Cedarcide

How Cedarwood Oil Kills Bugs

Cedarcide blog post image, How Cedarwood Oil Kills Bugs

In case our name didn’t give it away, cedarwood oil is the driving force behind our pest control products here at Cedarcide. So naturally, the obvious question is: How does it work? How does cedarwood oil (aka cedar oil) kill bugs? While the answer can get a bit technical, there are 6 basic ways cedarwood oil works to kill and repel pests like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, ants, mites and more. Here’s a simple outline of each one.

 

Most bugs are extremely sensitive to moisture loss, which is bad news for bugs that come into contact with cedarwood oil. Cedarwood oil is extremely effective at leaching moisture from insects and other bugs, leaving them dried out and eventually dead.

 

Pheromones are chemicals that many bugs use for navigation, mating, searching for food, as well as to regulate bodily functions. Cedarwood oil disrupts these pheromones which not only disorients the insects but interferes with their fundamental bodily processes like breathing. The disorientation helps repel insects and other bugs, the interference with their bodily mechanisms kills them.

 

Insects in earlier life stages—eggs, larvae, pupae—are extremely vulnerable, so vulnerable in fact that cedarwood oil can dissolve them on contact. In adult insects, arachnids and other bugs, cedarwood oil helps dissolve their exoskeleton. This allows the essential oil to penetrate their shell, hastening the oil’s pest control effects.

 

Emulsificationor the breakdown of fat particles, is another way that cedarwood oil works to control bugs. Like many organisms, bugs require fat to live. By helping disintegrate this fat into smaller, more fluid parts, cedarwood oil attacks bugs from the inside out.

 

As mentioned above, cedarwood oil can interfere with bugs’ capacity to breathe. Unlike mammals, bugs breathe through openings located on the surface of their bodies. When faced with the lethal effects of cedarwood oil, bugs attempt to limit their exposure by closing these openings, which prevents them from breathing. In other words, the bugs suffocate themselves.

 

Like most every living thing, bugs must maintain a specific chemical balance to stay alive. Any drastic changes in this balance can have deadly results. Cedarwood oil neutralizes the acidity within bugs’ bodies, effectively throwing this balance out of whack. As a result they cannot properly function, and shortly die.

 

81 Comments

  1. SHARON KLINGSTEDT on May 16, 2020 at 5:56 AM

    How do you apply this to large long hair dogs? Must it cover all skin? Or just a spritz over all of dog? Same question for people. We too live in the woods and twice last week my three year old grand daughter came back in with a tick. How do I use the cedarcide on us people?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 8:44 AM

      Great questions,

      Here’s a video showing how to use Cedarcide Original on your dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2W00OxsXTI
      You simply spray all over, massage the solution into their coat, and use your hands to apply to their face,

      Cedarcide Original is also for use directly on people and indoors to kill and repel bugs. For yourself, you would just spray it all over like you would a traditional bug spray 🙂

  2. Debbie on May 6, 2020 at 9:01 PM

    I am fighting an mite infestation. If I use the fogger, will the residue afterwards affect my parrot? While I know Cedar Oil is toxic to birds, I’m unsure how fogging will affect him afterwards.

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 9:45 AM

      Hi, Debbie!

      You would certainly want to remove the bird during the fogging. While you can return after 3-4 hours, we’d let the house air out for at about a day before reintroducing the parrot.

  3. LM on May 5, 2020 at 4:29 AM

    I feed many types of birds in the yard, with several feeders set up (I’m in NH), I’m concerned about the effect this product would have on them? I have turkeys that peck at the ground, birds on bird feeders knock seeds down, I have hummingbirds and squirrels, etc, Will these products hurt them if used around the yard?

    Also, I would love to rid my yard of ticks and mosquitoes but I have no desire to kill everything in the yard. I like the good bugs, spiders, dragonflies, monarch butterflies and all the others, etc., I also have frogs and toads that come through. Is is possible to effectively use your product(s) without harming the good ones? Thank you

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 10:01 AM

      Great questions!

