16 Effective Home Remedies for Bed Bugs


Bed bugs are one of the most troublesome insects, for they feast as you sleep after a tiring day, and you wake up to see bites and subsequent rashes. Regardless of what its name might suggest, bed bugs aren’t restricted to beds. They can manifest everywhere in our house especially in drawers, behind the wardrobes and inside our clothes too. They hide inside little crevices during light and come out during dark.

These bed bugs are parasites which feast on the blood of warm-blooded animals, which includes humans. Unlike the mosquitoes, they do not spread any contagious diseases, and their bites aren’t harmful. However, the rashes and itches caused by their bites make for a lot of frustration which affects the quality of sleep.

The first symptom of a bed bug infestation is the bites. The rashes- like bed bug bites are evident signs of red or rust-coloured bugs in your bed. Try to find them by dusting out your mattress and the covers. Even the tiny black dots are the indication of eggs which will grow into bed bugs soon after.

Keeping the house clean and dust-free isn’t enough to keep the bed bugs away. Even if your neighbours had bed bug infestation which they fumigated, those insects could get into your premises as their new home. Used clothing from the garage or warehouse, the old furniture and old books are some of the sources through which bed bugs manifest into your home. To avoid bed bugs, it is a good practice to dust old goods outside the home rather than inside.

Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Here are some age-old proven home remedies to get rid of bed bugs permanently. These natural remedies for bed bugs are effective against the bed bugs and are less harmful to us compared to their chemical counterparts.

1. Baking Soda

Baking Soda kept in a jar on a wooden table

Baking soda has significant drying and house cleaning properties. It is known to absorb the moisture from the body of the bed bugs. With its antimicrobial properties, it drives away the bed bugs.

What You Need to Do

Sprinkle some baking soda over the crevices and the sides of the bed and vacuum clean the bed and the bedsheets on alternate days.

2. Vacuum Cleaner

Vaccum Cleaning

Vacuum cleaning is the best thing to resort to, given the incredibly tiny size of these insects which easily get into the tiny gaps of fabric.

What You Need to Do

Once you spot these tiny red insects on your sheets, remove out the bedspreads, and vacuum clean the entire mattress to suck out the ones inside the mattress. You would have to do this a couple of time before they are completely gone.

3. Bean Leaves

Bean Leaves

As a part of the traditional and authentic Balkan method of trapping the bed bugs, rather than driving them away, Bean leaves are highly effective in killing the bed bugs quickly. They were researched upon, and a paper has been published by the Researchers at the University of California Irvine and the University of Kentucky, regarding the concept of killing bed bugs using Bean leaves.

What You Need to Do

Sprinkle some bean leaves in the crevices and the sides of the bed you find the bed bugs on. These leaves have microscopic hooked hairs (Trichomes), which pierce into the feet of bed bugs and eventually kill them.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Pure Tea Tree Oil kept alongside tea tree leaves

The anti-microbial properties of Tea Tree Oil are well appreciated concerning getting rid of pests.

What You Need to Do

You can clean your house with tea tree oil and mop floors with the oil mixed in half a bucket of warm water. Alternatively, you can have a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with the water in a spray bottle. Spray this fluid all over the walls, the curtains, furniture, carpets, mattresses, pillowcases, cupboards, shelves, and clothes.

5. Mint Leaves

Mint Leaves

One of the best pest repellants in the list of home remedies, mint leaves have a pungent smell that drives away the insects.

What You Need to Do

Spread some crushed mint leaves over the mattresses and the child’s cradle board. Also, you can place packets of crushed mint inside cupboards and under the sheets of the bed.

6. Lemongrass

Lemon grass

Lemongrass has a very strong smell, which is quite irritating to sensitive noses. It along with the immense anti-microbial properties clears out the bed bugs within the deep layers of the mattress.

What You Need to Do

Spray some Lemongrass oil mixed with water onto the mattresses and the adjoining walls. The strong pungent smell is unbearable by the bed bugs making them flee away.

7. Lavender

Lavender Essential Oil kept beside Lavender

One of the best essential oils, Lavender oil, is effective against pests though it possesses a pleasant odor. This scent nauseates the bed bugs, making them o in search of a new home.

What You Need to Do

Use lavender oil in the form of soap or the powder to be spread across the surfaces of the mattresses and the walls. Alternatively, you could make use of some fresh lavender leaves which can be placed under the sheets of the bed.

