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Can I Prevent Bed Bugs Naturally?

All natural pest control prevention methods continue to grow in popularity, but how effective are they against bed bugs? Bed bug prevention can be hit or miss since they’re most often brought inside by people unknowingly. But bed bug prevention can be worthwhile in certain cases like, for example, you live in an apartment complex and bed bugs have started infesting other units in the building and you’re worried they’ll come into yours.

Some of the most popular all natural methods for bed bug prevention and mitigation include:

  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Essential oils
  • Peppermint
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Dryer sheets
  • Baby powder
a hand holds a bottle of homemade bed bug spray

All-Natural Bed Bug Repellents

All natural bed bug remedies won’t stop an active bed bug infestation, and the jury is still out on how effective they actually are at prevention. Here are a few things to know about supposed DIY and all natural bed bug repellents:

  • Diatomaceous earth: This soft sedimentary rock powder is supposed to work by absorbing water and oils from the exoskeleton of a bed bug, dehydrating and killing them. This can work as a spot treatment, but it’s simply not strong enough to eliminate large numbers of bed bugs
  • Essential oils: Though still a popular prevention method for some reason, there’s no evidence that essential oils have any effect on bed bugs
  • Petroleum jelly: Some people believe that spreading petroleum jelly on bed frames and headboards will make it so bed bugs can’t climb onto your bed. This is simply untrue
  • Dryer sheets / baby powder: These methods are supposed to work on a similar principle to diatomaceous earth – drying out bed bugs and killing them – but it just doesn’t work very well

DIY bed bug prevention and treatment

Once bed bugs are established on your property, all natural and DIY treatments won’t solve the problem. They may be effective at lessening the severity, but if you want to eliminate the entire infestation there’s only one choice: a professional bed bug exterminator.

As appealing as all-natural treatments can be, they unfortunately aren’t strong enough to control an entire infestation. A professional bed bug technician can use highly efficient treatment methods like thermal remediation (heat treatment) and targeted insecticides. 

Preventing bed bugs naturally

The best tool you have for all natural bed bug prevention is your brain. Knowing the signs of bed bugs, taking care when traveling, and thoroughly inspecting used furniture before you bring it in, all go a long way toward keeping your home a bed bug-free sanctuary.

All-natural treatments can be effective in repelling some bugs, but bed bugs are unpredictable and can’t be prevented in the same way other pest problems can.

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