      We don’t like harming beneficial bugs and other creatures either. As long as you don’t spray them directly it will not harm any of these animals. However you are likely to see less spiders and reptiles given that they feed on many of the bugs our products will kill and repel. Let us know if we can be of any more help 🙂

  4. Lynn Nguyen on May 4, 2020 at 6:47 PM

    Hi! Will these harm my monarch butterflies and caterpillars? I have my milkweeds in a seperate area.

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 10:02 AM

      As long as you do not spray them directly, our products will not harm beneficial bugs like bees and butterflies 🙂

  5. Jenny on May 2, 2020 at 8:42 PM

    We are having a bad elm seed bugs in Colorado. Would your product work on these bugs?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 10:25 AM

      Hi, Jenny!

      We have not tested for that pest specifically, but we have heard from customers that our products can help with these 🙂

  6. elaine on April 28, 2020 at 6:17 AM

    how often would you recommend to re apply cedarcide to the lawns for ticks when dealing with rain season ?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 11:42 AM

      great question!

      Our lawn products, Yardsafe and PCO Choice, should be applied monthly for prevention and more often as needed for heavy, ongoing infestations. Rain does not usually cause any issue with the product unless it’s a very heavy rain that causes flooding or lots of standing water in your lawn, in which case you would need to apply again.

  7. Dorothy J Rose on March 13, 2020 at 6:44 PM

    will the cleaning oils kill mites I am looking for something to clean out all my cabinets.Also do you have any thing with Cloves to clean ?this web site is amazing.would I have to wear a mask when I use cedarcide ?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on March 19, 2020 at 1:39 PM

      Hi Dorothy,

      Cedarcide Original is the product you want for killing mite. Cleanliness is vital to mite control so our cleaning products should help to some degree as well. And you would not need a mask to apply either of these products. We do not have any clove-based leaning products at this time, but we do carry close essential oil which you could use to mix up your own. Here’s the link: https://www.cedarcide.com/product/clove-essential-oil/

  8. Mary on March 3, 2020 at 9:17 AM

    I have an imported wooden dresser that seems to have a wood beetle infestation. I can hear the clicking noises, but don’t see any sawdust. Would the cedar oil be something I could use on this piece and if so, how would this be done.

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on March 19, 2020 at 1:59 PM

      Hi, Mary!

      Great question. Cedarcide Original is the product you want, and you would just need to find a way to apply it to them directly 🙂

  9. Michael on December 27, 2019 at 3:07 PM

    I first learned of Cedarcide when I had a bedbug issue. Your site was very informative about how to get rid of them. Now I see no mention of bedbugs on your site. What’s up with that?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on January 24, 2020 at 5:50 PM

      Hi Michael! Nice observation! We’re currently updating our testing for bed bugs, and until that process is complete we’re not marketing for them at this time. If you need any help with bed bugs or have more questions, pls reach out to us at 800-842-1464 or email d.jones@cedarcide.com 🙂

      • Laurie on March 17, 2020 at 6:46 AM

        I too am looking for bed bug products. Have used your cedar code for years in hotels. Would love to know when you have availability again of product

        • Jonathan At Cedarcide on March 19, 2020 at 1:31 PM

          Hi, Laurie!

          The product you want, Cedarcide Original, is available now 🙂

  10. Carol on October 26, 2019 at 6:31 AM

    Can any of your products be used in an organic vegetable garden? Every year I battle invasions of stink bugs and squash bugs.

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on December 16, 2019 at 11:08 AM

      Hi, Carol!

      You sure can, but with one exception. We suggest spraying all around the plants, but not on any herbs or fruits you plan to eat directly. 🙂

  11. Susan Thompson on October 24, 2019 at 6:49 PM

    Do you have anything that will get rid of mice?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on December 16, 2019 at 11:17 AM

      Hi, Susan!

      At this point we do not, but I suggest checking out this article: https://www.cedarcide.com/bugs-pest-control/easy-natural-rodent-control-4-steps/

    • Heather Hughes on May 2, 2020 at 4:29 AM

      A cat!!! I have used Cedarcide for over 5 years now as very effective and healthier flea treatment alternative on my mice killers. Your local shelter more than likely has huge suppy.

