Do bed bugs smell?

Bed bugs give off a distinctive smell that can sometimes come to be perceived by some people. Some describe it as a smell adulzado and stale, like strawberries past, others as a smell of humidity or a closed environment, but in any case, all the people that have come to detect the odor given off by the bed bugs would agree that there is an unpleasant odor.

The science behind the smell of bed bugs

Bed bugs produce their scent from the glands located in the dorsal part of the abdomen in the pupae, while adult bed bugs produced in the glands of the last segment of the thorax. It seems that the smell given off is related to two basic features of the behavior of this insect.

In the first place, the emission of related molecules in the odor of bed bugs has a defensive function, since they are part of the pheromones of alarm of these insects. When the bed bugs feel threatened (whether by attacks of their natural predators, or by attempts of insemination is not desired between the individuals of a same shelter), give off pheromones of alarm that cause the abandonment of the shelters and their dispersion by the infected area.

Second, several recent studies indicate that bed bugs use the same molecules related to pheromone alarm to generate aggregation pheromones, which are used by bed bugs to generate the shelters and prevent its dehydration. In any case, these compounds are responsible for the “smell of bed bug”, and in cases of severe infections can even come to be perceived by the sense of smell human.

The smell of Bug can be very useful

Although not all people have the same ability to smell the bed bugs, their scent is not a factor that allows to quantify the severity of the infestation, but it can be used to detect its presence in infected areas, using trained dogs, which have a capacity of olfactory much more developed than the human being.

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