If you read about bed bugs, you’ll realize that one of the signs of a bed bug is having red stains in your mattress. Are bed bugs so easy to squash that you don’t even realize you’re doing so? Do they have a hard shell? If you see a bed bug crawling in your room, what would happen after squishing it?
Can you Squish a Bed Bug? Yes! Its very possible to “squish” or squash a Bed Bug. But the better question is should you ever want to? Will this even be an effective measure to reduce their numbers? After all the whole point of squishing a Bed Bug is to kill them.
In this article, we’re briefly covering the answer to all of these questions.
Are bed bugs and their eggs easy to squish?
Some people wonder if bed bugs have hard shells. Depending on this, you may be able to squash them or not. But the answer is not that simple. Bed bugs do have an exoskeleton like other insects. It’s a shell or hard casing that gives their characteristic shape. This exoskeleton is not flexible. It’s relatively rigid and tough, and that’s why bed bugs shed their shell several times as they grow into adults.
However, the fact that they have a hard shell doesn’t mean their bodies are entirely protected from smashing. They have a rear section, which is more flexible, and this has to be the case because the body expands as they drink more blood, and it is deposited in this flexible area.
It is similar to the feel of your belly and your ribs right next to it. When bed bugs eat, this flexible area expands and becomes softer and more susceptible to smashing. They are easier to pop after feeding, but before that, they are hard like a fingernail due to their exoskeleton.
Younger bed bugs are usually easier to smash than adults. They are called nymphs, and they are generally softer and easier to pop. They are generally as soft as a pea or a cooked bean because their shell is in constant change and has not adopted a very rigid structure. Bed bug eggs are also very easy to crush. However, they are quite challenging to find because they’re always hidden in a sheltered place.
So, in reality, it doesn’t depend too much on the shell. It depends on whether bed bugs have recently been fed or not. If you encounter one that didn’t feed for a long time, it will be difficult to squash. That’s why people sometimes find stains of blood in their bedding or mattress. They are bed bugs that recently fed and got squashed right after doing so.
As a summary, if bed bugs are fed recently, they will be easier to crush, and they usually leave a bed bug stain of blood. Young bed bugs are softer and easier to crush, especially after feeding. But before feeding, you will encounter a tough shell, which makes unfed bedbugs difficult to squash.
What happens if you squish bed bugs?
Some people ask if bed bugs release a smell or any substance after being smashed. The answer is not really. They do have alarm pheromones they release when they feel danger. These pheromones are useful to warn other bed bugs and maintain their family safe. But you will not smell something different from their regular scent, which is a musty and somewhat sweet smell. Their typical smell before and after smashing is similar to the scent of leaving clothes on the washing machine for a very long time.
However, after smashing a bed bug, you will see a stain of blood left behind, especially if they are just fed. This is blood they collect and keep on digesting and absorbing for a long time. It is usually thick and dark and may leave a bright red or dark red stain, depending on how recently they are fed.
That’s why most people avoid crushing bed bugs. They only leave a stain. It is definitely not a useful way to get rid of them. For every bed bug you’re crushing, there are hundreds of them and many more eggs being laid every single day.
Recommendations if you have a bed bug issue
Squishing bed bugs and their eggs are definitely not the right way to get rid of them. They will always leave a stain behind, you will need to change your bedding, and it will be a mess. Instead, you should try to use more effective ways to exterminate them. Otherwise, you will only see bed bugs crawling when they’re hungry and going after you, which only happens around once a week. For each one of them, there are hundreds of adult and young bed bugs hiding, and they won’t come out before next week when it’s their turn to eat. In the meantime, dozens or hundreds of new bed bugs are hatching leaving their eggshells ready to taste human blood. Yours.
Therefore, what you really need to do is start looking for hiding places the like. They hide in sheltered spots between your clutter. You may also find them in tiny cracks in the wall or old furniture. This is the perfect hiding place of a bed bug. A small and dark place where you can’t stick your fingers and where they can lay their eggs safely. So, we would recommend looking for their hiding places as the number one step to take to get rid of them.
After you know where they are, you can try to exterminate them using insecticides or diatomaceous earth. Applying hot steam is also useful, especially for your carpets and to kill bed bugs in your clothes and bedding. If you vacuum your carpets or your couch, be sure to throw out the vacuum bag immediately. And it is also essential to keep everything clean after getting rid of the clutter.
If you have significant problems, wake up with several new bites, or realize your bed bug issue is difficult to control, you can also call professional pest control services. They are equipped with the best tools and methods to get rid of bed bugs, especially in a large infestation.
Doggett, S. L., Miller, D. M., & Lee, C. Y. (Eds.). (2018). Advances in the biology and management of modern bed bugs. John Wiley & Sons.
Khan, H. R., & Rahman, M. M. (2012). Morphology and biology of the bedbug, Cimex hemipterus (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) in the laboratory. Dhaka University Journal of Biological Sciences, 21(2), 125-130.
Cleary, C. J., & Buchanan, D. (2004). Diagnosis and management of bedbugs: an emerging US infestation. The nurse practitioner, 29(6), 46-48.