Essential Oils for Bed Bugs, Lice, Fleas, & Ticks

by Julie Behling-Hovdal on October 8, 2012

Essential oils bed bugs lice fleas ticks 2 Essential Oils for Bed Bugs, Lice, Fleas, & Ticks

From the thick wooded rural areas to the concrete jungles of large cities, from dog beds and kennels to elementary schools across the nation, there are creepy crawly bugs that can be found living off human and animal blood.  To those who find their homes or pets infested with them, these little vampires — bed bugs, lice, fleas, and ticks – are mostly a nuisance.  My friend Kristin lives in New York City and has dealt with bed bug infestations TWICE!  Twice, she has had to scour her apartment, remove all bedding and clothing to be washed, and get her apartment fumigated.

Today, bed bugs and their fellow parasites are a nuisance.  But in a collapse scenario where people are impoverished and the general standard of living has deteriorated, infestations of these little buggers could add one more level of discomfort to an already uncomfortable existence, not to mention a potential threat to health.

There are two major reasons to be curious about how to deal with bed bugs, fleas, ticks, and lice without chemical insecticides, the main method currently in use to exterminate them.  First, insecticides can be toxic not only to the bugs, but to the people and animals trying to get rid of the bugs.  And second, in a collapse scenario these types of insecticides probably won’t be readily available to most people.

Essential oils are a fantastic solution rid ourselves of parasitic insects both now and to have on hand for potential disaster.  They work, they store easily, are safe and non-toxic, and they also have hundreds of other uses such as for first aid, to replace medicines, and to help calm frayed nerves!

Bed Bugs

Cedarwood oil is a great choice for getting rid of bed bugs.  Dilute several drops with distilled water in a spray bottle and generously mist the mattress with the spray after removing all bedding.   Wash all linens with Thieves Cleaner and several drops of Purification oil.  When changing linens, you can also mist the mattress with Thieves spray.

For extra umph, make the following Bed Bug Spray Recipe:

- 10 drops of Palo Santo oil
- 6 drops of eucalyptus (or R.C.) oil
-5 drops of Cedarwood oil

Combine with 4 oz. Distilled Water in a dark glass Spritzer bottle.

To eradicate bed bug eggs, make homemade sachets to place between the mattress and box springs with cornstarch or baking soda in cotton tea bags mixed with Palo Santoeucalyptus or R.C. and Cedarwood.

If you should sustain any bites from bed bugs, use lavender or Purification on the bites.



lice Essential Oils for Bed Bugs, Lice, Fleas, & Ticks

I got lice when I was in kindergarten or 1st grade.  Thankfully, my sister detected them right away because my hair was so blonde and they stood out quite a bit!  My mom bought that really toxic lice shampoo, and it worked.  But if I were to ever get lice again, I would go with the essential oils to avoid using toxic chemicals on my scalp!

Lice Formula:

- 4 drops eucalyptus or R.C. oil (R.C. oil has 3 varieties of eucalyptus oils plus some other good stuff)
- 2 drops lavender
- 2 drops geranium
- 1 tsp carrier oil such as coconut oil

Apply on site and massage into the entire scalp.  Cover with a disposable shower cap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.  Then shampoo with the rinse below –

Head Lice Rinse:

- 2 drops eucalyptus or R.C. oil
- 2 drops lavender
- 2 drops geranium
- 1/2 oz vinegar
- 8 oz water

Mix into a container with a watertight lid, shake vigorously, then pour over hair making sure every strand is rinsed. This should be done leaning over bathtub or sink. This is not recommended if you are still in the bathtub as lice may cling to other body hairs. Dry naturally. Repeat until lice and eggs are gone, which should take anywhere from 1-3 days.

Additionally, wash all bedding and clothing with Thieves Cleaner.

To prevent lice infestation, brush a drop of lavender over the hair each morning.

