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Bed Bug Repellents: A Comprehensive Guide

Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and other animals. They are typically found in beds, mattresses, and other furniture, but they can also be found in other areas of the home, such as carpets, curtains, and electrical outlets. Bed bug bites can be itchy and uncomfortable, and they can also lead to secondary infections.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for getting rid of bed bugs, but one important step is to use bed bug repellent. Bed bug repellent can help to prevent bed bugs from biting you, and it can also help to make your home less attractive to bed bugs.

Types of bed bug repellent

There are two main types of bed bug repellent: chemical and natural. Chemical bed bug repellents are typically more effective, but they can also be more toxic. Natural bed bug repellents are generally less toxic, but they may not be as effective.

Chemical bed bug repellents

Chemical bed bug repellents contain ingredients that kill or repel bed bugs. Some of the most common chemical bed bug repellents include:

  • Pyrethroids: Pyrethroids are synthetic insecticides that are based on natural compounds found in chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethroids are effective at killing bed bugs, but they can also be toxic to pets and children.
  • Neonicotinoids: Neonicotinoids are a type of insecticide that works by disrupting the nervous system of insects. Neonicotinoids are effective at killing bed bugs, but they can also be harmful to bees and other beneficial insects.
  • Desiccants: Desiccants are substances that dry out insects, causing them to die. Some common desiccants used to kill bed bugs include diatomaceous earth and silica gel.

Natural bed bug repellents

Natural bed bug repellents contain ingredients that are derived from plants or other natural sources. Some of the most common natural bed bug repellents include:

  • Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil has a strong odor that is repellent to bed bugs. Peppermint oil can be applied directly to the skin, or it can be added to a diffuser or sprayed around the home.
  • Cedarwood oil: Cedarwood oil is another essential oil that has a repellent effect on bed bugs. Cedarwood oil can be used in the same way as peppermint oil.
  • Lavender oil: Lavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties, but it can also be used to repel bed bugs. Lavender oil can be applied directly to the skin, or it can be added to a diffuser or sprayed around the home.

How to use bed bug repellent

To use bed bug repellent, follow the instructions on the product label. Some bed bug repellents can be applied directly to the skin, while others need to be sprayed around the home. Be sure to apply bed bug repellent regularly, especially before going to bed.

Tips for using bed bug repellent

Here are some tips for using bed bug repellent effectively:

  • Apply bed bug repellent to all exposed skin. This includes your face, neck, arms, and legs.
  • Reapply bed bug repellent every few hours, or more often if you are sweating or swimming.
  • Spray bed bug repellent around your bed and other areas of your home where bed bugs are likely to be found.
  • Use a bed bug repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or IR3535. These ingredients are the most effective at repelling bed bugs.


Bed bug repellent is an important tool for protecting yourself from bed bug bites. By using bed bug repellent regularly, you can help to keep bed bugs out of your home and away from your skin.

Additional tips for preventing bed bug bites

In addition to using bed bug repellent, there are a number of other things you can do to prevent bed bug bites:

  • Wash your bedding and clothes in hot water (at least 122 degrees Fahrenheit) and dry them on high heat. This will kill any bed bugs that may be present.
  • Vacuum your home regularly, especially your bed, mattress, and other furniture. This will help to remove any bed bugs or eggs that may be present.
  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs, such as live bed bugs, bed bug eggs, or bed bug feces. If you find any signs of bed bugs, contact a pest control professional immediately.

By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself and your family from bed bug bites.