”Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
If you ever heard that phrase as a kid, you might have figured that bed bugs were merely made up creatures meant to scare young children, like the monster under your bed or the boogey man.
If you’ve ever experienced a bed bug infestation, however, you know that bed bugs are real and they are no joke.
According to a recent survey, 99.6% of pest control professionals have treated bed bugs in the past year, which is higher than five, 10 and 15 years ago. Bed bugs are a serious problem today, and it’s getting worse. Check out these five common misconceptions about those pesky little bloodsucking pests.
Five Myths About Bed Bugs
- Bed bugs are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Actually, bed bugs are larger than people think. Young bed bugs are roughly the size of a poppy seed, and adult ones are about the size of an apple seed. They are oval-shaped little monsters with six legs and no wings. Young bed bugs are usually a very light color, while adults can range from brown to red (it depends on how much blood they’ve recently drank).
- Bed bugs are only found in unsanitary conditions. This is entirely false. Yes, bed bugs themselves can makeconditions unsanitary, but they’re just as happy in a tidy home. That’s why bed bugs can be found anywhere, including five-star hotels and spotless homes. Messy, unsanitary conditions will not cause bed bugs, but getting rid of clutter can help reduce the number of places the pests can live, hide, and multiply. The top three places where pest control professionals report finding bed bugs are apartments (95%), single-family homes (93%), and hotels or motels (75%).
- Bed bugs are only found in beds. Bed bugs are particularly drawn to mattresses and box springs, because that’s where the food sleeps. However, they also commonly live behind headboards, wall hangings, and wallpaper. These little pests are excellent hitchhikers; they travel in suitcases and even in the clothes on your back.
- Bed bugs only bite in the dark. While it’s true that bed bugs prefer darkness, keeping the light on at night won’t stop them from biting you in your sleep. They tend to be more active at night, but they can also come out during the day.
- Bed bugs spread diseases. A bite might cause an allergic reaction or a minor irritation, but bed bugs don’t actually pose any significant health or medical risks to humans. You might feel a little itchy just thinking about them, but know that bed bugs do not transmit diseases.
If you have seen a bed bug in your home or believe you have been bitten, call your local pest control services as soon as possible to prevent a major infestation from occurring. Bed bugs can lay between one and five eggs in a day and can lay up to 500 eggs in a lifetime, so it is important to take immediate action before the problem gets out of hand.