Natural Bed Bug Treatments

Natural Bed Bug Treatments

It is important to remember that just because something is natural, that does not make it safe to use.  Use caution when using natural bed bug treatments to make sure that they are not worse for you and your pets than they are for the bed bugs you are trying to kill.

That being said, here are some home remedies that are natural bed bug treatments.

Cedar Wood:

Cedar wood or cedar wood oil is sometimes used to block the entry to your home or put around your bed to keep the bugs away.  These types of natural bed bug treatments might not work for large infestations but it can help.

Rubbing Alcohol:

Spraying a diluted mixture of water and rubbing alcohol where there are infestations may kill some on contact but may not kill them all.  A mix of 1 part water and 9 parts alcohol can be sprayed.  For this type of natural bed bug treatments to work the bugs must come into direct contact with the spray to work.


Temperatures over 113º  will kill and is also one of the best natural bed bug treatments because it is totally safe to use.  There are three ways to use this fact.  One is the sun. Putting items in black bags that sitting them in the hot sun for several hours will usually kill bed bugs.  To get extra heat put the black bag in the sun while in a car.  This will create heat even when it is cooler outside.

The second is for items that can be washed.  Wash in hot water and dry at high heat.  Even some non-launderable items can be put into a drier for more than 20 minutes to kill the bugs and eggs.

The third way is steam.  Hot steam will work for any items that are less than 1/2″ thick.  Many people use the type of steam cleaner that can be bought at stores to kill bugs and eggs on contact. This is also one of the safest natural bed bug treatments.

Diatomaceous Soil:

This soil is one of my favorite natural bed bug treatments.  It’s made of crushed up fossils and shells and is completely safe for you and your pets.  The tiny jagged edges caused when crushing the shells will kill by ripping a hole in their torso as they crawl over the powder which then causes them to dry out.

I usually use this around my bed and on the edges of my mattress whenever I see bugs.  Later, it can easily be vacuumed up though I always leave some on my bedframe just to discourage possible new bugs.  It does take a while for it to work but it will work and is completely harmless to people and pets.  Read more about this and how to use this product here!

Black Walnut Oil: The oil or dust made from black walnut trees is claimed to be effective.   The problem is that some people are allergic to it and pregnant women are not supposed to go near it.  Use caution using this product.

Herbal Bug Spray:

Mix one cup of water with 10 drops each of lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils.  You might also add 3 drops of clove essential oil for a stronger mix.  Put this natural bed bug treatment mixture into a spray bottle and shake before spraying your bed, area around the bed, and linens.  Repeat this daily.  Essential oils can be bought at local at your local health food store.  Make sure to use gloves whenever you are handling any essential oils in their undiluted forms.

Kidney Bean Leaves:

These leaves have very small barbs on them that people in Eastern Europe have used for ages as a way to kill bed bugs.  They spread these leaves on the floor and once the  bugs become speared on the barbs, take them out to be burned.  A more modern use would be spreading the leaves around the bed and disposing of them every few days. I haven’t used this natural bed bug treatment but have been told it works.

Create A Trap:

Here is a pretty ingenious idea.  I haven’t had a chance to try it yet but it looks like it will work.  We know that the bugs are attracted to our scent, partially the carbon dioxide that we exude.  This trap takes advantage of that fact.

Start with a plastic dog dish.  The no spill kind that if you looked at its crosssection would look like an upside down “w”.  Tape or glue some type of cloth around the entire outside, then flip it over.  You should have the outside rim covered with cloth so the bedbugs will be able to crawl up the cloth, and the dome in the middle surrounded by a sort of moat.  Use talcom powder to dust the rims of the moat so once the bedbugs get in they won’t be able to get out.

Now, buy some dry ice.  Often times you can get this at a local grocery or hobby shop.  Get about 1lb.  Be extremely careful when handling it because it can cause severe burns.  Now put the dry ice in a thermos cup or some other container that you sit in top of the dome.  You may need to use tape to secure it in place.

Leaving to top off the container, set it in the infested room, turn the lights out, close the blinds or drapes, and leave it alone for several hours.  Best time to do this is at night just before dawn when the bugs are most active.

Presto! You have a bug trap.  The bugs will be attracted to the carbon dioxide that will be created as the dry ice melts and crawl into the upside down pet bowl where they will be trapped in the moat.  This accomplishes several things.  If you have a small infestation it can trap some of the bugs or if you are not sure whether or not you have an infestation, you will soon find out.

These natural bed bug treatments are all useful if you have an infestation.

More natural bed bug treatments and home remedies for bed bugs will be posted as I find them.