Presentation Title

From Bed Bugs to Dead Bugs: Exploring Natural Alternatives To Eliminate Bed Bugs, Cimex lectularius with Essential Oils

Faculty Mentor

Dr. David N. M. Mbora, PhD

Start Date

23-11-2019 1:00 PM

End Date

23-11-2019 1:15 PM

Location

Markstein 213

Session

oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Keywords: Bed bugs, natural remedies, essential oils

Due to the countless unverified claims on natural bed bug remedies on the internet, the purpose of this research was to determine if four natural remedies – essential oil treatments of rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, and an essential oil mixture of all three oils- would be effective in eliminating bed bugs, Cimex lectularius. I hypothesized that the essential oil mixture treatment would be the most efficient in eliminating the bed bugs because of its antimicrobial properties. I tested my hypothesis by comparing the elimination efficiency on an equal number of bed bugs under five treatments: rosemary essential oil treatment, lavender essential oil treatment, eucalyptus essential oil treatment, essential oil mixture treatment, and a deionized water control. Each treatment had four replications of five separate jars, each containing 22 subjects. The males and females were mixed in this experiment. Before treatment started, the subjects were given 7 days to acclimate along with one blood meal. After acclimation, the bed bugs were sprayed three times with their respective treatment once a day until the population was dead. The effectiveness of the treatments was then measured by counting the amount of bed bugs that were still alive every day of the experiment. The main findings were that all the natural remedies were effective in eliminating bed bugs. The eucalyptus essential oil treatment proved to be the most efficient in eliminating bed bugs. After the first spraying session, three out of the four populations for the eucalyptus treatment were all eliminated with only six left alive in the remaining population. After a second spraying session, all the bed bugs for the eucalyptus treatment were eliminated while it took several spraying sessions to eliminate the bed bug populations for the remaining three treatments.

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Nov 23rd, 1:00 PM Nov 23rd, 1:15 PM

From Bed Bugs to Dead Bugs: Exploring Natural Alternatives To Eliminate Bed Bugs, Cimex lectularius with Essential Oils

Markstein 213

Keywords: Bed bugs, natural remedies, essential oils

Due to the countless unverified claims on natural bed bug remedies on the internet, the purpose of this research was to determine if four natural remedies – essential oil treatments of rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, and an essential oil mixture of all three oils- would be effective in eliminating bed bugs, Cimex lectularius. I hypothesized that the essential oil mixture treatment would be the most efficient in eliminating the bed bugs because of its antimicrobial properties. I tested my hypothesis by comparing the elimination efficiency on an equal number of bed bugs under five treatments: rosemary essential oil treatment, lavender essential oil treatment, eucalyptus essential oil treatment, essential oil mixture treatment, and a deionized water control. Each treatment had four replications of five separate jars, each containing 22 subjects. The males and females were mixed in this experiment. Before treatment started, the subjects were given 7 days to acclimate along with one blood meal. After acclimation, the bed bugs were sprayed three times with their respective treatment once a day until the population was dead. The effectiveness of the treatments was then measured by counting the amount of bed bugs that were still alive every day of the experiment. The main findings were that all the natural remedies were effective in eliminating bed bugs. The eucalyptus essential oil treatment proved to be the most efficient in eliminating bed bugs. After the first spraying session, three out of the four populations for the eucalyptus treatment were all eliminated with only six left alive in the remaining population. After a second spraying session, all the bed bugs for the eucalyptus treatment were eliminated while it took several spraying sessions to eliminate the bed bug populations for the remaining three treatments.