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8 things That Attract Bed bugs

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Bed bugs are different from most pests that do not discriminate.

These bugs will infest any home in any neighborhood. They will bite anyone, no matter the age or gender.

But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing that attracts these pests more than others.

In this article, we’ll go over everything that attracts bed bugs.

Let’s dive in.

1. Carbon Dioxide

Bed bugs feed on our blood. To find us, they use the carbon dioxide we exhale.

When we sleep, the carbon dioxide we exhale creates a cloud around us due to the limited movement.

These clouds are highly attractive to bed bugs.

For many years, humans have used CO2 do beat bed bugs.

We use machines that produce CO2 to attract, trap, and eliminate bed bugs.

2. Temperature - Warmth

Bed bugs also use warmth to track its host.

This heat-seeking behavior may also explain why bed bugs typically bit us around our back and midsection.

These areas tend to be the warmest areas of the human body.

It is important to note, however, that extreme heat repels bed bugs.

In particular, research found that bed bug activity increases at temperatures higher than 80 degrees.

Temperatures produced by hairdryers and hand warmers, for example, are perfect for attracting bed bugs.

But, at temperatures higher than 110 degrees, the bed bugs fled the area, and there was no activity.

That’s because bed bugs can recognize whether the warmth comes from a potential host or potential danger.

Exposure to temperatures beyond 120 Fahrenheit is fatal to bed bugs.

3. Blood

Blood is the only thing that bed bugs eat.

So, it comes as no surprise that bed bugs are attracted to blood.

While bed bugs are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide, their ultimate goal is to get a bloodmeal.

Bed bugs prefer to drink human blood, but they will also feed on other mammals such as dogs, cats, birds, and rodents.

It’s important to note that bed bugs do not prefer any specific blood type.

That is, bed bugs will drink your blood, whether you are a type A or type B.

There is some research showing that bed bugs prefer blood types that they have eaten in the past.

For example, if a bed bug grew up feeding on a type A host, it would prefer a person with an A than type B.

This research may help explain why some people are bitten continuously while others are left untouched in the same house.

That said, bed bugs will consume any blood if there are no other food options.

They will not forgo a potential food source because they are not the blood type they are used to.

4. Histamine

Histamine is a chemical that bed bugs use to attract each other to a host.

Bed bugs do this by leaving this chemical on the surface of the skin after biting you.

This chemical signals to other bed bugs that there is food, and it’s safe to eat.

This behavior can help explain why people with bed bugs often end up with clusters of bites.

After a bed bug finds an area to bite you, it alerts other bed bugs in your home to come to enjoy the buffet.

5. Dirty Laundry

Bed bugs are also attracted to dirty laundry. 

It’s not the reason you think. The bed bugs are not eating your clothes or surviving off the salt and sweets trapped inside. 

They are attracted to your smell. 

Research shows that bed bugs prefer to congregate around dirty clothes rather than clean garments.

This scent detection is a learned behavior that bed bugs use to find their host. 

The logic is that a host is more likely to be around clothes that smell like a human than clean clothes. 

6. Nightime

Bed bugs are most active at night.

They prefer eating a night as a host-seeking mechanism.

Since humans sleep and at night, adapting to eat at that time is likely an evolutionary adaptation.

Research shows that if the host is more active at night and less active during the day, bed bugs will adapt their behavior to ensure that they get sufficient food.

7. Exposed Skin

Bed bugs will attack areas where their skin is exposed, including your back, arms, legs, torso, ankles, etc.

The less exposed skin you have on your body, the less attractive you will be to bed bugs.

In most cases, if you sleep with long pants and sleeves, bed bugs might resort to the only part of your exposed body: your neck and face.

8. Black and Red

Research shows that bed bugs have color preferences.

They are found to prefer black and red compared to green, yellow, and white.

There are some evolutionary reasons why bed bugs prefer black and red.

Bed bugs prefer black because it likely resembles a dark place that is safe and offers protection.

They also prefer red because it resembles the color of other bed bugs. As such, they see the color red as a signal for safe harborage.

Consequently, bed bugs are more attracted to black or red bedsheets and than light-colored bed sheets.

They’re also attracted to black or red furniture.

FAQ

What Blood Type Attracts Bed Bugs?

There is a common misconception that bed bugs bite some people more than others due to their blood type.

The reality is that bed bugs do not prefer a specific blood type.

There is some research showing that bed bugs prefer blood types that they have eaten in the past.

For example, if a bed bug grew up feeding on a type A host, it would prefer a person with an A than type B.

This preference may explain why one person who sleeps on bed bug-infested gets bitten while another doesn’t.

That said, bed bugs will consume any blood if there are no other food options.

They will not forgo a potential food source because they are not the blood type they are used to.

What Scents Attract Bed Bugs?

There are no particular scents that attract bed bugs into your room. 

Bed bugs use three key signals to determine if they are interested in a particular area:

  • C02
  • Heat 
  • Histamine

Do Pets Attract Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are generally not attracted to pets. Humans are their primary source of food.

That said, bed bugs will feed on pets if there is a lack of food.

Bed bugs are known to feed on mammals’ blood, such as dogs, cats, birds, and rodents.

What Food Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are only interested in one food source: blood.

These pests are mainly attracted to humans but will drink blood from other warm-blooded mammals such as dogs, cats, birds, and rodents.

Are Bed Bugs Attracted to Period Blood?

No bed bugs are not attracted to period blood.

Bed bugs are attracted to heat, carbon dioxide, and histamine because they lead them to their human host.

Bed bugs have no way of smelling or detecting period blood.

how to make bed bugs come out of hiding?

To make bed bugs come out, you can use CO2 and heat.

Bed bugs are attracted to these two components because they generally help them find their host.

You can also draw bed bugs using a bed bug lure.

A bed bug lure is a chemical designed to attract bed bugs.

Bed bug lures are often used in conjunction with bed bug traps to eliminate and monitor bed bugs.

To do this, you can place one pack of lure inside your pitfall trap to attract the bed bugs. Once they are inside, they will not be able to come out.

Resource: What Brings Bed Bugs Out Of Hiding?

Are bed bugs attracted to urine?

Bed bugs are not attracted to urine. Urine is 90% water, which means there is nothing in urine that will attract bed bugs.

can bed bugs bite your private areas?

Bed bugs can bite your private area, although it’s unlikely.

That’s because bed bugs only target exposed skin. Since private areas are typically covered, bed bugs leave them alone.

What Bed Bugs are not attracted to?

Dirty homes 

Bed bugs are not attracted to dirty homes. Dirt has little impact on bed bugs other than providing additional areas to hide. 

The area where they live will depend on an available food source, not whether the house is dirty. 

Dirty People

Skipping the shower after the gym will not make bed bugs are more attracted to you. 

Hygiene does not affect how attractive you are toward bed bugs. 

Human Smell

Humans don’t secret any scent that attracts bed bugs towards them. 

Bed bugs are attracted to the CO2 and heat that humans produce. 

They use these as signs that there is a host present. 

Your scent or perfume does not attract bed bugs, and they do not use it as a signal that you are present. 

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