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do your bed bugs smell?

(18 posts)
  1. effinbedbugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 1:36:01
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    I've read that the nasty smell comes from large infestations. Well before I knew we had bed bugs, I would notice a smell that I have never smelled before. It would happen mainly at night before we were sleeping but maybe watching tv in bed. It was so nasty and I would be like, "what the hell is that smell???" When I found blood stains I had no idea what it was. I told my husband we should put a line of scotch tape town the center of the bed to see who was bleeding jokingly. Then I realized it was nothing to joke about when I found a live one! I found the source behind the curtains. I didn't think it was a huge infestation but the smell was strong as hell. Everything is clean and fumigated 2x. Climbups now to monitor. I smelled the smell in a lessor form every once in awhile and would get so upset. I haven't smelled it in about 2 weeks now. Is this a sign they are gone? Do u guys have a smell or use it for monitoring? Thanks.

    Also, how do I find my old posts?

  2. cacutie

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 4:09:46
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    I've honestly never smelled anything (except for the residual chemical smell in the air after I sprayed. I kinda' honestly did that on overkill probably.)

    But I did notice when I squished the first and second bb I ever saw (which made me realize i had them) they smelled really gross when I squished them. It was like strong b.o. mixed with that stink bug smell. I'm positive it's them and not my nutritious blood.

  3. bedbugman

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 9:23:18
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    mmmmm bed bugs have a nice sweet almond type smell.

  4. effinbedbugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 11:46:53
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    Ew. There was nothing good about the smell probably because I associate it with one of the worst things that ever happened to me. I get the rotten raspberries description but you cannot fully explain the smell. It smells like no other thing. I'm asking if the smell is only indicative of a large infestation? I know that we have (had, fingers crossed) bb, I'm just trying to discern how bad of a problem it was. I have never found dead bugs or casings after the fumigation. Anyone have a similar experience?

  5. nycyn

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 11:55:51
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    bedbugman - 2 hours ago  » 
    mmmmm bed bugs have a nice sweet almond type smell.

    That's interesting. Next time I smell what I've smelled I'll see if it smells like marzipan. It was sweetish.

  6. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 11:57:29
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    I've been in very large infestations and smelled nothing at all. Close to where heavy harborage sites are I could smell a rusty smell which makes sense since there is deposited digested blood in high concentrations and this is oxidized iron. I can smell this in the jars of the bed bug populations in my office. Bed bugs produce many odors from their glands and different ones elicit various behaviors from other bugs. The alarm pheromone to me smells like coriander, cilantro and citronella in various concentrations. Some people may think raspberry. The alarm pheromone components may be secreted in different concentrations to result in different behaviors on the part of other bed bugs in the population. Sometimes the alarm pheromone odor comes from the jars, too, and usually arises after feeding since the jar has been flipped over and sometimes shaken during feeding on my arm. Some bugs probably are annoyed by my behavior! One publication by Agriculture Canada likened the scent of coriander to bed bug odor (this was noted on bedbugger some time in the past).

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult in all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology.
  7. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 11:58:37
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    Personally I think many people write the statement about the odor produced by large infestations because they have read it somewhere, not because they have personally experienced it.

  8. nycyn

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 12:13:37
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    loubugs - 7 minutes ago  » 
    Personally I think many people write the statement about the odor produced by large infestations because they have read it somewhere, not because they have personally experienced it.

    I believe that about a friend who I am still convinced is crazy. She smelled "dirty socks" after she called in everybody. (No bugs observed to date and one possible insect bite.) I think probably someone (not the initial consult--a PCO who found nothing) told her about an odor.

    Me? I smelled something odd and sweet in my BR before I even learned about odor, which I read here.

  9. PANewBugger

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 13:53:49
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    Before we knew we had bed bugs, as I had done many nights before, I fell asleep on the living room couch. I remember right before dozing off I smelled something really really sweet - never smelled anything like it before (or since). In the morning, I had 3 small bite marks in a row. Shortly after, PCO came in and found a dead bed bug. During prep work, we found 3 lives ones. After treatments, have found a few dead ones.

  10. reian

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Nov 5 2010 23:12:48
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    my ex roomate's room has a musty sweet smell; he infested it with BBs; he left last month but the room still smells very strong. My friends can identify the smell also, so its not just me.

    I treated it multiple times (like 6 gallons of cyonara over a period of a month, sprayed everywhere in the empty room, DE applied everywhere). I then mopped walls/floors many times with pine sole, burnt incense etc.

    Finally I I spread baking soda and coffee and that hid the smell for a couple days... but now the original, sweet musty odor is back!!

    Does anyone have any suggestions??

  11. reian

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Nov 5 2010 23:14:10
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    Im doing another round of cyonara spray...

  12. reian

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Nov 5 2010 23:16:46
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    ...but its been done so many times, and Im gathering that BBs actually dont smell that much, from what Ive read. I have know idea what to do, I have to rent out the room! I might get an active bed bug monitor. any suggestions highly apprecaited! thanks.

  13. Richard56

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Nov 5 2010 23:24:12
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    Just because you have bed bugs and a musty odor doesn't mean there's necessarily a cause and effect. Look for other causes. Mouse urine, for example produces a strong musty odor. Tell tale signs are droppings that look like little black pieces of rice. The solution here are mouse traps. It's also possible the source of the odor is gone but it has permeated the room. I believe some companies utilize ozone generators in these cases. Research it out.

    Richard

  14. reian

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Nov 5 2010 23:34:15
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    thanks richard!

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Feb 29 2012 3:18:01
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    Since someone just linked to this thread, I will add that we also have a FAQ about "the smell."

    http://bedbugger.com/2008/10/27/ill-take-what-do-bed-bugs-smell-like-for-500-please-alex/

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  16. Crime Scene Clean

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue May 15 2012 12:16:42
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    To effinbedbugs,
    Yes! I smell it. I know 100% what you mean. I found one bug and gave it to my apartment manager. I took a picture, but only with an iPad 2 (they don't joke about how bad the camera is for no reason). But the smell, in my case, it was so bad that during thier first nights here (weeks ago by now) I was heaving over the toilet. The smell drives me crazy, I can taste it even, because I'm breathing it in.
    The manager promised a guy would come but I haven't yet seen him. But I am grateful the manager was so kind to me. He even shared how they are all in movie theaters, didn't treat me as though I have the plague, though I feel like I do.
    I'm glad not to be the only one. If I could recoup some of my costs, even so far, on ziplocs, soap, more soap, contractors bags, etc., I would love to earn extra $ as a bedbug sniffing human. I know I could do it.
    Thanks for sharing about this.
    Best to you,
    C

  17. ITortureBugs4Revenge

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Thu Nov 14 2013 21:24:09
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    Bedbugs do produce a powerful odor for something so small, i have noticed even a single bedbug will leave a smell detectable over several feet away when the bug is frightened or being screwed with. To me they smell very similar to wax crayons mixed with something else I'm not familiar with.

    .....I am NOT an expert.....

    Any advice i give here is based solely on my own personal experiences in dealing with bedbugs & other household vermin.
  18. Nemo

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Thu Nov 14 2013 23:56:41
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    Next time I run into bed bugs on an inspection and catch one on some tape I'll be sure to sniff it!


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