What Do Bed Bugs Hate? – 5 Effective Smells and Oils To Repel Bed Bugs! (Updated For 2023)

Last Updated On July 25th, 2023: You will agree that bed bugs are a real pain if they make their way into your home. While they can’t fly, it is not hard for bed bugs to migrate across walls, floors, and ceilings. These have a flattened body that can fit in tiny spaces. This is why it is common for bed bugs to enter your home through luggage, used furniture, and other objects. To help combat bed bugs, we’re gonna take a look and learn what do bed bugs hate, so we can help repel them!

If you’re experiencing itchy bites at night, there is a high possibility that your bed bugs are feasting on your blood. Bed bugs are nocturnal insects. The reason why they come out and bite you in your sleep.

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Not to mention, they reproduce and spread quickly as one female bed bug can produce hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. In no time, your house can become infested by these tiny insects.

What Scent Do Bed Bugs Hate?

If you’re looking for ways to get rid of a bed bug infestation, it can be extremely hard due to their tiny space and rapid spread. However, there are certain scents and odors that these insects cannot absolutely stand. So using these items in the house can help eliminate them without a hassle.

Keep reading to find what scents keep bed bugs away.

Locating Bed Bugs:

Unlike other insects such as ants or bees, bed bugs do not build nests. Instead, they form groups and dwell in darker areas in the house, which can make it difficult to find bed bugs during the day. A lot of things attract bed bugs, including CO2, warmth, dirty laundry, and dark sheets.

what do bed bugs hate

Usually, bed bugs hide in bed frames, headboards, and mattresses. These places make it easier for them to have access to humans for meals. That being said, bed bugs can survive a long time without food, so they often will go into hiding and you’ll think they’re gone for good, but they’ll soon come back.

It is important to run an inspection to confirm an infestation. Make sure you wear protective gloves and check for bed bugs, feces, eggs, or even molted skin around your mattresses and beds. You can use a flat-edged item such as a credit card and a flashlight to look for bugs in locations you suspect them.

  • What Scent Keeps Bed Bugs Away? – Smells

    There is a lot of misinformation regarding what scent can keep bed bugs away. If you’re confused as to what repels bed bugs successfully and effectively, here is a list to help you out.
    Lemon Juice
    Pepper Powder
    Fresh Mint
    Lavender Oil
    Tea Tree Oil
    Blood Orange Oil
    Diatomaceous Earth
    Neem Oil
    Rubbing Alcohol
    Garlic Solution
    Cinnamon Powder

We’ve seen good success from buying bulk lemon juice such as Realemon’s 48 Oz Lemon Juice, and using it around problem areas in our house. This appears to help with all sorts of pests not just bed bugs.

What Smells Do Bed Bugs Hate? 5 Scents To Repel Bed Bugs:

Bed bugs can be very sensitive to smells, so let’s breakdown what smells do bed bugs hate! Let’s see how 5 of these home remedies work so you can choose your own solution for what repels bed bugs.

Does Mint Repel Bed Bugs?

Yes, mint can repel and kill bed bugs! It has a very high methanal content which gives it a very odorous smell that drives bed bugs away.

Been long since your family and you have slept peacefully? Using some fresh mint can keep the bugs away and help you sleep tight. While you’re going to enjoy the smell of mint in your house, bed bugs hate its smell.

what smells do bed bugs hate

Mint can help you flush out bugs in your home as it will instantly disturb them and make them uncomfortable. Not only do bed bugs hate being in the same place as mint, but mint can also affect their nervous system. This means that using mint with another bed bug-repelling method can help you kill them easily.

To release the strong scent of fresh mint all around your home, you can boil it in a pot of hot water. As its scent will spread throughout your house during boiling, bed bugs will move out of their dwelling places. Another thing you can do is pour this mint water into a spray bottle and use it in your whole house. You can sprint this solution in all the bedrooms, especially on mattresses and sheets.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Repel Bed Bugs?

Yes, rubbing alcohol repels bed bugs. Bed bugs hate the smell of rubbing alcohol and will generally move away from areas that contain rubbing alcohol. Along with this, rubbing alcohol can dry out bed bugs skin and eventually dehydrate them from the outside and kill them.

If you have rubbing alcohol at your home, you can kill bed bugs with rubbing alcohol!

One thing, bed bugs hate the smell of alcohol, and it makes them super uncomfortable. But using alcohol on bed bugs is also an effective solution for killing them. Several studies reveal that alcohol can irritate the bodies of bed bugs. Meanwhile, direct contact with bed bugs with alcohol can completely dry their bodies out. Ultimately, this results in death.

