Do Essential Oils Prevent Bed Bugs?
by Marissa Henderson
June 11, 2019
Online, devotees of essential oils recommend them as a green alternative to stopping a bed bug infestation. Consumers, desperate for a safe treatment, have been tuning in and purchasing over the counter ‘green insecticides’ with essential oils as the active ingredient. Could tea tree, lavender, lemongrass, or thyme be the solution to your bed bug problem? According to researchers from Rutgers University and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Center, probably not.
In a paper published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, researchers shared test results of bed bug toxicity to eighteen different essential oils, three silicone oils, and paraffin oil. Results indicate that only silicone and paraffin oils showed any effectiveness against bed bugs.
So although some “green oils” may kill some bed bugs and could act as a good preventative, they will not be 100% effective and will be unlikely to solve a serious bed bug infestation.
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