Neem or Neem margosa is a tree found in certain Eastern countries. The neem tree has a plethora of medicinal uses and almost each and every part of the tree is utilized in making medicines, herbs, oils, bug repellents, skincare products, and so on. It is believed that the Neem tree has been around for centuries; no wonder it is even worshiped in many parts of India. Neem twigs are used even today as a toothbrush. The bitter twig eliminates bacteria as well as the need to go to a dentist. Neem leaves and seeds can be used in making essential oil having potent bug repellent properties. Let us study ways in which neem can be used for repelling bed bugs.
Can neem oil and neem leaves repel bed bugs?
Yes, neem has powerful insect repellent properties. In many parts of India, people place neem leaves in a pot and heat it until the leaves start smoking. This medicinal smoke deters mosquitoes, bed bugs, cockroaches, gnats, chiggers, flies, and other household bugs.
How to use neem oil to control bed bugs
If you have bed bugs, you can use neem oil to repel them while sleeping. Apply neem oil all over the exposed parts of your skin to keep bed bugs from biting you. The oil has a bitter smell and taste which bed bugs hate. Do make sure you dilute the oil or mix it up with certain fragrant essential oils (or a bit of petroleum jelly) to mask the strong scent. Worry not: the smell goes away after a while. Also, it is this very smell that masks or disguises your natural body odor which attracts bed bugs to you. (Bed bugs use carbon dioxide we exhale while sleeping, to find us in the dark and bite us). The use of neem oil masks this scent and also repels bed bugs.
Another way in which you can use neem oil to repel bed bugs is by adding it to your bathwater. Soak in the treated water for a few minutes. The oil will also heal bed bug bites and prevent secondary skin infections. Neem oil has powerful anti-bacterial properties which heal skin blisters and prevent pus formation.
You can also use neem oil lamps to repel bed bugs. Pour the oil into an empty tea light having a wick. Crush a bay leaf into the oil. You can also add crushed garlic cloves to this oil. Light the wick and place the lamp near your bed to repel bed bugs, mosquitoes, chiggers and other blood-sucking parasites.
The best way to make a natural bed bug repellent with neem is to boil a handful of neem leaves in water until the water reduces to half and the neem leaves become wilted and dark-green in color. Let the leaves steep in the water overnight. Next day, filter the neem leaves and collect the water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution all over the pillows, mattresses, under headboards, in the bed’s box springs, behind frames, on carpets, rugs, upholstered couches and chairs, and pretty much everywhere you can think of. The strong neem scent drives the bed bugs out from their hiding places. You can now vacuum the house to trap the bed bugs. Immediately discard the vacuum bags far away from the house. Repeat this step 2-3 times a week to eliminate all of the bed bugs.
This is a simple remedy to get rid of bed bugs, mosquitoes, and all other creepy crawlies using neem leaves. Take a bunch of neem leaves and make them into a torch. Go around the house fumigating each room with this medicinal smoke. This natural remedy should even be utilized by town municipalities to keep mosquito, ticks, fleas, and other pest populations under control.
To make neem powder, place neem leaves, twigs, fruit, and branches in the sun for a few days. Alternatively, you can also dehydrate these in a dehydrator. Once they are dried, powder them in a blender. Place this powder in a muslin cloth and tie up the open ends. Keep these pest repellent bags in food grains to keep food bugs away. Also keep them under your mattress to repel bed bugs, mosquitoes, roaches, and flies from the bedroom. You can also use the neem powder to make it into a paste using some neem oil. Apply this medicinal paste on bed bug bites to prevent blisters, pus, welts, and secondary infections. You can also directly sprinkle neem powder on your carpets and rugs. Vacuum clean after a couple of hours to get rid of bed bugs eggs, larvae, and adult bed bugs.
Does neem oil keep bed bugs away?
Neem is a powerful bug repellent. In many countries, neem and its oils, powders, sprays, and tinctures are used to keep mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, food grain pests, and other insects away. However, one must not solely rely on neem oil to repel bed bugs. As with any natural bed bug treatment, one must use an integrated pest management method. Here are the steps:
Clean up and de-clutter
This is an important step. Bed bugs love clutter and they love to hide in it. Remove all of the unwanted stuff. De-cluttering makes the neem oil bed bug treatment far more effective.
Vacuum clean the rooms
Vacuuming sucks up all of the bed bugs, their eggs, larvae, and fecal matter. This will make your neem oil/powder treatment more effective. As stated earlier, you can sprinkle neem powder and leave it on for a couple of hours before vacuuming thoroughly.
Launder the sheets and clothes
Bed bugs lay hundreds of eggs. Therefore, washing all of your bedding, bedclothes, linen, sheets, etc is necessary to eliminate bed bug eggs, larvae, and adults. You can also add a bit of neem powder to the detergent while washing your bedding. Preferably use hot water and also dry the clothes on hottest setting of the dryer to eliminate all bugs.
Use mattress protecting encasements
Mattress encasements prevent the bugs from coming out to bite you. They trap the bugs inside and ensure a good night’s rest. That is why mattress encasements should be made an essential part of bed bug treatment.
Neem oil for bed bug reviews are quite positive. However, you should not solely rely on this treatment. As always, an integrated pest management program is important to keep bed bugs away for good. Check out other resources on this site to get rid of bed bugs in your home permanently.