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Do BBs Have A SMELL?

(11 posts)
  1. misery

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 1:06:26
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    I am curious! I heard this, and the place I moved into (that I am now out of) had an on again/off again akin to skunk or something borderline gross/sweet. Could that have been BB related??!

    Not a pro here. Call me Jon Snow...... for I know nothing, except what I've experienced.
  2. spicynat

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 1:25:08
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    Hello,
    I'm not an expert but I've heard professionals talking about a sweet(but not nice sweet) smell but I think it's usually when the infestation is heavy I believe. Not sure if it's the BBs themselves who smell or of it's their feces.

  3. robinsmom

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 1:27:31
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    It's just my nose but to me bb smell musty. The skunky smell, to my nose, is more likely a stinkbug.

    I'm not an expert just a dumb struggling bed bugger like every body else.
  4. misery

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 1:49:26
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    It was almost like a stink bug smell, but not quite. Like an onion was going bad in the walls with some apples or something. I hated the smell, I had NO idea it could be BB related! That is good to know that they can smell. I only found out too late that the building was infested for no less than eight months. Live and learn! I am still freaking out now, hoping I have not brought them with us. I still don't know how I will ever trust my cars again or when I will feel calm pulling my computer out of storage...... and who knows when I will feel good enough to say 'I beat them and they are gone!'

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 9:02:07
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    Hi,

    Yes there is a smell associated with bedbugs, its the scent they use to train detection dogs.

    Most humans cant detect it at low levels because our noses are not sensitive enough, there have however been a few that after year and years of work have developed the ability to int he same way that the world record for 100m is 9.58 seconds but not all humans can run that fast.

    The problem with describing a smell is that there is no universal SI for smells and as such how you describe it relates to what your experiences are. There are also a few different smells from "general bedbugs" through to bedbugs under stress where they release an odorous "alarm pheromone".

    It is therefore far better to keep the focus on easy to confirm signs such as:

    • Live samples
    • Cast skins
    • Faecal traces

    All of which can be easily confirmed by posting an image and asking for an ID.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  6. misery

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 11:08:08
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    Oh I definitely had them, and I definitely smelled..... whatever I smelled. I will keep that smell in mind forever now!

    The fecal/cast skin thing I am wary of (as the only true sign of having them) only because in the nightmare I just left I never found ANY except the initial two tiny skins and small spot of fecal on one mattress. I did find actual live BBs and nymphs for the months that followed. I know I looked in the right places (everywhere aith a high powered flashlight and magnifying glass!!) and I didn't have clutter so they were definitely in the walls and floors with their 'traces.'

    Enter extreme paranoia.... lol. Any other advice? I followed the FAQs for detection, etc. and had I not been SO crazy I wouldn't have found the livimg bugs I did so I might have erroneously thought they were beaten and gone.

  7. misery

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 11:10:06
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    Please ignore my spelling errors. My phone hates me. Lol.

  8. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 11:36:13
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    Hi,

    The confirming trilogy of live samples, cast skins and faecal traces is the essence of confirming bedbugs.

    I can only recall a single case in the last 12 years where these signs were found upon inspection. I am sure you can appreciate that the key skill in doing inspection is experience and what it teaches you about where bedbugs hide and where their evidence is likley to be found. That one case had bedbugs in a very odd place, it would have been resolved had the occupant followed the instructions sooner but it was eventually resolved anyway.

    The next best method if you cant get access to someone with years of experience is to use a monitor such as the Passive Monitor that I developed which encourages any bedbugs to move into the device and in doing so deposit faecal traces and cast skins on the detection plate. This usually occurs in 7 - 14 days and can form part of the treatment strategy.

    If you do in fact have the ability to detect at a low level I would suggest that you investigate using you nose as a business opportunity as those who are reliable earn very well but you may have to do some trials to illustrate that you are reliable.

    David

  9. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 12:31:34
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    The odor of live bed bugs is often coupled with the odor of harborage, but the 2 odors are distinctly different.
    This is from a review of spices and herbs:
    "The name coriander comes from the Greek word koris meaning bug, as the unripe fruits of the coriander plants have a scent similar to bedbugs." Working so many years with them and moving them about with small brushes causes them on occasion to blast the glandular secretion. The immatures (nymphs) have dorsal glands on the abdomen - see in this image of a 5th instar shed skin, while adults have thoracic glands (sorry, no picture). https://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/5424452420/
    The odor of bed bugs is used for canine training and detection as David pointed out and it's important to train them on bed bug odor and not harborage odor.
    The odor of harborage includes bugs, dead bugs, shed skins, waste material (blood and metabolic pale-colored waste), and excess fluid in the gut from a large blood meal. Dogs trained on harborage odor can certainly alert to a harborage, but there might not be any live bugs there, so that alert really isn't useful. Dogs have to be trained off of "dead odors". Dead bugs and fecal waste can be strong smelling and mixes with the glandular secretions, so what you smell might really not be bed bugs alone. Some people don't care for any of the odors, though I think the glandular ones are not repulsive. Stink bug odor is actually different, but similar.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  10. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 16 2014 20:24:31
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    Very interesting Lou! Thank you!

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT
  11. misery

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Dec 18 2014 12:53:12
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    Lou! I GREATLY appreciate your info. Thank you for taking the time to give me a reference. I will use it.

    Bedbugscouk. Appreciate your posts as well. Will also keep them for reference!

    Thanks guys. You are all the best.


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