Bed bugs are one of the most feared but also one of the most mysterious of all insect-type pests. Bed bug infestations are almost guaranteed once this pest establishes a foot-hold in the home. But despite these certainties, there are many myths surrounding bed bugs, and one of the most common myth bed bugs facilitate, is just what is is that attracts them into our home!
Bed bugs are primarily attracted to humans or, in less common circumstances, warm-blooded animals. The carbon dioxide that we emit from our breath combined with our body warmth is what attracts bed bugs to humans, and it has nothing to do with the state of the home or style of living of the host.
Have you recently discovered a bed bug invasion inside of your home? If so, you no doubt have a million and one questions about these pesky insects.
In this guide, we will take a look at exactly what it is that attracts bed bugs to people and their homes to create large infestations. Knowing what these bugs want goes a long way in learning how to draw them out of their hiding places.
Read on to find out more about the specific things that attract bed bugs.
What is the main cause of a bed bug infestation?
Bed bugs are attracted to two things: carbon dioxide and body heat.
Bed bugs have incredibly poor vision, and some researchers believe the insects may be blind altogether – based on scientific evidence stemming from studies.
For this reason, bed bugs prefer to seek out their host (humans) by means of smell and respiration. Because people have to exhale in order to stay alive, the bugs will always have this tracking mechanism at their disposal to replace what they lack with the naked eye.
Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal and prefer safe locations where humans fall asleep, since this allows the pests to come out and feed on blood while the host is asleep. However, bed bugs can adapt and will mimic their hosts sleeping patterns.
The bugs will build their nest in hidden spaces near human sleeping spots, such as underneath bed frames, the underside of a mattress, nightstands, and even in wall cracks near a bed.
What scents attract bed bugs?
It is not known if there is a specific scent that will lure bed bugs to a person, but the one scent that would draw them in is CO2.
Attracting bed bugs is not about scents; food attracts bed bugs, and the food in question is blood.
There are no specific blood types which bed bugs are attracted to, but there are instances where the pests will sometimes feed on one person in a bed and not the other. This could very well be an example of blood type playing a part in what bed bugs are attracted to.
Your blood type could very well correspond to certain blood types that bed bugs love based on past experiences.
In addition to certain blood types playing a part, warm blooded creatures have certain blood types that emit a particular scent to insects, which means people with type o blood (for example), may cause the bugs to feed on them apart from another person with a different type of blood.
Bed bugs feed less seldomly than other insects of this type like mosquitoes. Therefore, they have more reason to be picky when it comes to human blood.
But make no mistake, this pest will seek out human food of any variety when the ability to be picky is not available.
It is important to note that cleaning chemicals and pet odours are also not considered to be bed bug attractants.
What keeps bed bugs away?
A bed bug colony inside of your home will only go away if you kill bed bugs. In terms of what keeps these pests away from your home, the real answer to this question is to not bring them home in the first place.
Bed bugs need a human host to survive, which means the bugs need to move around or “hitchhike” in order to find their permanent home with a constant food supply.
Shared offices, public transportation, and anywhere with easy access for these tiny pests to gestate for long periods in hiding spots is where the bugs will stay until they can latch onto a host.
Therefore we suggest that you use common sense when out in public
What attracts bed bugs to a person?
Body temperature and exhalation are the big attractants for bed bugs, but other things like pets, attract bed bugs as well.
But as for people in general, bed bugs lack the ability to differentiate based on sight, so warmth and breathing are what draws them out.
Things like dirty laundry or having an untidy home are not important factors in luring bed bugs to a person, nor is another myth such as period blood or blood infected with a blood disease.
Darker colors in clothing are also not a common attractant.
What attracts bed bugs into your home?
In asking the question, are bed bugs attracted to homes, the answer is no because bed bugs are drawn solely to humans or other bed bugs.
Once inside, dark bed sheets, box springs, the bed frame, and mattresses will draw their attention since this is likely where they will end up based on your time spent sleeping.
Having guests over is also an easy way to transfer bed bugs into a home.
Always be sure to wash guest bedding in high heat and check the mattress and box spring of a guest bed, since this is where female bed bugs will likely lay eggs.
Also, it is crucially important to avoid bringing home items such as used furniture or any kind of used clothing, granted you can immediately take second hand clothing to the wash for cleaning on a high temperature to destroy possible hiding bugs or eggs.
Always remember that you have to bring these insects inside of the home, they do not just come inside the home on their own accord from the outside.
Always be cautious of guests as well since latched insects can fall off in your home.
How can Malum Pest Control help?
At Malum Pest Control we pride ourselves at providing the very best integrated pest management approach.
We look at every challenge from outside the box to give you an immediate and long term solution. Through experience we can provide a guaranteed, discreet yet professional service.
Our pest experts know full well these insects are bad news, which is why we treat all areas of your home with a residual insecticide containing an Insect Growth Regulator. Insecticidal or desiccant dust will also be utilised if needed in fewer places of infestation.
Bed bugs come in different strains but are fairly sedentary insects that do not tend to move around, except when feeding. Our pest control treatments are therefore extremely and obsessively thorough, and can also include heat treatments where necessary for a severe infestation.