Myths and Facts About Bed Bugs

When it comes to bed bugs, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. These annoying creatures have become the subject of just about everything from media reports to fictional stories. Whether you’ve dealt with them in the past or your home is trying to remain bug free, check out these common myths that could change the way you look at the tiny terrors.

Myth: Cimex Lectularius First Appeared In The 1990s

Verdict: False

Bed bugs appeared in great numbers before World War II, but seemed to go away in 40s and 50s. Many experts believe this was due to cleaner living conditions and rise of household bug killers. Their resurgence in the past ten years is thought to have come about after increased international trade.

Myth: Bed Bugs Fly

Verdict: False

Though some homeowners are sure they’ve seen the pest fly, it’s impossible for these bugs to lift off. Instead, they crawl across any surface.

Myth: Bed Bugs Are Cold Blooded

Verdict: True

Bed bugs are actually cold blooded for an important reason. Colder blood temperatures protect them from hunger based issues by slowing their metabolism. In some cases, they can go a full year without eating!

Myth: Bed Bugs Are Protected By Warmer Climates

Verdict: False

We’re not sure where this one came from, but it is probably one of the most well-known myths. In fact, warmer climates offer challenges for these pests. Most bed bugs can only go two to three months without eating in a warmer climate and higher temperatures may inhibit their feeding options.

Myth: Bed Bugs Are Active Day and Night

Verdict: True

Make no mistake, bed bugs are pretty tough. Day or night, these feeders will bite when they are hungry. With each bite lasting between three to 10 minutes, that can add up to some serious pain for a person living around them.

Myth: Bed Bugs Make Nests

Verdict: False

They may not make nests, but your home is the perfect spot for these pesky creatures. From mattresses to picture frames, you can find them anywhere there is a dark space.

Myth: A Female Bed Bug Lays One Egg a Day

Verdict: True

An egg a day can quickly add up. Keep in mind that it only takes 10 days for an egg to hatch and just 6 weeks for the insect to reach adulthood.

Myth: Bed Bugs Can Live On Humans

Verdict: False

Surprisingly, they just don’t like us. The main reason is our level of body heat. Basically, we’re just too warm to keep them comfortable.

Myth: Bed Bugs Have Six Legs

Verdict: True

Six legs are all it takes to bring on a dose of misery. Measuring between 1/4 to 3/8 inches in length, it’s easy to see these walking nuisances.

Myth: Bed Bugs Carry Diseases

Verdict: True

While the jury’s out about transmission between these insects and humans, they do carry a range of diseases. Some people who have been bitten by bed bugs have reported large red welts. Though they may hurt or itch, tested bites have shown no known conditions.

Myth: Stains On Sheets Are a Sign Of Bed Bugs

Verdict: True

There are some pretty telltale signs that the dreaded pests have gotten into your home. One of the most common is the presence of stains on your sheets and mattress. Those nasty spots actually come from the bug’s excrement and blood. When it comes to that foul odor, chances are good that these nuisances are to blame. As they shed their skin, the flakes carry a pungent smell that is hard to ignore. A great way to prevent this disgusting issue is buying both a mattress and box spring cover.

Myth: Hot Water Can Kill Bed Bugs

Verdict: True

The best pest control agency can help you get a bed bug problem under control, but eradication still relies on dedicated cleaning solutions. When it’s time to wash your sheets or other fabrics, hot water is essential. Be sure to use the dryer as well. Upwards of 30 minutes in a dryer can take care of various items that can’t be washed. Take out the vacuum at least once a day. While the infestation is being treated, it’s essential to remove any debris from dead or dying bugs. Vacuums with HEPA filters are a perfect complement to any professional treatments.

Myth: Early Detection Does Not Make a Difference

Verdict: False

The earlier you can detect a bed bug infestation, the quicker you can get it under control. Even if you think they can’t find their way into your own home, keep a watchful eye out for these icky insects.

The best advice for someone who thinks they may have a bed bug problem is to seek out a professional pest control specialist. Never take on these dreaded bugs alone. Only someone in this field can properly diagnosis and create a treatment that will restore peace to your home.

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