Bed bugs have been around since the days of the caveman. Archaeologists believe that the bugs fed on bats before gaining a taste for human blood. For centuries mankind has fought the pests and yet there are still many myths around these blood-sucking insects.
Learning the Myths and Facts About Bed Bugs
Myth 1: Bed bugs are invisible.
Fact: Bed bugs are so good at hiding that some people have believed they are invisible. They wake from a restful night’s sleep covered in red, itchy, angry welts without visually seeing the bugs. Bed bugs nest during the day and sneak out at night when they know you are fast asleep. Their saliva contains an anesthetic to numb you while they feed and when you wake up – the bug is gone, returning to its secret hiding place. While they’re extremely sneaky, they’re not invisible. Get more information on how to identify a bed bug here.
Myth 2: Bed bugs only like dirty houses.
Fact: Bed bugs don’t care if your home is filthy or pristine. They only cares if there is a warm human to feed on during the night. However, a cluttered home does offer more places for a bed bug to hide and nest.
Myth 3: Bed bugs will not come out from their hiding place in bright light.
Fact: Bed bugs are attracted to the CO2 that you breathe out when you sleep, whether during the day or at night. They automatically know if you are sleeping by the change in the CO2 level in the room, spurring them to leave their hiding spot. Unfortunately, light will not keep them away.
Myth 4: Bed bugs can fly.
Fact: Bed bugs lack the wings necessary to fly (thank goodness)! They can only crawl, approximately 3 to 4 feet per minute.
Myth 5: Bed bugs only bite at night.
Fact: Although bed bugs are nocturnal, if they’re hungry they will find something to eat no matter the time of day.
Myth 6: Bed bugs live only on the bed.
Fact: The name bed bug is very misleading as the bugs will take up residence anywhere close to a potential meal, not just the bed. They’ve been found in baseboards, carpet tack strip, dresser, electronics, pictures, artwork, electrical outlets, as well as in bus seats and movie theater chairs.
Myth 7: Bed bugs travel on your hair and skin.
Fact: Unlike lice or ticks, bed bugs do not like heat and prefer to hide in the folds of your clothing than against your skin or in your hair. They will stay on your skin long enough to feed on your blood and then scurry back to their hiding place.
Myth 8: Bed bugs spread diseases.
Fact: Bed bugs do not spread diseases to humans. Although they have been shown to carry human pathogens, no evidence of transmission to humans has been found.
As bed bugs become more common it’s important to learn what’s fact and what’s folklore about these pests. The more you know the better you will be able to defend yourself!
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