From where they originated, who gets them, and how to get rid of them- we’re debunking the top ten bed bug myths.
The Top Ten Bed Bug Myths Debunked
Top Ten Bed Bug Myths Debunked
Entomologists tell us that bed bugs have been around for somewhere around 3,500 years. In that time, we’ve learned
a lot about bed bugs, or Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, as they are known in scientific circles. Much of this information has helped scientists develop methods to prevent, detect, and treat bed bugs. But these few thousands of years also provided ample time for false information about bed bugs to spread.
That’s why we are separating fact from fiction and debunking the Top Ten Bed
1. Myth: They Are Microscopic and Cannot Be Seen With The Naked Eye
Mature bug bugs are roughly the size of an apple seed, so you can see them without the aid of a microscope or magnifying glass. However, the juvenile bugs, called nymphs, are smaller and more difficult to spot. Both are oblong in shape and reddish-brown in color. Bed bug eggs are difficult to see without magnification, not only because they are tiny, but they are also white.
2. Myth: They Can Only See and Feed at Night
Bed bugs are very adaptable and can feed at any time, although they are more likely to feed at night. When we exhale, we release carbon dioxide, and that’s what attracts bed bugs. When we sleep, especially in a room with closed doors and windows, the co2 concentration is higher. Our bodies are ideal hosts when they remain still and warm (asleep) and can unknowingly be the bed bug’s main meal source. For instance, if you slept during daylight hours because you worked the night shift, bed bugs would adjust to your sleep schedule.
3. Myth: They Only Live In Bedding and Mattresses
It isn’t that these parasites prefer bedding, but instead they do like to hide in small spaces and they will settle close to where conditions are best-suited for their survival. The most important thing a bed bug needs to survive is a human body, so there are many instances of bed bugs infesting sofas, chairs, wheelchairs, and other furniture or spaces where people are asleep or relatively still.
4. Myth: They Thrive In Filthy Conditions
Unlike many pests, bed bugs don’t prefer a dirty environment to a clean one. Infestations can occur in 5 star hotel or a seedy motel. They don’t care. However, once bed bugs have been discovered, it’s certainly easier to eradicate them from an orderly and uncluttered environment.
5. Myth: They Bite In threes
This myth might have stemmed from another unfounded but popular belief that bad
things come in threes. Bed bug bites can appear in any number. While they typically
appear in clusters, sometimes in a line, sometimes in more of a zig-zag pattern, there is
no set number of bites in one cluster.
Entomologists tell us that bed bugs have been around for
somewhere around 3,500 years.
6. Myth: They Transmit Disease
As terrible as they are, and as miserable as they can make your life, but unlike other parasites, like ticks, bed bugs don’t carry disease. Allergic reactions and secondary skin
infections from scratching can occur, but that’s all.
7. Myth: They Will Not Bite Pets
This is indeed a myth. Although bed bugs prefer to feed off of humans instead of their fur-covered friends, they will bite pets if they need to eat.
8. Myth: They Can Fly
Bed bugs don’t have wings, so they cannot fly. Unlike fleas, they aren’t able to jump very high either. Bed bugs are fairly quick, moving about 3 feet per minute at most.
9. Myth: Only Pesticides Will Control Them
Effective bed bug control requires a comprehensive approach, plus careful monitoring. A pesticide treatment may be one element of the strategy, but it will not do the job alone.
10. Myth: Throwing Out Your Mattress Is The Answer
You’ve surely heard stories about people who have traced their bed bug infestation to a second-hand mattress or other piece of furniture. Unfortunately, just getting rid of the infested item just isn’t enough.