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How to Get Rid Of Bed Bug Smell In Your Home

Do you find yourself waking up to an unpleasant smell in the morning? Are you embarrassed when your guests visit and experience a foul odor emanating from your home?

If so, you may have a bed bug infestation that needs to be addressed. Whether it’s been caused by sleep deprivation or not, the stench can be difficult to eliminate.

Fortunately, we’ve got the perfect solution for getting rid of bed bug smell in your home. Keep on reading to learn more about how you can elude this pesky problem quickly and easily.

Bed bug crawling across the top of a bedsheet

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

As part of their biology, bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of their hosts.

They’re typically found in mattresses, box springs, and furniture, and can also be found in fabrics, carpets, and other upholstered items.

Bed bugs can be transferred from one place to another through the movement of people or objects such as furniture or clothing.

Pest control methods like using sprays and pesticides are often used to get rid of bed bugs, but they can be resilient and difficult to remove.

Bed bug behavior often includes hiding during the day and coming out at night to feed on their host’s blood.

They can also spread quickly from one room to another, making it hard to completely eradicate them, especially in settings like colleges or nursing homes.

To prevent getting bed bugs, it’s important to be aware of the signs of infestation and take preventative measures such as inspecting furniture and mattresses for signs of bed bugs.

Regularly vacuuming and laundering of bedding and clothing can also help reduce the risk of bed bug infestation. 

Description Of The Bed Bug Smell

Our noses can detect the strong, musty odor that comes from bed bugs.

This odor is a result of the pheromones they release, which allows them to communicate with one another. It’s also caused by the fecal matter and cast skins they leave behind.

The smell of bed bugs can be unpleasant and overwhelming, and it can linger in a home long after the bugs have been exterminated.

The odor sources of bed bugs can be difficult to pinpoint and can come from various areas.

They can be found in mattresses, furniture, and carpets, but they can also hide in wall cracks, baseboards, and electrical outlets.

The scent effects of bed bugs can depend on how long they’ve been in a home and how many there are, but it’s usually a strong, musty smell that can be difficult to get rid of.

Fortunately, there are a number of extermination methods that can help to eliminate the bed bug smell from your home.

Woman spraying an air freshener to get rid of a bed bug smell

Causes Of The Bed Bug Smell

The pheromones released by bed bugs, their fecal matter, and their cast skins are the main causes of the musty odor they emit. Bed bug biology is the key to understanding why they create such a smell.

Bed bugs are small, flat, brown parasitic insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans.

They’re nocturnal, which means they’re most active at night, and they use their pheromones to communicate.

As their populations grow, these pheromones are released in greater amounts, leading to a musty odor that can spread throughout your home.

Another cause of the bed bug smell is their fecal matter. Bed bug feces are small, dark-colored spots that can be found on mattresses, box springs, and other furniture.

As they feed, they excrete a musty odor which can be detected by humans. The smell can become especially pronounced if the bed bug infestation is large and left untreated.

Finally, bed bug cast skins can also contribute to the smell in your home. As bed bugs molt, they leave behind their old skins, which emit a musty odor.

If you suspect a bed bug infestation, you should look for these cast skins as well as fecal matter and live bed bugs.

bed bugs crawling across a spring mattress

How to Get Rid Of Bed Bug Smell In Your Home

Now that we understand what causes the bed bug smell, let’s take a look at some practical ways to get rid of the bed bug odor.

Vacuuming and Steam Cleaning

We’ve got to get rid of the bed bug smell in our home, so let’s start with vacuuming and steam cleaning.

Vacuuming is the first line of defense against bed bugs. It’s important to vacuum any areas where bed bugs may have originated, such as furniture, carpets, and bedding. This will help remove eggs, larvae, and adults.

Steam cleaning is also a great way to kill bed bugs and their eggs.

Steam cleaning techniques should include using a steam cleaner with a high temperature setting to penetrate deep into furniture and carpets.

Chemical treatments may be necessary to target hard-to-reach areas.

Keeping the area clean and free of clutter can also help prevent bed bug infestations.

Bed bug insect crawling on a blanket throw

Air Purifiers

Frequently, air purifiers are used to help remove the bed bug smell from our home. They provide enhanced air cleaning to help filter out odors, allergens, and other airborne irritants.

Here are four ways air purifiers can help us get rid of bed bug smell:

  1. Natural Repellents: Air purifiers can help disperse natural repellents like peppermint, eucalyptus, and cedar oil, which are known to be effective at reducing bed bug smell.
  2. Chemical Treatments: Air purifiers can help circulate chemical treatments like aerosol sprays and foggers into the air, allowing them to penetrate hard-to-reach places where bed bugs may be residing.
  3. Odor Reduction: Air purifiers can help absorb odors, which can be especially helpful for when we’ve done a deep clean of our home and need to get rid of any lingering bed bug smell.
  4. Improved Air Quality: Air purifiers can help improve the air quality in our home, which can be especially beneficial if we’ve been dealing with a bed bug infestation.

