Do Bed Bugs Hate Lavender? (How to Use Lavender as A Repellent)

The world seems to be suffering from a bed bug problem, with reports of their spread increasing. These pesky pests infest homes, offices, hotels, and health facilities, irrespective of their hygienic conditions.

Unfortunately, bed bug infestations can take a toll on a victim’s mental health. Those affected often report symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, and nightmares. Even with the rapid spread of bed bugs worldwide, there is limited availability of pesticides that offer long-term bed bug solutions.

It’s no wonder that home and business owners are in a constant search for alternative and reliable bed bug treatments. So, do bed bugs hate lavender? Can you use lavender as a bed bug repellent? Continue reading to find out.

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Do Bed Bugs Hate Lavender?

Lavender is an aromatic plant that has been found to offer numerous health benefits such as relieving chronic pain, alleviating stress, and reducing anxiety. Belonging to the mint family, lavender also freshens homes with pleasant fragrances that rid your house of other odors.

Although lavender is one of the most loved fragrant herbs by people, many bugs hate it! Ironically, insects such as fleas, mosquitoes, flies, moths, and bed bugs dislike the pleasant smell and aroma exuded by lavender.

On top of that, the lavender essential oil can be toxic. Though their toxicity is low for humans and animals, this essential oil can cause significant poisoning if ingested by small pests such as bed bugs. This is what makes lavender an effective bed bug repellent, killing them and their eggs.

So, do bed bugs hate lavender? Yes, bed bugs can’t stand the smell released by lavender and will move out of areas with lavender fragrance. As an added advantage, lavender also leaves you with a pleasant-smelling home.

Why Does Lavender Repel Bed Bugs?

For people who prefer natural pest control, lavender is the ideal option to make your home a bed bug-free zone. While no scientific studies have been done on lavender for bed bug control, its’ toxicity helps repel these creepy crawlies efficiently and effectively.

If ingested or sprayed directly on the pest, lavender will kill bed bugs on contact. But exactly what makes it such a good bed bug repellent? Lavender contains an active ingredient (terpene) known as linalool.

Linalool is a chemical compound that gives many plants, such as cannabis, mint, basil, and thyme, their pungent smell and aroma. It has also been found to repel nuisance pests. But why is lavender considered the most effective repellent of aromatic plants? That’s because it possesses a very high concentration of linalool.

Lavender efficacy against bed bugs has been backed up by anecdotal evidence. According to a study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, essential oils can effectively kill bed bugs upon contact. Further evidence has found that commercially available essential oil sprays are highly effective against bed bugs on contact.

Can You Rely On Lavender as A Bed Bug Control Method?

Although lavender can help repel and kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs, it cannot be a replacement for professional bed bug control services. Entomologists recommend applying the treatment to problem areas for effective pest control. Multiple studies have shown that while essential oils effectively kill bed bugs, the impact is greatest when sprayed directly on the pest.

The problem is that bed bugs are nocturnal pests, meaning that they are mainly active at night. In addition, these nuisances are perfect hiders, often found in the tiny cracks and crevices on beds and furniture.

Bed bugs also have a well-developed sense of smell, which they use when seeking out human blood. So, if they detect a toxic smell, they will head in the opposite direction. For these reasons, you must thoroughly apply the repellent in every bed bug-infested area and places they might escape to in order to ensure complete control. But this is one of those things that are easier said than done.

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Does Lavender Kill Bed Bugs?

As mentioned above, lavender oil can be toxic enough to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs. However, it must come in direct contact with the bugs in order to kill them. Hence, you must ensure direct application. For instance, you can keep a spray bottle with lavender oil beside your bed and apply it directly to the bugs when you see them. Not only will lavender spray kill bed bugs but also deter them from your bed.  

Here’s How to use Lavender as A Bed Bug Repellent

DIY Lavender Oil Spray for Bed Bugs

Lavender oil spray makes a great personal bed bug repellent. It repels bed bugs while forcing them out of hiding, making it easy for you to kill them. And the good news is that making lavender oil spray for bed bugs is super easy. All you need is a spray bottle, 4 cups water, and two tablespoons of lavender essential oil.

Instructions

  • Pour four cups of water into your spray bottle

  • Add the lavender essential oil and shake the sprayer well to mix the ingredients

  • Spray the repellent directly on bed bug hiding spots and infested areas like your bed, mattress, bedding, bed frame, nightstand, dressers, etc.

  • Note: Consider using a glass spray bottle instead of a plastic one. You can also add a few drops of dish soap to help lavender oil mix easily with water.

Lavender Oil Diffuser for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs detest the smell of lavender, which is great news for anyone with bed bug problems. This makes diffusers a perfect way to fill your room with a lavender smell and repel the creepy crawlies. 

When making a lavender diffuser for bed bugs, all you need is a diffuser, water, and lavender essential oil.

Instructions

  • Add water into your diffuser basin. (Be sure to follow the instructions on your diffuser model).

  • Squeeze a few drops of lavender oil into the basin (the recommended ratio is ten drops of lavender oil for each cup of water)

  • Put back the diffuser lid and place the diffuser near bed bug problem areas, such as near your bed at night.

Lavender Powder for Bed Bugs

No, we’re not talking about the lavender detergent in the compartment drawer of your washing machine. We’re referring to the real thing – lavender powder. Luckily, lavender powder packs are readily available online and at highly affordable prices.

Unlike diatomaceous earth or lavender spray, lavender powder won’t kill bed bugs. But it will deter them from your bed. Another plus is that, unlike lavender spray, lavender powder won’t dry up. Hence it can be a long-term bed bug repellent. That said, it’s important to note that lavender powders are rarely used, and their efficacy hasn’t been tested yet.

Steam Cleaning with Lavender to Repel Bed Bugs

Interestingly, you can add lavender oil to your steam cleaner to exterminate bed bugs. That’s right. Steam cleaning with lavender oil can help kill bed bugs in your carpeting, mattress, and couch. 

But before mixing your steam cleaner water with a few drops of lavender, you want to first confirm that you can safely use essential oils in your model.

Can Lavender-Scented Candles Work?

Lavender-scented candles emit a beautiful aroma that many nuisance pests can’t stand. These candles promote a relaxing and calming effect and would be perfect if they could help keep bed bugs away.

Unfortunately, lavender-scented candles can’t repel this creepy crawlies. They are not as concentrated as lavender essential oils, hence, can’t potentially permeate into the tiny cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide.

The Bottom Line

Bed bugs hate the smell of lavender. On top of that, lavender essential oils can be toxic when ingested or sprayed directly on bed bugs and their eggs. This makes it an effective and natural bed bug control option. Now that you’ve learned multiple ways how to repel bed bugs using lavender, you can use it to make your home a bed bug-free zone safely and effectively.

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