Bed bugs are multiplying worldwide, and cities in Indiana like Columbus and Bloomington are no exception. The bed bug population explosion has people concerned, and misinformation hasn’t helped allay their fears. Some common myths are frightening, but they run contrary to facts.
We at Yes Pest Pros want to provide you accurate information about these pests so you understand these insects and how to best respond to them. Thus, we’ve put together a list of six bed bug myth “un-facts” so you can know what’s true about these pests.
Un-Fact No. 1: You Can’t See Bed Bugs
It might seem like bed bugs are invisible or simply too small to see because they’re difficult to find. But this isn’t the case. They’re about the size of an apple seed, flat, oval-shaped, and brown to reddish brown in color. The reason they’re sometimes hard to see is that they’re very good at hiding. Adults can fit into crevices as thin as a credit card. And nymphs (young bed bugs) are even smaller.
Un-Fact No. 2: Uncleanliness and Poor Hygiene Attract Them
It’s an unfortunate myth that uncleanliness and poverty attract bed bugs. The truth is these pests can be found in five-star hotels as likely as they can elsewhere. This is because they’re attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide, not dirt or grime. So, as long as there are human bodies, there is a potential for these insects.
Although it doesn’t cause bed bugs, clutter can be problematic when trying to exterminate the pests. Clutter provides additional places for bed bugs to live, which means it can be more difficult for pest control experts to kill them if the expert uses a method other than fumigation.
Un-Fact No. 3: They Spread Disease
While researchers have shown that bed bugs have the potential to carry and transmit Chagas disease, and some bed bugs have been found to carry other human pathogens, there is no evidence that they transmit diseases to humans. The worst that usually happens is that a bite gets infected. Most often, the bites simply itch or form small blisters.
Un-Fact No. 4: DDT Will Kill Them All
Some people have suggested that the current bed bug population growth can be traced back to when DDT was banned. However, bed bugs were resistant to DDT even when the chemical was legal. They’re are also starting to resist current pesticides, which kills insects through the same channel as DDT.
Un-Fact No. 5: Spray Chemicals Will Destroy Them in Your House
Simply buying insecticide at the local hardware store and spraying a room in your house won’t kill all the bugs in the room. For one, bed bugs are sometimes resistant to these chemicals, so if they do come in contact with it, they may survive. More importantly, because the insects can hide in so many places, it’s unlikely that the spray will reach all of them.
Insecticide spray will also leave residue on household items. So, you’ll likely come in contact with the insecticide yourself if you don’t throw away and wash all the material it comes in contact with.
Un-Fact No. 5: They Only Bite at Night
While bud bugs are primarily nocturnal, they will travel and feed during the daytime.
Un-Fact No. 6: They Only Live in Beds
Bed bugs are commonly found in beds because people lie in beds for hours every night. But they can be found within several feet of anywhere they can get food. This means they can be found in carpets, bed stands, couches, near pets, and many other indoor locations. And the larger the population, the more spread out it is.