Bed bugs can be a problematic nuisance that can come into your home, bite you and make you very uncomfortable. Unfortunately, they are so small that you don’t always notice them when they first appear on your pillow or in your bed. Many people don’t even realize they have bedbugs until they spot the clusters of bites that are so common with these insects.
While there are a lot of chemical treatments and traps for bed bugs that can work for many, these typically contain toxic ingredients that aren’t so good for children and pets. If you’re trying to maintain an organic, natural household, you may be looking for something else to deal with your bed bug problem. Tea tree oil may be the answer that you’re looking for.
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Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Bed Bugs?
This essential oil is commonly toutedas a natural home remedy for getting rid of bed bugs. It’s also something that is easy to acquire online or in a local pharmacy or health food store for a relatively low cost. This makes it an attractive solution for many people who don’t want to use store-bought chemical products or bring an exterminator into their home.
For many people, tea tree oil is an especially effective remedy when combined with other forms of bed bug control at the same time. While you might read that the use of this oil for bedbugs is a myth, the fact is that it can work when prepared and used properly.
Why Do Bed Bugs Hate it?
Bed bug remedies that utilize essential oils vary, and many of them claim that bed bugs simply don’t like the feel or odor of the oil when applied to the mattress or sheets. That isn’t the only issue at play when it comes to this essential oil and these nasty home invaders.
- Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide and human blood, both of which have a scent. Essential oils can alter the scent of your bed, making it harder for bed bugs to find you. They are attracted by body heat as well, which essential oils can’t mask.
- The smell of TTO is unpleasant and it it makes it harder for bugs in your home to find human hosts to feed upon. Tea tree oil scents can also work well in musty areas or places where you keep dirty laundry. Bedbugs are often attracted to these areas in the absence of a person.
- It kills bugs quickly. Unlike some essential oils or prepared sprays, TTO does more than simply push them to another part of your home where the smell is not as strong.
How Do I Use It
The longer you wait to treat your home for bedbugs, the more likely you are to need professional help or powerful toxins to kill them.
Here’s how you can use TTO against problematic bugs in your home:
- Purchase all natural tea tree oil. It is usually sold as an essential oil in a small amber bottle.
- Purchase a small spray bottle from your local grocery store, drug store, hardware store or beauty supply store. Avoid using an existing spray bottle, as what you had in the bottle before may impact the TTO scent and make the solution less effective for killing bedbugs.
- Dilute twenty drops of all natural, pure tea tree oil with eight-ounces of filtered or distilled water.
- Store your homemade spray in a cool, dark place like the medicine cabinet or under the sink. Shake the mixture to recombine the ingredients before using it when you spot bed bugs on your mattress, pillow or in your home.
Does lavender oil kill bedbugs? Click here to find out.
Tea tree oil can be problematic for humans when it comes into contact with skin in its undiluted state. Take care to avoid getting undiluted tea tree oil on your hands. Wearing dish washing gloves or disposable plastic gloves when making the solution is a wise choice.
Tea Tree Oil Spray
Tea tree oil spray is easy to make on your own, but you need to know how to use it. Unlike standard bed bugs’ traps, homemade TTO sprays require considerable effort on the part of the user.
- Mix your essential oil spray and shake it before every use.
- Spray your sheets, pillow cases and any areas where you have seen bed bugs. It’s best to do this in the morning when you wake up and again before bed if you feel you are dealing with an outbreak.
- Spray your homemade mixture directly onto your mattress cover, mattress and in-between your mattress and box spring if you have one. Bedbugs often hide in these areas waiting for the smell of carbon dioxide that the human body emits when you are sleeping.
- Wash your sheets regularly as well. You can spray a small amount of tea tree oil spray onto your clean sheets before putting them on the bed. Doing this can keep bugs from gravitating to your bed in the first place.
The Pros and Cons
Tea tree oil is an often effective home remedy, but it isn’t a cure-all solution.
In fact, it has some major pros and cons when it comes to using it in your home:
- Tea tree oil will impact bed bugs immediately. This is an important aspect of the tea tree that other essential oils can’t provide. Other options like lemon oil only repel some bed bugs by creating an odor that masks the carbon dioxide and blood that they are looking for.
- You can buy natural essential oils online or in person at health food stores, drug stores and many stores that sell vitamins and holistic remedies. It’s also cost-effective, and buying a small bottle of undiluted tea tree oil shouldn’t cost you more than $15 to $25 in pure form.
- An essential oil mixture that targets bugs is easy to use. All you need is pure tea tree oil, filtered water and a spray bottle.
- This undiluted essential oil can be dangerous to handle since it can create irritation if it comes into contact with your skin. Wearing protective gloves when using tea tree oil or mixing a solution to use in your home is highly recommended.
- TTO needs to be sprayed directly onto bugs in order for it to be effective. For serious infestations, you aren’t likely to be able to get all of the bed bugs at once.
- Bed bugs breed quickly and killing them all at one time can be very difficult. Unlike traps, tea tree oil doesn’t do much work after it has been sprayed. Most tea tree oil solutions will dissipate and stop killing bedbugs almost immediately.
Tea tree oil can be an efficient home remedy for getting rid of bedbugs if you catch them very early. Since you’ll basically need to spray the bed bugs directly with the TTO mixture though, it may not be effective if you have a large infestation or bed bugs in multiple places throughout your home.
If you’re going to use tea tree oil, your best bet is to spray quickly and carefully monitor your home for results. In many cases, a combination of tea tree oil in your bed paired with traps around your home will do the best job.
When you’re dealing with bed bugs it’s important to stamp them out as quickly as possible. Don’t waste any time or they may spread and become nearly impossible to remove without a professional exterminator.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.