tea tree oil(12 posts)
this "mite" surprise some of you ladies ...
but I've had this bottle of tea tree oil in my medicine cabinet for a few years now ... and I've never once used it: I'm recalling that this stuff may make bed bug suffer, so, since I'm not using it I thought I'd list the ingeredients and ask if maybe someone out there in bed-bug-blog-land can clue me in as to
WHY IT HURTS BED BUGS???
(oh yeah this is a facial wash)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Tea Tree Oil
At least there's no urea in it.
There are so many claims made for tea tree oil and it's in so many cosmetic products, in topical ointments used as antifungals, etc. I'm sure at least some of these claims are legit.
Re bedbugs, people use it as a repellent, misted over the sheets or in place of mineral oil with bed risers as in the bed isolation technique discussed in the blog. Its strong smell is supposed to annoy bedbugs and keep them away. (If you are going to use it as a repellent, perhaps you should buy the essential oil and not a product that may only contain a minuscule amount. You then dilute it in a bit of water--your guess as to dilution strength is as good as mine--and spray away.)
Some claim the fumes also kill bedbugs, but as you can imagine there is nothing but anecdotal evidence for any of this.
I have personally used tea tree oil with no effect whatsoever (oh, the smell is plenty annoying, to me anyway), but other people on the blog have had the opposite experience and have used it successfully as a repellent.
Lavender and peppermint oils may have the same effect. Other people make claims for thyme.
I tried all of this stuff and cannot endorse any of it. But sometimes you just need something to make you feel as if you are doing everything you can.
thanks nomo--I had posed the question on yahoo 360 on howto get rid of them using alternative methods(besides arson) and I got answers saying that house hold pests abhor essential oils ... One person said I should go to the health food store and get essential rosemary oils ... and another said I should make a strong tea out of wormwood and spray everything! Yet another said to burn sulfur. I never tried any of them, but I do believe there may be at least something to it. Why bother using them, when you've got a PCO and DE etc ... this is my thought: but if I had many bugs in the bed again ... I might shoot for the 6-8 drops of essential rosemary into the bedding while in the washer. I might now try for the essential rosemary oil--again in awatered down spray--note Isaid MIGHT TRY. I amnot endorsing thisstuff at all! Like you I am not endorsing any of these products/methods whatsoever. This is just speculative info. I've heard about.
And while we are on the speculation topic, let’s talk about pooh: I have seen SOME subjective evidence that they tend to pooh more around water left on tiled floors and around water left on the sinks. So here I am this morning saying I still SEEM to have A FEW bed bugs in my bathroom. They seemingly can't get out of the bathroom to get at me--and they "may" be leaving my place to go bite someone else nearby. (since I red DE's all exits out in the bathroom walls ... this morning Iofund pooh n the bathroom floor.
So ... today.... after all I've done so far, I've got to REDO the bathroom--only on the mere SUSPICION that some larger nymphs or even adults may be hidden there!
And people have asked where do they hide...? Where the heck are they coming from...? That--along with S. assertion a few days ago and yesterday, that "Denial" is one of the bed bugs best friends--is, in my books--a fact!
That's why people like Bugalina say diligence and persistence and near excessive concerns are good measures and, as in; better be safe than sorry!
I take this stuff to be the best advice I've ever gotten (although at first I was a bit skeptical) not so much at all anymore. I find myself telling "Newbees" stuff I KNOW they will THINK is insane ... or over-reacting. Oh well so bee it (pun intended)
Where do they hide? I've gone so far as to check the toilet bowl and shoot a lot of r alcohol as best I could, behind the top bowl itself. I've steamed the actual toilet! I've DE’d the vent above my bathtub--and that is really dangerous to do. You have to have goggles and a good dust mask--PERIOD. NO IF's AND's OR BUT's there whatsoever!
I wound up with De all over my head and clothing and so than god I had the goggles, and, thank god I was right in the shower so I had easy access to showering it all away off of me--right away!
Don't DE your vent again, Willow, but you can DE around the pipes below the sink I suppose. Perhaps the bedbugs in the bathroom are coming from other units. Caulk where you can?
EDIT -- Lord, I almost forgot. No, absolutely no burning of sulfur PLEASE. Why do people make such wild suggestions without a second thought? You can make yourself very ill and, in an apartment building, make others, perhaps children, very, very sick too.
