Isn’t it best to have bed bug spray when you’re traveling? Of course, it might not be the most common items in a travel bag, but it’s definitely useful to protect your skin from pesky bed bug bites from a foreign bed in a hotel or resort. While most bed bug sprays come in huge bottles, some of the best bed bug sprays come in convenient travel-sized bottles. Considering that many of us might have sensitive skin, we curated a variety of bed bug sprays that are effective yet gentle on skin.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like?
An adult bed bug is wingless and has an oval-shaped body. Its size and shape are also fairly similar to an apple seed. Bed bugs are usually white or reddish-brown in color. They can either appear flat or like a tiny balloon depending if they’ve fed recently or not. Like mosquitoes and ticks, they feed on blood from animals or people, but bed bugs are mostly active at night.
Bed bugs can hide in beds, mattresses, floors, and can mostly be found in hotels, apartment complexes, and hostels where people come and go. Since these bed bugs are small and nimble, they can easily transfer to your luggage and into your home.
Photo by Nik Lanús on Unsplash
Where do Bed Bugs Bite?
Bed bugs are active at night and they usually bite their targets while they are sleeping. Bed bugs target areas of the skin that are exposed while sleeping, usually the arms and legs. Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites do not have a red spot in the center. Most bed bug bites start out painless and can be mistaken as a mosquito bite, but they eventually turn itchy and swollen after a few days. Multiple bites in one area can also appear and cause a burning sensation. Take note however that bed bugs may not feed every single night and they can go on days without feeding.
Why do I Need a Bed Bug Spray?
There are plenty of reasons why you need a bed bug spray, but we can all agree that they give us peace of mind when sleeping on a bed where many people have shared. After all, none of us can guarantee that the mattresses and beds are free from these insects without any close inspections. To be on a safe side, it’s always best to come prepared for the worst.
What Scent Keeps Bed Bugs Away?
There are certain scents that drive bed bugs away, so if you are looking for the best bed bug sprays, it’s a good idea to choose a variant with these scents.
Lavender is one of the scents you should consider when choosing a bed bug spray. Not only does it repel bugs, but it has a calming scent that can improve the quality of your sleep.
Using alcohol is another easy and accessible way to prevent a bed bug infestation. While not as efficient as a bed bug spray, the scent of alcohol can dry and irritate bed bugs. The scent released by alcohol can also prevent the bugs from laying eggs.
Lemons contain certain astringent properties that are harmful to bed bugs. You can mix lemon juice with water and spray in affected areas to repel these insects. For a stronger effect, you can use fresh lemon juice.
15 Best Bed Bug Sprays and Powders
1. Bedlam Plus Spray
The Bedlam Plus Spray is a water-based bed bug spray that is safe for most surfaces including mattresses. It kills bed bugs on contact, but also has a maximum of two weeks of residual killing power. This spray is formulated to target pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs that wouldn’t be eliminated by other insecticides.
It also works on moths, lice, ticks, and other insects, so it’s a handy thing to have on longer travels. One should also remember that this bed bug spray is mainly available online and isn’t available over-the-counter. While this is safe to use on mattresses and linens, make sure to air a room before lying in bed since the spray has a strong odor.
2. EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer
For environmentally-conscious travelers, the EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer is one of the best bug sprays to choose from. As a certified USDA BioBased insecticide, the EcoRaider bed bug spray is non-toxic, safe for pets and kids, and it can be sprayed directly on carpets and furniture in hotels. This bed bug spray contains all-natural ingredients and has a mild eucalyptus scent that diffuses after application.
The EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer is also more effective than most insecticides. Studies have shown that it protects against bed bugs for almost two weeks after application. This is also the perfect bug spray for travel since it comes in a travel-sized bottle that fits in your luggage. It also comes in a gallon for easy refilling.
3. Hygea Natural Exterminator Spray
The Hygea Natural Exterminator Spray is another non-toxic option that exterminates bed bugs upon contact. It has a unique formula that can be used on water-safe surfaces including upholstery, and linens, and doesn’t leave a residue. Its non-toxic formula is safe for animals and children, perfect for those traveling with their children or pets.
Approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the 3 oz. bottle can easily fit in your luggage.
