Woman with magnifying glass detecting bed bugs in bedroom

Bed bugs have become a major concern for many homeowners and travelers, causing unpleasant living conditions and sleepless nights. As you seek to understand what attracts these pesky insects, it’s essential to be aware of their habits and preferences.

Primarily, bed bugs are drawn to your body heat and the carbon dioxide you exhale while sleeping. This attraction is compounded by other biological signatures that make them more likely to invade your sleeping space.

Bed bugs have a notorious appetite for human blood which tops their list of preferred meals along with other warm-blooded animals.

Though they may feed off pets like dogs or cats plus creatures such as rodents or birds – it is evident that humans bear the brunt of their feeding habits most often.

Being aware of such information can help prevent bed bug outbreaks so that you may enjoy a safe and snug living area with loved ones by your side.

What Attracts Bed Bugs

Carbon Dioxide and Body Heat

Bed bugs are drawn to you primarily due to the carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale and your body heat. When you sleep, you are inactive, and the CO2 you exhale surrounds your head, creating a perfect target for these pests.

In addition, bed bugs can sense warmth and are attracted to your body heat while you slumber.

Odor and Scent

Another factor that lures bed bugs to you is the scent of your skin, which contains certain chemicals that attract them.

These chemicals include pheromones and other sweet-smelling compounds like aldehydes. Pheromones serve as communication signals, drawing bed bugs into a specific area, and aldehydes further pique their interest.

Blood Meals

Why do bed bugs seek out humans above other potential hosts? Simply put we offer a rich supply of the vital blood they need to survive.

Although these insects do not discriminate between blood types. What they are looking for is a secure meal and finding a warm-blooded person or animal is absolutely critical.

What Do Bed Bugs Hate the Most

Bed bugs are not only annoying but also difficult to get rid of. However, there are certain things they dislike that you can use to your advantage in preventing and managing their presence. Here are a few things that bed bugs hate the most:

1. Scents that Bed Bugs Hate

There are a number of scents that tend to repel bed bugs. These include:

  • Lavender: This scent is not only calming to humans, but it can also repel bed bugs. Consider using lavender essential oil or a lavender-scented spray in your living space.
  • Garlic: The pungent aroma of garlic can be a deterrent to bed bugs. Either use a garlic-based spray or leave crushed garlic cloves near potential bed bug-hiding spots.
  • Fresh Mint: Mint is another scent that bed bugs dislike. Mint essential oil or fresh mint leaves can help keep these pests at bay.
  • Lemon Juice: Citrus scents, like lemon, can repel bed bugs as well. A mixture of lemon juice and water in a spray bottle can be used to keep them away.

This will not get rid of bed bugs it just might make them go somewhere else in the home or room.

Lavender flower, soap, extract and essential oil isolated on white

2. Alcohol

Bed bugs are not fans of alcohol, as it can dry out their exoskeleton and prove fatal. Using a spray containing at least 70% rubbing alcohol on areas where bed bugs may hide can help keep them away or even kill some.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

This natural substance can kill bed bugs by damaging their exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate and die. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth near potential bed bug hiding spots can be an effective way to deter them.

Remember that prompt action must be taken to get rid of bed bugs. Many people will consult with professional exterminators to help get rid of bed bugs.  

What is the Main Cause of Bed Bugs

It’s important to understand that bed bugs are attracted to certain biological factors. One of the main reasons you may find bed bugs in your home is due to their attraction to warm-blooded creatures, such as humans.

Aside from these biological factors, an infestation can also be caused by them hitching a ride on luggage, clothing, or furniture that has been exposed to a previous infestation. Being vigilant when traveling or acquiring second-hand items is crucial in preventing a new infestation in your home.

In summary, the main cause of bed bugs in your home or personal items can be attributed to their attraction to your blood. They also have the impressive ability to hitch rides on various items to find their next host.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

I. Treatment

To effectively control bed bugs, you need to follow a multi-step process. Start by washing your bedding and clothes in hot water for 30 minutes, then put them in a dryer on the highest heat setting for another 30 minutes.

Vacuum your entire living space, focusing on areas where you find signs of bed bugs, such as reddish-brown excrement spots or shed skin.

Cleanliness is crucial in preventing further infestation.

II. Insecticides

Using appropriate insecticides is essential for bed bug control. Some options include:

  • Pyrethroids: These are contact insecticides that target the nervous system of bed bugs. Be cautious, as resistance to pyrethroids has been reported in some bed bug populations.
  • Neonicotinoids: A newer class of insecticides, these chemicals also target the nervous system but may be more effective against resistant populations.

Before using any insecticides, consult with a pest control expert to ensure their safe and effective use.

