The scent gland of bed bugs produces a musty odor that is often described as smelling like coriander. The smell is not pleasant. If you have an infestation of bed bugs you may begin to notice your home smells like moldy shoes or wet moldy clothes.
If you are at a point where you notice a Bed Bug Smell, then it could be a good possibility that you may have a problem.
While many folks describe the smell of a bed bug infestation as smelling like spoiled raspberries, some may also describe it as similar to coriander. Although not all people smell the bed bugs similarly, coriander or cilantro seems to be a common description. You will sometimes also hear folks describe the Bed Bug Smell as similar to almonds or somewhat acidic marzipan (almonds). However, not everyone describes a smell when encountering bed bug infestations. It isn’t always the same experience for everyone.
When those people that describe the smell of bed bugs as similar to coriander, they are in good company. Coriander is an herb and belongs to the carrot family. The Greek word for “bug” is at the root of the word koris. When the seeds of coriander are ripe, they emit a musty, sweetish aroma that has been compared to that of bedbugs. It’s almost as though coriander smells like bed bugs versus bed bugs smell like coriander.
It is commonly thought that the smell originates from the droppings of the bug. Typically when there are larger populations it is more likely that bed bugs odors are often detected. It may be months of an infestation before a scent is detected. Sometimes after a very heavy infestation that has been around long term, a minty smell is detected also. Crushed bed bugs tend to give off a strong smell. Although it is not likely that a few bed bugs living in an area will be smelled, it is pretty common that a large infestation may be noticed by the smell it emanates. The musky smell is also based on pheromones produced by the bed bug. Bed Bug Detection Dogs are trained to sniff out and find bed bugs based on smell. Dogs have the ability to smell bud bugs and infestations that humans never could expect to detect. Dogs have been able to boast a 97% detection rate for bed bugs while humans visually inspecting have a much smaller success rate.
Dogs have been a very positive tool in the battle of the bed bug. Typically a dog can find a bed bug infestation within just a few minutes of searching. Because dogs are so successful in finding bed bugs, they have been used extensively in the last decade or so. As infestations increase in number and frequency, dogs who are experts at finding the Bed Bug Smell are being trained at a much higher rate than in years past. The majority of dog training facilities are based in Florida but more and more businesses are training dogs to employ in the bed bug industry. Man’s best friend, may truly be the bed bugs worst enemy.
Mike Deutsch MS, BCE
Arrow Exterminating Company, Inc.
Lynbrook, NY 11563