How to kill bed bugs with neem oil

Written by emily jones
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How to kill bed bugs with neem oil
Neem oil is a safe and effective way to treat bed bugs. (fire bugs image by Tomasz Plawski from

Bed bugs are nocturnal bloodsucking parasites that feed on warm-blooded animals. They come out of their hiding places at night and will travel great distances in search of food. Common signs that you may have bed bugs are red wheals on your skin or tiny blood droplets on your sheets. If you want to take a safe approach to getting rid of bed bugs, neem oil is a natural option. This bed bug repellent has active ingredients that are similar to the hormones insects produce. Bed bugs mistakenly ingest neem oil thinking they are natural hormones. This blocks their real hormones from working properly and they will not be able to survive. Neem oil offers a safe and environmentally friendly way to treat bed bugs.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Neem oil
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Vacuum

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  1. 1

    Buy ready-to-use neem oil spray from your local garden supply store. It contains a refined neem oil extract. Spray a light mist on your mattress, box springs and bed frame. You should also spray along baseboards and cracks and crevices or anywhere you think bed bugs are hiding.

  2. 2

    Make your own neem oil spray. It's simple to make, cheaper, and more effective than commercial spray because it has a higher concentration of acadirachtin, the active insecticidal ingredient in neem oil. Mix 1 tsp of neem oil, 1 tsp of insecticidal soap or detergent, and 1 qt. of warm water together to make 1 qt. of neem oil spray. Put in a spray bottle and spray all surfaces where you think bed bugs are hiding.

  3. 3

    Wash all clothing, towels and linens in your house and place them in plastic bags. Vacuum floors, dresser drawers, mattresses and box springs. Also vacuum behind pictures, drapes and in closets. Dispose of the vacuum bag in a closed garbage container outdoors.

  4. 4

    Inspect your home on a weekly basis to determine if the treatment was effective. Repeat treatment once a week until all bed bugs are dead. The bed bug population should plummet, and they should disappear completely within a few weeks.

Tips and warnings

  • Store unused neem oil in your refrigerator. It will be good for a year or two.
  • Use the homemade neem oil spray within eight hours of mixing the solution so that it does not begin to break down.

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