What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like? It Causes Infection?

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What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like?

What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like?

What do bed bugs smell like? This might seem to be a funny question but it can be one of the primary indicators of bed bugs in your home.  Many people have reported that they are alerted to the presence of bed bugs by the musky scent that accompanies these pests.  So let us discover what this scent is like and why do bed bugs produce it.

What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like?

What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like?

This is a question with a number of answers, none of which are incorrect.  Bed bugs smell different to different persons.

  • Some people have reported a strong smell of coriander when they have bed bugs.
  • Raspberries that have gone bad are another peculiar scent associated with these pests.
  • Some can smell a strong acid.
  • There are still others who say they can smell a heady mix of almonds and marzipan.

This goes to say that the scent given off by bed bugs is a broad scale that cannot be classified into one distinct smell.  It is not an unpleasant smell but it does tend to bother some people more than others.

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Why Do Bed Bugs Give Off The Distinct Scent?

What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like?

Again, there is more than one reason for this.  Listed below are some of the major ones:

  • Pheromones are the most common cause of bed bug odors.  This is a hormone that is secreted by bed bugs to send a signal to their contemporaries that they are in some kind of danger.  A sudden switching on of the lights in a darkened room may alert bed bugs and they might immediately begin to secrete pheromones.
  • The fecal matter of bed bugs is another reason for the smell as well.  As the population of bed bugs increases, their fecal deposits increase as well and so does the smell associated with them.

Can Bed Bugs Smell Be Toxic?

No, the stench of bed bugs can be irritating at the most, but it is not toxic.  However, some people have reported the smell of bed bugs to be a trigger for migraines. The constant damp and musky smell might be especially irritating to pregnant women who have a heightened sense of smell.

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Can Dogs Smell Bed Bugs?

The average house pet might not be able to detect the bed bug’s scent.  Although, a dog who has been trained to pick up the scent of bed bugs would be able to detect bed bugs on the basis of this scent.  It should be noted that it would take hours of training and practice to get dogs to be able to pick up this smell.

Other Signs Of Infestation

The smell given off by bed bugs is not one of the first signs you will notice.  You should look out for more obvious signs that indicate the presence of bed bugs in your home.  They are as follows:

  • Tiny bloodstains on your bed linen from bugs that get crushed at night.
  • Inky, black stains.  This is the fecal matter of bed bugs.
  • Bed bug bites on your body in the mornings.  These are raised, red spots that itch and cause pain.
  • The physical presence of bed bugs themselves.
  • Bed bugs eggs that are pale yellow in color
  • Shed skin of bed bugs (exoskeletons) as they go through a molting phase.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bug Smell

Once you get bed bugs, your actual focus should be to get rid of them, but these are a few steps that you can take to tackle their smell in the meantime:

  • Open out all the windows and air your bedroom out.  
  • Use essential oils in a lamp or humidifier to mask the smell of bed bugs.  This might also get rid of some bugs as bed bugs are averse to the smell of essential oils.
  • Use air fresheners in your room.
  • Burn scented candles that will make the room more comfortable.
  • Vacuum your room more often.  This way your room will be cleaner and you might pick up some bugs and eggs along the way as well.
  • A steam cleaner can also work well as this will kill bed bugs and get rid of the stink as well.

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