Insects are oftentimes deterred by specific scents like tea tree oil, lavender, and peppermint. This is fairly common among all insect species, including bed bugs. While bed bugs tend to avoid unappealing scents, they cannot possibly avoid them all. Unfortunately, the available information is construed, causing much confusion in the pest control industry. When it comes to the facts, some scents are effective bed bug deterrence. There are also scents believed to be effective bed bug deterrence that just do not work.
The nymph (baby bed bug) excretes a pheromone to keep adult male bed bugs at bay. The pheromone tells adult male bed bugs to try their luck somewhere else. The nymph pheromone is ineffective against adult female bed bugs. Synthesized nymph pheromones are available over-the-counter. These products have been shown to be ineffective in keeping adult bed bugs at bay.
Essential oils generate scents that humans find pleasing or displeasing. Are these scents effective in fighting off bed bug infestation? A US Department of Agriculture study revealed essential oils may be an effective bed bug deterrence. According to the study, essential oils are not effective bed bug scent repellents. Instead, they impact the bed bug’s body, which is very unusual.
Essential oils are not extremely effective, but they are believed to work. A few examples include paraffin, blood orange, spearmint, and silicone oils.