Updated at: 17-02-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

You’ll try all in your power to get rid of bedbugs if you’re dealing with an infestation. Despite the fact that eradicating these pests immediately is the most efficient method, sometimes bed bugs are too established in their nests to be eliminated.

Fortunately, there are a number of deterrents that can either flush them out of hiding, or just prevent bedbugs from entering the house.

Bedbugs aren’t the only vermin that can be killed by scented objects.

All the odors that we find pleasant–or, in the case of pesticides and chemicals, that we are able to tolerate–are highly irritating to many animals.

Due to the variations in the way insects and arachnids breathe, certain odours can be lethal to arthropods. There are no lungs in insects of any kind, including bed bugs.

Instead, they use a network of tracheae to extract oxygen from the air.

As a result, the insect is able to directly consume oxygen and any other compounds or odors present in the air. Mammals have complicated respiratory systems that filter air as it is drawn in.)

Do Bed Bugs Hate Lavender?

Lavender has a pleasant fragrance to humans. There are rumors that it can assist the body recover from moderate pain when used in aromatherapy.

Why Do Bed Bugs Smell When You Kill Them? - HomelyVille

There are a plethora of smells and chemicals available for the purpose of eradicating bed bugs, and lavender is no exception.

Linalool is a chemical found in lavender. Linalool is a naturally occurring compound found in more than 200 plant and fruit species, however it is also found in a wide variety of pesticides.

Other insects and arachnids, such as bed bugs and spiders, also have a strong dislike for the following scents: mint, cinnamon, basil, and citrus.

(Linalool is present in all of these.)

Lavender essential oil or lavender aroma can be helpful, but it isn’t enough on its own to get rid of bed bugs. Once they’re out of the nest, they’ll be more vulnerable if you use bed bug traps or other insecticides that have been sprayed.

Do Bed Bugs Hate Vicks?

You may have used Vicks VapoRub if you’ve ever had a cold or had to cope with congestion. VapoRub jelly can be applied to the chest and upper lip to relieve congestion, and it can also be applied to mosquito bites to alleviate itching.

Menthol is a main ingredient in several Vicks products. Similarly to linalool, mint plants naturally create menthol.

As a result, bed bugs will respond to the Vicks aroma in the same way that lavender does.

Does Vinegar or Garlic Repel Bed Bugs?

Vinegar works wonders in the fight against bed bugs. Bed bugs, on the other hand, despise vinegar for reasons distinct from their dislike of lavender or mint.

It’s important to remember that vinegar is made up of acetic acid, which means it’s acidic, yet it has a strong smell and may still corrode metals.

Smell and chemical corrosion along the exoskeletons of bedbugs are both exacerbated when vinegar is applied.

The same chemical elements that keep mint and lavender plants free of bed bugs also keep garlic free of them. Garlic cloves (along with related vegetables like onions) produce a compound called allicin, which is released whenever the plant is cut open.

In addition to being responsible for “garlic breath,” this chemical contributes to garlic’s distinctive aroma.

As a result, insects will flee if they detect the scent of garlic in the air since they can’t filter out allicin. You can flush out bed bugs by using garlic and vinegar, but remember that both are ineffective in killing them.

What Scents Do Bed Bugs Hate?

As you’ve seen, a bed bug’s senses are irritated by many of the substances that plants make. Natural pesticides can be found in products with the aromas of mint, cinnamon or citrus. This is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind.

It’s because of this that common foods like pepper, lemons, and oranges are advised for repelling bed bugs.

The smell of diatomaceous earth is repulsive to bed bugs as well. Bed bugs and other insects are attracted to the powdery substance, which becomes embedded in their exoskeleton as a result.

Besides the earthy aroma, the powder will progressively eat away at the bed bug’s exoskeleton until its skin dehydrates, resulting in its death.

Do Bed Bugs Have A Smell?

A musty stench is a common symptom of a bed bug infestation in locations where the insects congregate. Mattresses and pillows are the most common places to find the odor.

Like other insects, bed bugs exchange pheromones in order to communicate. If the bed bugs feel threatened, they will emit pheromones to inform the rest of the colony, which serves as a defense mechanism.

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Leave behind a “scent trail” by using pheromones. For the most part, these trails are only a way for bed bugs to get to and from their nightly meal supply (asleeping people).

Of course, the musty smell isn’t just coming from pheromones. The stench of bed bug excrement is also a possibility.

Tiny black pellets resembling mouse or rat droppings might be seen in the feces.

Other animals, on the other hand, are able to detect scents that humans can’t. If taught properly, bed bug dogs, which are typically used by pest control firms to sniff out colonies, can reliably trace pheromones straight to the nest where bed bugs live.

