Pest control is a huge multi-billion dollar industry. And pests can infest and cause problems in commercial businesses such as restaurants and hotels, as well as in residential properties.
One of the most irritating pests that anyone can discover is the bedbug. Rated as one of the top 3 hardest pests to remove, their resistance to pesticides, and the ban on DDT in many countries, have allowed them to breed and infest homes across the world.
London has more bedbugs than any other city in the UK. One study found the London borough of Southwark to be the worst area for bedbug colonies. In 2014, there were over 1,800 cases of bedbugs in that one borough.
The US isn’t exactly free of these pests here, with Chicago topping the worst US cities for bed bugs. They are a global problem, but not all you’ve heard is true. Indeed, you have probably heard many myths and falsehoods surrounding bedbugs.
What are some of the myths about bed bugs?
One pest control company found at www.bedbugspecialist.co.uk was asked their opinion on bedbugs, and some facts about them. Below you can see many of the myths that have spread across the internet.
They hate the light
Many people believe that bed bugs only bite during the day, and stay hidden until it is dark. There is certainly some proof that bed bugs like the dark, but they can quite easily come out and feed during daylight hours too.
However, there seems to be evidence that bedbugs do prefer certain colors. Dark red and black seem to attract bed bugs. One study seemed to show that bed bugs hate yellow-colored objects. So, using lighter sunny colors for bedding may repel them. Maybe.
Bed bugs won’t live in clean homes
A commonly believed ‘fact’ is that bed bugs only live in unclean homes. There are a number of pests that do indeed like dirt and grime, but bed bugs aren’t one of them.
There are very useful sanitation and cleaning tips for landlords and homeowners to reduce the chances of pests being attracted. But, no matter how extensively you clean, it won’t put off bed bugs. They like the dark and warmth, and as long as you have cracks, crevices, folds in upholstery, or anywhere else they can hide, they’ll be happy.
They can’t live in colder climates
Bed bugs breed quicker in warmer climates and perhaps live longer too. However, they are very resilient and will survive in surprisingly low temperatures.
They have demonstrated that they can stay alive at 46 degrees °F, and lower. But, they will probably only survive for a few days if this temperature is sustained.
Bed bugs don’t transmit disease
You will see this on many pest control websites, and in articles about bed bugs. The truth is that bed bugs can transmit a parasite that causes a deadly disease.
Research has proved that bed bugs can transmit Trypanosoma cruzi which causes Chagas disease. This illness causes fever, fatigue, nausea, chronic heart problems, and stroke.
Store-bought products can eradicate them
Alongside cockroaches and termites, bed bugs are the most resilient of pests. Relying on store-bought pest control products is unlikely to kill a whole colony unless you find it very early on.
Diatomaceous earth or DE is a commonly used product for killing bed bugs, and while it works, it is far from perfect. Heat treatment for bed bugs is a far more effective way to eradicate infestations, and this is usually provided by pest control services.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about pest prevention. You can help yourself by removing trash, clearing away leftover food, and even choosing better flooring for pest prevention.
You can’t starve a bed bug easily
This is a highly debated topic among pest controllers and scientists. How long a bed bug will live without food has been studied many times, and the answer is far from conclusive.
Nevertheless, some studies have shown that bed bugs can survive at room temperature for up to 3 months without feeding. If they are in a cooler environment, they may be able to last up to a year without blood.
But, one laboratory study showed that adult bed bugs can die as quickly as 20 days if they don’t feed, while others lived up to 400 days without food. You can starve bed bugs, but it might take an awfully long time if they continue breeding.
They move slowly
This is a dialetheism, because bed bugs do move slowly, yet they are also extremely fast in their own way.
It takes a minute for a bed bug just to crawl a couple of feet or more. Yet, if you take scale into account, they actually move as fast as a typical human adult does when sprinting.
Unfortunately, there are many unpleasant truths surrounding bed bugs. They can breed quite fast, and as they spend over 90% of their time hidden, an infestation can happen before you realize you even have bed bugs.
With modern heat treatments and a more scientific-based understanding of bed bugs, the elimination of colonies is possible. So, while you might not be pleased to find these pests in your home, you can stop worrying about all the myths about them, and just call a pest controller.