What Do Bed Bugs Hate? (8 Scents That Bed Bugs Hate)

Bed BugsWhat Do Bed Bugs Hate? (8 Scents That Bed Bugs Hate)

Bed bugs are reddish-brown parasites that are known for their burning bites. But what do bed bugs hate the most of all, isn’t it a fact to be considered? Yes, it can be considered. By understanding about the items or conditions that irritate bed bugs can help to get rid of them. Bed bugs are intolerant to various scents and their smells.

They hate the smell of lavender, basil, citrus fruits, and vinegar. Besides, bed bugs also dislike the fragrance of rubbing alcohol, garlic, Vicks VapoRub, and peppers too. These items can help in keeping these bugs away but cannot kill them.

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What Do Bed Bugs Hate?

The list of items that are on the hate list of bed bugs is usually a variety of scents and smells.  This is due to the fact that the scents contain chemicals that are harmful to bed bugs.  As we move on, we will discuss each of these scents in detail.

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Scents That Bed Bugs Hate

Smell that irritates bed bugs:

  1. Lavender – Lavender is one of the common essential oils that is known to have a relaxing and calming effect on humans.  That is not the case with bed bugs.  Lavender oil contains linalool, which is a known deterrent to bugs and other insects.  Linalool will interfere with the respiratory system of the bed bugs, which in turn causes them to suffocate.  A few drops of lavender oil on your mattress or a few drops of oil mixed in water and then sprayed on the mattress will cause the bugs to move out of their holes and flee.

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2. Mint – Mint is another strong scent that has a similar effect on bed bugs and other insects.  Due to its unpleasant smell, bed bugs hate the smell of mint and will not be able to tolerate it.

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3. Basil and other Citrus scents – Basil is another strong scent that bed bugs find difficult to tolerate.  Citrus scents like lemon, grapefruit, etc also can be given a try.  The mechanism of action that these oils follow is similar to that of basil and lavender.  Hence, only a few drops of essential oils can rid of a bed bug infestation if there are only a few of them.  You could also try mixing a drop of each of the oils and spraying it around.

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4. Vinegar – Acetic acid or vinegar has a severe effect on the exoskeleton of a bd bug.  It also affects the central nervous system of bed bugs.  Thus it is not a surprise that bed bugs hate them.  Equal portions of vinegar mixed in water will cause the bed bugs to run from the scent.

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5. Rubbing Alcohol – Rubbing alcohol too causes a chemical reaction in the airways of the bed bugs which causes them to suffocate.  Thus it is another agent that can be used as a deterrent to pests.

See the source image6. Garlic – Garlic contains allicin.  Allicin is another compound that irritates bed bugs and causes them to flee.  A few pieces of crushed garlic on the mattress should do the trick for you if the infestation is not yet too major.

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7. Vicks VapoRub – Vicks is a common anti-congestant used by both adults and children when suffering from a cold or congestion in the chest.  The menthol in Vicks is what irritates the bed bugs.  You can try applying a tiny amount of the gel to the areas that you suspect house the insects or vigorously mix a teaspoon of the gel in hot water and spray it around.

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8. Pepper – This is again a strong-smelling substance that might cause the bed bugs to run.  A bit of the grey powder can be sprinkled around to ensure that bed bugs have to leave their abodes.

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Check Bed Bug Relief Creams
Bed Bug Relief Liquids
Bed Bug Relief Spray
Top Rated Bed Bug Relief Products On Amazon

Will These Substances Kill Bed Bugs?

Though all of the substances listed above are potent enough to cause considerable damage to bed bugs, it is unlikely that they will kill bed bugs completely or end an infestation.  It is, however, worth a try if the infestation of bed bugs in your house has just begun.  

When To Call In The Exterminators Or The Professionals?

There is no definite answer to this question, but general logic determines that if you have tried 2 -3 items on the list and are still suffering from bed bug bites, it is time to call for professional help.  The chemicals used by exterminators are a potent mix of the above in much higher concentrations.  

Also, Read –

What Are Bed Bug Bites?
Are Bed Bugs dangerous?
Are Bed Bugs contagious?
How are Bed Bugs spread?
Do Bed Bugs have wings?
Can Bed Bugs fly?
Do Bed Bugs jump?
How to kill Bed Bugs?
When Do Bed Bugs come out?
Can Bed Bugs live in wood?
Can Bed Bugs live on the carpet?
What Do Bed Bugs hate most of all?
Can Bed Bugs Bite through clothes?
How long can Bed Bugs live without a host?
Does vinegar kill Bed Bugs?
Does Bed Bug Bite Dogs?
Can you see Bed Bugs with the naked eye?
Does baking soda kill Bed Bugs?
What Do Bed Bugs eat?
What Do Bed Bugs look like to the human eye?
Can Bed Bugs get in your hair?
Does Lysol kill Bed Bugs?
Can Bed Bugs live in your hair?
How to find Bed Bugs during the day?
What do Baby Bed Bugs look like?
Does bleach kill Bed Bugs?
Where Do Bed Bugs hide?
Does alcohol kill Bed Bugs?


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