How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs With Tea Tree Oil? All You Need To Know

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One of the safest methods to kill bed bugs or at least get rid of them is to use tea tree oil. But, how to get rid of bed bugs with tea tree oil? Tea tree oil is one type of essential oil that has proven to have a particularly effective ability to get rid of these pests. That is the looming question that I will be answering in this article.

However, before we get to that bit, let’s understand why tea tree oil works as an effective bed bug repellant! Keep reading to understand how you can use this essential oil to your advantage!

What is Tea Tree Oil?

While tea tree oil is a type of oil that is originally found in Australia, today, you can find it in all parts of the world. This essential oil is actually extracted from the tea tree plant (no surprises there!) and has been touted to have extremely beneficial medicinal properties for years!

Tea tree oil

This brings me to the more important aspect of the many advantages of tea tree oil – its ability also to repel bed bugs. As you keep reading, you will understand exactly how tea tree oil can help you in your battle against these biting pests!

What are some of the advantages of tea tree oil?

Made of chemical compounds such as terpinen-4-ol (a proven botanical insecticidal), 1,8 Cineole (proven insecticidal properties), and Gamma-terpinene (a proven bio-pesticide), tea tree essential oil is a natural remedy to get rid of not only bed bugs but also other insects and pests in your house.

Tea tree oil

However, the benefits and advantages of tea tree oil extend far beyond the realm of insecticides. In fact, tea tree oil is a potent anti-fungal substance that can even be used directly on the skin when diluted in the right way.

Conditions such as itchy skin, eczema, and inflammation can all be treated using diluted tea tree essential oil!

How does tea tree oil kill or repel bed bugs?

Before understanding how tea tree oil actually repels bed bugs, it is vital to understand the basic physiology of these pests. Now, the fact is that bed bugs breathe using spiracles, which are small little holes on the underside of their bodies.

The way tea tree oil kills bed bugs is by clogging up the spiracles and their leads into bed bugs’ bodies. Essentially, the oil chokes bed bugs, causing them to die.

It’s quite apparent that in order for you to use tea tree oil as an effective bed bug repellent or killer, you must use it in a manner that causes the bed bugs to come into contact with it physically. Below, I have talked about the best ways to get rid of bed bugs using tea tree oil!

How to get rid of bed bugs with tea tree oil?

how to get rid of bed bugs with tea tree oil

Right off the bat, I should tell you that you cannot get rid of bed bugs entirely using just tea tree oil. However, you can use this oil to at least control bed bug populations in your bed and your house. But, tea tree oil should only be a part of your strategy to get rid of bed bugs.

Prepare a tea tree oil spray.

You should avoid using tea tree oil concentrate since coming into direct contact with it can cause allergic reactions to your skin. However, you can create a tea tree oil spray using concentrated tea tree oil, ethanol, dish soap, and, of course, water.

Your goal is to create a 7% to 10% concentrated solution. Therefore, mix roughly 7 to 10 ml of tea tree oil in 100 ml of water and then add a little dishwashing soap and ethanol to help these two substances mix.

Mix this solution by shaking the bottle vigorously. Once you’ve done that, you have in your hands your tea tree oil spray!

If you want to experiment a little with more pleasant-scented essential oils, you can also use lavender essential oil, eucalyptus essential oils, and cinnamon essential oil!

Not only will these oils leave your house smelling pleasant, but they will also improve the efficacy of your bed bug repellant spray due to their insecticidal properties!

Spray the tea tree oil spray directly on bed bugs, in your mattress, and on your bedsheets and pillow covers

Once you’ve prepared the tea tree oil spray, all you need to do is spray it onto the bed bugs directly or in areas where bed bugs can come into direct contact with the solution. As I already mentioned earlier, unless bed bugs come into direct contact with this essential oil, they won’t die.

Therefore, a good place to begin is to spray it on your mattress, your bedsheets, pillow covers, and in your bedroom.

It is possible that the smell of this solution might drive bed bugs out of the cracks they are hiding in. So if you do notice any wandering bed bugs, you can also spray the solution directly onto them.

Stay consistent with spraying the tea tree oil spray in bed bug-infested areas.

Bed bugs are pests that are fairly difficult to get rid of. Therefore, you won’t see significant results if you simply spray tea tree oil once. Instead, you will have to use tea tree oil multiple times and make it a part of your bed-cleaning routine.

Washing your sheets regularly and freshly spraying them with tea tree oil can also go a long way in getting rid of dead bed bugs and their eggs while allowing you to kill more with every washing cycle!

Does tea tree oil cause a bed bug infestation to worsen?

No, tea tree oil does not cause a bed bug infestation to worsen. However, you might think that it does. Let me explain. When tea tree oil is freshly sprayed on a surface, it can kill bed bugs. However, gradually, the solution loses its insecticidal potency and only repels bed bugs rather than killing them.

When this happens, bed bugs simply shy away from that surface and wonder about the rest of your house instead. Even though you’ve probably killed a few bed bugs, using tea tree oil has caused these pests to come out of their nesting site and search the house for a different place to infest.

This also means that you might be able to see the bed bugs that were hiding earlier but aren’t hiding anymore, causing you to think that the tea tree oil has led to your existing bed bug infestation worsening.

This is why it is equally necessary to implement different strategies to ensure that you deal with any bed bug infestations in your house in totality!

Can tea tree oil be used to treat widespread bed bug infestations?

Bed bug infestation

No, tea tree oil cannot be used to treat widespread bed bug infestations. Tea tree oil is only a good bed bug repellant or killer when it can directly come into contact with the spiracles of a bed bug. Unless that happens, bed bugs will remain alive and capable of breeding.

In the case of widespread infestations, it is not logical to depend only on tea tree oil to kill these pests.

Therefore, it is helpful to remember that tea tree oil is only a control measure against bed bugs and not a complete remedy to get rid of full-blown bed bug infestations. You must also regularly vacuum your bed and wash it in hot water.


In answering how to get rid of bed bugs with tea tree oil, you should not neglect that tea tree oil is only a control measure against these pests. Having said that, you can prepare a tea tree oil solution with dish soap and water and spray it in the areas of your house that are mildly infested with bed bugs!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.