Does the thought of bedbugs give you the creeps? Same! You never think that dealing with an infestation of bedbugs can happen to you, until it does. Today we’re going to talk about how to make homemade bedbug spray (in case it happens to you) and how to prevent bedbugs from spreading.
How do you get bedbugs?
It’s important to know that you could be the cleanest person in the world and still get bedbugs. An infestation of bedbugs doesn’t just happen to houses or places that are dirty. Think of the last time you bought a used piece of furniture or article of clothing from a second hand store.
Chances are, these little buggers got into your house through something you purchased.
“How can bed bugs get into my home? They can come from other infested areas or from used furniture. They can hitch a ride in luggage, purses, backpacks, or other items placed on soft or upholstered surfaces. They can travel between rooms in multi-unit buildings, such as apartment complexes and hotels.”
Source Department of Health NY
See? It’s not you. They hitchhike!
Well now that we know where they come from and how they got in, let’s talk about how to prevent bedbugs from spreading and how to make homemade bedbug spray.
Dealing with an infestation of bedbugs
Needless to say, it won’t be pretty. It’s time consuming and frustrating but you must be diligent in cleaning the entire house and all your belongings. Make sure that all the other members of the family understand how serious this problem is and that they do their part in cleaning their rooms and things.
I would advise against inviting people over to the house until the infestation of bedbugs is completely obliterated. Remember they are hitchhikers! It only takes one person who sits on the couch and one bedbug to attach to them to spread these buggers!
How to prevent bedbugs from spreading
Here are a few simple tips to help you prevent bedbugs from spreading and then we’ll move on to the homemade bedbug spray.
- Keep your living space clean and free of clutter-(keep in mind these little guys can also nest in your living room furniture and carpets, not just your bed).
- Vacuum often (carpets and furniture) and make sure to clean out your vacuum filter/bag too!
- Refrain from buying used furniture or clothing (at least for a while)
- Use a washable mattress cover if possible
- If traveling, store your clothes in vacuum sealed bags
- Use essential oils liberally (more on this later)
Depending on how bad your infestation of bedbugs is, you may or may not have to call in the professionals.
There is so much to know about bedbugs and so many different ways to kill, prevent and treat them. This article from scientificamerican.com dispels 10 myths about bedbugs. It has some interesting information in there you should know.
How to make homemade bedbug spray
I’m going to share three different natural remedies for bedbugs with you:
- Bedbug spray with alcohol
- Bedbug spray with essential oils, and
- Dryer sheets for bedbugs
All three techniques are super easy, made with things you probably already have on hand, affordable and effective.
First I’ll show you how to make homemade bedbug spray with alcohol. Two simple ingredients and bedbugs be gone!
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spray bottle
Mix equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol and spray all the areas the nasty little critters are hiding and have made their new home. This will stop them from spreading and laying eggs.
Can it get any easier than that?
Sure can. With dryer sheets! While the dryer sheets don’t actually kill them, they work very well in repelling them.
Simply take your dryer sheets and tuck them in the sheets in all 4 corners of your bed. Place them anywhere you have furniture throughout the house to keep them buggers away. You can also wipe down the items in your house with the dryer sheet.
Dryer sheet tip! Instead of throwing them out too soon, spray them with essential oils and place them wherever bedbugs are hiding. This brings us to the last of the natural remedies for bedbugs, essential oils.
An interesting FYI for you: essential oils have been used since 4500 BC. The ancient Egyptians made ointments and cosmetics from essential oils. These oils not only have healing properties but are powerful in keeping away critters of all kinds, even bedbugs.
How to use essential oils for bedbugs
There are a few different types of essential oils that can be used to stop the spread of bedbugs.
Peppermint Oil- This is one of the most effective oils in repelling all critters, including bedbugs. A lovely fresh crisp scent, you won’t mind spritzing this to keep the bugs at bay.
Tea Tree Oil- This oil has amazing strength best known for its healing properties for all skin ailments. Its strong smell will repel bugs instantly.
Lavender Oil- While we love lavender oil for its soothing scent and the way it seems to calm us down, it’s also pretty darn good at repelling bedbugs.
Eucalyptus Oil- Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh eucalyptus? This oil is fantastic for keeping bedbugs (and other critters) away.
Since each of these oils do their jobs well, it’s up to you to decide which fragrance you prefer and don’t mind smelling in your house all day. I’m a huge fan of lavender and eucalyptus.
Don’t be afraid to mix your favourite ones and come up with your own blend!
Fill a spray bottle with water and add about 30 drops in total of whichever oil you decide to use. Liberally spray the items in your house, your bed, your carpet and anywhere else you think bedbugs are hiding.
Another tip! You can also add some alcohol to this mixture for an extra dose of prevention.
Whichever homemade bedbug spray you decide to use, I hope you get them under control and make sure they know they are not welcome to come back!