Note:  Body lice can transmit typhus and are common in over-crowded living conditions where people are unable to shower or launder their clothes often.  Bathing, washing the clothes, and brushing a drop or two of just about any essential oil on the skin will help to prevent and get rid of body lice.  If I were in such a situation with my oils, I would try lavender or Purification first.


fleas Essential Oils for Bed Bugs, Lice, Fleas, & Ticks

Repel fleas with Purification or peppermint oils.  Make a spray with several drops of either or both oils in distilled water and mist pets and people along with animal beds, carpet, or anywhere else there is an infestation or potential problem.  Also, wash infested bedding with the Thieves Cleaner.

One quick note – Native Americans stuffed their mattresses with pine needles to repel fleas and lice.



ticks Essential Oils for Bed Bugs, Lice, Fleas, & Ticks

Purification oil is a wonderful natural insect repellent, and should be used when hiking, camping, or spending time in the outdoors when tick bites could occur.  Make a spray with distilled water and several drops of Purification oil (~15 drops in 4 oz. of distilled water).  In areas with thick foliage where ticks are commonly found, apply a couple of drops of Purification oil around the ankles and bottom hems of pants.  Purification can also be used on dogs.

If you get bit, put a drop of peppermint oil on a cotton swab and rub on the tick.  This will cause the tick to either release or loosen its hold so it can be easily removed with tweezers.  To disinfect the bite wound, apply a drop of Purification oil.

Try these essential oil insecticide solutions out – and I would love to hear about your results!!

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Julie 3 June 2013 crop Essential Oils for Bed Bugs, Lice, Fleas, & TicksJulie Behling-Hovdal is a reflexologist/holistic healer and founder of Essential Survival where she teaches people how to prepare for the #1 cause of death in the event of an economic collapse — lack of access to medicines.  In 2005 Julie was able to get off 4 prescription drugs and heal from a 6-year stint of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia with products from Young Living Essential Oils. Get a free copy of her report “Fast Track Survival Medicines” at


Statements made about the essential oils that come in the Essential Oil Survival Kit and other products offered by Essential Survival have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi February 12, 2013 at 12:07 am

what can I do if I am not sure if there is fleas or bedbugs in my house. I got a bed from a friend and i also got a new roommate at the same time both places had dogs and I know both places where not the best on keeping their dogs clean. I do not want to see my two year old get bit from any more bugs. she got bite one time that is more than what I wanted to see her get bite.

Cynde August 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

I’m getting bit once or twice a day or night, my cat have some crusty bumps aroud her neck and I’m finding no signs of fleas or bed bugs. My brother sleeps in the living room and he’s having the same problem. With a little investigation online someone suggested mites. Do you have any thoughts or remedies?

Aethur Sun September 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I have also the same problem… lately, every time I wake up in the morning I’ve noticed some small red spot on my legs and cousin told me maybe it’s bedbug’s bite or fleas. Don’t know here we get them because we don’t have dogs or cats at home… or maybe because our bed is quite old? We are planning to buy new bed but will accept any suggestion to get rid of this pest to save a penny. Thanks!

Leyla October 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

That’s fleas. I have the same issue. I use to have cats.

Frank January 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm

For past year or more I have had terrible itchy skin, especially my scalp. My wife and I live alone with no animals. Our flat is kept spotlesly clean. We’ve searched thoroughly for fleas or other insects, but cant find any sign of any insects. Please HELP !!

CR January 29, 2014 at 6:33 pm


Sounds like your water is too hard in your tap.

Big City tap water has very high chlorine content and can strip the oils from your hair and scalp and dry out your skin.

You might consider a purification system or filtration.

Also, don’t shower with blistering hot water.

You can slowly build a tolerance to the heat and may actually be scalding yourself every time you shower. The scalp is especially sensitive to heat. Turn down your water heater or turn up the cold water a bit before you rinse yourself.

My wife used to complain about red spots and irritated skin after taking a hot shower.
She really likes to scald her skin red when showering. Just a thought. Something you may have overlooked.

Also, switching laundry soap can cause skin irritation and is often most noticeable after putting on freshly washed clothing just after a hot shower when those pores in your skin are opened up.

Sara May 2, 2014 at 7:13 am

That’s definitely fleas. I had the same problem.

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