Why Do Bed Bugs Smell When You Kill Them?

Even when the bug has been killed, it leaves behind an unpleasant smell. This is true even if you killed the bug purposefully or accidently.

This is for two reasons:

  • As previously mentioned, bed bugs communicate by exchanging alarm pheromones. Alarm pheromones are released by bed bugs to alert the colony of impending danger. You’re putting yourself at risk by killing a bed insect, which entails crushing its scent glands, which in turn releases its alarm pheromones into the air.
  • There is a faint aroma of blood when a bed bug is killed immediately after it has been fed. Getting rid of a bed bug as soon as possible is important since it takes bed bugs several hours to digest human blood.

Insects don’t degrade like other creatures after they die because of their structure. Upon death, proteins in the body begin to decompose, and interior organs begin to disintegrate.

(The “stench of death” is caused by the decomposition of the body.)

Insects, on the other hand, can only degrade on the inside. While their internal organs decompose quickly (within a few hours, as opposed to weeks for most species), their exoskeleton is unharmed by this rapid decomposition.

The bug’s exoskeleton is preserved in the precise position it was in when it died.

So, if you locate a dead bed bug, you’re most likely looking at the exoskeleton of a deceased bed insect. After death, pheromones and undigested blood were not released, therefore the body’s odor will stay undetectable.

Do Bed Bugs Make Noise?

When it comes to bedbugs, they don’t like to make any noise. In fact, that’s one of the reasons they’re so troublesome: because they don’t make any noise, you might not discover them until you have a significant infestation in your home.

It is impossible for bed bugs to buzz like mosquitoes, flies, or bees since they lack wings. Because of their small size, they don’t make any noise as they scurry across the ground at night.

As a result, there is no need for them to use any other forms of communication.

Bed bugs are silent for a good reason: they are nocturnal feeders and hence know just when to begin eating and when to stop. As a result, they avoid any activity that could jeopardize their position, which is why they keep their voices down at all times.

Why do Bed Bugs Stink When You Kill Them?

When you kill bed bugs to alert others, they emit a foul odor. They communicate by smelling each other.

Hemiptera is the order in which bedbugs fall. As a result, they are the actual sources of odors. In the same manner that humans release adrenaline, they release hormones. Bed bugs communicate through a variety of pheromones, each with its own characteristic scent.

There is the strongest danger alarm pheromone. When one male bed insect tries to mate with another, they both release the same chemical. Pheromones are not produced by females during the mating process.

Herbicide histamine is a key component of bedbugs’ territorial and migratory systems. They emit a new, fear-inducing aroma when you move the mattress or disturb their environment. When light shines on them, they also emit chemical messages.

When a bed insect is destroyed, a foul odor is emitted. Opinions on this odor vary. While some individuals describe the odor as rotten wood, other people describe it as a damp house’s musty smell. A stink bug-like odor may be produced in some circumstances.

Other people’s stories differ. Bedbugs are said to emit a lovely smell, like cilantro, cinnamon, berries, crayons, or burnt almonds. Regardless of what you think, everyone is correct because they all have unique aromas and scents.

Do bed bugs only feed on humans?

No. Poultry operations and bats have been found to be infested with bed bugs. Some bed bug research facilities use guinea pigs and mice to raise the bugs. Cats and dogs may be prey for the bugs. There is a good chance that they would not be able to eat from any part of the body that is covered in fur. Despite the fact that bed bugs aren’t human-specific, they’ve evolved to infest and parasitize humans.

Could you have a bed bug infestation in your home and not know it?

Certainly, it’s conceivable. Couples have complained that they are only getting bitten by one of the other members of the group. Truthfully, both are being bitten, but only one is reacting. Bed bug bites have little effect on 30% or more of the population, and the elderly have a lower reaction rate than the general population. More than 80% of those who do react to the bites don’t react to the first few, and they only develop a sensitivity to successive bites. Those who aren’t allergic to the bites of bed bugs may not be aware they have one. There are no obvious indicators of bed bug infestation unless you’re used to getting up at 3 a.m. every night to conduct a thorough inspection. As a large infestation spreads, bedbugs begin to leave the bed, making it more likely that you’ll spot one in an open area at night. Those who have been infected for a long period of time may become anemic. However, that requires a lot of bugs—perhaps 100,000 or more feeding once a week or more.

Another indication of an infestation is the smell. Pheromones known as “alarm pheromones” are released by a variety of bugs, including bed bugs. It’s possible that you’ll catch a whiff of that stinky bug odor if you disrupt a bed bug colony. Irritating odor occurs when concentrations are too high. Some believe it has a nice smell, similar to coriander, at low quantities. In reality, the term “coriander bug” has been used in the past to describe the bed bug. My attempts to smell the coriander scent in pheromones for bed bugs have been unsuccessful.

