Working in the pest control industry for many years, you run into a lot of people asking you questions about every pest or critter that’s out their. To me the weirdest questions were always about bed bugs. I’ve seen and heard just about everything when it comes to these annoying little pests.
This includes a number of myths or misconceptions about bed bugs and half-truths that cause unnecessary concern.
In this post I will try to shed some light on some of those ideas or questions for anybody that has a bed bug infestation or just curious about them, here are the top 10 bed bug misconceptions people have and the reality behind these statements.
Top 10 Misconceptions
1. Can Bed Bugs Jump
Bed Bugs cannot fly or jump. They can only crawl, which could lead to crawling up walls and falling into or onto things they would not otherwise be able to access.
2. Bed Bugs Move From One Apartment To Another
Bed bugs cannot climb on slick surfaces like glass, porcelain, or slick plastics like PVC or ABS. That’s why bed bug interceptors work so well. There have been instances where they have been found in bathtubs but, only as a result of falling off a wall or ceiling or someone throwing an infested item into the tub.
However, bed bugs can use the pipe chases, electrical runs, and floor joists to travel from one apartment or room to the next. They can also easily crawl under walls and doors.
3. Do I have Bed Bugs If I have Bite Marks
Many insects produce a similar reaction to a bite (ants, spiders, etc.). The only proof of a bed bug infestation is to identify the bug and/or its eggs. Other signs of an infestation are blood spotting on linens and bedding and fecal staining on walls and furnishings.
4. Do I Have Bed Bugs Because My House Is Dirty
Not even close to being true. Bed Bugs can literally be found anywhere at any time regardless of class or cleanliness. However, they do tend to thrive anywhere that provides plenty of hiding places and they like clutter.
5. Are Bed Bugs Visible To The Naked Eye
While it is true that bed bug eggs and nymphs are extremely small and hard to see, the full grown adult can reach up to a quarter inch, about the size of an apple seed, and is dark reddish/brown. The reason why most people don’t see them is that they rarely come out in the daylight and spend 90 percent of their time in hiding.
6. Are Bed Bugs Only On My Bed
If only it were that easy. Contary, to what you have been told you simply can’t get rid of your bed to solve a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs can be found anywhere in the home, including in or under flooring, behind baseboards, in wall cavities, electronics, books, phones, clothes, as well as in any other furnishings. They can usually be found within 5-10 feet of the food source, which in this case is, you..
7. Do Bed Bugs Only Bite Women
In reality, women are more likely to react to a bite than men. In fact 70% of men don’t react to a bite. Since you can’t initially feel a bed bug bite due to anesthetic in saliva, some men may feel like they are not being bitten when actually they are.
8. Can I Kill Them Myself
There are quite a few over the counter items and home remedies that will kill bed bugs (sprays, dusts, etc.). I’ve personally killed them with a soapy water spray. The problem (even for pest control companies) is finding them, especially their eggs. If you don’t get them all, you can’t hope to win the fight.
Very few over the counter products leave a residual to kill hatching eggs or hiding bugs like The Bed Bug Killer but, their are also some professional chemicals available here, if that’s the way you want to go. The best approach is to use a combination of products and techniques (applications) for bed bug eradication (Follow an integrated pest management approach).
9. How Did I Get Bed Bugs If I Don’t Travel
Traveling is a common way of picking up bed bugs but in reality not the only way. Bed bugs have perfected the art of hitchhiking. You can pick them up from public transit, public venues like movie theatres, friends and family, second-hand stores, gyms, clubrooms, neighbors, and the list keeps going and going.
10. Can Bed Bugs Transmit Diseases
There is currently no evidence of a bed bug transmitting any disease. But, there are cases about people getting bit and having an alergic reaction to the bites.
I hope I managed to help a lot of you out about a few misconceptions you may have had or heard about bed bugs. What else have you heard about bed bugs? If you have others, please share them in the comments below. Bed Bugs can be a very scary problem but, it’s not the end of the world. They can be identified, controlled, and eradicated with a little patience and using IPM in the process.
Thanks For Reading,