Bed bugs represent a growing portion of the pest control industry. Bed bugs have existed for a long time, but many people still don’t understand how bed bugs continue to wreak havoc on the lives of many.
In this article, we’ll be separating fact from fiction, dispelling some common myths, and answering some frequently asked questions about bed bugs.
Fact or fiction?
Myth: If you come home from vacation and discover that bed bugs have followed you home, have to throw all your furniture out.
False: This depends upon the extent of the infestation and the condition of the furniture. Unless the furniture is already old or severely infested, there’s no need to throw it out. You can have your furniture professionally treated without losing your furniture.
Myth: Bed bugs will jump on you, crawl in your hair, and cling to your skin.
False: Bed bugs cannot jump or fly. There’s a slim chance of bed bugs being in your hair because they have two cat-like claws on the end of their legs and flat, disc-like bodies which make it hard to navigate through hair. They may cling onto you, but you’re most likely to find them clinging onto your clothes (though you probably won’t spot them!).
Myth: Bed bugs only come out at night.
False: This isn’t strictly true or false, but it makes sense that people would believe that. Most people unwittingly make themselves available for bed bugs during the nighttime, but they come out to feed whenever their victim is sleeping. In other words, it’s simply the warmth and scent of humans they’re drawn to, rather than the night. Sleeping during the day won’t make you immune to bed bugs.
Myth: Applying essential oils, Raid, or Hotshot to my body will prevent bed bugs from biting me.
Unproven: This hasn’t been proven and most pest products are poisonous to the skin. Even certain essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil to avoid skin reactions.
Myth: Sticky traps and monitors will detect whether or not a home is infested with bed bugs.
False: Sadly, this is also fiction. No products can detect bed bugs yet- instead, people are the best monitors! Instead of relying on a monitor, regularly inspect your bed, sofa, and other resting places. Change sheets every week, flip your mattress, vacuum box springs, steam bed frames, check the piping and seams, and examine blind spots often.
Myth: Store-bought chemical sprays are a good way to get rid of bed bugs.
False: If you can see the bed bug, you can kill it. Whether you do it with a store-bought chemical spray or your thumb, is up to you. What you can’t kill with those sprays are all the hidden bed bugs and the eggs hiding inside your mattress and in the other nooks and crannies around your home.
Myth: You have to go somewhere unclean to pick them up.
False: Bed bugs don’t care about cleanliness, they only care about whether or not there’s blood to eat! If you’re in a public space where people are sitting for long periods, bed bugs may be present.
It may seem like bed bugs are impenetrable, but with regular checks and proper education, we can minimize our chances of infestation. The International Bed Bug Resource Authority (IBBRA) has been a trusted resource for almost a decade and can direct you to powerful solutions and trusted professionals. To find out about effective DIY solutions click here, or click here to find one of our trusted professionals.