Potential of Essential Oil-Based Pesticides and Detergents for Bed Bug Control

J Econ Entomol. 2014 Dec;107(6):2163-70. doi: 10.1603/EC14328.


The bed bug, (Cimex lectularius L.), is a difficult pest to control. Prevalence of insecticide resistance among bed bug populations and concerns over human-insecticide exposure has stimulated the development of alternative bed bug control materials. Many essential oil-based pesticides and detergent insecticides targeting bed bugs have been developed in recent years. We evaluated the efficacy of nine essential oil-based products and two detergents using direct spray and residual contact bioassays in the laboratory. Two conventional insecticides, Temprid SC (imidacloprid and β-cyfluthrin) and Demand CS (λ-cyhalothrin), were used for comparison. Among the 11 nonsynthetic insecticides tested, only EcoRaider (1% geraniol, 1% cedar extract, and 2% sodium lauryl sulfate) and Bed Bug Patrol (0.003% clove oil, 1% peppermint oil, and 1.3% sodium lauryl sulfate) caused >90% mortality of nymphs in direct spray and forced exposure residual assays. However, the efficacy of EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol was significantly lower than that of Temprid SC and Demand CS in choice exposure residual bioassay. Direct spray of EcoRaider caused 87% egg mortality, whereas the other nonsynthetic insecticides had little effect on bed bug eggs. EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol did not exhibit detectable repellency against bed bugs in the presence of a carbon dioxide source. These findings suggest that EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol are potentially useful pesticides for controlling bed bug infestations, but further testing in naturally infested environments is needed.

Keywords: bed bug; efficacy; essential oil; repellency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bedbugs*
  • Detergents*
  • Insect Control / methods*
  • Insecticides*
  • Male
  • Oils, Volatile*
  • Ovum
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Detergents
  • Insecticides
  • Oils, Volatile