There is no doubt that bed bugs are becoming an increasing problem everywhere. It’s not just in the states, but far and wide across the globe. On top of that, bed bugs are one of the most formidable insects in the insect community. They are solely resourceful and go out of their way to avoid detection. Add to that their innate and quick reproductive habits, and it doesn’t take a trained pest professional to see how these little creepy crawlers can become a major problem.
Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t just stop there either. These bugs are extremely cryptic and because of their shy nature, they are hard to detect during the very earliest stages. Combine all this with the rising costs of pest detection and extermination, and it’s enough to make you want to give up your home altogether. Simply put, people everywhere are seeking new and alternative means to eliminate the growing threat.
One such method that’s been explored a lot as of late is pheromones. Now, this might seem a bit strange or off-the-wall to some. However, there has recently been significant proof that essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree oil, and lavender are offering all kinds of unique properties. Such scents have proven not only to be calming, relaxing, and pain-relieving, but they might be able to repel the common bed bug. Is this really so far-fetched? It’s been well-established that certain scents can repel specific insects.
The United States Department of Agriculture didn’t think that the theory was far-fetched. They were open enough to the idea to undergo testing. That’s exactly what they have done and the results were interesting, to say the least. Before exploring those test results, it’ll help to understand a bit more about the bed bug’s common nature. Take, for instance, the nymph bed bug. Nymph bed bugs, which are young or baby bugs, emit a defensive pheromone. This pheromone is secreted by the young bug to deter the adult male.
When the male bed bug reaches a specific age, it becomes a prolific breeder, with the desire to mate with every female bug it can reach. Unfortunately, this includes the youngest of the population. The act usually results in the death of the young bug, hence the need for the defensive scent. This scent has proven to repel the adult male. Scientists and researchers have been exploring ways to capture and employ these pheromones are deterrents. With all things considered, it makes sense. However, this is not a cure-all solution
First of all, the pheromone only repels adult males. It will do nothing to the females or younger males. Along with this, it might not always be completely effective in deterring all adult males. With all that in mind, the studies conducted by the Department of Agriculture revealed similar results. It was proven that some essential oils show positive deterrent results. Also, some specific oils offered far greater results than others.
Blood orange oil, paraffin oil, silicone oil, and spearmint oil were among some of the more effective. Regardless, these powerful scents are still very limited at best. It wouldn’t be wise to completely rely on them wholeheartedly for prevention or defensive means.