What Can I Spray on Myself to Repel Bed Bugs? (12 Solutions)

Dealing with a bed bug problem is very stressful and it’s never easy, but you are not the only one in this fight. Lots of people wonder what can be made to repel bed bugs and what is the best natural bed bug repellent they can use right now.

Not only that but also, what will be the most effective on your skin type, on your bed, or even on your clothes.

In this guide, you will find skin-friendly solutions that you can spray on yourself to repel bed bugs and with no side effects at all. Not only that but you will find other extra solutions as well.

This is one of the cases where homemade bed bug repellent works best over chemical-based insecticides, so, worry no more, let’s dig into it, and let’s get rid of those bed bugs right away today.

Top 12 Things You Can Use to Repel Bed Bugs

The number one thing you need to do before working on a solution is to check if you have indeed a bed bug infection, then you can make your way through ensuring that all the bed bugs are exterminated.

Getting rid of bed bugs it’s not easy, but it can be done. You can use the following items to prevent bed bugs’ itchy bites.

Professional Chemical or Heat TreatmentsGREAT
Pheromone TrapsGREAT
Essential OilsGREAT
Mattress CoversGREAT
Diatomaceous EarthGREAT
Wearing ClothesGREAT
Rubbing AlcoholGREAT
Mattress CoversGREAT
Adhesive TapeBAD
Hair DryerBAD
Clothing IronBAD
Summary Table for Things You Can Use to Repel Bed Bugs

1. Essential Oils to Repel Bed Bugs

People have been using essential oils, as their own remedy, to repel bed bugs for years. Essential oils have gained a lot of press recently for all kinds of solutions but also for pest prevention as well. Some essential oils have proved to be safer to use than some skin repellents and this is why is a strong choice among people to repel bed bugs.

2. Coconut Oil to Repel Bed Bugs

Another solution used to repel bed bugs is coconut oil, this can be used in a lot of body parts, and your skin is no exception. It can soothe the itch and can prevent new bites as well, plus it will leave your skin hydrated and very smooth.

3. Diatomaceous Earth to Repel Bed Bugs

You can use this solution to kill and prevent bed bug infestation, this works by dehydrating bed bugs upon contact, that way an infestation can be controlled with great success. Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic, odorless powder that kills all bed bugs in 48 hours after contact.

4. Peppermint Leaves and Peppermint Oil to Repel Bed Bugs

One of the most popular choices to repel bed bugs is peppermint leaves and oil, the scent is very effective and puts bed bugs away. People often use this form of repellent throughout their homes.

Usually, the leaves must be crushed and spread in the infested zone, this must be done every day until the bed bugs are gone. It can be a little time-consuming but it is cheap as well, so if you have the time you can do this.

5. Vicks Vaporub to Repel Bed Bugs

One of the best ways to repel bed bugs is by using Vicks vaporub in areas of your body such as the belly, elbows, knees, neck, and lower back. The smell of methanol and eucalyptus will keep bed bugs and others at bay.

6. Black Walnut Tea to Repel Bed Bugs

It is said that this solution offers an effective bed bug repellent solution. The best way to apply this is by leaving the tea bags placed around the most infested areas and then covering them for better results. It is able to eliminate bed bugs eggs and adults as well.

7. Petroleum Jelly to Repel Bed Bugs

Petroleum jelly can be applied in several ways to repel bed bugs. You can smear it on the bed frame and legs to prevent bed bugs from crawling into the sheets, make sure to do this and replace bed sheets for clean ones in order to increase their effectiveness.

8. White Vinegar to Repel Bed Bugs

Using white vinegar can be a good alternative to essential oils. It is a very cheap solution and very effective as well, the smell and the acid from the vinegar will repel bed bug populations and many other pests like ants, roaches, fleas, and centipedes away from you.

9. Wear Clothes to Repel Bed Bugs

This seems to be an obvious one, but truth is, many people don’t do it. If you need a fast solution against bed bugs for one night, just use some socks and clothes and you’ll be covered against bed bugs.

It can be hard on summer days, but it can really save you for the night if you are traveling or in any other temporary situation like a hotel room.

