Cedar Wood and Bed Bugs

Beth Rice 02/09/2021

There’s a good chance you won’t ever find cedar wood and bed bugs in the same place. Why? Because cedar wood contains natural oils that bed bugs and lots of other pests don’t like.

About Cedar Wood

Cedar is a strong, stable wood that’s used for indoor and outdoor furniture. It brings with it a distinctive scent that to most of us humans smells like freshly cut wood with almost a menthol, minty scent mixed in. While that scent may be pleasing to us upon opening a cedar chest or sitting back in a cedar chair, bugs don’t like it and it will make them avoid such a dwelling.

How Cedar Wood Repels Bed Bugs and Other Pests

Cedar wood contains natural oils that give off its signature scent. These oils help to preserve the wood, prevent the growth of fungus and as a bonus, ward off pesky insects. What’s happening that makes invading bugs want to high tail it away from cedar wood? Cedar expels phenols along with acids and together they perform as a natural pesticide. When phenols and acids in cedar enter the respiratory tract and blood system of invading pests, they cause damage. And it’s not just bed bugs that cedar repels, but moths, roaches, ticks and other bugs too.

Is Cedar Used for Indoor Furniture?

Cedar wood is used for indoor furniture, particularly hope chests and blanket chests. With cedar’s natural ability to keep bugs at bay, it’s safe to store heirloom items inside a cedar chest like handmade quilts, blankets, clothing and keepsakes you’ve inherited. It’s important to note that bed bugs won’t eat or damage wood, they cannot chew wood or fabric. When they take up shop in wood furniture, it’s to hide in it. They feed on blood, not your furniture.

Can Cedar Wood Kill Bed Bugs?

Cedar wood will not kill bed bugs. The oil in red cedar wood won’t likely kill them, but will repel them with the unpleasant smell.

Some cedar oil mixtures are used as natural remedies to kill pests like flying insects, roaches, termites  and bed bugs. A quick Google search can lead you to cedar oils to use as household bug repellant. Some are non-toxic and considered a natural and safe way to get rid of bed bugs and other pests. There are other essential oils that have bug repelling scents as well, including clove, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree oil. Some people can experience sensitivity to essential oils and it’s recommended to check the ingredients of any oil mixture you decide to use to get rid of bugs. Cedar chips, shavings and sawdust are also recommended to use to safely repel pesky bugs.

Cedar wood and bug bugs don’t mix. Along with its lovely red-brown shades, strength and rustic warmth, cedar gets a boost from its natural oils that will likely give bed bugs the boot.

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  • Pat
    January 24, 2024 at 6:27 pm

    Cedarcide oil has eliminated bed bugs twice for us. You have to use the sprayer that vaporizes the solution.

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