Bed bugs? Ugh! Just the thought of those blood-sucking, pesky, and almost invisible creatures can make your skin crawl. If you haven’t yet experienced the nightmare wrought by these creatures, then be thankful. But if you’ve had some run-ins with them, you’ll appreciate this piece.
Bed bug infestations are a recent development in the U.S. that can happen almost anywhere. Because of their flat bodies, bed bugs have the uncanny ability to invade small spaces. They love to hide in furniture, especially mattresses and cushions. They seem to be able to dig right in and are often difficult to dislodge. Thankfully, with the right treatment, you can get rid of them.
Many people want to attack bed bugs using chemical sprays and other treatments. But, before you resort to that or call a pest control company, read this piece on natural remedies for bed bugs that could help you control your problem.
First Things First
Before you decide which method of elimination/treatment is best for you and your household, you have to locate the infestation. Although they generally love to hide in mattresses, bed bugs can hide in any small space, especially places where people or pets sleep.
So, examine every piece of furniture and crevice that could hide such tiny creatures. Keep in mind that even a space as thin as a credit card is big enough for a bed bug.
When you’ve located these areas, you can go ahead and start treatment.
Tested and Proven Home Remedies for Bed Bugs
Chemical sprays and foggers can be dangerous to you and your household—especially if they’re not used properly. The process of applying these chemicals can be somewhat difficult. It requires planning and may sometimes even mean juggling your household schedule.
Because most chemical treatments are toxic to humans, you have to arrange to have your family away. That’s the only way to ensure that every piece of furniture and every nook and cranny in your house can be sprayed properly.
The sad reality, however, is that there are areas that are too narrow for the spray to treat. If you miss one single bed bug, the whole exercise is futile and has to be repeated. This would mean constantly exposing your household to these chemicals.
To save you the headache of chemical treatments, we offer this list of natural remedies. Please note that this list isn’t exhaustive and that there are more natural remedies that could prove effective, too.
So, here we go!
This powder is also known as diatomaceous earth. It’s a very effective remedy for bed bugs that contains no chemicals or toxic ingredients. Diatomaceous earth is made from the organic remains of small marine creatures. It annihilates bed bugs by drying them out through its fat- and oil-absorbing properties.
Make sure that you purchase 100% unadulterated diatomite and apply it liberally in infected areas. Let it work for 10 days and after that, you’ll see the dead bodies of those bed bugs. This solution has over a 90% success rate and can easily penetrate those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
Before application, wash all your bedding and sheets in very hot water and vacuum your house thoroughly.
Then put on a mask before sprinkling the powder in affected areas because the tiny particles of diatomite can harm your lungs if inhaled—even edible, food-grade diatomite. Don’t let the smooth feeling in your hands or the fact that it’s safe to eat deceive you. Cover your nose and mouth so that you’re well protected.
Sweep or vacuum up the powder after a few days and keep repeating this process to treat any newly hatched bugs. Do this every few days for about two weeks and check out the results you’ll get.
Mixed Spray with Cayenne Pepper, Ginger, and Oregano
This is a powerful home remedy that has proven to be quite effective in getting rid of bed bugs. The combination of the pungent aroma of the oregano essential oil along with the spiciness of ginger and cayenne pepper work wonders. Here’s the recipe for this bed bug spray.
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon of oregano essential oil
- 1 cup of water
Pour the water into a pan and mix in the other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil for around seven minutes. When it’s cool, strain and pour it into a spray bottle. Apply this spray to every affected area. Please note that this isn’t a one-off process. You’ll have to keep repeating until you’re totally rid of these pests.
The way this works is that the baking soda dries the bed bugs out by sucking all the moisture out of them, which kills them. When applying the baking soda, make sure that you spread a thin layer all over the affected areas. This includes covering corners, walls, and doorways. Take special care with those tiny crevices that might be easy to overlook. There’s no space too small to harbor bed bugs.
Let the baking soda remain for a minimum of seven days and then vacuum it all up. Repeat this often, making sure that you vacuum thoroughly to get rid of newly laid or hatched eggs until you completely wipe them out.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an antifungal, expectorant, antibiotic, antiviral, and antiseptic substance. This powerhouse not only inhibits bacterial and viral infections but is also used to eliminate insects, such as bed bugs. Its anti-parasitic properties make it potent enough to suppress the growth of bed bugs or destroy them completely.
This treatment is most effective in the early stages of infestation and can help curb the spread.
Add twenty drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle full of water. Then spray all affected areas. Ensure that you cover every bit of affected furniture as well as all of your walls. Remember that if you miss one single bug, the problem will continue. So spray at least once a week until there are no more signs of infestation.
As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, this is in no way a complete list of all the natural remedies for bed bugs. You can apply any of these remedies—or a combination of them—at the first sign of infestation. The earlier you attack bed bugs, the better for you.
So, there’s no need to resort to applying toxic substances in and around your home. Try any of these tested natural remedies and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.