Many bugs are repelled by certain smells, such as peppermint, tea tree oil, and lavender. As such, it makes sense that bed bugs too, would be repelled by certain smells. While bed bugs do try to avoid certain scents, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about what those smells are. So, what’s the truth?
One known scent that repels bed bugs is the pheromones secreted by the nymphs, or baby bed bugs. These are meant to keep male bed bugs away from the nymphs, so they don’t attempt to mate with them. These pheromones, though, only work on male bed bugs, and will do nothing to dissuade females from invading a space. It is still however, sold in many products on the market today. While using these products could be better than nothing, they won’t likely eliminate the problem completely.
Many people use essential oils to repel bed bugs, as well. The United States Department of Agriculture even conducted a study to determine if essential oils were effective in keeping bed bugs away. The results of the study were interesting. While bed bugs didn’t appear to be repelled by the smell of the oils, they did seem to have an effect on the bed bug’s body..
While not overly effective, the most useful essential oils for deterring bed bugs appear to be blood orange oil, paraffin oil, silicone oil, and spearmint oil. However, the effectiveness of these oils is extremely limited.