10. Vacuum Your Bed Before Sleep to Repel Bed Bugs

I know this one can be a little bit hardcore, but if you open your sheets and detect there are a few bed bugs in your bed, just vacuum them before going to sleep, the only downside is the noise the vacuum can make at night.

But if you do this several hours before going to bed it may be a good solution while you don’t have a better one. Live bed bugs can lead to sleepless nights, and we don’t want that, do we?

11. Wash and Clean Your Bed Sheets to Repel Bed Bugs

Washing your sheets with a good soap and the recommended program in the washing machine, as instructed by the manufacturer is a good way to prevent bed bugs on your bed, do not forget to dry your sheets well, if you cannot dry them outside with success, use a good program as well in the drying machine.

12. Use Bug Repellents to Keep Bed Bugs Away

There are as well bug repellents that can repel bed bugs from you, they can be PBA-free, water-resistant, and non-greasy, which makes them a good fit for everyday use.

Know more: How to Kill Bed Bugs With Green Alcohol

Things That Are Not Guaranteed to Repel Bed Bugs

1. Rubbing Alcohol

This method is not guaranteed and it’s simply not safe, not to mention, that some people can have an allergic reaction to large amounts of alcohol in their skin. Alcohol is flammable (that can be dangerous) and there is not enough evidence that supports this method can work, so stay away from it.

2. Baby Powder

Baby powder is as good as it gets, it serves its purpose as a powder but not as a bed bug repellent, it can mask bed bugs’ scent but it will not be effective against them. Better stick to diatomaceous earth, you will have better results.

3. Dryer Sheets

Some people believe that placing dryer sheets around the house will act as an effective bed bug repellent, but once again there is no proof that this product will prevent or act as a deterrent against bed bugs.

4. Turning off Heat During Winters

The only way to freeze bed bugs to death is by putting them in a bag and placing it in the freezer, otherwise, this will not work.

Even if you manage to lower the room temperature enough for bed bugs to run away, they will come back as soon as it normalizes. So turning off heat will only benefit your wallet, not your health.

5. Vaseline

One of the biggest myths that live on the internet, is that Vaseline can kill bed bugs. This is completely false, Vaseline doesn’t have any insecticidal property and therefore it cannot repel bed bugs.

6. Sleeping With Lights On

I will not even comment on this one, but it is true that some people DO believe in this. Bed bugs will bite no matter what, with lights on or off, they simply don’t care. As long as you are stationary, a bite is coming your way.

7. Burning Sulfur

Doing this is both ridiculous and dangerous, burning sulfur will do nothing against bed bugs, and you will risk your health in doing it so.

8. Fire Extinguishers

Some people believe that the CO2 present in fire extinguishers is able to freeze bed bugs to death, but this is not the case. CO2, in fact, can attract bed bugs. So don’t even think about trying this out.

9. Bug Bombs

Bug bombs have been always very questionable, and here is why. Bug bombs are ineffective because they cannot act into the gaps where bed bugs hide. Once you use it, bed bugs will flee to a tight corner or gap. The bomb can indeed kill a few of them, but not all of them.

10. Olive Oil on Your Body

Keep your olive oil where it belongs, in the kitchen! This is definitely not true, use olive oil to cook not to spread in your body, it will be much more profitable that way.

How to Check for Bed Bugs?

Make sure to take your time while searching and checking for bed bugs, down below you will find a crucial checklist you can follow to confirm your suspicions.

Confirming Bed Bug Infestation

You can confirm the existence of bed bugs infestation by:

  • Seeing a live or dead bed bug on your house.
  • Checking allergies and other reactions on the skin.
  • Encounter them at night (they are more active during nighttime).
  • Check your pet’s fur and pelt for bed bug signs.
  • Blood stains on the skin or on the bed sheets.

Keep in mind that even hungry bed bugs can survive up to 1 year without feeding on blood, they can grow between 1.5mm to 3mm wide and 4mm to 5mm long.

They are usually light brown and some others reddish-brown, newly hatched nymphs are much lighter than adults and you can see them with the naked eye.

