How Much Do You Know About Bed Bugs?
By Chris Williams on March 18, 2013.
Bed bugs have certainly been in the news a lot lately and everyone knows someone who knows someone who has had an experience with bed bugs. How much do you really know about this pest? Which of these statements are true?
- Bed bugs live on people
- Bed bugs can’t fly, but they can jump
- Bed bugs burrow down into the skin and disappear
- Bed bugs come from uncleanliness or poor personal hygiene
- Bed bugs are invisible to the naked eye
- Only poor people or foreigners have bed bugs
- Bed bugs can live on pets
- Bed bugs can transmit disease
- Bed bugs are found only in beds and sleeping areas
None of these statements are true, although some sound true. All are popular mythconceptions, or misconceptions if you prefer. Here are the facts:
- Body lice can live on people’s bodies; bed bugs can’t. After they feed, bed bugs leave the host and hide. But bed bugs can be hiding in clothing, shoes, purses, backpacks, etc. and can be transported to new locations in that way.
- Bed bugs don’t have wings to fly and they can’t jump. They move around by crawling and they can actually crawl pretty fast.
- Bed bugs do not burrow into the skin like scabies mites. They remain on the surface of the skin, completely visible, while they insert their mouthparts to feed. The itching from the bite may make people think that the bug is still there. It’s not.
- Cleanliness has nothing to do with whether or not a person, or home, has bed bugs—but clutter can affect the ability to get rid of bed bugs. The more clutter there is and the less often it is disturbed for cleaning, the more likely it is that bed bugs can be overlooked and populations can build up. Clutter makes it harder for a pest control professional to treat bed bug hiding places, too.
- Bed bugs are quite visible for most people. When adult bed bugs are unfed, they are about the size of a sesame seed. They become more red in color as they feed and expand to about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs are experts at hiding, though, and so are rarely seen at low levels.
- Again, anyone can have bed bugs, but if you’re poor it can be much harder to get rid of bed bugs since they require professional pest control treatment and often more than one treatment.
- Bed bugs do not live on pets like fleas, but they will occasionally feed on pets if there are no people available. Just our luck, bed bugs prefer the blood of people.
- Fortunately, bed bugs have never been shown to transmit any diseases to people. This is unusual since most of our blood-feeding insects like fleas and mosquitoes can transmit certain diseases from person to person with their feeding.
- More and more, bed bugs are becoming pests in public spaces where there are no beds like offices, schools, movie theaters, on buses and subways, even in department stores. They are capable of infesting anyplace that people visit but, in these non-bed sites, they rarely develop to serious levels or become breeding populations.
If you’re interested in bed bug removal services please contact Colonial Pest.