  12. Margaret on October 18, 2019 at 9:45 PM

    Will cedarcide kill or repel cockroaches? Here in Florida we have some big ones. If so, does it need to be sprayed directly on them or would it deter them just to spray around the edges of the rooms?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on December 16, 2019 at 11:25 AM

      Hi, Margaret!

      Our products sure will! They do best to kill when applied directly, i’d suggest Tickshield or Cedarcide Original for that purpose. These products also work to repel when applied to common trouble spots and entry points weekly. Let us know if you need anything else 🙂

  13. SzzrSue on October 15, 2019 at 8:26 PM

    So, maybe you have heard that Pennsylvania is being overrun by a very bad bug called the Spotted Lantern Fly. It is not native to the US and is migrating west. It feeds on and kills hardwood trees and is very bad for the agricultural in the area including grapes in the many vineyards in the area. I have yet to see any on or around my property but I am hopefully that Cedarcide will kill the nasty buggers once they get here. Our department of Agg is looking for something that will stop their migration. Di you think your product will kill them or has anyone tried it on them?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on December 16, 2019 at 11:29 AM

      Hi! Great questions.

      We can’t say for sure since we haven’t tested on these pests, but our products are super great against flies when applied directly, so if we had to guess I bet our products will kill them outright within seconds. Applying PCO Choice monthly to possibly affected areas such as lawns and trees would likely repel them, too.

  14. PamG on October 11, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    Sprayed Cedarcide along the bottom of my open window screen. Coming back later, I was shocked how many critters met their demise!

    • Elizabeth on May 4, 2020 at 1:49 PM

      Will this work on phorid flies aka scatter bugs aka coffin flies?

      • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 10:11 AM

        Hi there!

        We haven’t tested on these flies specifically, but in our and our customers’ experience our products tend to kill most any type of fly when sprayed directly 🙂

  15. David on September 15, 2019 at 10:47 AM

    I think your company and products are absolutely amazing. I am wondering about a couple of things: are you a public company? I have been investing in companies that are earth-friendly, and you seem like one. Also, what kind of cedar trees do you create your products from? Is it a sustainable practice? Again, I love your products, as they have changed how I take care of my yard and dog.

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on September 20, 2019 at 9:58 AM

      Hi, David! Thanks for the comment.

      We are not a public company. We are a small, family-owned business but if that changes we’ll be sure to let you know 🙂

      The trees we use for our products are called Juniperus ashei, and the practice is indeed sustainable, especially given that these trees are often considered weeds by many landowners

      • Sue on March 16, 2020 at 3:48 PM

        Please be sure to let all of us know if your “not a public company” status changes!

        • Jonathan At Cedarcide on March 19, 2020 at 1:34 PM

          We sure will, Sue! 🙂

  16. Linda on August 22, 2019 at 9:15 AM

    My dogs will sometimes eat grass. Will spraying the grass with cedarcide be harmful to them?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on August 22, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      Not at all! This is a non-toxic product, no need to worry 🙂

      • Carol Gray on May 16, 2020 at 7:52 AM

        My neighbors have a honey bee hive. Will this harm their bees?

        • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 8:38 AM

          Great question, Carol
          As long as you do not spray beneficial bugs like honeybees directly they should be just fine 🙂

  17. Christine on August 18, 2019 at 8:29 AM

    I live in a house with a yard. I have 4 cats and two big dogs. I have been using your products for many yrs now. I do not give my animals any traditional products for fleas and ticks. I have in the past but finally took the plunge and decided to try for one full year with only using your products as well as some oils from a holistic vet for direct use on my dogs. I have no fleas or ticks in my yard my house or on my sweet pets. NO MORE POISON! No maquitos either! I love your products. Thank you! I also love your emails on so many helpful tips

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on August 22, 2019 at 12:05 PM

      Thanks so much for the positive words, Christine! It means the world to us! 🙂

    • Claire on August 26, 2019 at 10:30 AM

      This sounds great Christine. What other products/oils do you use?