8. Sweet Flag

Sweet flag

The smell of the sweet flag, also known as Calamus, possess anti-microbial properties.

What You Need to Do

Buy a packet of Calamus and prepare the solution as per the given instructions on the pack. Spray this solution all over the bed bug infested place.

9. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth

It is the most effective chemical free treatment against bed bugs, with about 90 % success rate in killing the bed bugs in about 10 days. It dehydrates the bed bugs, making them die within a few days.

What You Need to Do

Buy Diatomaceous Earth and spread it across the floors, mattress sides, cracks and other places where the bed bugs hide.

10. Thyme


Thyme is a popular deterrent for egg laying of insects like the mites and bed bugs. With a high dose of anti-microbial properties, these are used effectively against them as one of the home remedies to get rid of bed bugs permanently.

What Do You Need To Do

Tie a thyme stick with a cotton thread and light it up around the bed bug infested area. You can keep fresh thyme leaves in a packet inside the bed sheets, and change them every three days. This might take up to a month, but all the bed bugs are sure to be gone by then.

11. Black Walnut Tea

Black Walnut Tea

A useful pesticide used against bed bugs and mites. It is known for its antimicrobial and insecticidal properties that drive away pests.

What Do You Need To Do

Place the tea bags in the sides of the mattresses and the sheets of bedspreads.

12. Clove


The strong pungent smell and the acidic pH of the cloves are quite unbearable by the bed bugs which makes them flee.

What Do You Need To Do

Take some clove oil and apply it on the sides of the walls, pillowcases, mattress sides etc.

13. Essential Oils

Essential Oils kept side by side

The essential oils have a pleasant aroma, along with immense anti-microbial properties. They soothe the mind and the fill the atmosphere with good energy while they silently drive away the bed bugs.

What Do You Need To Do

Make a spray with a few drops of eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil with some water and spray it across all the spots of the bed bug infestation.

Alternatively, you can use cedarwood oil, oregano oil and tea tree oil mixed with water as a room spray.

14. Stiff Brush

The stiff brush is designed to penetrate through the tiny holes of bedspreads the mattresses.

What Do You Need To Do

Scrub the mattress with a stiff brush to remove out the hiding bed bugs and the eggs.

15. Wash & Dry Fabric on High Heat

Dry Fabric

The bed bugs die with increased temperatures. Washing and cleaning your bedspreads with warm water helps to kill these bed bugs and prevent a bed bug infestation.

What Do You Need To Do

Wash your bed sheets and clothes with warm water and put them out for dry under the sun. Also, dust out your mattress out in the sun.

16. Indian Lilac (Neem)

Indian lilac

The smell of the Indian Lilac (Neem) is overpowering, and with its antimicrobial properties, it is known to be one of the best natural remedies for bed bugs.

What Do You Need To Do

Crush a handful of leaves and spread them over the affected place. Also, you can boil the leaves in water for about 10 minutes, and use it to take a bath. It heals the bed bug bites and also prevents them from nearing you again.


Prevention is better than cure and that is highly considered when it comes a bed bug infestation. Some preventive methods to be considered to avoid the menace of bed bugs.

  1. Try to wash your bed sheets often in warm water to prevent a hostile area for bed bug infestation.
  2. Make sure to give your pets a frequent bath.
  3. Vacuum clean your house and bedspreads often.
  4. Clean your house on a regular basis.
  5. Be careful while you travel. Empty your luggage out in the balcony or hall, to prevent the possible spread of bed bugs or its eggs.

Apart from these, the above-listed home remedies are indeed helpful and result in quicker relief from the bed bugs. The end of clearing out the bed bug infestation is to resort to an exterminator. But before you do that, give a try to these home remedies to get rid of bed bugs permanently. In all likelyhood, you wouldn’t need to call the exterminator after that.

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Vidhya Shree
A final year engineering student, who strongly believes that a small change is all that matters on a large scale to bring about a revolution. Planet care is not just an act of compassion but the need of the hour. To write instigating articles that bring about the strong desire to become eco-savvy has given me immense pleasure. Nature has always been a reliable solution to all kinds of problems, be it health, beauty or gratification. Natural products help to keep the original essence of life in its purest intended form. With clearly laid out future of destruction, reconnecting with nature is the best resort. As an eco-savvy myself, I strongly stand by the motto of Anveya to deliver solutions of nature in its purest form.


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