by Autumn Blum, Cosmetic Chemist
The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is a small, elusive, parasitic or hematophagous (blood-sucking) insect. The name 'bed bug' is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of infesting houses and especially beds or other common areas where people may sleep. Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts.
Through the use of DDT in the 1940s and 1950s, bedbugs were largely eradicated as pests in the developed world. The bedbug population rebounded around 1995 with a particularly pesticide-resistant variety.
Bedbugs are attracted to their hosts primarily by carbon dioxide emissions from our breath, secondarily by warmth, and also by certain chemicals released from our bodies. Most bed bugs on feed on humans when other prey is not available.
Neem Oil has been used for thousands of years for protection and prevention and is effective on over 200 different types of insects. Neem oil interrupts the reproductive cycle of many insects preventing further infestation while being safe for humans, pets and children. Consistent treatment of your home and person are necessary for maximum benefits.
Tips for protecting yourself & your home from unwanted “undesirables”
1) Home treatment: Spray and wipe down well your bed, sheets, walls, bed boards and under your bed and all potentially dark crevices with a Neem Oil and essential oil-based spray. If you have purchased a concentrated spray, you can dilute it by adding 1 to 4 oz of water and ¼ tsp of soap to emulsify and then use in a spray bottle.
2) Duration of use for home treatment: If using a Neem and essential oil-based spray, we recommend treating your home 3 times per day for the first 3 days, and then every other day 3 times per day, for a total of 18 days to assure that you have broken the lifecycle and eliminated all of the eggs.
3) When checking into a hotel, lift a corner of the sheet and check the mattress, if you see little black specs, ask for a room change (to a different floor) or check into a different hotel.
4) Upon arrival, lift up the mattress sheet and spray with a Neem Oil and essential oil-based spray
5) We also recommend coating the interior of your suitcase with a Neem Oil and essential oil-based spray to prevent any stow-aways. Let dry before packing.
6) Use a Neem Oil soap with 20% Neem Oil for maximum protection.
7) Moisturizing with a Neem Oil-based lotion or cream will keep the “undesirables” away.
8) If you are experiencing itching from bites, apply a Neem Oil and essential oil-based spray 3-6 times per day. For children under 2, apply pure Neem oil (or diluted with olive oil) as needed without any essential oils.
Some Useful Products:
Herbal Outdoor Spray – a concentrated, water-based spray with Neem and other essential oils, 8 fl oz
Neem Oil – 100% Pure and Organic, safe for direct application to the skin or add to other products, 1 fl oz
Skin Lotion Neem Therapé – hydrating and nourishing, rich in antioxidants, 8 fl oz
Neem Cream – nourishes, protects and soothes problem skin with jojoba and shea, 2 fl oz.
Neem Therapé Cleansing Bar Maximum Strength – 4 oz bar with 20% Neem oil; great for sensitive skin