What happens when you squish a bed bug?

by | May 22, 2023 | 0 comments


The thought of squishing a bed bug might seem like an immediate solution to these pests. However, what happens when you squish a bed bug? It’s not as straightforward as you might think. This guide will take you through what happens when a bed bug is squished, and how it can impact your efforts to eradicate them. You’ll also learn the benefits of professional bed bug control in Houston, how to recognize the signs of infestation like the color of bed bug casings, or what to do if you find just one bed bug.

The Prevalence of Bed Bugs in Households

Bed bugs are found all over the world, and they can infest households of any size or cleanliness level. In fact, even the cleanest homes can become infested with bed bugs if they are brought in on clothing or luggage from an infested area. They can easily spread from one room to another or from one apartment unit to another in multi-unit buildings.

What Happens When a Bed Bug is Squished?

Squishing a bed bug may seem like a quick and easy way to get rid of them but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Bed bugs have evolved to withstand significant pressure without dying immediately.

When a bed bug is squished, its internal organs burst, causing fluids to spill out onto whatever surface it was squished on. This fluid contains pheromones that signal danger to other bed bugs nearby, potentially spreading the infestation further.

In addition to this immediate effect on other bed bugs nearby, there is also a potential risk for spreading bacteria or disease if the squished bed bug was carrying any. Therefore proper clean-up after squishing a bed bug is crucial for preventing further infestation and reducing risk of illness.

Understanding what happens when you squish a bed bug is important for anyone dealing with an infestation at home or elsewhere. Proper disposal methods should always be followed when disposing dead bedbugs and preventative measures should be taken against further outbreaks.

Anatomy of a Bed Bug

Description of the Physical Characteristics of a Bed Bug

Bed bugs are small, flat insects that are reddish-brown in color and have oval-shaped bodies. They measure about 5-7 mm in length and 2-3 mm in width when fully grown.

Adult bed bugs have six legs, with short antennae on their heads and wings that are not functional, rendering them unable to fly. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts that they use to feed on blood from their hosts.

Their bodies are covered with short hairs and scales, giving them a banded appearance. They also have two eyes on the sides of their heads.

Overview of the Internal Organs and Systems that Make Up a Bed Bug

Internally, bed bugs have a complex digestive system with numerous organs responsible for breaking down blood and absorbing nutrients. They also have circulatory systems consisting of an open network of tubes called hemocoels responsible for transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout their bodies. Additionally, bed bugs possess reproductive systems consisting of ovaries in females and testes in males.

After mating, female bed bugs lay eggs which hatch into nymphs before maturing into adults. Bed bugs also possess scent glands which produce pheromones used for communication within colonies as well as attracting potential mates or food sources.

Their nervous systems consist of ganglia distributed across their body segments interconnected through nerves to allow for coordinated movement. Overall, despite being small creatures at first glance, bed bugs possess intricate internal structures necessary for survival in their environment as well as reproduction within colonies.

Squishing a Bed Bug

The Force Required to Squish a Bed Bug

Squishing a bed bug requires a certain amount of force as their exoskeleton is incredibly tough. On average, it takes roughly 1.2 pounds of pressure to squish an adult bed bug, which is equivalent to the weight of ten dimes.

However, the amount of force required can vary depending on the age and size of the bed bug. Juvenile bed bugs are typically easier to squish as they have not yet fully developed their exoskeleton.

The Sound and Sensation Felt When Squishing a Bed Bug

When you squish a bed bug, you will often hear a popping or crunching sound as their exoskeleton breaks under pressure. Some people describe it as similar to crushing dried leaves or rice grains while others describe it as popping bubble wrap.

As for the sensation felt, it varies from person to person. Some people feel nothing at all while others feel a slight resistance before the bed bug bursts open.

It’s worth noting that some people experience an emotional response when squishing bed bugs due to fear or disgust associated with them. If you feel uncomfortable doing so yourself, it’s best to call in professional pest control services instead.

Overall, squishing a bed bug requires more force than one might expect due to their tough exoskeletons. While doing so may provide temporary satisfaction, it’s important to take preventative measures against infestations and call in professional help if needed.

What Happens When You Squish a Bed Bug?

Immediate Effects on the Body of the Bed Bug

When you squish a bed bug, the first thing that happens is that its exoskeleton bursts, and its internal organs and fluids spill out. The bed bug’s body is made up of three parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen.

