While a lot of pests may wander into your home because they’re attracted to leftover food or excess moisture, bed bugs often end up in your house by accident. These critters get around by travel, so if you visit a hotel where there’s an existing infestation, some bugs may latch onto your luggage or personal belongings and travel home with you.
For this reason, bed bugs are almost impossible to prevent. Many homeowners have turned to natural remedies, like essential oils, to deter bed bugs and other insects. Here’s what Orlando residents should know about which scents may repel bed bugs, what other effective home remedies they can use, and what to do if they’re dealing with an active bed bug infestation.
Are Essential Oils Effective For Repelling Bed Bugs In Orlando, FL?
While there’s no shortage of things that people use essential oils for, you can add bed bug prevention to the list. According to research from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Rutgers University, essential oils are hardly effective for repelling bed bugs – with exceptions for blood orange oil, spearmint oil, silicone oil, and paraffin oil.
Out of that list, paraffin oil and silicone oil are especially popular. Paraffin oil is white, colorless, and odorless, which means you can spray it on mattresses or furniture, and it won’t leave a stain or lingering odor behind.
Silicon oil, however, needs to be mixed with water, and is best used in areas of the house where you’re going to see the most bed bug traffic – like bedrooms and living rooms.
Keep in mind that while essential oils may be fine to use around the home, you shouldn’t be using them directly on your skin. Not only can this lead to skin irritation, but rubbing them directly on your skin is unlikely to deter bed bugs from biting you either.
What Other Home Remedies Can You Use To Deter Bed Bugs In Orlando, FL?
While some essential oils have proven to be moderately effective for deterring bed bugs, there are a couple of other home remedies that are tried and true repellents, such as:
Dry Clothing On The Highest Setting
If you’ve recently spent time at a hotel or a place where there may be an existing infestation, you’ll always want to wash your clothes as soon as possible. However, throwing them in the washing machine isn’t enough. Laundering clothing on the washer and dryer’s highest setting has been proven to kill bed bugs.
The washing may take care of some of the bed bugs, but the extreme heat from the dryer is going to be most effective. Be sure to also dry pillowcases and sheets that could house bed bugs as well.
Freeze Contaminated Items
If you’re worried that bed bugs have contaminated items around your house, freezing temperatures work just as well as extreme heat. Make sure you’ve got your freezer set below freezing (the colder, the better), and place any potentially contaminated items in for at least four days. Easy items you can freeze without damaging them include:
Cloth items you can’t or don’t want to put in the dryer
For electronic items, especially ones with LCD or LED screens, you should avoid putting them in the freezer.
Although it may require a trip to the store, diatomaceous earth is another home remedy that’s a tried and true method for killing bed bugs. When it’s sprinkled on a mattress or along baseboards, diatomaceous earth absorbs fats and oils from the bed bug’s exoskeleton, which eventually dries and kills them.
The Best Way To Handle A Bed Bug Infestation In Orlando, FL
While home remedies or essential oils have proven to be somewhat effective for deterring bed bugs, they aren’t a great solution for active bed bug infestations. If you’ve already got bed bugs in your home, there’s only one reliable and effective way to get rid of them: Green Flag Services.
As a locally owned and operated business, our dedication to making your home pest-free is why we’re Central Florida’s trusted choice for pest management. If you suspect that you’ve got bed bugs crawling around your home or already know you’ve got an infestation, there’s no time to waste – call us today at Green Flag Services to learn more about our bed bug control services or request your free inspection.