You may have heard that a bed bug has a smell like raspberry or coriander. So, how about their smell when they are crushed? Is the smell worse? Let’s read the explanation about bed bug smell here.
Bed Bug Smell
According to the Arrow Exterminating Company site, a musty odor is produced by the scent gland of bed bugs. The smell itself is often described as smelling like coriander. You will find that the smell is unpleasant. And if you have an infestation of bed bugs at your home, you may smell something like moldy shoes or wet moldy clothes.
On the M and M Pest Control or MMPC site, it is explained that there is an important distinction to make clear between the smell of an individual bed bug from the smell of a bed bug infestation. The smell of an individual bed bug comes from pheromones which are produced by the bed bugs which are special chemicals that they use to send signals to each other. When these pheromones are freshly issued, the smell is able to smell slightly sweet or acidic and sometimes compared to cilantro or raspberries. However, usually if a bed bug is just crawling around, it will not actively produce these pheromones.
Now, how about the smell of an infestation level of bed bugs? As also explained on the MMPC site, on an infestation level, the smell from pheromones is usually overpowered by the smell of dead bed bugs and fecal matter. Basically, bed bug feces are just digested blood which has iron which oxidizes and gives off an unpleasant, rusty smell. In an infestation level, the odor from dead bed bugs and shed skin casings which have the glandular secretion reservoir are also mixed in and then it produces a musty smell the same as dirty shoes or mold laundry.
Here is the difference between individual bed bug smell and a bed bug infestation smell according to the MMPC site.
- Individual bed bugs smell like coriander, cilantro, citronella, raspberry, dark cherry, and almonds.
- A bed bug infestation smell is like dried blood, rust, dirty shoes, damp towels, wet moldy laundry.
Crushed Bed Bugs Smell
After knowing about the smell of bed bugs, we split it into two types of smell, namely an individual bed bug smell and a bed bug infestation smell, now how about the smell of crushed bed bugs? Is it the same? On the Arrow Exterminating Company site, it is explained that crushed bed bugs have a tendency to produce a strong smell.
On the Organic Lesson site, it is explained that when you kill bed bugs, they stink to send an alarm to others. Odors are used by them as a mode of communication. Bed bugs are categorized into the order Hemiptera. So, they are true bugs which can produce scents. The way they release hormones is the same as the way we release adrenaline. Different pheromones help bed bugs to communicate and each message has a different odor.
According to the Organic Lesson site, the danger alert pheromone is the strongest. It is the similar chemical which male bed bugs generate when another male gets it in an attempt to mate. While mating, females do not generate pheromones.
In the Organic Lesson, it is also explained that histamine hormones are used by bed bugs to mark their territory and trace their way back. When the mattress is lifted by you or you upset their habitat, the bed bugs will produce another unique scent with a fear hormone. When light falls on them, they also send chemical signals.
On the Organic Lesson, you will also read that people have different opinions about the smell which is produced by bed bugs which are killed. Some people say that the odor is like rotten wood, but some others say that it is a musty odor of a damp house. In some cases, they will be able to generate a scent which is the same as a stink bug. There are also people who say that bed bugs generate sweet smells like cinnamon, cilantro, berries, crayons or burnt almonds.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
If you smell bed bugs at your home, it can indicate that there are bed bugs at your home and you have to get rid of them. According to the MMPC site, here are the steps to get rid of bed bugs.
- First, you have to identify the problem. You have to make sure whether there are bed bugs or not at your home. So, you have to find 7 common signs of a bed bug infestation including musty odors, bed bug bites, rusty bloodstains, fecal marks, bed bug eggs, shell casings and live bed bugs.
- Then, you have to limit the infestation. To limit an early infestation can be done by:
- Removing the clutter throughout your home and moving your bed and other furniture away.
- Putting infested items in a sealed bag for treatment or disposal.
- Vacuuming the floor and carpets in infested areas thoroughly.
- Washing all sheets, blankets, pillowcases and clothing with hot water and dry them on the highest heat setting for at least 30 minutes.
- Sealing any cracks and crevices along walls and baseboards where bed bugs may be hiding.
- Now, you can make a plan. You can make a checklist of all areas and items that you suspect may be infested by bed bugs. You can keep track of the times and locations where they are found. You can familiarize yourself with the different options to remove bed bugs.
- In this step, you can prepare for treatment such as placing zippered bed bug-proof covers over your mattress and box springs, reducing clutter from infested areas, moving your bed at least 6 inches away from the walls and removing everything underneath, and many more.
- And finally, you can kill the bed bugs. There are some methods to get rid of bed bugs if you want to do it by yourself. The methods include steam, heat, and cold which are non-chemical methods. The chemical methods include desiccant powders, contact sprays, and residual sprays. Chemical methods are recommended for more severe infestations. So, you can try to use the non-chemical methods first.
However, as also explained on the MMPC site, it is recommended for you to at least consult with your local exterminator or bed bugs experts to determine the best methods for your condition.