Yes, you can squish bed bugs easily. Stepping on a bed bug or slamming something hard against it can kill it with little to no effort, since they are so small. When the bug has just had a blood meal recently, they will leave a red stain when popped because of the undigested blood still inside its body.
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bug eggs look like small grains of rice. Adult bed bugs are the size and shape of an apple seed. They have six legs and two antennae. Bed bugs have vestigial wings, but these wings do not work and they cannot fly. Baby bed bugs, or nymphs, are transparent but may appear white.
Bed bugs cannot jump. They move around by crawling. They are quite fast and can cover over three feet a minute. That is impressive, especially considering how small they are.
A bed bug that is flatter is likely looking to feed soon. While a bed bug that has a rounder body and looks to be a brighter red has recently had a blood meal.
Bed bugs like to huddle together. In large infestations, it is not uncommon to see 10 or 20 of these adult bed bugs crammed in their harborage.
Are bed bug shells hard?
Bed bugs have an exoskeleton, that is why their shell is rigid. Insects have a hard outer casing that acts the same way our skeleton does. The exoskeleton gives the bed bug’s body structure and helps protect their tender insides when faced with any danger. Because the exoskeleton is so hard, the bed bug has to shed the shell several times to move on towards its next life cycle stage.
The rear section of the bed bug’s body is more flexible. They have evolved that way, because when they feed, the back half of their body expands to help accommodate all of the blood they have to drink to survive. Unfortunately for them, their rear part is nowhere as rigid as the front part of their body, making it quite easy to burst.
Do bed bugs squish easily?
Yes, it is quite easy to squish bed bugs. They are easy to kill, especially when they have just fed, because the back part of their body is bloated and full of blood.
If you do decide to squish them when they are bloated, make sure you are not doing it against anything that will stain, like bed sheets or fabric furniture. The undigested blood still in the bug’s body will stain, and you will have a hard time removing it. Squish the bed bugs in between some paper towels or tissue.
Squishing a bed bug that has not fed for a while is a little more difficult because they are not bloated and their exoskeleton is rigid. If you squish them, there should be a dark, pasty goo. That is the digested blood, which is now feces.
Nymphs are much easier to squish because they have not yet developed the exoskeleton.
Can you crush bed bug eggs?
Yes, you can crush bug eggs, but the difficult part is picking it up or scraping it off the surface it was laid on. Bed bugs lay their eggs in dark, hidden places so they are undisturbed. The eggs have a glue-like secretion all over them that will keep them in place on whatever material. This is what makes them difficult to pick up to squish them.
But you can simply just squish them where they are. Use a tissue and pinch it over the eggs. That should be enough to crush them.
Remember that killing bed bug eggs by squishing them is inefficient. Try using a spray instead, because it is more effective and kills adult bed bugs as well.
Will a crushed bed bug leave a stain?
If you squish a bed bug it will leave a stain behind. The stain is from the undigested blood. If the bed bug is flatter and has not fed in a while, the stain will be a darker color because of the bed bug’s feces.
If you can avoid it, do not squish bed bugs to avoid stains on your bed, mattress, or fabric furniture. But if you squished a few bed bugs while you slept, you should wash the area as soon as you can to prevent further staining.
If it is a fresh stain, wet the area with cold water and rub soap in it until it lathers.
If the stain is old, use a stain remover to loosen the blood and dab a small amount of ammonia on it.
Is there a smell when I squish a bed bug?
Bed bugs are motivated primarily by smell. They use scent to find their host if they wish to feed, and they use scent to know what areas in the room are the most ideal for laying their eggs.
Bed bugs release pheromones when they feel they are in any kind of danger. For example, if their harborage is exposed when you flip the mattress over, they release pheromones to warn other bugs that they are in danger and to find another place to hide.
Their alarm pheromones are similar to their regular scent, but contain different chemicals that the bed bugs can pick up on. It smells like coriander or something moldy.
If the bed bug has just fed before it was squished, you will notice the smell of blood. Blood smells both sweet and metallic, because it contains both sugar and iron.
Yes, bed bugs squish easily. When bed bugs have just fed and are bloated from all of the blood they just consumed, they are much easier to squish because the rear part of their body is soft. When the bed bug has not fed for a while, they are flatter and are quite rigid because of their exoskeleton. Bed bug eggs can be squished but you may have a difficult time picking them up to do so.
Even if it is quite easy to squish bed bugs in any of their life cycle stages, remember that doing this is an ineffective way to rid your home of the pests. Professional pest control is still the way to go.
Image: istockphoto.com / izanbar