Finding the Very Best Repellent for Your Bed Bugs

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 10 minutes.
Updated: .

Bugs are annoying to deal with in your home. When it comes to these insect invaders, you’ll find a huge variety from ants, to roaches, to crickets. One type you might see is a bed bug. Just like their name, they usually come for you while you’re sleeping in bed, although they hide elsewhere in the day, sticking themselves into the smallest little cracks, waiting for you to go to sleep. And if that wasn’t horrible enough, they also bite you. In other words, these bugs have to be killed immediately. But how to do it? Along with many kinds of ways to destroy a bed bug, there are also ways to repel them.

Repellents and How They Work

Spray in handA repellent isn’t quite the same as a killer. When you spray an insecticide or another deadly substance, the purpose is to kill the bug right away. Repelling has to do with keeping them away and is more about prevention than anything else.

Some common repellents you see in your every day life include:

  • Mosquito spray,
  • Roach spray or powder,
  • Gopher lawn granules.
Bed bugs can live even in the cleanest environments.

All of these are usually able to kill the creature it’s made for, although the purpose is more to keep them from coming back again.

Want to know more about some interesting ways to kill insects? There isn’t just spray anymore – now, there’s bomb. Click here to find out more about bed bug bombs.

What bed bugs like and what they hate

There are substances that draw certain animals in, like sugar with ants. Warmth, perhaps, or the smell of your body, but whatever it is, each bug has a different craving. Bed bugs are drawn to the carbon dioxide we exhale. They can zone in on it and follow the trail until they find us in bed, unmoving. Then they get their favorite treat: blood. And they love it – sometimes you’ll wake up with ten new bites a night.

But sleep easy knowing there’s things they hate, including:

  • Light: Bed bugs like the dark, which is why they hide in the daytime and come out at night.
  • Heat: High temperatures are undesirable for them. If you have an infestation, throw clothes and sheets into a dryer and tumble hot for at least 10 minutes. Many of them will be killed this way alone, but further treatment is still the best option.
  • Cold: Going to the other extreme, bed bugs hate being cold. This one is a difficult option, though, because sticking all your clothes and bedding out into the snow isn’t necessarily going to do anything, as bed bugs can survive pretty low temps. Also, they can go dormant while cold, hiding for prolonged periods of time, almost like hibernation, and seem like they’re dead when they really aren’t.
  • Chemicals: Most bugs don’t like pesticides and bed bugs are no exception. There are different ingredients that go into these products but most include pyrethrins, pyrethroids, dessicants, and insect growth regulators. One thing to note, however, is that bed bugs are notorious for being pesticide-resistant.
  • Scents: Essential oils are out there available for many different uses, include insect-killing, and certain types are more horrible for bugs than others. Something excellent about oils is their all-natural, non-toxic nature, and the fact that you can find them easily at grocery or health food stores.
When using temperature to control bed bugs, remember that it’s not always the most reliable method to use alone. Heat will kill bugs and their eggs, but it won’t repel new ones by itself. Cold can be harder to kill with and also doesn’t give you long-term protection. Even so, using a dryer to apply an intense heat to your clothes and bedding is an excellent way to add to your bug-killing plan.

Keep Them from Biting You

So how can you complete your treatment and get them to leave you alone? Get a repellent!

At the grocery store, you’ll find many different pesticide products like:

  • Harris Bed Bug Killer: Containing powerful chemicals that kill bed bugs, this product is readily available and easy to use. It repels bed bugs by leaving a residue behind that new ones will sense and want to stay away from.
    Bedbug killer spray by HARRIS
  • Demon Max: You may have to look harder for this one, but it boasts a powerful ability to kill a large bed bug invasion, and leaves behind a residue that they’ll want to avoid.
    Demon Max Insecticide

Natural methods are also out of there for repellent, such as:

  • Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth by HarrisThis powder is a good option when it comes to bugs. Not only does it kill them, it keeps them from returning at all. DE is actually fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton, and on the microscopic level look like sharp little shards of crystals. To us, however, it feels soft and powdery. When an insect crawls over it, the powder sticks into their exoskeleton and tears up their bottom, causing irreparable damage and eventually death. One of the best things about DE is that it’s completely safe for humans and pets to touch and consume.
  • Ecoraider: Using natural ingredients, Ecoraider is safe to use around children and pets, yet will leave repellent behind for up to two weeks straight.
    Bed Bug Killer Spray by EcoRaider
  • Essential Oils: Bugs hate properties of certain essential oils. The types they especially don’t want to be around include ones like cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemongrass, tea tree, and thyme.
    Essential oils

Sometimes you don’t want to get rid of bed bugs, you want to trap them. For more information on bed bug traps, go here.