Since it is a top corner unit-- they had to have come up from the downstairs neighbor or even through the crack in the un-operational bathroom window. There is this God awful plastic fake molding strip all along the bathroom floor and I guess I’ve got to caulk it up but good! I might try to Artist's oil paint inside the cracks and seal it up that way. Holding it close to the wall with duct tape until the paint dries...That would probably work and it is much cheaper for me. (Already have the paint and the tape)
Ii'm off to staples to see about a roll of shrink wrap, and then ... to the bathroom AGAIN! with the steamer and the "Fake" cauking method!
Willow, I just edited my post above because the sulfur burning recommendation is really awful and irresponsible. I just want to make sure nobody seizes upon something like that.
I would caulk every gap you can Willow. I am sure de is a great resource but you really do have to be VERY careful in the application. Anything that shreds an insects hard outer shell I am sure could do damage to your soft spongy lung lining ( I know you use a mask and goggles but it must still be in the air) If they're not coming from in your apartment they must be coming from elsewhere so stop them coming. Could you fix something porous but bed bug proof over the vent like a bit of very fine weave material - assuming that would be safe to do - does the vent get hot?
I'm popping in and out of the forums to give S. some help over the next couple weeks and I wanted to thank Nomo and Fedup for their words of caution. It's really important that we all remember to try to be as careful as possible. My advice to everyone is to check with your PCO before you try any method of extermination on your own- and this includes using DE. I think (though I could be wrong) that most of you have good PCOs, and you could accidentally derail their methods if you try to supplement their work without their knowledge. You could actually make the problem worse.
Everyone, please be careful. This time in your life will end, I promise. You want to be healthy when it does!
Thanks Fed u p and Nomo: the vent is removable plastic cover that suck air up into it.
So it has already been dusted--that was like 6 weeks ago and I susred it but good. The bugsare likely coming in from the window or the holes under the sink inside the wooden cabinet that housed the "U" shape drain and bowl to the sink.
nomo--Iagree I'd NEVER try the sulfur and Ihad noped i had made that clear--I guess I had not. Think of the neighbors ... jsut the smell alone .... and it would likly make you ill.--thanks!
I decided to try school grade type of glue on these vynle mouldings. Sounds cheap--but it will be effective, so long as I use a lot and glue to the back ofit--then tape it tightly shut until it's dry. (Oil paint might take weeks to dry and Iplan on painting asmall fine line of light cream colored oil paint on top o the seam too--so that they can't nituce it when they do this blasted inspection.
Tea tree oil is a natural insecticide like creosote. It's produced by the plant as a defense against insects, bacteria and fungus. It will knock out a case of scabies in one treatment. I used it mixed with lotion as a repellent against bedbugs and it worked but the problem is that it's actually somewhat toxic and it can burn your skin when undiluted or even when diluted, especially when mixed with water. The water acts as a vehicle that delivers the active ingredients from the oil and I had a sunburn like burn on my body from it and it made me a bit ill. I am talking about real high grade tea tree oil not soaps and lotions which use a minimal amount. It's very closely related to turpentine, it is in the turpine family of chemicals. As you use it on a regular basis when it's in a strong form it builds up in your system and after a while I had to stop using it. It takes time for your liver to detox it. It made me unwell and shaky after several days. When I diluted it too much it didn't repel the bugs so I had to abandon it. In fact it's very toxic to some animals especially cats. It can kill them. It may be marketed as a natural cure-all but it has to be handled with care when it's in the medical grade form. It's actually something to be handled with extreme care. I imagine it would kill a bedbug but with no serious research I can't say how it can be used. I think there should some research done to see if any insecticide products can be made from it since bedbugs are so resistant to pyrethrins but as someone else said it's gotten very very expensive and again we have the danger to pets. Perhaps the active ingredients could be synthesized as they do with pyrethrins. Here is the wikipedia page there is a lot of info. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_tree_oil
I thought about using it on the baseboards but we have two cats. Cats have great difficulty getting it out of their system as their livers don't know how to metabolize it and as I said it can be fatal to them.
Applying anything with no residual to your baseboards would be pointless, IMO.
Tea tree may kill bed bugs on contact (so does 91% rubbing alcohol and boiling water), but contact killers won't kill bed bugs hiding out under your baseboards.
I know you think all PCOs are a ripoff (after having tried 3) but you need to do a lot more research before giving out DIY advice.I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
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