These bugs used to be a thing of the past so few of us had any experience with them. But in the last 10 years or so they have made an alarming come back.
People find these bugs in apartments, condos, houses, hotels, motels, restaurants, and theatres. They show up in libraries and even taxi cabs.
Myth #1 – Bed Bugs Can Fly
Wrong. Bed bugs have no wings and can’t fly. They can crawl about 3 feet per minute when they are in high gear though which is still pretty slow. This is why they rely on things like people to hitchhike on and get around.
Myth #2 – You Can’t See Bed Bugs
Wrong. Bed bugs are small – usually small enough that a full size bed bug can comfortably sit on a penny and only cover part of Lincolns head. Eggs are even smaller.
But if you look carefully in the places where they generally hide you’ll see bed bugs (although they tend to scurry pretty fast for cover), eggs, discarded shells, fecal droppings, and blood smears where a bug has been crushed.
Myth #3 – Bed Bugs Only Live In Dirty Places
Wrong. This myth is really one of the worst. Because we think that Bed Bugs are only attracted to dirty homes when we get them it’s embarrassing to admit it and seek help. The truth is that Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt and grime; they are attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide.
Bed Bugs show up in the cleanest of homes but the more clutter that you have the more places they have to hide from treatment.
Myth #4 – Bed Bugs Transmit Diseases
Wrong. In all the time that these bugs have been around there is no documented case where they transmitted a disease from one person to another.
Myth #5 Bed Bugs Only Feed At Night
Wrong. These are bugs of opportunity and will feed anytime they can find a host. They prefer the dark of night because that is when people usually are asleep and they can feed undisturbed. But if you sit on an infested chair or lay in an infested bed during daylight or with bright lights on – you could still be bitten.
Myth #6 Bed Bugs Can Reproduce Quickly
Wrong. Even though it might seem that an infestation can grow overnight, the actual facts are different.
When compared to other insects, bedbugs are actually slow at reproducing. An adult female will lay just one egg per day on average. When you compare that to a common housefly which can lay as many as 500 eggs over a period of just three to four days you see how slow a bedbug reproduces.
Then each bedbug egg takes about 10 days for it to to hatch and it goes through several molting cycles before it becomes an adult.
Myth #7 Bed Bugs Can Live A Year Without Food
This one is a little tricky because it is both true and false. Under normal room temperatures the bug can live for 2 to three months without food. But in colder regions because it is cold blooded it can last for up to a year.
Myth #8 Bed Bugs Live Only In Mattresses
False. While their name makes you think that they might live only in your mattress it’s not true. These bugs will live in your mattress, on your bed frame, in furniture near your bed, and behind pictured hung on your walls. In fact they will hide out anywhere in close range of the places that you and your family sleep.
Myth #9 Bed Bugs Travel On Our Bodies
False. Bedbugs don’t like heat, So they don’t stick in your hair or on your skin like lice or ticks. They prefer to hang on your clothes or other items that are further from our bodies like backpacks, luggage, shoes. This is why you need to be careful when you travel to protect your luggage and clothes from an unwanted hitchhiker.
Myth #10 An Exterminator Can Kill An Entire Infestation In One Visit
False. It just makes me angry when I see or hear this in ads or from people. These bugs are hard to get rid of. Most sprays do nothing for the bugs that are hidden in large objects like your mattress or sofa. And even if an exterminator kills every living bug – when the eggs hatch you have a new infestation.
Conclusion to Bed Bug Facts and Myths
The more that we know about these bugs the easier it will be to get rid of them when we have an infestation. There is no magic bullet spray that kills them.
To get rid of them you have to have a plan and work it, including re-treating after 10 days to kill the newly hatched bugs.
Hopefully this article has given you some fresh insight into these bugs and how to deal with them. Please ask any questions you have below or go to our Facebook page.