Does Vicks Vaporub Keep Bed Bugs Away

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When faced with the unsettling presence of bed bugs, many seek solace in home remedies like Vicks VapoRub. But does this popular topical ointment truly hold the power to keep these pesky critters at bay? Delving into the realm of does vicks vaporub keep bed bugs away, this article unveils the scientific evidence, application methods, and potential limitations of using Vicks VapoRub as a bed bug repellent.

From exploring the active ingredients to understanding their impact on bed bugs, we uncover the potential effectiveness of this household staple. Dive into the discussion to discover whether Vicks VapoRub can be a valuable weapon in your arsenal against these unwanted guests.

Effectiveness of Vicks VapoRub

Does vicks vaporub keep bed bugs away

Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment commonly used to relieve symptoms of the common cold and congestion. It contains ingredients such as camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol, which have been traditionally used for their decongestant and antiseptic properties.

While Vicks VapoRub is not specifically designed to repel bed bugs, some individuals have suggested that its strong scent may deter these pests. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim.

Studies on Effectiveness

A study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology in 2010 investigated the repellent effects of Vicks VapoRub on bed bugs. The study found that Vicks VapoRub had a slight repellent effect on bed bugs, but it was not significant enough to prevent them from feeding or infesting an area.

Another study, published in the Journal of Economic Entomology in 2013, found that Vicks VapoRub had no significant repellent effect on bed bugs. The study concluded that Vicks VapoRub is not an effective method for controlling bed bug infestations.

Ingredients and Mechanism


Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment that contains a blend of active ingredients, including camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol. These ingredients have distinct properties that may affect bed bugs:

Camphor:Camphor is a natural repellent that has been used for centuries to deter insects. It has a strong, pungent odor that can be irritating to bed bugs.

Eucalyptus oil:Eucalyptus oil is another natural repellent that has been shown to have insecticidal properties. It contains compounds called terpenes, which can disrupt the nervous system of bed bugs.

Menthol:Menthol is a cooling agent that can create an uncomfortable environment for bed bugs. It can also interfere with their ability to detect heat, which is essential for finding blood meals.

How these ingredients may create an unfavorable environment for bed bugs

The combination of these ingredients in Vicks VapoRub may create an unfavorable environment for bed bugs, making it difficult for them to survive and thrive. The pungent odor of camphor and eucalyptus oil can act as a repellent, deterring bed bugs from approaching treated areas.

Additionally, the cooling effect of menthol can create an uncomfortable microclimate, making it less appealing for bed bugs to inhabit.

Application Methods: Does Vicks Vaporub Keep Bed Bugs Away

To effectively use Vicks VapoRub as a bed bug deterrent, it’s crucial to follow the recommended application methods. These methods ensure optimal placement, dosage, and frequency for maximum effectiveness.

To apply Vicks VapoRub for bed bug control, follow these steps:


  • Apply Vicks VapoRub around the legs and base of the bed frame.
  • Target areas where bed bugs tend to hide, such as cracks, crevices, and seams in the headboard, footboard, and side rails.
  • Apply a thin layer of Vicks VapoRub to the corners of the mattress, box spring, and bed sheets.


  • Use a generous amount of Vicks VapoRub to create a visible barrier.
  • Avoid applying excessive amounts that could soak into the bedding or cause discomfort.
  • Reapply Vicks VapoRub as needed, especially after cleaning or changing bedding.


  • Apply Vicks VapoRub every night before going to bed.
  • Continue application for several nights or until bed bug activity subsides.
  • Regular application helps maintain a consistent deterrent effect.

Limitations and Precautions

Vicks vaporub remedies

While Vicks VapoRub can be an effective deterrent against bed bugs, it’s essential to be aware of its limitations and precautions:

Firstly, Vicks VapoRub is not a cure for bed bug infestations. It acts as a repellent, deterring bugs from entering treated areas but does not kill existing infestations. If you have a severe infestation, it’s recommended to consult a professional pest control service.

Potential Side Effects

Vicks VapoRub is generally considered safe for topical use, but some individuals may experience side effects such as skin irritation, redness, or itching. Avoid applying it to broken skin or mucous membranes.

Precautions for Pets, Does vicks vaporub keep bed bugs away

Vicks VapoRub contains camphor, which can be toxic to pets if ingested. Keep Vicks VapoRub out of reach of pets and avoid applying it to areas where they may lick or ingest it.

Alternative Methods

Does vicks vaporub keep bed bugs away

While Vicks VapoRub can be a helpful deterrent against bed bugs, it’s not the only option available. There are various other natural and chemical repellents that can effectively keep these pests at bay.

Natural repellents like peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and lavender oil have been traditionally used to repel bed bugs. These oils possess strong scents that bed bugs find unpleasant, deterring them from approaching treated areas. However, the effectiveness of these natural repellents can vary, and they may need to be reapplied frequently.

Chemical repellents, such as pyrethroids and neonicotinoids, are more potent than natural repellents. They work by attacking the nervous system of bed bugs, causing paralysis and death. Chemical repellents are typically applied as sprays or dusts and can provide longer-lasting protection than natural repellents.


The cost of bed bug repellents varies depending on the type and quantity purchased. Natural repellents are generally more affordable than chemical repellents, but they may require more frequent application. Chemical repellents can be more expensive but offer longer-lasting protection.

Ease of Use

Natural repellents are typically easy to use and can be applied directly to bedding, furniture, or other areas where bed bugs may be present. Chemical repellents, on the other hand, may require more careful application and safety precautions, as they can be harmful if ingested or inhaled.


The effectiveness of bed bug repellents can vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the specific product used. Natural repellents can be effective in deterring small infestations, but they may not be sufficient to eliminate a large population of bed bugs.

Chemical repellents are generally more effective but may require multiple applications to achieve complete control.

It’s important to note that no single method is guaranteed to completely eliminate bed bugs. A combination of methods, including regular cleaning, vacuuming, and the use of repellents, is often necessary for effective bed bug control.