What can you put on your skin to repel bed bugs? Bed bug repellents

What can you put on your skin to repel bed bugs?

best bed bug repellents for skin
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When you are treating your home for bed bugs, the most troubling consequence of dealing with these vampiric parasites is the time it can take to get rid of them completely.

Once you have discovered bed bugs, treatment procedures should begin immediately—but what can you do in the meantime to keep them from crawling on you and drinking your blood?

Thankfully, there are many bed bug repellent DIY remedies to keep them off your skin. Creams, lotions, alcohol, and sprays exist to repel the mini-vampires and even if the products do not kill the bugs, they will refrain from feeding on you due to the toxic repellent.

Dealing with bed bugs is a nightmare, but there are options to help you sleep peacefully.

What can you put on your skin to repel bed bugs?

Although it is difficult to kill bed bugs with topical remedies, there are many varieties of products that can be applied to the skin to repel bed bugs and keep them from piercing your skin to feed.

Apart from many repellent products on the market, there are some home remedies that you can apply to your skin to keep bed bugs from biting you. 

A popular bed bug repellent for skin is rubbing alcohol. Alcohol can kill bed bugs when sprayed upon them, although due to fire hazards, this is not recommended. Applying rubbing alcohol to your exposed skin when you sleep will certainly repel bed bugs; however, alcohol dries very quickly and will likely not last during a full night’s sleep. 

Essential oils are also known to repel bed bugs and when all else fails, a product that formulates bed bug repellent is always a safe option.

What Can I Put on my Body to Prevent Bed Bug Bites?

Essential oils are perhaps one of the most popular go-to remedies to repel bed bugs. Lavender, in addition to repelling bed bugs, also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease the itchiness of their bites.

Mint and peppermint have a strong, almost clinical smelling odor to them that works to trick bed bugs into thinking that your skin is covered in typical insecticides.

Tea tree oil is a powerful bed bug repellent that possesses an additional anti-microbial quality that will also prevent any possible bacteria from the bites entering your system. Essential oils can be applied directly to the skin or diluted with water and used as a bed bug repellent spray.

Bed Bug Repellent Sprays

Bed Bug repellant sprays are also great options and can add additional protection to your bedding and mattress to further deter bed bugs.

Rest Easy features natural components that will not irritate the skin. This product is infused with essential oils such as lavender and lemongrass and can be sprayed directly upon the skin with no need for rubbing into the top layer. The most attractive aspect of this product is its natural components which can add protection to your surrounding bedding.

Many essential oils can also be used as a spray and will add a pleasant scent to your room in the process of repelling bed bugs.

Will Vaseline Keep Bed Bugs from Biting?

Vaseline or any petroleum jelly product may repel bed bugs to a certain degree; however, due to there being no overpowering scent to Vaseline, it likely will not repel the bugs. Vaseline can be utilized in other bed bug repellent scenarios. Coating the legs of the bed in Vaseline will make it incredibly difficult for bed bugs to crawl up them to reach you.

If Vaseline is the only option available to you, try coating the substance on all exposed areas of your skin and experiment to see if the bugs refrain from biting you. If this fails, utilize the product as a slippery and thick coating to keep bugs from other parts of the room from being able to reach you; bed bugs cannot fly or jump—they must climb.

Does Vick’s Vapor Rub Repel Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs and Vick’s Vapor Rub are not exactly two entities that play off one another. Like Vaseline, this product may or may not deter bed bugs from biting your skin. One benefit of this product vs. Vaseline is that this product has a very potent scent and produces a mild wave of heat when exposed to skin. 

If the bugs crawl through the Vick’s to bite you, there is a possibility that the heat given off by the product may deter them as bed bugs do not like heat. Trial and error are the best methods to test if this product will truly repel them and if all else fails, like Vaseline, Vick’s can be applied to the legs of the bed to prevent the insects from climbing onto the bed.

Are There Any Home Remedies to Repel Bed Bugs?

If buying products is not within your specifications, there are many home remedies you can apply to repel bed bugs. Apple cider vinegar, when mixed with virtually any of the above-mentioned products, can add an even more potent repellent mechanism due to the acidic taste and smell of ACV. 

Rubbing alcohol when mixed with ACV can continue to repel bed bugs long after the alcohol had dried. Baking soda when mixed with water is also a popular homemade bed bug repellent for skin; to apply this mixture, mix the two together and apply to all areas of exposed skin with a cotton ball.

Bed bug repellent home remedies can prove to be effective and many of the products needed may already be in your home.

Is There A Bed Bug Repellent?

Repellents only work to keep active bed bugs from biting the skin. It is important to understand that very few of these products will kill bed bugs. Of all the listed products, rubbing alcohol is proven to kill bed bugs and repel the bugs from biting you. Alcohol is not effective as a residual, so other products that are safe for the skin and surrounding bedding are the best remedies to utilize to repel bed bugs.

Will Coconut Oil Keep Bed Bugs from Biting?

Coconut oil is completely safe to apply topically to the skin and it does repel bed bugs from biting. Essential fatty acids found inside of coconut oil are displeasing to the liquid-based diet of the bed bug. 

Additionally, the acidic compounds within these fats also work towards preventing the bugs from biting the skin. Although having the oil sitting on your skin will likely be unpleasant, this substance does in fact work to repel bed bugs from feeding.

Rub the oil all over exposed areas of skin during sleep and due to the thick dexterity of coconut oil, it can also be used to keep bed bugs from climbing bed legs.

In Summary

When you are fighting against a bed bug infestation, it is beneficial to know that there are a variety of remedies that can be applied to skin to prevent the insects from biting you during sleep.

Sprays, lotions, creams, and home remedies are available to repel bed bugs and many of those products can also be used to prevent the bugs from climbing up the bed legs to access you. Even though your home is infested with these nuisance pests, you do not have to worry about losing sleep every night due to the trauma of imagining the bugs crawling all over you and sucking your blood. It is also crucial to remember that although these products will work towards repelling the bugs from biting you, many of these options will not actually kill the bugs.

Many of the remedies available to repel bed bugs are natural ingredients, which will not irritate your skin while they are actively repelling the bugs. Essential oils and home remedies provide strong and unattractive smells and tastes that work to keep the bugs crawling away from you instead of on you. 

Sprays such as Rest Easy also utilize these natural substances and offer additional protection as they can be sprayed on surrounding bedding to further repel bed bugs before they even reach your skin. 

Creams and petroleum jelly’s also prove beneficial by creating a thick and sticky deterrence to the bugs who will avoid these substances at all costs for fear of becoming stuck. You do not have to suffer sleepless nights when battling bed bugs and these products will at the very least keep the bugs from biting you.

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Mike Henderson
Mike Henderson

Mike (AKA 'Pest Control Mike') is a pest control operator from New York with over 15 years experience dealing with a wide range of pests. He shares his knowledge on this blog and provides useful information to help you combat pests on your own.

For severe infestations and professional advice you can also request a free pest control quote here.

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