What can one do to avoid getting bed bugs?

The first step is to be able to tell a bed bug from any other type of insect. If you start to worry about bed bugs, everything looks like a bed bug. Compared to an apple seed, an adult bed beetle is almost the same size and form. Flattened and brown if it hasn’t eaten in a while. It will be round and crimson if it has fed. The tiniest bed bugs are around the size of a pinhead and look much like adults. Learn to look for their fecal spots, which are simpler to spot than the bugs themselves. When you’re on the road, be sure to inspect your hotel rooms. Don’t bring used furniture into your home unless you absolutely need it. It’s always a good idea to check for bed bugs when buying used furniture. In the absence of a strategy, this is a bad indicator. Make sure to dry any old clothing you buy right away by running it through a clothes dryer on medium to high heat. If you’re considering moving into an apartment, be sure to confirm with the landlord whether or not the building has been treated for bed bugs.

What should one do upon suspecting a bed bug infestation

How did this person come to believe they had bedbugs in their home? Skin reactions alone don’t always mean there are bed bugs. Similar skin reactions can be caused by other pests, allergies, and irritants. It’s difficult to tell if someone has been bitten by a bed bug because everyone’s body reacts differently. As a follow-up, I’d like to know whether or not you’ve ever spotted an insect of the right size and form in the region where you sleep. Immature carpet beetles are commonly misidentified as bed bugs. Even though it looks nothing like a bed bug, the carpet beetle is a good match for its size. Aside from that, it’s a common critter to find around a bed. A pill bottle or other container is a good place to keep an insect that you suspect is a bed bug, so that its important traits will not be crushed and an expert can identify it.

If I had an infestation, I wouldn’t try to get rid of it on my own. An exterminator is what I’d call. While hiring a pest control company, it’s important to know what to look out for when checking a home for signs of bedbug infestation.

Do not distribute anything outside of the bedroom after you have a suspect or a confirmed infestation. To avoid spreading the infestation, do not remove the linens from the bed and sleep elsewhere. To get rid of bed bugs, pest control experts will instruct you to wash and dry all of your clothing and bedding. However, I can’t say for certain that solvent-based dry cleaning will kill bed bugs because I’ve never tried it. It’s a sad fact that people can get bed bugs just going to the dry cleaners or the Laundromat. Even if it’s unlikely, an infestation can start with just one fertilized adult female bed bug.

Heat treatment is the safest and most effective way to get rid of bed bugs because it involves having a qualified professional heat each room in the house to 50 degrees Celsius and then keeping it there for at least four hours straight. Desiccant dusts are typically sprayed to wall voids since heat does not penetrate well there. Bedbugs can’t be eliminated with just one method; a variety of techniques are required.

What are the mistakes people make in trying to get rid of bed bugs on their own, without professional help?

The use of do-it-yourself methods carries a degree of danger. Pest control bombs and foggers purchased over the counter are not prevalent. According to study from Ohio State University, these are ineffective against bedbugs. People may also be exposed to harmful compounds as a result of their use. The aerosol pesticides available over-the-counter are ineffective in the fight against bed bugs. A pyrethroid or pyrethrin is the primary ingredient in most of these products, and these compounds work in a similar manner to DDT, to which bed bugs have grown resistance. Even if you kill the bug with a direct spray, the infection will remain. Finding all the bedbugs is a major issue, however. Insecticide can’t get to all of them. Nonprofessionals can’t do much more than kill what they can see, but that’s only the top of the iceberg.

Diatomaceous earth, for example, is a dust that can aid in this endeavor. Wall voids and other hard-to-reach areas are common targets for pest controllers. As a result, the bugs will be more susceptible to dehydration after being exposed to the dust. Incorrect application of dusts will not alleviate the problem, and excessive use may create breathing difficulties in some persons.

So-called “wonder remedies” to rid the world of bed bugs may be found all over the Internet. That being said, if a product promises a quick fix for bedbugs, it’s just snake oil. As reported by pest control operators that come in to deal with bed bugs properly, these “cure” methods have included utilizing bleach, ammonia, and even DIY heat treatment that entails a fire hazard.

Vacuuming is another option that you may have heard about. Insects can be vacuumed out, but eggs are more difficult to find, and vacuuming alone won’t eliminate bed bugs. Indeed, emptying the canister while vacuuming can spread bedbugs to adjacent rooms. When vacuuming, pest control technicians take precautions to keep bed bugs from escaping.

