What Are Bed Bugs Attracted To? The Dirty Laundry on Bed Bugs
December 5, 2019
For years we’ve been telling you about the many ways to get bed bugs out of your home once you’ve been fortunate enough to get an infestation. We’ve detailed why Bed Bug Patrol makes a safe and all-natural bed bug spray, and how you can increase your bed bug-killing prowess by employing bed bug traps and diatomaceous earth. We’ve also created videos showing you how to vacuum, steam clean, and washer/dryer combo as part of your bed bug solution.
But wouldn’t it be nice if you never got the bed bugs in the first place? Instead of asking “what’s the best way to get rid of bed bugs,” wouldn’t it be great if you could go back in time and type “what are bed bugs attracted to?” into a search engine so that you could do your best to avoid them?
Unless a guest brought bed bugs into your home, we’re afraid that it was most likely you who attracted them and brought them into your bedroom after you visited a hotel. Today we’re going to take a look at what bed bugs are attracted to so that you can take a few steps to avoid them.
Bed Bugs Love Your Smell
We’ve often told you how bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale and the warmth of your body (more on that below). Now you can add one more thing to worry about: your smell.
Scientists at the University of Sheffield have been studying ways to avoid bringing bed bugs home. They found that bed bugs are very attracted to the smell of humans, and verified this by putting laundry in a room. One time they used the clean laundry and let the bed bugs loose; the second time they used dirty laundry in the room. What they found is that bed bugs congregated in both piles of laundry, but that there were twice as many in the dirty pile of laundry. It seems that, when given a choice, bed bugs will head toward the pile of dirty laundry because they’re attracted to the smell of humans. This could give some credence as to why one person in a bed is bitten by bed bugs more frequently than someone sleeping beside them. Different people produce different scents, though scientists are not yet sure which chemicals are causing such an attraction.
What can be done about it? The study would seem to suggest that you’re more likely to attract bed bugs at the end of your trip than at the beginning, so make sure to take a garbage bag along and tie it up tight so that the bed bugs can’t get in and ride home with you. When you get home, make sure laundry is the first thing you do, washing and drying your clothing on the hot cycle. You can also use a travel bed bug spray and spray your luggage periodically, then give it a good final spray when you get home.
Bed Bugs Love To Hide
Humans tend to make life pretty easy on bed bugs. We give them year-round shelter that also keeps out their natural predators. We give them food at night, in the form of human blood. Oh, and we also give them a nice soft place with multiple places to hide: a bed.
Luggage is another place bed bugs love to hide because it has so many crevices (and the human scent we mentioned above helps to attract them to it). There are the seams, the pockets, the spaces around the handles, and, of course, the interior. To make matters worse, the bed bug mating process is so traumatic for the females that they are actually trying to find a place to hide to get away from all other bed bugs. A suitcase is a perfect place to find refuge, and then you take her home where she can lay over 500 eggs.
How can you avoid taking bed bugs home in your suitcase? First of all, don’t put your suitcase on the bed, because bed bugs will find it and crawl inside. The better option is to use the luggage rack in the hotel room, preferably one with metal legs. (Bed bugs have trouble crawling up metal.) If you really want to make sure your luggage rack and suitcase are protected, put some bed bug traps under each foot of the rack. This will trap any bed bugs trying to crawl up, and can also show that you have bed bugs so that you can change rooms as soon as possible.
Second, use bed bug luggage covers. These covers go over your luggage and zip up, preventing the bed bugs from gaining any access. There’s even a tab that goes over the zipper to ensure that the bed bugs, which are only 5 mm long or smaller, can’t get in. Because trust us, they’re looking for a way to get into your luggage and get at that sweet, sweet dirty laundry.
Bed Bugs Love Your Exhalations
As we mentioned before, bed bugs are attracted by your breathing. When you exhale, your body releases carbon dioxide (CO2) as waste. Bed bugs are attracted to this not because they love carbon dioxide so much but because they know that this is a signal as to where their meal, which would be you - is.
During the day, you’re often moving about and exhaling all over the house, and your movement also distributes the CO2 around. But when you’re sleeping, you’re remaining in one place and creating a cloud of CO2 around you. To make matters even worse, your lack of movement means that you’re not creating any drafts that would disperse it. That big invisible cloud of CO2 acts like a big sign that says “24-Hour Diner” to the bed bugs.
Is there anything that can be done about it? There’s some evidence that turning on a ceiling fan could help to distribute the CO2, and the odors we mentioned above, around the room. Unfortunately, bed bugs live in your bed, and just wandering around gives them more than enough opportunity to find you.
Bed Bugs Like Your Warmth
Bed bugs are attracted to your warmth, something you can’t do much about. Even if you like sleeping in a cold room with lots of air conditioning, your body is still going to be right around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a huge difference from the room temperature of 60-70 degrees. Bed bugs are going to be able to find you with no problem.
What Attracts Bed Bugs?
So when the question is “what attracts bed bugs?” the answer is, unfortunately, “just about everything you do”! You’re not only attracting them to your body with your odor, breath, and warmth, but you’re also attracting them into your luggage if you’re in a hotel room. Can anything be done?
There are steps you can take, and we detailed some of them above. The most important thing you can do in order to prevent bed bugs is to avoid bringing them home in the first place, and that means grabbing some luggage covers and protecting yourself while you’re in a hotel. If you don’t bring them home in the first place, you won’t have to worry about how your sleeping body can attract them.
Still, if you do bring them home, isn’t it nice that there’s an all-natural bed bug solution?
Let us at Bed Bug Store assist you. All our products come with a 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. We have been relieving customers of their bed bugs since 2003. Our products are also 100% all-natural, chemical and pesticide-free. The smell you notice when using our solution, is the fresh scent of peppermint.
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Made with 100% natural essential oils, Bed Bug Patrol is a great alternative to harsh pesticides and insecticides that bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to.
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