Bed bugs may be parasitic pests that survive solely on blood, but it is for this reason that they are one of the most feared insects in the world. While they are not known to carry or transmit known diseases, they mentally affect one in adverse ways. Some people become so obsessed with the thought of an infested room that they lose days and days of sleep. Some people aren’t even able to move back into their homes after the infestation has been successfully cleared. This is why it is best to prevent an attack before one happens. Of course, this is much easier said than done, especially when trying to utilize scents.
Over the years, a lot of scents and their effectiveness at repelling bed bugs have been studied. It is well-known that scents like peppermint, tea tree oil, and lavender can deter these bugs. However, you’ll also find that the Internet is littered with a lot of other misinformation when it comes to scents. Bugs will try to avoid specific scents, but to understand why bugs a repelled by these scents, you need to know what it is that turns them off.
Take the pheromones secreted by baby bed bugs or nymphs. This scent is the perfect example. Nymphs or baby bed bugs secret a pheromone that is utilized in many over-the-counter pesticides today. Such products have proven to be effective, but why? Well, male bed bugs are extremely notorious breeders. They will breed with just about anything, anytime, including baby bed bugs. Unfortunately, this is not only a traumatic experience for the nymphs, but it’s a deadly one. This is why nymph’s bodies are designed to secret this pheromone. It’s a defense mechanism!
The only problem is, this pheromone is only effective when it comes to deterring males. It’ll have little to no effect on adult females or other nymphs. The United States Department of Agriculture also conducted another interesting study regarding essential oils and bed bugs. The results of this one were interesting, to say the least. The results actually revealed that essential oils are only mildly effective at deterring bed bugs, but they seem to have some kind of effect on the bug’s bodies.
While a lot of people are still utilizing essential oils to deter bed bugs these days, there are some oils that are more effective than others. These would be paraffin oil, blood orange oil, and spearmint oil. These have proven to be the most effective essential oils available today for bed bug repellent, but their effectiveness is extremely limited.