How Far Can Bed Bugs Sense Humans?

Bed bugs use odors to attract to humans. One study looked at the body odors of bed bugs. It found that these insects detected smells well and responded strongly to the odors that they identified. The researchers then used the strongest of these odors to study how these insects behave.

Bed bugs feed on humans at night and feed by piercing the skin. They have elongated mouthparts with four stylets. They fold these stylets under their bodies while resting but fully extend them when feeding on blood. The two maxillary stylets form two canals: one is a salivary canal that carries saliva into the wound and the other is the food canal.

The distance that bed bugs travel depends on their size and host’s temperature. Depending on the species, bed bugs can travel over 100 feet to find a blood meal. This means that they can travel between floors and between two or more homes. If they don’t find food, they can wait for several days to repopulate in another area.

Bedbugs can survive in temperatures as low as 46 degrees F and as high as 113 degrees F. Their metabolism slows in colder climates but can live for up to two months without feeding. They are active during the night, which means that they will feed every five to ten minutes. After feeding, they will return to their hiding place.

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