The head has mouthparts used for feeding on blood, the thorax has six legs used for movement, and the abdomen contains all of the vital organs. When you apply pressure to a bed bug by squishing it with your fingers or another object, this causes its exoskeleton to split open.

As a result, all of its internal organs are crushed in an instant. This may include their digestive system which means they cannot feed anymore.

Release of Pheromones That Signal Danger to Other Bed Bugs

Bed bugs use pheromones to communicate with one another. When one bed bug is squished or killed, it releases an alarm pheromone that signals danger to other bed bugs nearby.

This alarm pheromone warns other bed bugs that there is a threat in the area. This can trigger a defense mechanism in which other bed bugs will either scatter or attack any potential threat in their vicinity.

Potential Spread of Bacteria or Disease If the Squished Bed Bug Was Carrying Any

Bed bugs can carry diseases such as Chagas disease and Hepatitis B virus without displaying any symptoms themselves. Therefore when you squash them some bacteria may remain on surfaces. These bacteria can be picked up by humans who come into contact with these surfaces if they have any cuts or open wounds on their skin.

If a bed bug carrying pathogens was accidentally squished on bedding or clothing before being killed through heat treatment or insecticides could spread those diseases onto other people. That is why it is important to take proper cleaning and disposal measures after squishing a bed bug in your home.

Clean-up After Squishing a Bed Bug

Squishing bed bugs can be effective in getting rid of these pesky insects, but it’s important to know how to properly dispose of the dead bugs. Simply vacuuming them up is not enough, as they can still survive in the vacuum cleaner bag. Instead, use a sticky tape or adhesive roller to pick up any dead bed bugs and dispose of them in a sealed plastic bag.

Proper disposal methods for dead bed bugs

When disposing of dead bed bugs, it’s important to take precautions to prevent their spread. Seal the plastic bag with the dead bugs tightly and dispose of it in an outdoor trash bin or dumpster. Do not throw it out in an indoor trash can or leave it out where other people may come into contact with it.

Steps to take to prevent further infestation

After squishing a bed bug, it’s important to take steps to prevent further infestation. This includes thoroughly inspecting your bedding and furniture for any signs of additional bed bugs and washing all linens and clothing that may have come into contact with the infested area. You should also consider hiring a pest control professional who can identify the extent of your infestation and provide effective treatment options.


While squishing a bed bug might seem like a quick fix, it’s not the most effective way to handle these pests. As a comprehensive approach, it’s important to understand how long it takes for an infestation to manifest, the differences between bed bug bites and hives, and how to prepare your home for effective bed bug treatment. After treatment, knowing how to clean and what not to do can help prevent another infestation.


Can bed bugs survive being squished?

No, bed bugs cannot survive being squished. Their bodies are fragile, and squishing them will typically result in their death.

What comes out of bed bugs when you squish them?

When you squish a bed bug, it may release a small amount of blood. Bed bugs feed on blood, so their bodies may contain the blood they have ingested.

Do bed bugs bleed when you crush them?

Yes, bed bugs may bleed when you crush them. The blood you see when you crush a bed bug is usually the blood they have ingested from their recent blood meal.

How do you know you killed a bed bug?

You can typically tell if you have killed a bed bug by visually inspecting its body. If the bed bug appears flattened or crushed, it is likely dead. However, it’s always a good idea to take additional measures to ensure effective bed bug control.

Should I still sleep with bed bugs?

It is not recommended to sleep with bed bugs. Bed bugs are pests that feed on human blood and can cause discomfort, allergic reactions, and potential health issues. It’s best to take steps to eliminate bed bugs from your sleeping area.

Where do bed bugs hide on your body?

Bed bugs typically do not hide on your body. They are nocturnal pests that usually hide in cracks and crevices near sleeping areas, such as in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and nearby furniture. However, they can occasionally crawl onto your body to feed during the night.

Duane Cepeda is a highly skilled and experienced bed bug exterminator with a passion for creating pest-free living spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of bed bug behavior, Duane is dedicated to providing effective and tailored solutions to help clients rid their homes of these persistent pests. Trusted by many, Duane Cepeda is committed to delivering top-notch pest control services that ensure peace of mind and a good night’s sleep for his customers.


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