What Scents do bed bugs hate? How to Repel Bedbugs


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Have you ever been plagued with the pesky little bed bugs that take over your home? If so, then you know that they can be a real nuisance. These annoying pests tend to appear when you least expect them and different people’s bodies react to them in different ways. One of these reactions is discomfort and redness of the skin together with terrible night sleep that comes, which is exactly what happens when a bed bug bites you.

What Scents do bed bugs hate?

So if you are wondering what smells bed bugs hate so that you could use them to repel bed bugs, this article is for you. It will give you a comprehensive review of what smells bed bugs hate and how you can use them to deter these nasty pests.

What Smells Bed Bugs Hate

1. Essential Oils

What Scents do bed bugs hate? Essential oils

The effectiveness of essential oils in bed bug-repelling is undisputed. The three scents that are known to be the most effective are Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, and Rosemary. However, all other scents, including Eucalyptus work very well too.

To repel them, just add 10-15 drops of the oil into water that has been boiled to the point where it just starts to simmer. After this process, your room will be filled with an aroma that will effectively ward off all kinds of bed bugs. The best part is that these oils are very easy to obtain and not too expensive (around $20-$30 for 5 bottles).

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2. Clove oil

Clove Oil is a strong-smelling spice oil that is used for a variety of purposes. In bed bug-repelling, clove oil is one of the most effective ways to get rid of these unpleasant pests. A single drop of clove oil can be applied on your mattress cover, pillowcases, and the mattress itself to repel bed bugs.

3. Cinnamon oil

What Smell do bed bugs hate?

Cinnamon is another potent spice that can work as an effective repellent to bed bugs. This spice has many health benefits for human beings but also repels insects including bed bugs very effectively through its pungent aroma. This is a cost-effective repellent which you can find in most supermarkets and is very easy to use.

4. Thyme oil

Thyme is a very potent-smelling herb that can help with a number of diseases, but it also repels bed bugs, all thanks to its strong scent. A drop of this essential oil can be put on your mattress covers and other bedding to repel these bugs. Be careful not to use more than necessary so that it doesn’t repel you and stop you from sleep too.

5. Benzoin resin oil

This is yet another popular scent that repels bed bugs very effectively through its powerful aroma. This aromatic ingredient comes from the benzoin tree and has many medicinal properties, but it just happens to act as an effective repellent for bedbugs too.

6. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a disinfectant and a great repellent against bed bugs. A few tablespoons of it placed around the places where you usually lay your head will do the trick. Just make sure that you wipe it up before sleeping as it can dry out your skin and make you uncomfortable.

7. Vinegar


Vinegar is one of the most powerful home remedies that works as a great repellent to many insects including fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, but also bed bugs who find themselves unwelcome by its strong scent. A spray of vinegar can be used on your mattress covers, pillows, and other bedding to repel these bugs and keep them off for good.

8. Coffee Grounds

Coffee is another great-smelling substance that has many health benefits for human beings. However, it also possesses the ability to repel bedbugs through its strong aroma. If you are wondering what smells bed bugs hate, then this should definitely be on your list of strong anti-bedbug scents.

All you have to do is place some coffee grounds on the places where you usually sleep and leave them there for a few days. You can even apply them directly on your skin if you are worried about getting them in your eyes or getting so close to them due to their unpleasant odor.

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9. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is a very effective repellent for bed bugs, but it can be used in many other ways too. It is often used to repel mosquitoes and other insects, but using some on your mattress covers and pillows will also do the trick.

10. Allyl isothiocyanates (AITC)

Allyl isothiocyanates are what you get when you boil garlic, cauliflower and broccoli together in water, but they don’t cause stomach pain like you might expect them to. Instead of making your eyes water like how the other two vegetables do, allyl isothiocyanates repel very effectively bed bugs by suffocating them similar to the way garlic does.

11. Baby Powder:

Baby powder is a very effective repellent against bed bugs. All you need to do is rub some powder on your mattress cover, pillowcases, and other bedroom furnishings. You can also make your own version of this using regular talcum powder and cinnamon as the base ingredients. Buy a container of baby powder without fragrance and add lemon essential oil for its natural smell.

12. Boric Acid

Boric acid is a white crystalline substance that comes from the borax ore that is used to treat laundry stains and also as an anti-caking agent for foods and cosmetics. This substance is more effective when mixed with sugar and applied directly to the places where you sleep on a regular basis.

13. Black Pepper

bed bugs hate black pepper

Black pepper is a popular spice that has been used for thousands of years to flavor food. It is also a handy bed bug repellent through its strong smell. All you have to do is add a few tablespoons of black pepper to your mixture of water and essential oils before boiling it and treat the mattress cover, pillows and other bedroom furnishings with this substance.

14. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a very popular essential oil that has many different uses. It works as a strong repellent against bed bugs, but it can also be used in so many ways to repel other bugs too.

15, Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is another popular essential oil that can be used to repel insects and also people who tend to have allergic reactions to the substance. A few drops of eucalyptus oil can be added with some boiling water and sprinkled on your bedding before going to sleep on a regular basis to ward off these annoying creatures for good.

16. Lemon

Lemon is another strong-smelling natural substance that can repel bedbugs like no other. All you need to do is squeeze the lemon juice into a glass of water and keep it in the room where you sleep. You can also combine some baking soda with this for even better results.

17. Soap

A few drops of soap mixed in a glass of water and sprayed around the room will keep bed bugs at bay. This is a very effective natural remedy to use in conjunction with other repellents.

Final thoughts

There are numerous ways to keep bed bugs away from your home, but all of them have one thing in common, they work by making your room smell unpleasant to the insects so that they don’t come near you. When you put something on your body or near you that smells good to you, it will usually smell the same to the bugs too.

However, some essential oils are good at repelling bedbugs without smelling bad at all. You can also try some of these other ways that are widely used by people who are fighting these nasty pests on a daily basis.
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1 thought on “What Scents do bed bugs hate? How to Repel Bedbugs”

  1. so I had bedbugs they sprayed but I was getting bit again so I put lemon leaf & thyme air freshener on my mattress. your article clearly stated bedbugs hate lemon & thyme. I like the smell it’s a very strong fresh smell does this mean they will like it also.

    slightly confused


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