From unconventional smells in the refrigerator to questionable smells from the basement, our sense of smell can warn us of potential dangers. However, sometimes we should be advised that we don’t smell too bad, which could make them difficult to spot. This can be the case with bed bugs. While the creepy crawlers have a handful of specific scents, they’re not always uncomfortable, so the scent can easily be overlooked. To see what smell to look out for, read on and for other signs of infestation. If you see this in your yard, prepare for an insect invasion, says USDA.
Bed bugs can smell musty and sweet like berries.
The smell that bed bugs give off depends on your personal sense of smell and can also change depending on the condition of the bug. Pest control company Orkin says bed bugs can give off a “musty, sweet odor that is often compared to berries” when there is significant infestation.
Professional pest control specialist and entomologist Nicholas Martin said that this odor usually only arises when “a lot of them are bruised or disturbed. You are unlikely to recognize the smell of a few bruised bugs, so it usually occurs when the infestation is severe.” And in order to learn more about these dreaded animals, those terrible bugs you forgot are coming back soon, warn the exterminators.
And they can release a cilantro scent if they feel in danger.
Bed bugs release pheromones when they feel at risk of alerting other bed bugs of dangers, Martin says. “The smell can be very similar to cilantro, or a pile of clothes that have been closed in the washing machine for a few days, or a pair of moldy shoes,” he notes. According to pest control expert Jordan FosterAt low concentrations, some people find this odor pleasant. However, if a large group of bed bugs is disturbed, you may get a smell similar to that of a stink bug, he adds. And for more smells to call an annihilator about, if your home smells like this, you may have a bug problem.
The story goes on
There are other signs of an infestation to look for.
Before calling an annihilator, look for other signs of living things. Foster said if you see “dark blood stains on sheets and bedding” or have “itchy, irritated skin” that appears to be from bites, it’s time to seek help. The bed bug’s pheromone scent “is an effective way for the pests to communicate and stay hidden,” says Foster. “Because of their vanity, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company rather than trying to address the problem yourself.”
Unfortunately, these errors may not be limited to your bed only. Martin says you should inspect all other furniture, including sofas, chairs, and any cracks in the room. “Bed bugs can hide anywhere they feel safe,” he says. “However, the most common place is your bed as it is the best place to feed.” If you’d like to receive more useful information straight to your inbox, subscribe to our daily newsletter.
Bed bugs eat your body at night.
Not only do these pests cause restless nights, they also nibble your skin when you fall asleep. “During the evening, bed bugs use an anesthetic in saliva to bite people without being detected,” explains Foster. Their bites cause discomfort and itching, but are not believed to pose a risk for any disease. “However, they are extremely difficult to control.” And for more current bug news: If you live here, prepare for a serious bug, warns the expert.