Essential Oils

As well as using air purifiers, another way to help get rid of bed bug smell in our home is by utilizing essential oils.

These natural remedies are a great way to effectively remove odors and help with pest control.

Essential oils like tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus are all great options for eliminating bed bug odors.

Not only do they work to mask the bad smell, but they can also aid in repelling bed bugs.

To use essential oils, you can either put a few drops into a spray bottle with water and spray it around the affected area, or you can fill a bowl with water and put a few drops in the water and place it near the affected area.

You can put a few drops of the essential oil onto a cotton ball and place the cotton ball around the affected area.

You can also mix a few drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil and then rub it onto the affected area.

Whatever method you choose, essential oils can be a great natural remedy for getting rid of bed bug smell in your home.

Laundering And Drying

Besides using essential oils to help with pest control, another way to get rid of bed bug smell in our home is to launder and dry the affected items.

Here are four steps to follow for successful laundering and drying:

  1. Use the hottest water temperature the fabric can handle.
  2. Use a detergent specifically designed for killing bed bugs.
  3. Wash the item as frequently as possible.
  4. Dry the item on the highest setting.

When laundering and drying items, make sure to read the care labels on the fabric and follow directions carefully. Be sure to check for any signs of bed bug infestation before laundering and drying items.

Also, use a brush to scrub any bed bug eggs from fabric before laundering and drying.

Woman with a magnifying glass looking for bed bugs

Natural Odor Absorbers

We’re tackling the stink of bed bugs in our home by using natural odor absorbers. Natural pest repellents, DIY remedies, and chemical solutions can all help eliminate the smell of bed bugs in your home.

Natural odor absorbers like baking soda, activated charcoal, and white vinegar can be used to absorb and neutralize the smell of bed bugs.

Baking soda is a great natural odor absorber and can be sprinkled onto carpets and other fabrics to help neutralize the smell.

Activated charcoal can also be used to absorb the smell of bed bugs, and it can be placed in areas with strong odors.

White vinegar can also be used to help eliminate the smell of bed bugs, as it’s a natural disinfectant and deodorizer.

Disposing Of Infested Items

Along with using natural odor absorbers to help get rid of the smell of bed bugs, it’s also important to dispose of any infested items in your home. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Identify the infested items by looking for signs of bed bugs.
  2. Call a pest control professional to inspect the items and provide advice on how to safely get rid of them.
  3. Invest in mattress encasements for extra protection against bed bugs.
  4. Dispose of the infested items according to your local regulations.

Doing this will help to prevent the spread of bed bugs and reduce their smell in your home.

How To Deal With Remaining Bed Bug Odor

Once the bed bugs are gone, one of the last steps to take in getting rid of the bed bug smell is to deal with any remaining odor.

To do this, it’s important to use proper cleaning protocols that have been recommended by pest control professionals.

This includes vacuuming carpets and furniture with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum, washing fabrics, and applying insecticides to all infested areas.

It’s also important to thoroughly inspect the home for any remaining bugs, as well as to identify any new signs of a bed bug infestation.

If the smell persists after the cleaning process, it may be necessary to use a deodorizer. There are several commercial products available that can help reduce the smell of bed bugs.

However, it’s important to make sure that the product you use is safe to use around children and pets.

Alternatively, you can try using natural remedies such as vinegar or baking soda to reduce the smell.

single bed bug crawling on a bed

Tips On Preventing Re-Infestation

Now that we’ve dealt with the bed bug odor, it’s important to take steps to prevent a re-infestation.

Taking preventative measures can go a long way in keeping your home safe from bed bugs. Here are four tips to keep re-infestation at bay:

  1. Masking odors: Using products like air fresheners and deodorizers can help mask the smell of bed bugs, making them less likely to return.
  2. Scent elimination: Washing your bedding, furniture, and other fabrics with hot water and detergent can help eliminate the scent of bed bugs.
  3. Chemical treatments: Using professional-grade insecticides can help kill any remaining bed bugs and prevent re-infestation.
  4. Regular inspections: Regularly inspect your home for signs of bed bugs. If you find any evidence, contact a pest control professional immediately.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for signs of bed bugs, and if you find any evidence, contact a professional pest control company immediately, as you might need to get professional treatment for your bedbug infestation.


We’ve now covered some practical solutions to help get rid of the strong scent from bed bugs in your home.

Vacuuming and steam cleaning are two great methods for reducing the odor, as well as using air purifiers and essential oils.

Launder and dry affected items and use natural odor absorbers like baking soda, activated charcoal, and white vinegar.

Disposing of infested items is also necessary for preventing a re-infestation, as is utilizing preventative measures such as masking odors with air fresheners or deodorizers, scent elimination with detergent washes, chemical treatments with insecticides, and regular inspections for signs of bed bugs. 

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