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5 Bed Bug Myths

5/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
5 Bed Bug Myths

Many Americans never knew that bed bugs were real until they began making a comeback just a few years ago. Consequently, these tiny blood-suckers are probably the most misunderstood pest. We run into myths and misinformation all the time; here are a few of the most common myths, plus the facts. Or, for information about our bed bug treatments, click here.

“Bed bugs only infest beds.”

This statement couldn’t be more wrong. Bed bugs can infest almost anything, from furniture to electronics. However, they tend to rest in close proximity to a human host, making beds, bedroom furniture, and living room furniture the most likely spots.

“Bed bugs are a sign of dirtiness.”

Unlike German cockroaches, which are often (but not always) associated with unsanitary conditions, bed bugs are indifferent to housekeeping skills. They’re interested in human blood, reproduction, and little else. Because they live only where they are carried, they turn up in the grandest mansions and the filthiest apartments. However, it’s often easier to spot a low-level infestation, and treat it early, in a clean room.

“Bed bugs travel on human bodies.”

Aside from piercing the skin to feed, bed bugs do not latch onto humans. If you were to wake up and get out of bed while a bed bug was feeding on you, it would probably fall off and seek shelter. But bed bugs are carried by humans in many ways: In luggage, purses, backpacks, etc.

“Bed bugs reproduce rapidly.”

False. A female bed bug produces about one egg per day, which hatches in about ten days and takes several weeks to reach adulthood. Compared to other insects, that’s very slow.

“Bed bugs are so small that you can’t see them.”

An adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. Nymphs are smaller, but still visible; even the tiny white eggs can be seen by the naked eye. People who have trouble locating bed bugs are probably looking in the wrong places. I’ve searched pillows, bedding, and mattresses — all clean — only to find an ugly cluster of bugs and fecal matter under the boxspring or nightstand.

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