What Are Bed Bugs Attracted To?

What Are Bed Bugs Attracted To? Bed bugs are pesky insects that feed off human blood while sleeping. They live in homes and hotels, often without being noticed. To avoid bed bugs, know what attracts them. Reduce their chances of inhabiting your space. If you think you have bed bugs, call a pest control professional for removal.

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are pesky and active at night. They feed on people and animals while they sleep. It is not totally clear why they prefer certain places, but they do. Heat, humans’ scent, carbon dioxide, and certain fabrics lure them in. In this article, we discover what brings bed bugs and how to keep them away.

Carbon Dioxide

Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, which humans and pets exhale. They can detect it from up to 20 feet away. Thus, even if there are only a few bed bugs in a room, they can still feed in multiple rooms if the carbon dioxide source is close. Additionally, bed bugs are attracted to body heat, especially at night. They usually hide near potential feeding sources, like mattresses and baseboards, until an outbreak occurs.

Light may also be used as an attractant in warm climates. Finally, pheromones secreted by bed bugs draw other bed bugs in, giving them protection against predators and environmental hazards.


Bed bugs are drawn to humans, due to our heat and carbon dioxide emitted when sleeping. To decide if a spot is suitable for them, they need warmth, hideaways, and our scent.

  • Heat – Bed bugs look for warm places, warmer than our body temperature of 98.6°F. They like furniture, mattresses, box springs, and heated beds because they offer hiding spots that stay warm.
  • Hideaways & Harborages – Bed bugs love cracks and crevices that fit their flattened bodies. They can also hide behind baseboards or under carpets or clutter until we come close.
  • Human scent – It’s thought that bed bugs use our sweat hormones to identify potential hosts for food. So, they’re more likely to go for us than rodents, if we’re near.


Odor is one of the main ways bed bugs detect humans, animals, and food. They can sense foods or body odors, as well as exhaled carbon dioxide – which is the same as when you sleep. Bed bugs are attracted to warmth and movement, particularly when it is coming from a sleeping human or animal.

Female bed bugs use specialized receptors on their feet to detect human skin oils. These oils contain oleic acid and linoleic acid, which act as pheromone attractants. The more of these compounds in an area, the stronger the attraction bedbugs feel.

Old clothing stored in a unit can also attract bed bugs. When done shopping, it’s best to clean any items with hot water before bringing them home. Additionally, keep items in plastic bags as this makes it harder for critters to enter your home.


Light is a major draw to bed bugs. They are phototactic, meaning they move towards light sources. These lights can be too bright, causing bed bugs to get lost and confused. Thus, they will gather around light sources in search of food. Infra-red light may also attract bed bugs.

Furthermore, they are especially attracted to sleeping body heat from beds, sofas, or recliners.

How to Reduce the Attraction of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small, brown-red creatures that inhabit beds and furniture, especially when the climate is hot in summer. They can be easily moved from one spot to another. Therefore, understanding how to reduce their appeal can help you keep bedbugs away from your house, protecting you and your family from these pests.

Let’s look at some tips for decreasing the attractivity of bedbugs:

Reduce Clutter

Reduce clutter in your home to help cut down on bedbugs. They love dark, hidden places with easy access to food. So, keep living areas neat and organized.

Each week, go through closets, storage and drawers. Get rid of items that you don’t need. Look behind furniture and under the bed. If you must store something, use containers with tight lids.

Inspect used furniture and mattresses thoroughly. Bedbugs can hide in seams and crevices. If they’re found on used items, don’t bring them in – it’ll only make things worse.

Reduce Moisture

Moisture is a bed bug magnet. To make your home less inviting to them, reduce excess moisture. Ventilate all areas. Check for condensation around windows and pipes. Fix any leaking taps or pipes. Immediately wipe up spills. Use dehumidifiers and air purifiers. Clear clutter as this can be a place for bed bugs to hide. Vacuum carpets and furniture. Wash clothing at high temperatures for 60 minutes at 60 degrees Celsius.

Avoid second hand furniture and mattresses – they can have guests already inside!

Store Clothing Properly

Contrary to popular belief, clothing type or colour does not affect bed bugs. However, they can use clothes that are on the floor or unprotected as a bridge to move between rooms. To avoid this, store all clothing in drawers, closets, or laundry baskets with lids that fit tightly. This not only stops bed bugs but also avoids accidents and allergens from getting on your fabrics.

Always wash and dry any clothing at high temperatures when returning from a trip. This kills bed bugs and eggs, preventing future infestations.

By following these guidelines, you will avoid dealing with bed bugs.

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuuming is essential for reducing the appeal of bed bugs. It gets rid of any debris, which could make a haven for them. Disposing of the vacuumed material properly prevents the pests from returning.

Target the seams and piping of furniture or mattresses when vacuuming. This is where bed bugs often hide. Empty your vacuum right away. If possible, keep it away from your home so that any trapped insects can’t escape.


To sum it up, bed bugs have adapted in a way that makes them hard to control and get rid of. Knowing what they are attracted to can help you make your home less inviting to them.

Human bodies, laundry, mess and organic material are some of the things that attract bed bugs. To reduce the risk of bringing them in, keep your home clean and clear of mess, vacuum often and change your clothes after wearing them (particularly when going to bed).

Moreover, use mattress covers that don’t let the bugs in or mattresses that are designed to be resistant to them. Lastly, if an infestation is already present in your home, use insecticides or call a professional pest control service.