You can eliminate as much as half of the bed bug population in your home by using rubbing alcohol. How? Well, the odor of rubbing alcohol is a quick way of directing these insects off your house. When bed bugs smell alcohol, they move out of your house to lay eggs elsewhere. So, alcohol will prevent future bed bugs while killing the existing ones.

You can spray rubbing alcohol in locations where they may be hiding. However, alcohol can also cause fire hazards or lead to skin irritations, so you must be careful with how you use alcohol. If you wish, you can use other products that contain alcohol but are rather safe to use.

3.    Tea Tree Oil

It is understandable if you wouldn’t like to use rubbing alcohol for your bed bug issue. In this case, you can opt for an alternative that is similar ineffectiveness. Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has several benefits and serves useful for many household purposes. The good news is that you can also use it to eliminate a bed bug infestation in your home.

Not only is tea tree oil natural, but it is also a quick, effortless, and effective way of getting rid of bed bugs. The scent of this essential oil can make bed bugs uncomfortable and encourage them to leave the place. Bed bugs immediately run away when they smell tea tree oil near them.

This oil also affects the exoskeleton of bed bugs. This is similar to the effect of alcohol on the bodies of bed bugs. So, tea tree oil makes the perfect solution for bed bugs if you think spraying rubbing alcohol might be unsafe in your house.

You can add tea tree oil in a spray bottle and liberally spray it around your house. Make sure you’re especially targeting the areas where bed bugs are actively infesting. In case this is too strong for you, you can also combine it with lukewarm water to make a diluted solution.

Does Lavender Repel Bed Bugs?

Yes, lavender has been proven to repel bed bugs. Not only do bed bugs hate the smell, taste and aroma of lavender, but it can actually kill bed bugs and their larvae as well.

Lavender is one of the top natural products that can help prevent and remove bed bug infestation. Lavender has the kind of smell that bed bugs probably hate the most. So if you want to keep them at bay, you can choose lavender without a doubt.

It is especially effective if your bed bug problem has been there for quite some time now, as it will instantly help you out. Bed bugs hate the aroma and taste that lavender produces, and they will immediately move out of your home.

Most people use lavender plants in their homes to prevent the infestation of various insects. The production of lavender oil from this plant is essentially what repels bed bugs and other insects. So, you can either have a lavender plant in your house or get lavender oil from the market.

You can spray lavender oil in your house and especially in locations where you suspect an active infestation. Not only will lavender oil ensure that the bugs leave your space and the eggs are destroyed, but it also helps in sleeping more soundly and peacefully.

You can also use other products that contain lavender. However, small amounts of lavender may not be as effective for a bed bug infestation. So, only a product that uses lavender as its main ingredient will deliver similar effects. Or, you can opt for insect repellants that contain lavender to specifically deal with bed bug problems.

Does Lemon Juice Repel Bed Bugs?

Yes, lemon juice can repel bed bugs! Lemon juice has a very strong citrus scent which actively drives away bed bugs and other insects!

Want to eliminate the bed bug problem in your home once and for all? Try lemon juice to repel bed bugs and reduce the infestation. Lemon juice has amazing astringent properties that can cause a lot of harm to bugs. The anti-bug benefits of lemon juice make it a popular natural remedy for the removal of bed bugs.

Citrusy scents can be pleasing for you as a human, but they can mean death for most bed bugs dwelling in your bed and closet. Bed bugs hate the aroma of lemon juice, especially if you spray plenty of it where they are hiding. Bed bugs absolutely cannot resist its scent, so spraying lemon juice around can help you eliminate the infestation problem quickly and completely.

To obtain the most benefits from this home remedy, make sure you create lemon juice by yourself instead of purchasing lemon juice from the grocery store. Naturally and freshly-made lemon juice can have twice the effect.

To reduce and prevent any harsh side effects of spraying lemon juice around the house, you can combine it with water. This will effectively kill the bugs while also being safe for your family and you.

Final Thoughts On Scents Bed Bugs Hate and What Repels Bed Bugs:

Bed bug infestation can leave you with sleepless nights and itchy bites, making it important to get an effective solution as soon as possible. However, it is not so easy to get rid of bugs due to their rapid reproduction and tiny size. In order to treat all bed bugs you should try using a bed bug fogger!

Nevertheless, there are certain smells that bed bugs absolutely can’t resist, making them leave your space. These include the scent of fresh mint, rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil, lavender, and lemon juice. Not to mention, some of these items can also kill bed bugs and prevent them from laying eggs. I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on what do bed bugs hate! Hopefully this helps you figure out how to sleep peacefully with bed bugs!



About The Author:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. His main goal is to provide accurate and helpful DIY tips to keep your home pest-free and how to identify different types of household pests!