As a professional exterminator I visit a lot of homes that have bed bug infestations. I get to see a lot of different types of remedies that people do to get rid of bed bugs.
One of the most common remedies that people do is to spread cloves and clove oils under the mattress or around the bed or in their closets. Also, many of my friends have asked me if cloves can get rid of bed bug infestation? So, I decided to bust this myth with an in-depth explanation.
No, cloves or clove oils do not kill bed bugs. Spreading cloves around the bed, below the mattress or in your clothing will not help you get rid of bed bugs. Also, cloves or clove oils do not repel bed bugs in any manner.
What are bedbugs?
Bed bugs are small reddish-brown insects about the size and shape of an apple seed. These bugs feed on human blood. Bedbugsare reddish-brown in colour, about 1 to 5mm in size and have a flat circular body with horizontal groves on their backs.
What are cloves?
Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. It is commonly used as a spice, flavoring or fragrance in consumer products, such as toothpaste, soaps, or cosmetics.
Clove oil is extracted from clove buds. Both clove and clove oil have lot of beneficial uses.
How do cloves and clove oil work?
Eugenol is a phenol compound derived from clove. A 2020 study found that exposing bedbugs to a compound called Eugenol did result in some of the bedbugs dying.
Why do cloves and clove oil don’t work for bed bugs?
For cloves or clove oil to work as an insecticide, the bed bugs must come in direct contact with a concentrated extract of clove i.e. eugenol.
Cloves or clove oil do not contain high concentration of eugenol enough kill bed bugs or get rid of infestation or even repel them.
The same 2020 study observed that It took about 70,000 times more of eugenol to kill a bed bug by contact and 400 times more of eugenol to kill a bed bug by fumigation than a synthetic insecticide.
Which means it is practically impossible to get rid of bed bugs in normal home conditions using cloves or clove oil.