However, it is one of the best solutions, although it does not eliminate the infestation. Other insects will be lurking in the shadows not far from the mattress. It is possible for a mattress to harbor a significant number of bed bugs, which is where a mattress cover comes in handy. Insects are simpler to spot on uniformly colored covers with fewer seams than on patterned or multicolored ones.

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Given that you work with bed bugs, how do you avoid bringing them home?

I’m at risk for four things. So we have to take extreme measures to keep bedbugs from escaping from the lab where I work. Infested apartments are something I’ve had to deal with on occasion. As a frequent traveler, I run the risk of encountering bed bugs while staying in hotels. Bed bugs can be brought home from dorms by college-age children, too.

There is a designated chamber in the lab where we steam clean the bedbugs every week and put up double-stick tape barriers to keep them out (as long as the adhesive remains dust-free). There is no way for the bed bugs to get out of the containers they’ve been placed in. The bed bugs must force their mouthparts through the textile “lid” into the blood reservoir to eat, so we feed them within those containers.

It’s always a good idea to inspect your shoes for bugs after you leave an infested flat. Also, I have a second set of clothes in my garage, and I put them on before I enter my house. My clothes from the infested apartment went straight into the dryer in the adjacent room, which is just off the garage.

For this reason, I always check the bed before placing my suitcase in my sleeping area, just in case I need to ask for a different room and don’t want my luggage to get infected with bedbugs. Put your suitcase on the suitcase stand or desktop to keep bugs away from it as you’re moving in. Putting the suitcase in the bathtub would be an extreme solution. Bed bugs would have a difficult time climbing up a porcelain tub. It’s also improbable that they’d climb a tub by accident, given that it’s a long way from the bedroom. It’s not uncommon for me to put my bag on a stand if there are no signs of bedbugs in a room when I’m inspecting it, but if there are, I don’t worry about it. As a precaution, I don’t leave any of my clothing out on the floor, fearing that bedbugs might find their way into it.

I haven’t seen any bed bugs in my hotel rooms, but I’ve seen them in other people’s rooms before. Many of my students and postdocs have discovered their existence, and I’m amazed I haven’t run into them yet when sleeping in a nearby hotel room.

How should one check a hotel room for bed bugs?

The illumination in hotel rooms is notoriously weak, making it difficult to see even the tiniest bed bugs or their excrement. I would remove the covers from the head of the bed and inspect it thoroughly. Examine the exposed mattress seams and edges by pulling aside the sheets as well. Mattress tags are a favorite place for bedbugs to hide, as they provide a perfect hiding spot. The box springs should also be examined. Pull up the dust ruffle if there is one and look as deeply as you can underneath it. Look for moving bugs as well as immobile ones that are concealing.

Infestation of bed bugs can be found in the area behind the headboard of the bed. Hanging headboards are common. If I’m with my wife, we’ll take it apart and look at what’s on the other side. This reveals a large area of potential bedbug habitat. Don’t forget to inspect around the headboard, even if you don’t plan to remove it. Look at the wall under the headboard if you pull the bed away from the wall.

They could also be found towards the foot of the bed, although they are more likely to be found at the top of the mattress. When the sheets are tucked in at the foot of the bed, bed bugs have a more difficult time infiltrating a sleeping host. As a general rule, the bugs like to keep their distance from their hosts as short as possible.

If you don’t need reading glasses and have enough light, you can see all phases of bedbugs. So, even in the nymphal first instar stage, you may spot bugs if you look closely enough. In terms of surface area, a fecal patch can be as huge as a bed insect. Most of the spots are dark in appearance because they are made of blood that has been digested. They really stand out against a white mattress.

Are there tactics that professional exterminators use that don’t work?

There is no single strategy that is going to work. Pest control professionals who do their job well will devise a plan to combat bed bugs that takes into consideration the specifics of the situation and make multiple visits to monitor the process as it unfolds. Frozen bed bugs can only be reached by dry ice sprays that have a limited range of application. Penetration of steam is slightly better. Steam has the drawback of generating a lot of moisture. Dry ice leaves no trace behind. There is a place for vacuuming; nevertheless, there are certain constraints. Insecticides that are slow to act but effective over the long haul are called long-acting pesticides. Others kill on the spot, but only if the insect is in view. Insecticide resistance complicates the decision-making process when it comes to pest control.

Good pest controllers can get rid of bed bugs, so keep that in mind. Anxiety, despair, and other mental health issues can arise from overthinking bedbug infestations, which specialists must avoid in their public presentations to the public.


  • Bed bugs can be deterred with the use of scented things.
  • It is possible to use natural bed bug repellents such as Lavender and VapoRub, which contain various ingredients.
  • Alarm pheromones are secreted by bed bugs when they are threatened.
  • All of a bedbug’s pheromones are released at once when they are destroyed, which creates a musty odor.