Turmeric is toxic to bed bugs because it contains curcumin which is a natural antimicrobial pesticide. When poured on bugs, it drains their cells thus causing severe dehydration and death. Fresh turmeric gives off a strong ginger scent that can also repel bed bugs from their habitats.
Dissolve 10 grams of turmeric in 2 cups of boiled water and spray the solution on bed bugs to kill them instantly. Then look for cracks and crevices where they are hiding and sprinkle turmeric powder to repel them. However, do not use old turmeric that has lost its strong scent and properties.
Naturally, turmeric becomes weak when left in the open since it absorbs and retains moisture from the environment. The moisture then weakens its natural insecticide properties. Therefore, aged turmeric that has stayed for long in the open will not repel or kill bed bugs. Get fresh ones by checking the expiry date on the labels.
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How does turmeric kill bed bugs?
Sprinkling turmeric powder in dark cracks and corners where bed bugs hide limits the oxygen flow that they need. Since they get all the water they need from their blood meals, they can easily dry out especially if they have not had a host. The antimicrobial effect of turmeric on them speeds up the drying process and this is what kills them.
Turmeric powder will also absorb moisture from the environment. Even though bed bugs do not live in water, they need to stay relatively moist. When it is too dry and less humid, they will either leave or die on their own. Spreading turmeric directly on bed bugs can also block the breathing holes on their body which leads to their death.
It takes 6-12 hours for turmeric powder to suffocate and dry beg bugs out. Therefore, this control method can only be used when the infestation is not a serious one. A sure solution to control an infestation is to seek a professional pest controller opinion since those bugs are tough and some may survive your DIY solutions.
However, turmeric will repel bed bugs instantly thanks to its strong pungent smell. When left in their hideouts, it eventually displaces the natural habitat conditions that bugs need to survive. If that happens, bed bugs will leave in search of a new habitat. The females are likely to leave first since they cannot lay eggs where their eggs will not survive after hatching.
Turmeric for bed bug eggs
Turmeric can kill bed bug eggs but only if you mix it with hot water that is heated above 125°F. Put 5 tablespoons of turmeric powder in a bottle spray. Then add 8 ounces of hot water into the bottle and spray it on the eggs. This will dissolve the eggs’ outer layers instantly thus leading to their instant destruction.
A combination of turmeric and hot water works against bed bugs plus their eggs. While hot water destroys the exteriors, turmeric kills the unhatched contents. Since the female always lay in hidden areas, be careful when sprinkling water since too much can damage your mattress or wooden structures.
Sprinkling turmeric powder on bed bug eggs can only kill them if they are completely covered in it. This will also dry the egg out and they will die after 2-3 days of contact. Eggs cannot hatch since turmeric will make the temperatures unstable for them. Once you identify the laying areas, spread generous amounts of fresh turmeric on them.
During the cold seasons, bed bugs are dormant and a few eggs are laid in the process. There are fewer movements and they prefer to stay in warm areas where they are sure of a blood meal. Even if they do not get any, it is possible for them to survive for 1 year or even more. However, this depends on the temperatures and environment.
How kill bed bugs with turmeric
Killing bed bugs with turmeric is simple. Just spread the powder on them. If the mattress is infested, spread it on it and let it settle for 1-3 days. However, it is not a good idea to sleep on a mattress covered in turmeric powder. Inhaling the powder overnight can cause breathing problems with severe side effects.
You do not have to replace a bedbug-infested mattress. Instead, use a cover after spreading some turmeric on it. Mattress covers can keep bed bugs from crawling and biting you as you sleep at night. Just ensure you are using a tight then spread some bedsheets on it. Then use a pillow on your head so that you do not inhale the powder in any way.
It is also okay to identify the exact hiding areas before spreading the powder. Bed bugs always hide in mattress edges, cracks, and holes. Pour the powder in those and let is settle for as long as it can. This is the only way you can use the same mattress without any worries.
Turmeric for bed bugs on wooden floors
You can also use turmeric powder to get rid of bed bugs and other insects like fleas on wooden floors. Simply pour it on the cracks and gaps. The powder will absorb moisture and deplete oxygen from the cracks thus killing the fleas instantly. This can also be done on infested wardrobes and closets. However, seek professional advice from a certified pest controller if the numbers are notably high.
Turmeric can also be adding to a moping bucket when moping a cracked floor. Squeeze the solution into the gaps to kill any insects in it. A mixture of the powder with hot water as described above can be sprayed on a bug-infested wall right into the cracks. However, spreading a pinch of ground turmeric in powdered form is always the best option for this.
One myth about turmeric and bed bugs is that when you drink them, bugs will not bite you. This is not applicable in any way. Turmeric can also be mixed with other powders like ram but this is always used for toning bed bug bites on the skin. Applying turmeric on the skin after mixing it with other products will not keep bed bugs from biting you.