What Smell Does Bed Bugs Hate? Top 15 Smells that Keep Bed Bugs Away

Some household products are known to release a certain odor or scent that annoys bed bugs and forces them to leave the region immediately. The odor can effectively repel adult bed bugs but the bed bug eggs may persist.

What smell does bed bugs hate?

There are certain smells that bed bugs hate and cant survive with them around. Below are the Top 15 smells that keep bed bugs away.

1. Rubbing Oil

Bed bugs hate the smell of alcohol and rubbing alcohol dries up the bodies of bed bugs, which results in their death.

The odor released by rubbing alcohol prohibits bed bugs from laying eggs and as soon as they smell it, they start looking for another place, away from your house.

Additionally, rubbing alcohol can also be used to sanitize your body. However, you should use it with care because alcohol can catch fire easily and cause substantial damage.

2. Tea Tree Oil

The smell of tea tree oil helps in repelling bed bugs successfully because the aroma dismays them, forcing them to leave the place.

Once bed bugs smell tea tree oil, they will immediately try to escape because the essential oil not only produces an intolerable odor but also affects their exoskeleton.

3. Lavender Oil

The smell of Lavender Oil is cherished by people and hated by various insects such as bed bugs. You can spray the oil in your home anytime as it effectively drives the bed bugs and other insects away from your place. 

4. Blood Orange Oil

The odor of Blood Orange Oil helps in keeping various pests such as Bed Bugs away from your residence and prevents them from coming back.

You can spray the oil on various surfaces such as mattresses, pillowcases, and clothes; or you can put the oil in a diffuser and allow the smell to be spread around your room or home. However, the procedure can take some time but it will show effective results.

5. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a powder prepared from fossilized algae and is highly effective against various pests such as bed bugs, cockroaches, and ants, as it kills them by dehydrating them as soon as they come in contact.

It also destroys the waxy exoskeleton of pests that impact their body system and the smell of the powder is so pungent that bed bugs hate it the most, which results in them leaving your place in no time.

You just need to sprinkle the DE Powder all over the infested area to eliminate the bed bugs. However, make sure to clean or vacuum the powder and dead bed bugs afterwards to keep your house clean.

6. Powdered Pepper

Bed bugs hate the smell of pepper, especially that of powdered pepper, as its active ingredients and aroma scares the pests away. This ingredient is generally found in every household as it is used for cooking and hence, can be easily found in various stores near you. 

7. Lemon

Many bed bugs can’t withstand the smell of lemon juice and other citruses. Therefore, you would need to spray fresh lemon juice near the infested region every day as it contains harsh properties that would remove the bed bugs.

8. Cinnamon

The smell of cinnamon is capable of keeping bed bugs at bay as they cannot deal with it. You can sprinkle the powder on to your bed to get rid of the bed bugs and prevent them from coming back.

You can also use products that contain cinnamon powder as one of its main ingredients, to get rid of bed bugs effectively.

9. Peppermint

Peppermints produce a smell  that is highly disliked by bed bugs and various other pests. This smell effectively pushes the pests out of your house and keep it pest-free and fresh at the same time. Regularly doing this will help to remove bed bugs and prevent them from coming back.

10. Neem Oil

Neem Oil is a natural insect repellent that you can utilize to get rid of various pests like bed bugs and mosquitoes. Its smell eliminates the pests as soon as possible and prohibits them from returning. 

11. Vinegar

Vinegar contains acetic acid, the smell of which can be used to effectively repel bed bugs. Just like alcohol, vinegar can be made from various plants like apples, grapes, and corn.

You can spray the vinegar directly on bed bugs and their bugs to kill them but make sure that the smell of vinegar is not too hectic for you. 

12. Bleach

You can use bleach or bleach sanitizers to repel bed bugs as it is believed that bugs hate the smell of bleach. However, you should not spread it all over your furniture, carpet, and walls as it may damage them.

13. Fresh Mint

People like the smell of mint but bed bugs just can’t withstand its smell and hence, it can protect your pace from bed bugs as the strong smell of bed bugs annoys bed bugs and makes them highly uncomfortable by directly affecting their nervous system.

You can make the best use of mint by boiling them as it will create and spread a strong mint throughout your place, giving effective results.

14. Garlic Solution

The smell of garlic can make the existence of bed bugs really difficult and uneasy. To create a strong smell of garlic, you can either crush it into a few cloves or boil it to see more effective results and place it near the area where they hide.

15. Baby Powder

Unlike Diatomaceous Earth (DE), the smell of baby powder has the least effect on bed bugs. The properties of the baby powder are not strong enough to pierce the outer layer of the bed bugs and other insects and hence, is an effective bed bug repellent scent.


You can get rid of Bed Bugs and prevent them from coming back with the help of the various smells mentioned above. However, if you don’t succeed in getting rid of the bedbugs despite utilizing most of them, you should take help from a professional pest control company and regularly clean your house to prevent pests from breeding in your home.