Stop bed bugs from crawling on while you sleep

You probably won’t be able to sleep soundly knowing there’s bugs around just waiting for you to zonk out. But what can you do?

Besides tips and tricks like putting your bed’s legs in small containers of baby oil, you can spray repellent to keep the bugs away while you sleep. Choose an all-natural brand, or create one of your own using oils, then spray all over your bedding, bed frame, and mattress. You can even sprinkle DE on the floor all around your bed as an added measure of protection.

Keep them away from your skin

Your skin is a sensitive part of your body. You can’t put just anything on it, but what do you do if you’re trying to keep bed bugs from biting you? Essential oils are a good solution when it comes to this.

Here are some good combinations of oils that will not only act as a repellent to bugs, but smell nice on you as well:

  • Lavender, tea tree, and peppermint.
  • Cinnamon, clove, and lemongrass.
  • Eucalyptus, orange, and lemongrass.

All essential oils

Repellents can keep bugs away for weeks at a time.

For application, you can combine 3 cups of water and 5 drops of each oil, then spray on your body where bed bugs might find you. Another way you can apply the mixture is through a lotion. Add 3-5 drops of each oil to ½ cup of coconut oil, mix thoroughly and rub on your skin. It’s moisturizing, it smells nice, and bed bugs will want to stay away.

More Tips to Deter Bed Bugs

Keeping bed bugs away requires several different techniques. There’s sprays, there’s lotions, and there’s even powder, but what else can repel them? An atomizer will spray essential oils in a fine mist all around a room, settling the particles into tight spaces where bugs can hide. You can sprinkle DE pretty much anywhere.

Something else that seems simple is clean-up. Although bed bugs can exist in clean environments, they thrive in clutter. Things like piles of clothes on the floor are easy places to hide for them and makes the infestation worse. Try and keep things up off the floor and laundry consistently cleaned, dried in a hot dryer, and put away.

Powders are used in pest control all the time, and can be a very efficient way to kill bugs. To learn more about bed bug powder, go here.

The top 4 detergents for repelling them

A laundry detergent can go a long way to help with your problem. You’re going to have to wash every piece of clothes and bedding, so why not use the best soap you can for the job? And out of the products out there, there’s definitely ones that are better than others.

  1. Bed Bug Cedar Laundry Additive: This soap is used along with another regular detergent and has a special formula that bed bugs hate. It contains cedar, and will leave behind a slight residue to repel bugs from ever coming back.
    Cedar Bug-Free Laundry Additive
  2. Eradicator Bed Bug Enzyme Treatment: Using special enzymes, this soap will kill bugs and their eggs, and leaves a repellent behind as well. Something especially great is the fact that it’s all-natural.
    Bed bug & Dust mite Eradicator Laundry Treatment
  3. Stop Bugging Me Bed Bug Laundry Additive: This liquid soap is used alongside regular detergent to give you the best bed bug protection and repellent it can provide.
    Stop bugging me! Laundry Additive Concentrate
  4. Bioshield Laundry Detergent: Using an all-natural formula that is DEET free, this product will leave a repellent on whatever you wash.
    Bio Shield Laundry Detergent
When you’re using a product on your clothes, bedding, or furniture, it’s a good idea to do a spot test first. Some products contain alcohol, which can ruin wood finish, or other additives that can stain clothing. To test, spray a small part of a sheet and wait for at least 3 hours to see if staining will occur. For furniture, choose an inconspicuous location and rub some product on a tiny spot.

But what’s the best?

So you know what soap is good for bed bugs, but what’s the best? When it comes to repellents, there’s one that hotels and hospitals use time and time again.

  • Bed Bug 911 Exterminator Laundry Treatment: This all-natural formula can be used as a spray or added to the laundry as an additive. The ingredients not only will kill bed bugs and their eggs, but leaves behind a special repellent that bug won’t want to come back to.
    Exterminator by Bedbug 911

If you’ve got bed bugs, you don’t want to just kill them, you want to repel them as well. Keep the problem from coming back over and over again by following some simple rules and using the right products for the job. In no time, you’ll be able to sleep with the peace of mind that no bites will be there in the morning.

You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.

Did that help you to solve your problem?
1time has already helped!
I have been working on pest extermination information for a long time and am excited to share this information with you. I also provide product recommendations for my favorite pest extermination products.


Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Leave a Reply