Does Cinnamon Kill And Repel Bed Bugs?

As far as killing bed bugs is concerned, you’ll want to leave no stone unturned. However, is it worth even trying to use cinnamon to kill and repel bed bugs? Does it work at all? 

Instead of falling prey to hypes around cinnamon-laced bed bug killing products, it’s better to go with the facts

Does Cinnamon Repel Bed Bugs?


Cinnamon is a well-known spice that brings out the flavor in cuisines. It has also proven to be a natural pest repellent for gardeners. Apparently, cinnamon powder or oil can ward off pests like ants, gnats and mosquitoes.

Bed bugs, which are common household pests, are known to avoid the aromatic scents given off by cinnamon. When applied, bed bugs would find discomfort at the scent and are likely to avoid the area. 

However, that doesn’t mean that cinnamon is a good repellent for bed bugs. Driven by its lust for blood, bed bugs may just ignore cinnamon’s scent and proceed to where the host is. There is also a suggestion that cinnamon works to confuse bed bugs’ sense of smell rather than repel them. 

Can Cinnamon Kill Bed Bugs?

Cinnamon, whether as powder or oil, is unlikely to kill bed bugs. There isn’t any study that records the efficacy of cinnamon and the mortality rate of bed bugs. However, there’s one that found that Green Rest Easy, a natural bed bug spray, is only one-third as effective as a chemical pesticide. 

With cinnamon oil being one of the major active ingredients of Green Rest Easy, it’s fair to suggest that cinnamon isn’t an effective bed bug killer. You’ll have better luck with clove oil, which proves to be a potent essential oil for pest control. 

Still, you’ll need to be realistic with natural oils. They are not going to send bed bugs to their instant death. It may take hours, or days depending on the type of oil. 

Why Using Cinnamon Oil To Kill Bed Bugs Is Not A Good Idea?

To begin with, cinnamon oil is not a known natural pesticide. Therefore, its effectiveness is in doubt. Even if it does kill bed bugs, it works by direct contact. This means you’ll need to spray cinnamon oil directly onto the bed bugs.

Bed bugs are not only nocturnal creatures, they are also known to be good at hiding. Those bugs aren’t going to be sitting ducks that let you spray cinnamon oil over them. So, using cinnamon oil was never a good idea. There are just too many uncertainties for it to be a good bed bug killer.

Using Cinnamon To Soothe Bed Bug Bites

While cinnamon may not be effective in killing bed bugs, it is not entirely without virtue. Bed bug bites can be itchy, painful, and last for a couple of weeks. You can turn cinnamon into a paste and apply it on the bites. You’ll find that the inflammation and pain got better quicker. 

Better Ways Of Killing Bed Bugs Naturally

Short of getting a professional pest exterminator, there are some better ways of getting rid of bed bugs.

  • Steam cleaner – The hot vapor from a steam cleaner is sufficient to kill bed bugs and their eggs. Use the triangle nozzle to channel the steam into cracks and crevices. 
  • Diatomaceous earth – Made from fossilized plankton, diatomaceous earth gradually breaks through bed bug’s protective shells and dry them off. Without moisture, bed bugs will die.
  • Bed bug spray – Some bed bug sprays are proven to be effective, thanks to a combination of active ingredients. 

Hope this article has offered clarity on whether you should be hunting down bed bugs with cinnamon.

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