Natural Defenses: Top Plants That Repel Bed Bugs

by | Jun 6, 2023 | 0 comments

Discover the power of nature in your battle against bed bugs! Learn about the top plants that can help keep these pesky pests at bay.

The Power of Plants in Repelling Bed Bugs

Understanding how plants can keep bed bugs away is the first step in using them effectively. Many plants produce natural compounds that are toxic or repulsive to insects, including bed bugs. These compounds are often found in the plant’s leaves, stems, or flowers, and can be released when the plant is disturbed or when the insect comes into contact with the plant. For example, some plants produce essential oils that are known to repel insects. These oils can be extracted and used as a natural insect repellent.

Top Plants That Repel Bed Bugs

Lavender: A Fragrant Foe for Bed Bugs

Lavender Repels Bed Bugs

Lavender is well-known for its calming scent, but did you know it can also deter bed bugs? The strong fragrance of lavender is believed to disrupt the nervous system of bed bugs, making it an effective natural repellent.

You can use lavender in various forms, such as essential oils, dried lavender, or even growing the plant in your home or garden. However, while lavender can deter bed bugs, it may not be enough to eliminate an infestation. For that, you may need to consider professional heat treatment.

Lemongrass: A Tropical Deterrent for Bed Bugs

Lemongrass Repels Bed Bugs

Lemongrass, a tropical plant known for its citrusy aroma, is another natural bed bug deterrent. The plant’s oil contains citronella, a compound commonly found in insect repellents.

Not only does lemongrass repel bed bugs, but it can also kill them and their eggs. However, like lavender, lemongrass alone may not be sufficient to handle a severe infestation. In such cases, you might need to consider other methods like bed bug interceptors.

Peppermint: A Minty Shield Against Bed Bugs

Peppermint Repels Bed Bugs

Peppermint is another plant that bed bugs don’t seem to like. The strong scent of peppermint oil can effectively repel bed bugs and other pests. You can make a simple peppermint spray by adding a few drops of essential oil to water.

Spray this around your home to deter bed bugs. However, be careful when using peppermint oil around pets, as it can harm them. If you have pets, you might want to check out our article on bed bugs on cats.

Rosemary: An Herbal Barrier Against Bed Bugs

Rosemary Repels Bed Bugs

Rosemary is a culinary herb that also doubles as a natural insect repellent. Its strong scent can keep bed bugs at bay. To deter pests, you can use rosemary oil as a spray, similar to peppermint, or plant rosemary in your garden. However, rosemary oil can be potent, so it’s important to dilute it properly before use.

Thyme: A Time-Tested Bed Bug Repellent

Thyme Repels Bed Bugs

Thyme is another herb that can help in your fight against bed bugs. Thyme oil can repel and even kill bed bugs. You can make a thyme sachet with dried leaves and place it in areas where you suspect bed bug activity.

However, remember that thyme, like other herbs, is a deterrent and not a complete solution for a bed bug infestation. For severe infestations, professional extermination might be necessary. Check out our article on how much does a bed bug exterminator cost.

Exploring Other Potential Bed Bug Repelling Plants

Geraniums: Do They Repel Bed Bugs?

Geranium Repels Bed Bugs

Geraniums are beautiful flowering plants often used in gardens and as houseplants. But do Geraniums repel bed bugs? Some studies suggest that certain types of geraniums, particularly those that produce geraniol, can be effective against bed bugs.

Geraniol is a type of alcohol found in various essential oils known for its intense aroma. However, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of geraniums against bed bugs.

Cinnamon: A Spicy Solution for Bed Bugs?

Cinnamon Repels Bed Bugs

Cinnamon is not just a popular spice; it’s also known for its insect-repelling properties. Some people suggest that sprinkling cinnamon powder around bed bug-infested areas can help repel these pests. Further Reading:

However, while cinnamon might deter bed bugs, it’s unlikely to kill them or eliminate an infestation. For more effective solutions, you might want to consider heat treatment or using bed bug interceptors.

Marigolds: More Than Just Pretty Flowers

Marigolds Repels Bed Bugs

Marigolds are known for their bright, cheerful flowers, but they also have a reputation as pest deterrents. These plants produce a strong scent that many insects find unpleasant.

Some evidence suggests they’re effective against bed bugs. If you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, it’s best to rely on proven control and prevention methods.

Mint: A Refreshing Repellent for Pests

mint Repels Bed Bugs

Mint, with its strong, refreshing scent, is often suggested as a natural insect repellent. However, while mint might deter some insects, it’s not clear whether it’s effective against bed bugs.

If you’re dealing with bed bugs, it’s important to use methods that are proven to work, such as heat treatment or professional extermination.

Citrus: A Zesty Approach to Bed Bug Repellent

Citrus Repels Bed Bugs

Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are often associated with cleanliness and freshness. Some people suggest that the strong, zesty scent of citrus can help repel bed bugs. However, there’s little scientific evidence to support this.

While citrus might make your home smell fresh and clean, it’s unlikely to have much effect on a bed bug infestation.

The Practicality of Using Plants to Repel Bed Bugs

While using plants to repel bed bugs is appealing, it’s essential to understand that these natural remedies are not guaranteed solutions. Bed bugs are persistent pests, and while certain plants might deter them, they’re unlikely to eliminate an infestation. You’ll need a comprehensive approach that includes cleaning, heat treatment, and possibly professional extermination.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Learn how to prevent bed bugs from entering your home and what to do if you find one-bed bug.


In conclusion, while certain plants like lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint may help repel bed bugs, they are not a definitive solution to a bed bug infestation. It’s always best to consult a pest control professional if you’re dealing with an infestation. For more information on bed bugs and how to deal with them, check out our other articles on topics like how to find bed bugs during the day and does vinegar kill bed bugs.


Can plants really repel bed bugs?

Yes, certain plants can repel bed bugs due to the natural compounds they produce. However, while these plants can deter bed bugs, they are unlikely to eliminate an infestation. For that, a more comprehensive approach is needed.

Which plants are most effective at repelling bed bugs?

Lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint are often cited as effective bed bug repellents. These plants produce strong scents that bed bugs find unpleasant.

Can I use these plants to get rid of a bed bug infestation?

While these plants can help deter bed bugs, they are unlikely to get rid of an infestation. If you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, it’s best to consult with a pest control professional.

Are there any other natural ways to repel bed bugs?

Yes, there are other natural methods to repel bed bugs, such as diatomaceous earth and heat treatment. You can learn more about these methods in our articles on diatomaceous earth for bed bugs and the truth about bed bug heat treatment.

What should I do if I find bed bugs in my home?

If you find bed bugs in your home, it’s important to act quickly. Start by cleaning and decluttering your home, washing and drying your bedding and clothes on high heat, and vacuuming thoroughly. You may also want to consider professional extermination. Check out our article on what to do if you find one bed bug for more information.

Duane Cepeda is a highly skilled and experienced bed bug exterminator with a passion for creating pest-free living spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of bed bug behavior, Duane is dedicated to providing effective and tailored solutions to help clients rid their homes of these persistent pests. Trusted by many, Duane Cepeda is committed to delivering top-notch pest control services that ensure peace of mind and a good night’s sleep for his customers.


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