4. Rest Easy Natural Bed Bug Spray
The Rest Easy Natural Bed Bug Spray is one of the best bed bug sprays popular with travelers for its pleasant cinnamon scent. It claims to kill up to 90% of bed bugs within five minutes of contact, and the other within 30 minutes. The Rest Easy bed bug spray also prides itself in being the only all-natural bed bug spray that not only kills bed bugs but prevents bed bug infestation as well.
It comes in a small 2 oz. a spray bottle that can be easily sprayed on mattresses or crevices to prevent bed bug bites. Take note that after applying the spray on mattresses or linens, let the mattress dry before vacuuming the dead bugs. The Rest Easy Natural Bed Bug Spray is also safe to use around children and pets and comes in a larger 16 oz. bottle for easy refilling.
5. Eucoclean Bed Bug, Flea & Dust Mite Killer
The Eucoclean Bed Bug, Flea & Dust Mite Killer is also effective against dust mites, fleas, mosquitoes, and other insects. Its bleach-free formula is ideal for use in public places such as schools, hotels, and offices. Formulated with eco-friendly ingredients, the 3-in-1 bed bug spray uses natural eucalyptus essential oil to eliminate insects. This multipurpose bug spray can also remove tough grease and grime. It is also free from harmful toxins, allergens, and palm oil. It can be sprayed directly on bedding, mattresses, furniture, carpets, and is also safe to use around children and pets.
As a multipurpose spray, it can be used as a disinfectant, air conditioner purifier, deodorizer, surface cleaner, and mold remover.
6. SayByeBugs Bed Bug Extermination Spray
For travelers with sensitive noses, the SayByeBugs Bed Bug Extermination Spray is a perfect choice since it is unscented. Unlike other bed bug sprays, its formula is pesticide-free, chemical-free, and stain-free, making it safe to use everywhere. It can be used liberally on luggage, clothing, bags, or any surface where bed bugs can transfer to.
This may not be the cheapest bed bug spray around, but it’s effective and one of the safest alternatives thanks to its all-natural ingredients. The SayByeBug spray is travel-friendly since it comes in a 3 oz. bottle and also comes in a gallon for easier refilling.
7. Proof Bed Bug and Dust Mite Killer Spray
Proof’s bug spray claims to kill 100% of bed bugs and can be safely used on mattresses, curtains and more. What sets Proof’s bed bug spray from others is that it is plant-based and is formulated with organic neem oil. This is also one of the best bed bug sprays for travelers since it offers protection for weeks after spraying on clothes of luggage and can be used on sofas, floorboards, and crevices. The Proof Bed Bug and Dust Mite Killer Spray can eliminate bed bugs for up to three weeks and offers a 100% guarantee refund policy for those who are not satisfied with its performance.
Although it offers a non-toxic mode of action, it can leave a strong botanical smell for a long time, which can be bothersome for some travelers.
8. Eco Defense Bed Bug Killer
The Eco Defense Bed Bug Killer uses natural, organic, and non-toxic ingredients to kill bed bugs in all stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults. It can also prevent a bed bug infestation upon contact and does not stain your bedding like other products. Since it’s made out of natural ingredients, you don’t have to stay out of your hotel room after treatment. You don’t have to worry about exposure to dangerous chemicals and pesticides.
This bed bug spray is crafted by professional exterminators and offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with it. In addition to that, the Eco Defense Bed Bug Killer is also effective against dust mites and lice.
9. CimeXa Insecticide Dust
Aside from eliminating bed bugs, the CimeXa Insecticide Dust can also work on common household pests such as ticks, termites, and a wide range of insects. It is 100% silica dust, odorless, and does not stain on surfaces. You can use the insecticide dust as a powder or mix it with water. Studies from the University of Sydney have shown that the CimeXa Insecticide Dust has a 100% mortality rate. Even if bed bugs are partially exposed, they are also eradicated.
While it is one of the best bed bug powders in the market, it comes at a higher price point than some of its competitors. It also tends to stick to hands and it can also irritate eyes when used incorrectly.
