Bedwantsenbestrijding infographic
Graphic shows do-it-yourself remedy for bedbug control.


Uitbraak van bedwantsen in Parijs

By Duncan Mil

October 4, 2023 - The French government has launched a concerted effort to fight bedbugs ahead of the Paris Olympics. Bedbugs have infested one in 10 households in recent years and have been spotted at major transport hubs -- the Paris metro, on Eurostar trains and at Paris’s Charles-de-Gaulle Airport.

Synthetic pesticides such as pyrethrins and pyrethroids used to control bed bug infestations face two problems: the insects gain a tolerance to them, and many consumers are looking for “green” alternatives they consider safer to spray in their homes.

A Purdue University study led by entomologist Ameya Gondhalekar has identified some of the most effective essential oil compounds for bed bug control.

“Since bed bugs are found on beds and sofas, people want chemicals that are safe for humans. You cannot spray most of the currently available insecticides directly on your infested furniture,” said Gondhalekar.

A simple do-it-yourself remedy needs an empty spray bottle and a few essential oils. The spray bottle enables access to hard-to-reach areas.

Add five drops of tea tree, lemongrass, lavender and thyme essential oils to the spray bottle. Tea tree is best known for its antiseptic and repellent properties. It soaks the insect’s exoskeleton, causing it to suffocate and die. Lemon grass oil contains citronella acid, which also causes them to die. At the same time, lavender not only kills bed bugs but effectively kills their eggs as well. Thyme is a natural insecticide and prevents the insects from returning.

Add a cup of water, and that’s it -- a hundred per cent organic spray that doubles as a garden spray.

PUBLISHED: 04/10/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images