chamomile and Lavender oils
- ½ tsp coconut oil
Mix the oils and apply on bitten skin to get instant relief from itch.
Try these remedies and let me know which one worked for you.