These uninvited little monsters can breed like rabbits and quickly infect your home, not just your bed.

What attracts bed bugs in the first place is often the subject of debate. But most of the time they are transferred on clothing from hotels, nursing home, libraries, taxies, busses and other public shared spaces.

Most people think that bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes but actually, they are out for blood.

What attracts bed bugs to your home ...It's the smell!

As I have mentioned in the introduction bed bugs do not chase the dirt. You can get bed bugs from just about any public place, such as:

  • Offices
  • Daycares
  • Airports
  • Residential homes
  • Nursing homes
  • Libraries
  • Educational institutions
  • Retail stores
  • Comercial facilities

As opportunistic bugs search for food sources everywhere, you can also pick up them in taxis, trains, cars, buses, and cruise ships. If they fail to find a food source in one place they move to another ‘till they locate one.

Since bed bugs are experts in hiding for sure most of the time you are not aware that you carry one and they will come to your home with you. For example, when you arrive home from traveling, inspect your clothing for bed bugs and wash everything in high heat.

As an added precaution, when you stay in hotels always keep your cloth off the floor.

What attracts bed bugs: Myths VS Facts!

I will try to debunk some myths for you and present you with some facts about bed bugs and what attracts them to your home.

What attracts bed bugs Myths VS Facts

Wood - MYTH

Even cracks in the wood are great hiding spots for bed bugs the material itself is not as attractive for them as we think. They choose the wooden frame of your bed only because it is close to your mattress and bedding and it is a great place for them to hide while they are not feeding.

So discarding wooden furniture won’t make an infestation any less likely. Do not waste your time with that.

Household chemicals - MYTH

  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric softeners

These chemicals above are the most common household chemicals that we all use in our homes almost every day, but contrary to the generally accepted view that bed bugs are attracted by them this is not true.

Bed bugs actually produce a chemical on their own, called histamine, which attracts other bed bugs.

Period blood - MYTH

Bed bugs are no more attracted to a person on their period than anybody else. It is body heat and carbon dioxide that draw them in. They have no mechanism for sensing if somebody is on their period.

Urine - MYTH

Even though urine had the right acidity to provide enough carbon dioxide to interest bed bugs, there’s no scientific evidence showing that urine is an attractant.

Bed bugs are “invisible” - MYTH

Most people thought that bed bugs are invisible and that can’t be seen. But actually, bed bugs, eggs, and nymphs are visible with naked eyes, but you’re more likely to catch them out at night.

Dark bed sheets - FACT

Because bed bugs can camouflage in darker colors and gain more protection from predators and that’s why they are attracted by the dark bed sheets. Bed bugs tend to gather around red and black colored items.

Dirty laundry - FACT

Dirty laundry is attractive to bed bugs because of the smell that reminds them of the potential host. So always keep your clothes off the floor.

Warmth - FACT

Regardless of what you wear, or what is the temperature of your room, your body temperature will betray you. Bed bugs know that a source is likely to mean a host is nearby.

Carbon dioxide - FACT

Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, as it is in the breath of a potential food source. Carbon dioxide serves as a marker that a suitable living host is close at hand.

How to make bed bugs come out of their bunker

There are a few ways that can make bed bugs come out of their bunker so you can eliminate them or reduce their number.

By heat

One of the ways to make bed bugs come out of hiding is to use a steamer or a hairdryer to heat the suspected areas such as mattresses. Normally, none of these sources are hot enough to kill bed bugs but you can use them to lure bed bugs out of their hiding spots.

Night watch

Sacrifice one or more nights for night watch and keep an eye to locate their nests since they are “night birds” and they are most active then. Most common nesting places such as box springs, inside mattress seams, and crevices in the bed frame should be given the most attention.

What you can do to keep bed bugs out?

There are a few things that you can do if you want to keep bed bugs out of your home.

  • First, if you bring home any second-hand furniture or any other object, mandatory inspect them for signs of pests and give them a good and thorough cleaning. If it is possible to launder the item, do it on the highest heat settings possible;
  • Another thing that you can do is to wash guest bedding in hot water and clean up the clutter around your home anywhere you can;
  • When your children come home from visiting their friend’s homes, inspect their clothes for bed bugs. If you find something that indicates the presence of bed bugs wash their clothing on high heat because only soap and water aren’t enough to kill the pests.
  • Inspect seats in the public on public transit. Even a short bus ride is enough for these pests to attach themselves to you. They detect body heat and move quickly to find a host. It could be you.

If you get bed bugs once it doesn’t mean that you have done with them. You can easily meet them again so it is best to keep up with these tips consistently in order to minimize your chances of future infestation.

FAQ’s

No. They are attracted to blood. The blood type has absolutely no meaning for bed bugs. Thanks to the big amount of exposed skin you are an easy peasy target for bed bugs while you sleeping.

Are certain blood types are more attractive to bed bugs

Pets are potential hosts for bed bugs because they have readily accessible blood. But fortunately, your cat or dog is not the preferred source of blood for bed bugs.

The smell of worn clothing and used bedding is something that bed bugs find very appealing because of how it smells once it’s come in contact with humans. So the best protection for you is to do your laundry on a regular basis.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.