More and more homes in the United States are being troubled with armies of stubborn bed bugs.
Although there's literally a spectrum of available solutions offered in the industry, the entire removal process can be very much frustrating to a lot of homeowners - pricey exterminators and a lot of chemicals.
Fortunately, there is a whole lineup with cheaper and easier remedies for bed bug infestations. These DIY pest control solutions require little more than a spray bottle and a common household product, rather than a professional exterminator. And one of them is the use of tea tree oil!
But is tea tree oil an effective way to combat your bed bug problem?
Read more and you'll find out!
How Does Tea Tree Oil Affect Bed Bugs?
Essential oils, particularly tea tree, are a popular alternative for chemical based insecticides in the fight against bed bugs. Apart from a variety of health benefits, these natural oils are more than potent enough to deliver a death blow on bed bugs.
Tea tree oil has been long used as a powerful insecticide and repellent. As a contact insecticide, the oil penetrates into the exoskeleton of the bed bug and suffocates it.
Other than bed bugs, tea tree oil has been long used as an effective insecticide against a wide spectrum of household pests such as lice, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and ants.
Does Tea Tree Oil Repel Bed Bugs?
Tea tree is part of a group of essential oils equipped with a potent scent that can drive bed bugs away. Other oils in this list include lavender, clove, peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and thyme.
Apart from being a reliable bed bug repellent and insecticide, tea tree oil also possesses both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. However, this essential oil doesn't smell nice at all.
As much as bed bugs hate its scent, tea tree oil is not that appealing to the human nose as well. But this setback can be taken care of by mixing tea tree with lavender which is a different type of essential oil, only it smells a whole lot nicer.
Dilute tea tree oil to no more than 50% concentration and apply it on your mattress or along your be frame to prevent bed bugs from disturbing your bedtime with those itchy annoying welts.
It is very important to bear in mind that a concentration of more than 50% is considered as a lethal dose and can pose a serious threat to human health.
The following video will tell you more about tea tree oil and its effects on bed bug control.
Does Tea Tree Oil Actually Kill Bed Bugs?
As mentioned earlier, tea tree oil is indeed effective in killing bed bugs but as a contact type chemical-free insecticide. This simply means that the oil must be applied or sprayed directly unto the targeted insect.
Initiating bed bug control only with a diluted tea tree spray is quite challenging and in a way, quite ineffective towards achieving a goal of a bug-free home.
Bed bugs tend to hide inside cracks and crevices in your bed frame and along your walls as well as any furniture located nearby. Locating and finding all of the bed bugs one by one to be sprayed upon can be quite tedious and frustrating.
Although tea tree oil is also effective as a repellent, it is not a guarantee that using it can totally liberate your home from these stubborn and annoying blood suckers.
What Else Should You Consider Besides Tea Tree Oil For Bed Bugs?
Tea tree oil is an effective contact type insecticide and repellent. However, it is only good as part of a comprehensive solution for bed bug control.
Here are some other solutions you might want to consider effectively eliminate bed bugs and keep them away from your property:
Vacuum steam cleaning
The vacuum cleaner is your frontline weapon on your fight against bed bugs. This solution doesn't necessarily kill bed bugs but it is 100% effective in capturing these nasty critters as well as their eggs.
But first, you need to make sure that you'll be using a vacuum cleaner with significant suction power. Attach a crevice tool to help you reach cluters of bed bugs hiding inside cracks and holes.
While vacuuming, be careful as to avid pressing the tool too hard against any surface. You might end up accidentally flipping the eggs or nymphs away from the equipment's nozzle.
For carpets and curtains, a reliable steam cleaner is strongly recommended. The steam cleaner is an effective bed bug killer by delivering a lethal temperature of up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit on the targeted surfaces. Bed bugs are killed almost instantly when exposed to such heat intensity.
If you happen to have a modern washing machine that can wash clothes in various temperature settings, the good for you. Most of these modern washing machines can boil your laundry by up to 90 degrees Celcius which is effective in killing both bed bugs and bacteria.
Hot wash all your clothes and bedding to make sure that not a single bed bug is spared. However, you must first make sure that all your laundry can tolerate such temperature.
Hilarious, yes but still effective. This however, is only recommended for those who are too tired to do the techniques mentioned above to get a nice, long, and relaxing sleep.
This solution helps you prevent more bed bugs from invading your bed. Simply wrap the bedposts with double-sided tape and have fun torturing these annoying critters that got stuck on the tape one by one the following morning.
Lavender and peppermint
Like tea tree, lavender and peppermint essential oils are effective bed bug repellents. The main difference however, is that these oils give off scent that is quite pleasant for most of us. Dilute these oils and spray away on affected areas.
Other Bed Bug Guides
Curious about bed bug related articles? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.