  18. Trish Sill on August 16, 2019 at 9:09 AM

    Will cedarcide be effective against scorpions? We live in the Arizona desert and have problems with them in our home!

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on August 22, 2019 at 12:06 PM

      It sure will! I’d suggest PCO Choice for outdoor and Cedarcide Original for indoor.

  19. Kevin on August 8, 2019 at 9:05 PM

    How would this product, used in conjunction with your fogger, work on Indian Meal Moths specifically? Have there been any tests done in order to prove that it works if you say it does?

    I am not sure if you are familiar with Indian Meal Moths, but when they are in their larva stage, they hare highly destructive, chewing through plastic bags, like cereal, in order to feed and then pupate into the moth. While they are in larva stage, they look for tight place, like the inside of a jar lid that is still sealed, for example, and wedge themselves between the inside of the lid and outside of the jar. Thus, a spray wouldn’t work as effectively as a fogger I do not believe. Would this product leave a residual that would still kill an larvae crawling around before it can become a moth to lay more eggs, or would is still have to come in direct direct, like with a sprayer? As these creatures are very elusive and VERY difficult to find, spraying them directly just is not feasible in order to eradicate the problem.

    If it doesn’t work, that is fine, just found your product on Amazon and thought I would come over and at least ask the question since it does say Cedarwood oil would kill in the pupae and larval stages.

    Thank you.

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on August 22, 2019 at 12:21 PM

      Hi, Kevin!

      We do not have testing for these pests in particular, however our products work great against moths in general. You’re right—fogging is going to be the best way to go after these bugs. Our products will kill on contact and deter thereafter, but not kill after application. However, if you fog, chances are you’ll kill most if not all in the first treatment, and then a second fogging would likely do the trick for good. Let us know if you need anything else 🙂

  20. forbes morrell on August 4, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    Fruits and vegetables ?

  21. Kristin Reese on July 30, 2019 at 12:42 PM

    Will this help with cicadas?

  22. Carol Smith on July 29, 2019 at 11:14 AM

    I live in the woods, literally. I use your cedar and lemongrass oil on my dog. Occasionally I find ticks on him but they are always dead and dried up. When Cedarcide kills the ticks on my dog I would definitely say your product is a wonder worker and recommend it wholeheartedly.

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on August 1, 2019 at 9:45 AM

      Carol, thanks so much for the comment!

      We appreciate hearing the feedback 🙂

    • Carli on November 13, 2019 at 5:28 PM

      2 Questions:
      1》 Can we safely spray PCO choice on our organically grown fruits and veg & if ok, how long before it is safe to eat or may we simply just wash off the product?

      2》 With free-range chickens & ducks I understand your cedar oil is not safe for them to ingest or to use on them. In using PCO Choice, if the birds were contained and the property then sprayed, would it be safe to let them free-roam the following day?
      Cheers!

      • Jonathan At Cedarcide on December 16, 2019 at 11:05 AM

        Great questions, Carol!

        1). While our products are non-toxic and plant-based we do not suggest them for use on items intended for human consumption, simply just because we have not done testing for that.

        2). You’re right, it’s just never a good idea to use cedarwood oil in close proximity to birds. However, as long as you remove them from the area as you outlined above, all should be just fine 🙂

        • Chevy Cain on May 15, 2020 at 11:18 PM

          I have four dogs and I have been trying to rid of their fleas here in California is flea season though my dogs are indoor dogs the yard is all concrete I water spray wash my yard daily and I spray their beds daily wash any bedding daily and since I’ve been using your product it seems they are scratching less my question is what do I use on the yard?? Plus I told my neighbors about your product too actually gave them some hoping it works for their dogs.

  23. MJ Borner on July 14, 2019 at 9:28 AM

    Is this good for carpenter bees?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on July 19, 2019 at 2:57 PM

      HI, MJ

      Our products will kill them on direct contact but not repel them after that.

  24. Dan on July 13, 2019 at 7:39 PM

    I have a huge Firefly population around my yard that we enjoy in the summer. Will cedarcide kill them as well?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on July 19, 2019 at 2:49 PM

      Great question!

