Written by

David Floyd

David Floyd

Reviewed by

Brett Ehlert

Brett Ehlert

Using Neem Oil For Bed Bugs – Does It Work?

If you suspect you may have bed bugs or wish to take precautions against them, discussions about the use of essential oils like Tea Tree Oil or Neem Oil for bed bugs may catch your attention. As bed bugs are a significant concern, it’s important not to spend valuable time and energy on homemade remedies that may not effectively address the issue.

With twenty years of pest control experience, I always immediately resorted to professional chemicals, but I decided it was time to test out some DIY bed bug solutions. In this article, we’ll be breaking down if using neem oil for bed bugs is an effective solution!

Neem Oil For Bed Bugs

In this guide we’re going to breakdown our tests to see if bed bugs actually can kill bed bugs, if it can repel bed bugs, or if it’s completely useless!

Does Neem Oil Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes neem oil does kill bed bugs adults, nymphs and eggs, but it must be cold pressed neem oil. Cold pressed neem oil contains Azadirachtin where extracted neem oil doesn’t, and Azadirachtin is the main chemical with insecticidal properties. Cold pressed neem oil is one of the only essential oils registered by the EPA against bed bugs.

Cold pressed neem oil can kill bed bugs on contact because of the insecticidal properties, and I’ve seen good results of killing and repelling bed bugs by diluting cold pressed neem oil and putting it into a spray bottle.

This allows you to spray in and around your bedrooms to kill and repel bed bugs.

How To Use Neem Oil To Kill Bed Bugs

  1. Prepare the Neem Oil Solution:
    • Mix cold pressed neem oil with water to create a diluted solution. The typical ratio is about 1 ounce (30 ml) of neem oil to 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water, but you can adjust the concentration based on the severity of the infestation. Adding a mild liquid soap as an emulsifier (about 1 teaspoon per gallon of water) can help the oil mix more thoroughly with the water.
  2. Test the Solution:
    • Before applying the neem oil solution extensively, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of any fabric or surface you plan to treat. This is to ensure that the neem oil does not damage or discolor the material.
  3. Apply the Neem Oil Solution:
    • Use a spray bottle to apply the neem oil solution liberally to areas where bed bugs are found or suspected, including mattresses, bed frames, cracks, crevices, and any hiding places. Pay special attention to seams, labels, and corners of the mattress, as well as any cracks in the bed frame and surrounding furniture.
    • It’s important to reach all hidden areas where bed bugs might reside, as they tend to hide in very small crevices.
  4. Repeat Applications:
    • Neem oil acts as a growth regulator and prevents bed bugs from molting and reproducing. However, it may not kill bed bugs immediately upon contact. Therefore, it’s crucial to repeat the application several times, typically every 7-10 days, to catch any newly hatched bed bugs and to ensure that all stages of bed bugs are exposed to the neem oil.
  5. Safety Precautions:
    • Although neem oil is natural and generally safe for humans and pets, it’s wise to use gloves when handling it and to avoid direct contact with skin and eyes. Ensure good ventilation in the area where you’re applying the neem oil solution.

Does Neem Oil Repel Bed Bugs?

Neem oil like other essential oils aren’t the favorite scent for many insects, so there is a level of insect repellent to extracted neem oil.

If you’re looking to actually kill bed bugs then you’ll need to ensure you use cold pressed neem oil.

Why Bed Bugs Are Hard To Control:

Bed bugs can be incredibly difficult to control because they are very small insects and can really live in quite a few different places in your home such as your bed, blankets, carpet, and more. Because of this, it can be hard to physically identify them, and since they only come out at night, it makes it that much more difficult to identify.

does neem oil kill bed bugs?

Along with this, bed bugs have bizarre feeding habits, which can involve them needing to feed only once a week, which means you can go days without seeing them and think you’re in the clear. Only for them to show up later to feed.

It’s important to be proactive with a bed bug infestation because it can quickly grow and travel to other locations if you aren’t careful. If your infestation grows out of hand, then you’ll need to bring in the services of a professional to fully eradicate the infestation.

Final Thoughts On Neem Oil:

Neem Oil sometimes gets talked about like it could be the solution you’re looking for if you’re dealing with bed bugs. Unfortunately it’s bed bug killing properties are very weak and impractical compared to an actual insecticide. Neem oil might have slight bed bug repellent properties but similar to killing bed bugs, you’re better off with other solutions. If you have a bed bug infestation, you should really contact a professional so that they can safely and quickly eradicate your bed bug infestation!

You should try taking a look at using vinegar to kill bed bugs as well!

Sources:

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/neemgen.html

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.