Their favorite hiding places are:

  • The frame of your bed
  • Bed legs
  • Cracks on the wall
  • Rugs
  • Cushions
  • And other similar items

What Causes Bed Bugs Infestation?

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not caused by poor hygiene, they are found in high-density areas, and bed bug eggs can be carried over by travelers, pets and objects (such as clothing or shoe soles).

The infested items then become a doorway into your home. They also have the ability to travel on their own, they can get from one infested area on to a new one to infest.

Can Bed Bugs Be Dangerous?

It is not clear that bed bugs can transmit infectious diseases from host to host, besides, symptoms vary from person to person, and some people have no reactions at all. The only concern about bed bug bites is that they might lead to psychological conditions such as:

  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Delusional parasitoses

In some rare cases it can lead to anemia due to blood loss and bacterial infection, but this was only present in some extremely neglected cases.

How Do You Stop Bed Bugs From Biting You at Night?

There are 3 things you can do to keep bed bugs away from you while you sleep:

  • Sleep with some clothing, this is one of those cases where a pajama some socks might be very useful to save your skin.
  • Use a steam cleaner on your mattress and sheets before sleeping time to kill any bed bugs laying around.
  • As an effective method use bed bug repellent for clothes in order to kill them if they try to attack you.

Can You Get Rid of Bed Bugs Bite Marks Fast?

It’s not easy to get rid of bed bug bite marks overnight, if you are allergic they can cause some zig-zag itchy red welts on the skin (not to be confused with mosquito bites), these marks can last up to 2 weeks before clearing up. But there is something you can do to relieve the itchy feeling such as:

Using Toothpaste on Bed Bug Bites

When you apply toothpaste on bed bug bites it will soothe the itching a little bit. The methanol that exists in the toothpaste acts as an anti-itching agent. Usually, after a few minutes, you’ll get a relieving cooling sensation. Some other solutions like essential oils, garlic, baking soda, and lemon juice can also provide some relief.

Commercial Bed Bug Repellents

There are some commercial solutions that can be an effective treatment and take care of bed bug bites for you, but some people don’t like to use these chemicals on their skin, they prefer sticking to herbal solutions or lotion ones. For the ones that don’t have time to dispose of bed bugs in natural ways, a store-bought solution is a gift from the gods.

When choosing one for your needs make sure its active ingredients composition contains:

  • DEET-DEET (N-N-diethyl, 3-methyl benzamide)
  • Paramenthane 3,8 dioxyl (Oil of lemon and eucalyptus- OLE) and,
  • Picardin (2-2 hydroxyethyl-1piperidinecarboxylic acid 1 methyl propyl ester)

These are the things that will repel the bed bugs

Cautions When Using Commercial Bed Bug Repellents

When you are using a store-bought repellent, it is very important to always read the instructions and follow them religiously.

These solutions can be used on clothing, on your skin, or on your furniture.

Wen applying in your skin, always read instructions first and do a small test first to check for any allergic reaction.

Don’t use in direct contact with wounds, skin cracks, eyes, and mouth. When used in children always supervise them.

Keep the solution out of reach from pets and small children. Keep your hands clean before and after applying it.

How Do You Know if You Have Bed Bugs on Your Skin?

Bed bugs will feed on your blood by biting in your exposed skin areas (legs, arms, face, neck). They are easy to identify, but they will only “attack” you in your sleep.

The reason you won’t shake them off as soon as they land on you is that you are sleeping.

How Do You Get Rid of Bed Bugs on Your Skin?

You can:

  • Shake them off, from yourself.
  • Use homemade repellents.
  • Use store-bought repellents.
  • Check your clothes, belongings, and bed before going to sleep.

How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites?

You can prevent bed bug bites by preventing a bed bug infestation, just do these simple things in your daily routine, and you are safe to go.

  • Check your clothes and belongings when you arrived home.
  • Don’t forget to check your pets as well.
  • Keep your outdoor shoes at your entrance and change them for clean ones to roam inside.
  • Never lay down on your bed with your outdoor clothes.
  • Clean your house floors weekly to prevent bed bug infestations, this will reduce with great success the number of bed bugs population.
  • Hire pest control professionals