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Bedbugs and Aromatherapy

Preventing Bedbugs with Essential Oils.

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Bedbugs are becoming an increasing problem in North America. Preventing them and deterring them can be achieved with essential oils.

Simply thinking about bedbugs can send shivers down spines and have people scratching sudden itches. For those unfortunate to actually be affected by bedbugs, however, the effects these tiny parasitic insects can have upon ones health can be a serious matter. Although they are not known to spread disease, these little critters can cause irritable rashes on the skin, provoke allergy symptoms and have the potential to affect individuals psychologically.

Bed bugs thrive on the warm red blood of humans, and will feed from you like vampires regardless of your cleanliness. The little critters are wingless, flattened, oval-shaped insects with a light brown/orangey coloring that measure up to four to five millimeters in length once they reach adulthood. Bed bugs can reside just about anywhere, although they prefer to remain as close to their host as possible (i.e., in the bed, on the sofa, in your jacket…yes, they travel very well!).

These parasites can be moved around via furniture, clothing, backpacks and even luggage. They will infest pretty much any property they land upon, whether it is a house, a hotel or even a department store, and unfortunately over the last 10 years the U.S. National Pest Management Association has seen a 10% increase in the number of calls concerning bedbugs. Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), stated recently, -We are on the threshold of a bed bug pandemic, not just in the United States, but around the world.

Preventing Bedbugs

Prevention, as they say, is better than cure; disposing of beds is not always the best solution. The primary step is to check for signs of their existence. Tiny spots of blood on your mattress, or minute eggs/feces left behind are telltale signs that they have befriended you. Tracking the little parasites can be quite a job as they are extremely good at keeping themselves hidden. Search their preferred habitats initially – warm mattresses, clothing and so on – but also look into any crevices around the home, under rugs, behind dressers and in drawers, and even behind wallpaper that has peeled away slightly from the wall. Be aware that bedbugs are nocturnal insects and playing detective with a flashlight during the night hours will be the best time to catch them in action

If you are a frequent traveler, then check the beds you sleep in before you unpack. Turn mattresses in your home frequently and vacuum box springs and cushions every month or so. Spray your mattress with essential oil (see below). Spray your pillows with the same spray and place into the dryer on a high heat setting. Heat not only kills bedbugs but will also aid the depletion of mites that may live off dead skin tissue.

Essential Oils Spray Recipe for Bedbugs

Essential oils such as the following can be used to get rid of bedbugs:

Put 10 millilitres of alcohol into a 500 millilitre bottle, then add 20 drops of each essential oil, and fill with water (if traveling, then add the water when you arrive at your destination). Using a fine mist spray, spray the bed and all around it. When you leave on a trip, put some cotton balls with the undiluted blend on them in your suitcase or pack these with your clothing into an air -tight plastic bag.

At home, add some of the anti-parasitic blend to some cloth strips and wrap them around your bed legs. In addition you could add the blend to absorbent aroma cards to tuck down baseboards, under rugs, inside pockets of your clothes or in with bedding in the closet. To treat bed bug bites, dab the area with a Q-tip dipped in lavender essential oil, wash all your clothes in hot soapy water with some peppermint essential oil added and items that cannot be washed, wrap in plastic air tight bags that contain aroma cards with the anti-parasitic blend. Be aware that bedbugs can evade and escape zippers so bags must be taped, and where there are holes there are exits.


This article was first published at Suite 101 on Oct 13, 2010 and is republished here as per the terms of our agreement with Suite 101. Visit Suite 101 to read all of our articles.

*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*

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