Best Insecticide

Temprid FX

Temprid bed bugs
  • Quick knockdown
  • Long-lasting control
  • Broad-spectrum insecticide
  • Kills bed bugs
  • Concentrate spray
Best IGR

Gentrol Aerosol

  • Disrupts development
  • Growth regulator
  • Stop reproduction
  • Hard-to-reach areas
  • Works on bed bugs

III. Gel

Gel-based insecticides can be applied to cracks and crevices, targeting the bed bugs’ hiding spots. This method is particularly useful for hard-to-reach areas or in combination with other treatment methods. Always adhere to the product’s instructions and recommendations from professionals.

Remember that a combination of prevention, detection, and research-backed treatments is the key to successful bed bug control. Make sure to maintain a clean environment, regularly inspect your belongings for signs of infestation, and act promptly if you detect bed bugs in your space.

Where Bed Bugs Hide and How Do They Get Into Your Home

1. Bedding and Furniture

When you’re dealing with bed bugs, it’s crucial to know where they tend to hide. In your home, these insects often find refuge in and around your bed.

They may reside in cracks and crevices of mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. Additionally, bed bugs can lurk behind headboards, inside bedding, and even in the folds of bed sheets.

Apart from your bed, these pests hide in other furniture pieces as well. Check behind electrical outlet covers, inside drawers and storage areas, along the fold of curtains, and in the pleats of lampshades.

Moreover, clutter around your bed and living space provides an ideal environment for them to reside.

2. Hotels and Travel

During your travels, be wary of potential bed bug infestations in hotels and other accommodations. These pests can easily hitchhike within luggage, clothing, and linens. Always inspect your room by checking:

  • Mattress seams
  • Box spring covers
  • Behind headboards
  • Within the folds of upholstered furniture

Keep your luggage off the floor and bed to minimize the risk of picking up unwanted hitchhikers.

3. Public Transportation and Shared Spaces

Unfortunately, bed bugs are no strangers to public transportation and shared spaces such as apartments, buses, and trains. They can often hide in:

  • Seat cushions and folds
  • Windowsills
  • Carpeting
  • Cracks and crevices of shared vehicles

Always be cautious and inspect your surroundings when using public transportation or residing in shared spaces to avoid bringing bed bugs home. Remind yourself that these pests are skilled hiders, so be thorough in your inspections and conscious of their hiding spots.

Common Misconceptions

One common misconception is that bed bugs are attracted to dirt and uncleanliness. In reality, bed bugs are not attracted to dirt or grime, but rather to warmth, human blood, and carbon dioxide.

Clutter, however, can provide more hiding spots for these critters.

Another myth is that bed bugs only live in hotels or when you travel. While it’s true that these pests can be found in hotels and may hitchhike on your clothing or luggage, they can also infest your home, regardless of travel.

Bed bugs are not exclusive to any specific place; they simply need a source of blood to feed on.

Some people suspect that certain blood types attract bed bugs more than others. However, these pests do not discriminate between blood types.

They are attracted to all humans and warm-blooded creatures, like pets. Dogs, cats, and other pets can also serve as a blood source for bed bugs, but these pests primarily prefer humans due to our relatively hairless skin, which makes it easier for them to access our blood.

There’s also a misconception that bed bugs are nocturnal and only feed at night. While they do tend to be more active at night, these pests can also feed during the day, especially if they feel safe and undisturbed. The key is that they prefer to feed when their host is inactive and sleeping.

You might hear someone claim that food attracts bed bugs, but this is not true. Bed bugs are solely attracted to blood, so things like urine, food, or period blood don’t entice them.

Lastly, some believe that traditional insecticide treatments are always effective against bed bugs. In recent years, however, bed bugs have developed resistance to certain chemical treatments, making them harder to eliminate.

It is crucial to employ a variety of methods, such as heat treatments or specialized insecticides, to effectively eradicate these pests from your home.


In summary, bed bugs are attracted to a variety of factors that make them pesky pests in your home. The primary attractants are your body heat and the carbon dioxide you exhale.

These bugs are drawn to the presence of warmth and CO2, especially when you’re asleep and relatively motionless.

Another factor that might attract bed bugs is the presence of human sweat and body odor. These tiny, blood-sucking insects can detect and follow your unique biological signatures, making them especially troublesome.

To recap, be aware of the following factors that attract bed bugs:

  • Body heat
  • Carbon dioxide exhaled
  • Human sweat and body odor

Armed with this knowledge, you can now take the necessary steps to prevent bed bugs from finding their way into your home or to minimize potential infestations.

Remember to always maintain a clean environment, wash your bedding frequently, and monitor your living space for any signs of these unwanted pests.

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