10. Travel Safe Bed Bug Natural Eradicator Spray
The Travel Safe bed bug spray comes in a 3 oz. bottle which can be carried in your bag. It also comes in an 8 oz. bottle that can be packaged in your luggage for longer trips. With the small bottle, you can easily disinfect your luggage upon arriving at your hotel and spray on the mattress. It’s also formulated with non-toxic ingredients, eliminating all bed bugs, even those immune to toxic pesticides such as Pyrethroids. The Travel Safe Bed Bug Natural Eradicator Spray also contains all-natural enzyme activated ingredients that also target other insects like dust mites.
Like other best bed bug sprays, the Travel Safe bed bug spray is all-natural, organic, and safe to use around children and pets.
11. Bed Bug Patrol Natural Bug Killer
The Bed Bug Patrol Natural Bug Killer has been trusted by families and businesses for over 15 years, proof of its quality. It kills bed bugs within 30 minutes to 24 hours of contact with an easy-to-use trigger spray and has a calming peppermint scent. This essential-oil based spray can also be used on many surfaces and doesn’t leave a stain. It also comes in a 3 oz. travel spray, a 24 oz. bottle, and a gallon for convenient refilling.
Made with plant-based and non-toxic ingredients, the Bed Bug Patrol spray is safe to use around pets and children. It is also formulated by pest professionals and offers a 100% refund if bed bugs are not eliminated within 33 days.
12. Avengers Organic Natural Bed Bug Killer
If you prefer bed bug sprays with calming scents, the Avenger Organic Natural Bed Bug Killer is the perfect bed bug spray for you. This is an all-natural and non-pesticide solution that is safe for both indoor and outdoor use. With natural plant extracts like clove and peppermint, this spray exudes a calming scent unlike those with a strong odor.
The Avenger Organics Bed Bug Killer has a mortality rate of 98% within 30 minutes and 100% after 3 days. This can be used in hotels, cruise ships, shelters, offices, and is safe to use around people and pets.
13. Harris Bed Bug Killer Powder
The Harris Bed Bug Powder is a fast-acting bed bug killer and is able to treat hard to reach areas like crevices and corners. The Harris Bed Bug Killer is also said to kill bed bugs within 48 hours of contact. It continues to kill them for weeks after application as long as the area is kept dry. Because of that, it helps prevent further bed bug infestations. The powder is proven to kill bed bugs of all stages and is effective against other pests like crickets, fleas, and ants. The Harris Bed Bug Killer Powder also comes with a puffer tip for easy application in cracks and crevices.
While it is a powerful bed bug powder, it tends to leave a distinct smell and is not suited for humid environments. Take note that it also shouldn’t be applied directly onto people or animals.
14. Ortho Home Defense Max Bed Bug Killer Powder
Formulated to eliminate even pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs, the Ortho Home Defense bed bug killer powder is one of the best bed bug powders around. This is a long-lasting power that kills upon contact and offers long-lasting control of up to 8 months. You can use a hand duster or apply the Ortho Home Defense Max Bed Bug Killer Powder directly from the bottle.
This can be used on bed frames, window frames, and in cracks where bed bugs travel and hide. It can also be used on ants, silverfish, centipedes, and even scorpions.
15. EcoPCO D-X Dust
The EcoPCO D-X Dust is a multi-insect killer that is formulated with all-natural and organic ingredients. It is highly versatile and is perfect for most environmentally friendly atmospheres. Unlike other organic bed bug powders, the EcoPCO D-X Dust is unscented, non-staining, and water-resistant.
What makes the EcoPCO D-X Dust one of the best bed bug powders is that it works on other insects. If you want a bug spray that works on other insects and is non-staining, the EcoPCO D-X Dust is for you.
Goodbye Bed Bugs!
Bed bugs are one of the small but harmful insects that may make or break your vacation. These come in small travel-sized bottles and can fit in your luggage or carry-on bag. Other brands also have larger sized bottles which are helpful if you are traveling by an RV camper. For travelers staying at hotels, it is important to inform the hotel staff if you see a bed bug infestation.
For families planning their next camping holiday, having a bed bug spray in your camping gear can prevent bed bug bites and can help you get a peaceful sleep. Having a bed bug spray can prevent these from transferring to your home by clinging on to your bags clothes. To guarantee a safe and pest-free journey, consider finding the best bug sprays and powders for you.