      As long as you don’t spray them directly they will be just fine 🙂

  25. MK on July 8, 2019 at 7:22 AM

    I’ve recently noticed active wood boring beetles in a few furniture pieces. Which product can I use to treat the furniture and how? Do I also need to treat other pieces near by?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on July 8, 2019 at 10:17 AM

      hi!

      Cedarcide Original would be a great contact killer for those pests 🙂

    • Margaret Brace on April 26, 2020 at 12:37 PM

      Can you explain to me how you can spray your yard and get the spray only on the “bad” bugs? This is not feasible and is completely misleading.

      • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2020 at 11:48 AM

        Of course, Margaret.

        We do no like harming our beneficial insect friends either. Typically beneficial insects like bees and butterflies are flying throughout your lawn, not just resting on the grass or soil, so they do not usually suffer any problems. As long as you do not spray them directly it should cause no issue for them. Spraying in the early morning is a great way to treat your lawn before the pollinators start making their rounds. Evening also works 🙂

  26. Terri on June 5, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    We have used Cedarcide for 3 years now and WOW what a difference it has made. I have found only one tick on each dog in a year, which used to be weekly. This stuff really works and I am so relieved. No ticks, no more Lyme disease.
    Thanks Cedarcide!!!!

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on June 13, 2019 at 9:39 AM

      Thanks so much for your encouraging words, Terri! You made our day, you rock!

  27. Barb Powell on June 2, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    To be clear, can I apply this to prevent Japanese beetles?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on June 4, 2019 at 4:32 PM

      We’ve heard our outdoor sprays work great against these pests 🙂

    • Susan on September 17, 2019 at 10:11 AM

      Yes it does work—it reduced the population by half after one spraying

      • Jonathan At Cedarcide on September 20, 2019 at 9:53 AM

        Couldn’t have said it better ourselves 🙂

        Thanks for chiming in, Susan!

  28. Trisha on April 30, 2019 at 8:59 AM

    Does cedar oil kill all bugs – even beneficial ones?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2019 at 2:24 PM

      Great question, Trisha! As long as you don’t spray the beneficial insects directly, they’ll be just fine 🙂

      • Ruth Swan on August 12, 2019 at 6:57 PM

        We are fighting fleas on our five Yorkies. They get them from the yard and bring them in. Do I need to treat the yard. We do not have grass. Will it work, or just treat the dogs or dogs abd dirt?

        • Jonathan At Cedarcide on August 22, 2019 at 12:12 PM

          Yes, I would certainly suggest treating the yard. I would also suggest applying Cedarcide Original to the pups daily until the issue is resolved. Chances are fleas and eggs are also living in carpeting, pet spaces, and pet bedding, I would spray those areas with Original, too.

  29. Peggy Morris on April 12, 2019 at 8:26 AM

    We have a large yard and flower gardens.
    1. Is it safe for the flowers and shrubs?
    2. How is it applied to a large area?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2019 at 2:36 PM

      Great questions, Peggy! PCO Choice would be my suggestion for spraying a large outdoor space. It’s plant-friendly, including flowers and shrubs. 🙂 This video will show you how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_opBGz6Xfo

  30. Maggie Hammer on April 2, 2019 at 8:39 PM

    Our horses get wood ticks. Can I use cedarcide on them?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2019 at 2:39 PM

      Maggie, yes, you certainly can! Cedarcide is great for horses. We use it out at our horse rescue all the time with great results 🙂

  31. Jim on March 31, 2019 at 3:08 PM

    I’m glad to see this. When I first learned I had Lyme in 2017, I searched for a natural repellent.
    A lady in New England swore by cedar wood oil.
    I bought some. I use it,peppermint oil, and a spray I bought on a natural remedy site.
    What your article says bears out what I learned.
    Basically the ticks are totally fried. Works for me.

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2019 at 2:40 PM

      Thanks for the comment and positive words, Jim!

  32. Penny on March 30, 2019 at 9:16 PM

    Where can I get this product?

    • Jonathan At Cedarcide on May 16, 2019 at 2:40 PM

      Hi! Cedarcide.com or via the phone at 800-842-1464 🙂

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