by Christi Pugh
for Nature's Gift
Recent headlines about bed bug infestations across the country are hard to ignore. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl!
Luckily, no one at Nature’s Gift has encountered the problem so far. (Thankfully!) However, Marge considered staying at a hotel in Nashville for an upcoming conference & had second thoughts after word of a developing bed bug problem in the area. We also had an inquiry from a client about to go on vacation concerned about the possibility of encountering the little pests.
So what can you do to combat these critters when traveling or staying in hotels?
Essential oils recommended for combating insects include: Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemon Teatree, Cedarwood (we would use Atlas), Australian Blue Cypress, Patchouli, & Lavender Angustifolia. Some recommend Lemongrass, but the Lemon Eucalyptus or Lemon Teatree would likely be more effective. According to client feedback, our Skeeter Beater is an effective repellent for mosquitoes, fleas, biting flies, chiggers, etc. If I were in that situation, I would definitely reach for the Skeeter Beater.
Perhaps making a spritzer from the Skeeter Beater Synergy in a 4 oz PET Cobalt atomizer bottle to spray on the mattress, box springs, & bedding, is a thought. Marge also was thinking if she did stay in the hotel, she would wear the Skeeter Beater Gel in bed, to sleep. Lavender on a tissue in the pillow case could also be helpful for sleep & relaxation.
For the spritzer use 40 drops of the Skeeter Beater Synergy, a cap full or two of drugstore witch hazel, and about 4 oz of distilled water in an atomizer spray bottle. You will need to shake it up each time before use since the oil & water tend to separate.
If you do become prey for the unwelcome parasites & develop an itch from their bites, Cajeput Essential Oil is very effective for treating fire ant & other insect bites, so it would probably work well. I know someone in Delaware who recently encountered bed bugs while visiting a friend. She was itchy & miserable. She called & asked, “What do I have that I could use for it?” I said, “Do you have any Cajeput?” Thankfully, she did. She used it on the bites & it gave her relief.
Rather than using the Cajeput neat on the skin, try a 10% dilution in a carrier oil. Jojoba & Fractionated Coconut are both good choices as carrier oils, but I like to use Apricot Kernel as my carrier for bug bites since it absorbs so quickly, is safe on sensitive skin, & is helpful for inflamed skin. Use 60 drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil to achieve the 10% dilution. (Quick reference dilution chart from the website) We’ve also gotten feedback that Helichrysum is soothing for bug bites, so that is another option. I personally prefer Cajeput because in my experience it almost always instantly stops the itching.
Here’s hoping you don’t encounter bed bugs during your travels. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared!