Is Cinnamon Really An Effective Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

The bed bug is a dreaded pest that can be found just about anywhere in America, from motel rooms to kids' sleepovers. In fact, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans either find bed bugs in their home or know someone who does every year (per Cleveland Clinic), making it a significant problem. Adding to the concern is the fact that these little pests have developed resistance to many common pesticides. But what about using certain scents, like cinnamon, to effectively eliminate bed bugs? The short answer is no, it's not effective. However, it does have a role to play in the overall strategy, so don't dismiss it completely.

Bed bugs can infest various types of dwellings, including homes, apartments, condos, hotels, daycares, and dormitories. They are not picky when it comes to cleanliness and can thrive in both dirty and clean environments. These tiny, six-legged vampires feed on human blood while their victims sleep. According to a survey shared by the National Pest Management Association (via, bed bug infestations are most concentrated in the South and Midwest regions of the United States, while the Northeast region has the fewest reported cases. There are many myths about killing bed bugs, but the truth is that they are extremely challenging to eradicate.

Why cinnamon is ineffective

First, it's important to note that bed bugs are known to dislike certain odors, such as cinnamon and peppermint. While it is true that bed bugs have a strong sense of smell and dislike the scent of cinnamon, they will simply avoid areas with the strongest odor. Sprinkling cinnamon around the perimeter of your house may help repel bed bugs and keep them away once they are gone. However, if you have a bed bug infestation, which can occur rapidly, cinnamon will not have any effect other than redirecting their paths.

Furthermore, cinnamon and other essential oils are ineffective at killing or eliminating bed bugs. DIY or natural methods generally don't work against these pests. Using such methods only gives them more time to breed and multiply, while you are left unsure if it is making any difference. Cinnamon does not harm bed bugs or their eggs in any way. At best, it might discourage them from entering your house initially, but even that is uncertain.

Effective bed bug elimination will likely involve a professional

A bed bug infestation can be devastating for homeowners. Unfortunately, most natural and DIY products simply don't cut it when dealing with these pests. If you live in an apartment, you're fortunate because the management will usually hire a professional to handle the problem, although they may ask you to cover the cost. However, if you're a homeowner, be prepared for the treatment to be expensive. The average cost of a bed bug treatment ranges from $917 to $1,917, with an average of $200 to $400 per room.

There are various types of professional bed bug treatments available, and the price tag can vary significantly depending on the method chosen. If you have an infestation, it's important to act quickly and call an exterminator. You may be able to get a free pest inspection for an estimate if you're unsure. It's also always advisable to obtain multiple estimates before making a decision. While waiting for help, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the issue, such as washing all clothing and bedding in hot water and drying them on a high setting in the dryer. Steam cleaning carpets and furniture can also be useful.