Why Do Bed Bugs Smell When You Kill Them?

Understanding the smell of bed bugs is essential when dealing with these pests even after you kill them, you’re still curious about how and why they smell.

In most cases, the stench won’t become particularly noticeable until you have an infestation.

When you kill a bed bug, they release a pheromone that alerts other bed bugs to its decease, which is why dead bed bugs’ smell.

This response serves as a form of warning for the group and is intended to assist the other bugs in escaping harm.

I’ll discuss the smells of both dead and living bed bugs as well as the best ways to identify their presence in your house in the next sections of this post.

For more information on why bed bugs stink after being killed, continue reading.

What Dead Bed Bugs Smell Like.

Bed bugs like regular stink bugs, emit a pungent odour when threatened.

As you might expect, the purpose of this odour is to scare off predators and other potential hazards.

What exactly does a dead bed bug smell like? This warning fragrance might also be released when they are destroyed.

Dead bed bugs have a musty and pleasant aroma.

When one or two bugs are destroyed, the smell could be softer, however, the smell will get stronger the more bedbugs you kill.

This is so that all the odours held in a bed bug’s scent glands can be released if it is squished.

In the end, the scent is unpleasant, and bed bugs are loaded with the blood they consume, so squashing them might leave crimson stains on your furniture.

Additionally, these stains might intensify the odour that these critters leave behind.

What Live Bed Bugs Smell Like.

You may be curious about how the fragrance of live and dead bed bugs differs.

Well, there are parallels and distinctions among the fragrances.

When they congregate in large groups, bed bugs have a noticeable odour, but when there are few of them, it might be challenging to detect them.

Live bed bugs have a pleasant or cilantro-like odour.

Larger gatherings could have an ironic or musty odour.

The number of bed bugs present can also substantially alter the aroma, therefore, the most effective way to find bed bugs is not by using your nose.

So, if you notice a strange fragrance in your home, it is always a good idea to check for these pests since they can quickly spread.

It’s common knowledge that large bed insect infestations smell like:

  • laundry with mildew.
  • stinky shoes.
  • Blood.
  • Rust.

These smells suggest that there may be a lot of bed bugs in your house, most likely in your bed.

What a few bed bugs smell like:

  • Cilantro.
  • Raspberries.
  • Almonds.
Why Do Bed Bugs Smell When You Kill Them?

Best Way to Find Bed Bugs:

Early bed bug detection is essential to avoid infestations.

However, it might be challenging to find where these pests are hiding inside your house.

Fortunately, I’ll be discussing the most effective ways to find bed bugs in your house.

How to locate bed bugs in your home that are concealed?

Examine your skin:

Bed bugs are significantly likely to bite you at night if you have large, itchy bites on your skin.

Look for stains on your bedding:

Dried blood traces may indicate that bed bugs have been killed while you were sleeping.

On fabrics, look for dark brown stains:

These stains, which are the bugs’ droppings, might damage your bedding or other fabrics. Since the spots might somewhat bleed into clothes, they may resemble a marker stain.

Look for egg-related hints:

Bed bug eggs resemble small, white larvae. They frequently rest in shadowy nooks.

Your mattress should be checked:

Bed bugs conceal themselves under mattresses and in other locations where they believe they can avoid detection.

Calling an exterminator as soon as you suspect a bed bug infestation is the best course of action.

Due to the difficulty of eliminating these infestations and the potentially harsh chemicals utilized, expert bed bug removal is essential.

Also read: How To Remove Perfume Odor from Clothes?

FAQ: Why Do Bed Bugs Smell When You Kill Them?

Q1. What to do if a friend or a family member has bed bugs?

After washing everything in hot water, dry everything—clothes, curtains, bedding, and linens—on the highest dryer setting.
Shoes, stuffed animals, and other non-washable things should be dried in the dryer for 30 minutes on high.
To get rid of bedbugs and their eggs, wash the mattress borders before cleaning.

Q2. What odours are bed bugs attracted to?

The smell of filthy clothes or bedding that has been in contact with humans is one that bed bugs find enticing.
You shouldn’t keep these items on the floor near your bed because research has shown that bed bugs like worn clothing and used bedding.

Q3. Do urine odours attract bed bugs?

If you don’t keep your mattress clean, there’s a possibility that you might be entertaining some strangers.
Bed bugs are awful because peeing on a bed creates the ideal environment for them because they prefer warmth, histamine, and carbon dioxide.

Also read: Why Does My Laundry Room Smell Like Sewage?


Due to the crushing of their smell glands, dead bed bugs release an unpleasant odour that serves as a warning to other bed bugs that they are in danger.

The odour could be disagreeable, akin to blood or unclean clothing.

Since bed bugs are frequently covered in blood, killing them can also leave behind undesirable stains therefore better to have a professional remove them.

Hello & welcome to Homeprettify! I'm Pooja and I have a passion for all things design, decor, and renovation. I am a serial renovator, currently working as Civil Engineer. Look around, leave a comment, and don't forget to subscribe to my emails so you don't miss out!

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