Reestablishing themselves as an infuriating pest in American homes and hotels, bed bugs in recent years have withstood the oppositional efforts of research scientists, public health officials and pest-control professionals. No one quite knows how to get rid of them. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of spray products that promise to do just that. One bed bugs treatment in particular sounded too good to be true. Rest Easy combines all-natural oils (cinnamon, lemongrass, mint and clove) for a spray it claims is both environmentally friendly and deadly effective. But does Rest Easy work as well as it claims?
This combination is pretty much the holy grail of pest control — and it seems to be similarly apocryphal. Two experts we consulted say they can’t see how these ingredients would have much effect on bed bugs.
“The bottom line is there’s no published data to support the effectiveness of this or other botanical products against bed bugs,” said Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, an entomologist at Cornell University. “I don’t recommend it to people.”
Tim McCoy, a research specialist in urban entomology at Virginia Tech, has tested dozens of commercial products without finding anything that does much to repel bed bugs. He said he’s “very skeptical” about the Rest Easy spray.
“I’d be very surprised if it has any repellency,” McCoy said.
Rest Easy appears to base its claims of effectiveness on a testing report that killed bugs with direct sprays and repelled them for “the entire 30-minute monitoring period.”
But even if that’s accurate, what makes bed bugs so elusive (and so creepy) is they emerge in the wee hours of the night, long after you’ve fallen asleep. You won’t be awake to shoot ‘em dead or reapply a repellent that wasn’t tested to last longer than 30 minutes.
“I can’t say [that] the oils will not be of any use; it’s simply not verified through research,” Gangloff-Kaufmann said. “Of course, we all know with bed bugs there is no silver bullet.”
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on The Goods and written by Viewpoints reviewer jcrhoo.