What Attracts Bed Bugs and How to Prevent and Eliminate Them

What Attracts Bed Bugs

It’s every new mattress owner’s worst nightmare. Imagine this – you’ve just got your hands on the comfiest, coziest bed you’ve ever had, and you can’t wait to snuggle up in it! And then, surprise! You’re not alone in your bed anymore. Your once pristine mattress is now home to some unwanted guests – bed bugs!

Unfortunately, getting bed bugs is easier than you’d think. Bed bugs are attracted to everything about humans – our blood, warmth, and exhaled breath. That means you’ve got to be vigilant if you want to avoid the dreaded bed bug bite. 

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are external parasites that are small, reddish-brown, and unable to fly. Their appearance changes significantly depending on whether they have fed or not. Unfed bed bugs are oblong, while fed bed bugs are oval and flat – similar to ticks. 

Bed bugs are also tiny, but these pests can be seen with the naked eye if you look closely enough. 

What Brings Bed Bugs into Your Home

Bed bugs need human hosts, so they spread by hitchhiking from place to place on human vectors. This means they trick you into bringing them into your bed. While you can wind up with a bed bug infestation anytime, certain activities put you at higher risk.

Overnight Travel 

Staying in hotels and other lodgings with prior at a quickly bring bed bugs home through luggage and clothing. Bed bugs are more likely to infest hotels because different people sleep in the same beds night after night, making it easy for the bugs to spread. If you sleep in a bed with bed bugs, you can unknowingly bring them back to your own home.

Secondhand Purchases

Secondhand shopping is another major way bed bugs can spread.These pests can easily hide in objects that you acquire from garage sales or flea markets and hitch a ride into your home. Therefore, it’s best to avoid buying used furniture, especially mattresses and bed frames.

Public Spaces

Places with high foot traffic – like public transit, schools, and airports – can expose you to bed bugs through contact with infested surfaces.

Things that Attract the Bed Bugs to Your Bed

Body Heat

Bed bugs are drawn to body heat between 70-80°F, similar to human skin temperature. So when they feel your body heat, they know to come out of hiding in your mattress and bed frame for a meal. 

Carbon Dioxide

Bed bugs can also sense carbon dioxide emissions. When we exhale, bed bugs will use the CO2 in our breath to locate us while we sleep. 

Human Scent

Bed bugs cannot “smell” blood in the traditional sense. But they are attracted to the chemicals released in the oils and sweat on our skin. 

Blood Type

Though they feed on any blood type, bed bugs may develop a preference for certain blood types depending on availability.  

Dealing with Bed Bug Infestations

Bed bugs are some of the most challenging pests to eliminate once you get them. However, there are ways to confirm and combat a bed bug infestation if you suspect they’re in your mattress. 

Bed bugs are notorious for being difficult to detect, and an infestation can quickly spiral out of control. However, there are several clues that you can look for to catch an infestation early before the infestation becomes severe:  

  • Small, brown stains on bedding. These are bed bug droppings and blood regurgitation spots.
  • Bed bug eggs. These look like tiny, white sesame seeds in the creases and folds of your mattress.
  • Bed bug exoskeletons in your mattress. You may also see bed bug bodies. 
  • Itchy, red bites that appear on your skin in lines or clusters where your body contacts the mattress.
  • Live bed bugs in your mattress’s folds, creases, and tufts.

Act Fast If You Find Bed Bugs in Your Mattress

If you start waking up with bites or finding blood stains on your sheets, it’s crucial to act immediately. The longer bed bugs are left untreated, the faster they spread.  

You will likely need to find and eliminate eggs and live bugs:

  • In your mattress’s folds and tufts 
  • Under mattress buttons
  • In the bed frame joints 
  • Between the mattress and its foundation
  • In the carpet or rugs around your bed

Ways to Keep Bed Bugs Out of Your Mattress

Ways to Take Care of Bedbugs Yourself 

You can get rid of bed bugs in your bed by using one or more of a few different methods:

  • Spread diatomaceous earth onto and around your mattress. DE takes time to kill bed bugs, so let it sit for at least seven to ten days.
  • Steam clean your mattress. Bed bugs will die after 20 minutes of exposure to temperatures exceeding 118oF, but you need to expose their eggs to this temperature for at least 90 minutes. 
  • Vacuum up bed bug bodies and eggs after using DE or steaming. Don’t forget to repeat this process on your bedroom carpet and other furniture. It’s best to vacuum your mattress late at night to catch any live bugs coming out of hiding.
  • Wash and tumble dry all sheets and bedding on the highest heat setting your appliances offer to kill the bed bugs inside. This includes pillows and duvet inserts. If you cannot wash something, throw it out. 
  • Thoroughly spray your mattress with diluted rubbing alcohol or botanical insect repellant to kill leftover bed bugs on contact. 
  • Use a waterproof mattress protector to prevent bed bugs from accessing your mattress in the future. 

Though it might be tempting, it’s important to avoid harsh chemical insecticides to eliminate bed bugs. Having these chemicals in your bed could lead to unwanted health consequences. 

Call Professional Pest Control 

Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t just bugs that live in your bed. They can hide virtually anywhere in your house. Although the steps above can clear your mattress of pests, you’ll likely still need pest control experts to remove them from the rest of your home.

Unless you catch an infestation very early, mattress cleaning steps are only a temporary solution to avoid sleeping on a bed full of bugs until the professionals arrive.

Mattresses to Replace Your Infested One

Bed bugs don’t automatically ruin your mattress, so don’t throw it out as soon as you realize they’re there. However, a severe enough infestation can sometimes necessitate getting rid of your mattress. If this happens, don’t despair – you can get a better mattress!

For instance, the fantastic MLILY PowerCool Firm Sleep System will surely take your sleep experience up a notch. Our state-of-the-art ventilation system and cooling fans keep air circulating underneath you all night to give you the most pleasantly chilly sleep. 

For those who want a more budget-friendly solution, the MLILY Dream is a dream. It boasts a breathable fabric cover and layers of ventilated foam to keep you cool and supported all night long. 

Our amazing MLILY mattresses are here to provide you with a comfortable and peaceful sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Say goodbye to bed bugs, and say hello to a bug-free sleeping sanctuary!


With bed bugs attracted to virtually everything about you, it can feel impossible to keep them away. Remember to take precautions to prevent bed bugs when engaging in high-risk activities. 

That way, you can outfox these pesky parasites. Travel and shop right, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

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