What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like and Does It Cause Infection?

Bed BugsWhat Do Bed Bugs Smell Like and Does It Cause Infection?

Bed bugs are parasites that feed on human blood and cause severe skin infections. People often tend to think do they stink or what do bed bugs smell like? Mostly, it is claimed that these brown and tiny creatures smell musky. However, different people report different smells of beg bugs. Few people call it to smell like coriander and some call it a strong acid.

Bed bugs cause odors due to pheromones and the fecal matter of bed bugs is also responsible for this. Besides, the smell of bed bugs is irritating and not toxic. There are certain steps that can help in preventing bed bug odors.

What Do Bed Bugs Smell Like?

Is the Bed Bug Smell Poisonous?

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 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 Infestations of Bed Bug Smell

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 bite 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:

  1. Open out all the windows and air your bedroom out.  
  2. 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.
  3. Use air fresheners in your room.
  4. Burn scented candles that will make the room more comfortable.
  5. 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.
  6. A steam cleaner can also work well as this will kill bed bugs and get rid of the stink as well.

Closing Thoughts

To sum it up, the smell of bed bugs is a telltale sign of an infestation. It is important to be aware of this smell and to be on the lookout for other signs of bed bugs in your home. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, it is essential to act quickly and seek the help of a professional pest control company. By doing so, you can effectively eliminate bed bugs and protect your home and loved ones from these pesky pests.

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