Does Cedar Wood Repel or Attract Bed Bugs?

do bed bugs like cedar wood

Bed bugs are really a nuisance for homeowners.

If you find your home infested from these critters, killing them is the best solution to get rid of them.

There are options like steaming the bugs and their eggs at a high temperature of 212°F (100°C) which can kill the bed bugs immediately.

Other than this you can use cedarwood for construction, and natural oils (such as cedar oil) that can repel these bugs away.

The reason is – cedarwood comes with a natural chemical that insects like bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, moths, ticks, termites, certain ants, and others hate to come nearby.

Although the bugs cannot tolerate the smell of this natural chemical and avoid getting near the cedar wood, the chemical is not so powerful to kill the bed bugs.

This awesome property of cedarwood (to deter various pests) simply means you can use the wood in areas from where you want them to stay away.

Not only for building items for indoor use (like furniture, bed, chairs, wooden chest, musical instruments, etc) but you can also use cedar wood for doors, door frames, siding, pergolas, shade screens, landscaping, and outdoor stairs.

What is Cedar Oil?

Cedar oil (also called cedarwood oil) is an essential oil that is extracted from various types of conifers (like cedar, pine, and juniper trees).

It’s mostly produced from the foliage but also can be derived from wood, roots, and stumps that are being left after logging of trees for timber.

Cedarwood oil comes with a woodsy scent, it’s relatively safe and offers a variety of different uses including pests treatment.

Does Cedar Oil Kill Bed Bugs Fast?

Cedarwood oils are highly effective if you want to block the entry of bed bugs into your home.

What this means is you can apply cedar essential oil spray around your bedroom and furniture which will keep the unwanted bugs and spiders from coming back to your mattress and pillows when you sleep.

But remember, to kill the bed bugs successfully the oil must come in contact with the insects.

Also, unlike popular belief, the oil will not leave any kind of residue that can continue killing the insects after the application.

This means that even if you have used cedar oil for bug treatment, the bed bugs could still live in your furniture gaps or cracks and can thrive there for long without getting completely eradicated.

Since bed bugs hate the scent of cedar oil, they will only avoid the locations that are sprayed and hold the smell.

will cedar oil kill bed bugs

How to Use Cedarwood Oil for Bed Bugs?

Stopping bugs naturally using cedarwood oil starts with identifying the infestation correctly – which means you need to identify the insects accurately.  

The most common signs you can use to identify bed bugs in your home include dark red stains on your bedsheets and a kind of yellow skin leftover by larvae.

Sometimes you can also notice and identify live bed bugs that are usually the size of an apple seed.

They can easily be seen around cracks and crevices of your bed frame when you shine a flashlight near to them.

Another good way to tell if you have bed bug infestation is through bed bug bites.

These bugs will require human or pet flesh to survive, and will mostly become active when you sleep.

Bites from bed bugs can be found on your exposed skin like hands, neck, legs, and arms that are usually in a straight line or in a zigzag pattern and feels itchy.

Once you precisely know you have bed bugs, you can use DIY cedarwood oil sprays for treating them naturally.

Simply create the one using the below methods and active ingredients…

1- Surface Bed Bug Spray

One of the simplest cedar oil bed bug spray recipes is to combine 50% white vinegar with 50% filtered water in a small spray bottle.

Then add 5 to 6 drops of cedar essential oil per ounce of the mixture.

Keep in mind that this is a very mild spray you can use to clean the surfaces and repel the bugs.

This might not work for a large infestation but can help if you notice that the bed bug infestation has just started.

2- Diatomaceous Earth Insect Repellent  

Diatomaceous earth is a great pest repellent and can be used with water and cedar oil to form a stiff paste that can deter bed bugs.

  • Create a paste-like substance by mixing DE in a small cup of water
  • Add 15 to 20 drops of cedar oil to this paste and mix well
  • Take few jar lids and spoon this paste into them
  • Place the lids in areas where bed bugs or other insects tend to hide

By adding a cedar oil and DE scent to your home, these repellent stations can stop the bugs from coming inside your home.  

If you continue seeing bed bugs, add a few drops of water and cedar oil to this paste after a month.

3- Cedarwood Essential Oil Insect Repellent

Add equal amounts of witch hazel and filtered water in a bottle.

Then mix around 5- 6 drops of essential oil per ounce of liquid.

You can use cedar oil OR a mix of cedar oil and other essential oils of your choice.

Essential oils that work well with cedar oil for repelling insects include lavender, citronella, neem oil, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint oil.

You can spray these blends on your bedding, bed frame, mattress, pillows, upholstery, and even on the clothing in your closet.

Few Ready-Made Products You Can Find in The Market

Cedar-AL and Cedarcide Insect Repellents are a few great products you can buy online (at stores like Amazon) if you do not want to prepare your own DIY cedar oil repellents at home.

These companies have been producing cedar-based products for a long and their products are safe for household usage due to their environmentally friendly nature.

Not only to specifically target bedbugs, but these products can effectively kill/repel a variety of other insects.

cedar oil for bed bug bite

Can I Use Cedarwood Oil for Bed Bug Bites?

Yes, ingredients in cedar oil act as a natural anti-inflammatory and also have properties to kill the bacteria.

You can therefore use it for treating itchy bed bug bites on your skin or of your pet.

However, before you apply cedar oil on your skin to treat the bite marks test the small area of your skin to check you are not allergic to the essential oil.

  • In a small cup or glass dish put 4-5 teaspoons of water
  • Add 2-3 drops of cedar oil to it
  • Apply the diluted oil to the affected skin area with a cotton swab

What If I’m Allergic to Cedar Oil or Doesn’t Like Its Smell?

I understand, some people are allergic to cedar oil and therefore cannot use them due to the respiratory distress it can cause.

Even pets like cats and birds are sensitive to it and if you have them in your home, you should avoid using cedar shavings or cedar oil near them.

As an alternative, you can use other varieties of essential oils or a blend that I have already listed above for keeping the pests away.  

It’s good to first experiment with the oils and recipes to check what combination actually works best for you based on your lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

Pest control services offered by professionals are often expensive.

And unlike holistic approaches, products like insecticides are usually meant for single usage.

Learning how to create your own DIY cedarwood oil spray for stopping bed bugs is simple.

Hopefully, with the above guide, you can now add cedar oil to your routine to develop a more proactive anti-bug lifestyle that lasts for long.

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