Although you can hire a professional exterminator company, you can get rid of bed bugs through DIY methods.

The most effective way is to use scents that bed bugs hate, such as tea tree oil, blood orange oil, powdered pepper, cinnamon, and a few other smells that bed bugs hate.

The only problem with this method is they will move out of your bed and migrate to other parts of your house.

See: What kills bed bugs here

What Scents Do Bed Bugs Hate

Below is an extensive list of common scents you can use that drives bed bugs out of your bead:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tea tree oil
  • Blood orange oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Powered pepper
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Peppermint
  • Neem oil
  • Lemon
  • Cinnamon

#1. Rubbing alcohol

Since bed bugs hate the smell of alcohol and using it is an effective solution to your problem. Rubbing alcohol helps dry out bed bugs’ bodies and leads to their death eventually. This scent will also prevent the pest from laying eggs in your area. The odor that rubbing alcohol releases will deter the bugs out of your home to look for another place to give birth.

When using alcohol handle it with care because the alcohol can cause fire hazards.

#2. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a great solution if you don’t want to use alcohol for your bed bug problem. The smell of this essential oil encourages the pest to leave the area immediately after it senses the smell. The essential oil affects their exoskeleton too. When using tea tree oil you will have a good-smelling living space and you will also be free from bed bugs.

#3. Blood orange oil

This essential oil is the answer to your long-term bed bug problem. Blood orange oil is proven and one of the most effective ways to get rid of bed bugs successfully.

Spray the oil on the surface or put the oil in a diffuser for the scent to be spread around your home to repeal the pests and prevent them from coming back. This process takes some time to become effective but will always be worth it.

#4. Lavender oil

Lavender is a widespread plant that you can have in your home as it is known to be one of the insect repellents. The oil extracted from this plant is used as an essential oil, people love that odor but bed bugs hate it. Spray the oil on the infested areas and the smell will surely drive those nuisances away. Another good thing about lavender oil is it does not only keep bed bugs away but can also help improve your sleep.

#5. Powdered pepper

God old pepper. Our dishes love it but our “bed pets” hate every second of its smell, especially powdered ones. A simple sprinkle of powdered pepper will keep your home bed bug-free. The aroma and the active ingredients found in pepper will surely scare those pests away. The best thing is that it can be purchased in every store near you.

#6. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a solution effective against all pests. It is actually recommended by many pest experts. Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized algae. When bed bugs, and all kinds of pests actually, make contact with the DE they get dehydrated and die. By destroying the waxy exoskeleton of the pests, the whole body collapses, and the pest dies. The pungent smell of the powder is what the bed bugs dislike the most. By simply using DE, you are resolving your bed bugs problem gradually.

#7. Peppermint

Peppermint is the most researched solution for keeping bed bugs away from your home. This plant can provide a smell that bed bugs, and other pests in general, hate. It will drive the pests out and keep your home fresh at the same time. Leaves of the plant can be used for this purpose, but it is easier if you spray the peppermint oil around your house. If you do this on a regular basis it will help to eliminate bed bugs and prevent them from coming back.

#8. Neem oil

Neem oil can be used for keeping bed bugs away as well. According to many pest technicians in professional pest exterminator companies, neem oil is a natural insect repellent. Its smell will make pests leave the place as soon as possible, and it will keep mosquitoes away too.

#.9 Lemon

In general, all citrus smells will keep bed bugs away, but the smell of the lemon is death. Some bed bugs cannot resist the smell of lemon juice and having it around will help you eliminate the problem once and for all. Use fresh lemon juice to kill those bed bugs because it has harsh properties that are bad for pests.

#10. Cinnamon

Aside from the above, the smell of cinnamon is an enemy of bed bugs. The smell can keep bed bugs away as they cannot handle it. Spread the powder onto your bed to get rid of bed bugs and prevent them from returning. Some products contain cinnamon powder as an ingredient that can be used against bed bugs.

There is one compound that is common for every solution listed above, linalool. Linalool is the main reason why bed bugs hate all of this scent.

If nothing of mentioned above doesn’t work or doesn’t finish the work well, seek professional help as soon as possible.


Heat treatment is a method usually used by pest control companies to get rid of bed bugs. This treatment works by destroying the cells of the bed bugs and causing them to stop functioning. This is due to the fact that once cells reach a temperature of about 113 degrees it breaks down the bug’s actual DNA.

What is a heat treatment for bed bugs

If you don’t know it exists you can’t get rid of an infestation. There are a few common places where you can find bed bugs:

  1. Furniture: When checking furniture for bed bugs, pay attention to the seams of chairs and couches, around cushioned areas, and in the folds of furniture;
  2. In drawers: The joints of drawers, which are where the two sides meet and form a corner. If there are interlocking components of the drawers, check these areas for bed bugs, as well;
  3. Appliances and outlets: Fully examine electrical outlets to ensure there are no bed bugs inside the outlet, or around its cover;
  4. Around walls: There are certain areas in walls where bed bugs like to live. These include around the wallpaper, particularly if it is loose, wall hangings, and where the floor and ceiling meet.

Even bed bugs are nocturnal and they don’t particularly like light, they still need to eat. Keeping lights on will not stop bed bugs from coming out from inside the mattress or bed and biting you.

Many pests feed on blood and don’t care where the meal comes from. These pests will attack humans and their pets without showing a real preference. The good news is that even if they bite a cat or dog that’s sitting on a chair or lying on the floor, they will not attach to them.

As we already know, bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of. When bed bugs have just eaten, or are larger by nature, they may not be able to float as well. Once they are submerged in water, they will not be able to resurface. A bed bug’s egg can survive in water for as long as 24 hours.

Can bed bugs survive water

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.