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November 01, 2021 3 min read

Do bed bugs smell? If you find signs of an infestation, you may wonder if the scent is also a method to figure out if there are bed bugs in your home. This article will provide all the answers you need.

Bed bugs are blood-eating pests that can be cumbersome to get out of our home. These bugs leave multiple bites that are incredibly itchy and can result in rashes and skin infections. They can also cause sleepless nights and emotional trauma and lead to allergic reactions in others. Regardless, dealing with bed bugs means you must first determine if you have them or are dealing with other pesky insects. So, you might ask the question – do bed bugs smell?

Odor identification

Bed bugs are insects and, like many others, give off a distinct smell when disturbed. By disturbance, it might mean when one of them is squashed or if they sense an invasion. Also, bed bug odors can come from bed bugs’ fecal matter, primarily when large deposits are concentrated in one location.

What do bed bugs smell like?

However, some people can discern the smell when they enter a room or lie down on a bed. The scent that bed bugs release is a strong, musty odor resembling a pair of shoes that have been damp for days or clothes that had been locked in the washing machine for several days. Some people also attribute this smell to sour raspberries.

This smell might become more pungent and unpleasant if the infestation is a lot higher. So should you ever find that musky odor that falls into any of these descriptions, you might need to search for bed bugs.

Other signs of infestation

Generally, people first notice that they have bed bug bites by being bitten. However, this also means several bugs have passed through the bed bug young cycle and become full adults. Therefore, the infestation is growing at an alarming rate. If you notice bed bug bites, you should quickly check for other signs to confirm that you have bed bugs to take the appropriate next steps. Here are other signs of bed bugs to look for:

  • Bloodstains (usually rusty, brown, or black stains) on fabrics or beds. You might also find these stains in the mattress seams or your couch.
  • Black tiny spots that represent bed bug excrement. You may also find bed bugs, skins, and eggs in the exact location where you find these spots.
  • The bugs themselves usually shape bed bug skins, but are translucent and empty.
  • Bed bugs also lay eggs but determining them might require a pair of magnifying lenses. Bed bugs’ eggs are tiny and pearly white.

Overall, once you have determined if you have bed bugs, the next step is to eliminate them. It is recommended that cleaning your room thoroughly, including the most hidden spots, helps deal with them. Also, consider steam cleaning, laundering your clothes, and using bed bug deterrent sprays. A combination of different bed bug extermination processes is the best way to eliminate bed bugs.

Concluding thoughts

Do bed bugs smell? Yes, bed bugs smell, but they often come from their fecal matter, or the bugs can release them if they are disturbed. However, you might more possibly figure out bed bugs in your home by looking for other signs. Regardless, once you know you have an infestation, it is imperative to eliminate those bugs as soon as possible.

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