Bed Bugs: Debugging The Myths

Posted on

If you want to get rid of bed bugs, it helps to know some general things about their characteristics, life cycles, and habits. Unfortunately, there are lot of misconceptions out there about bed bugs that could caused people some problems when they're trying to get rid of these pesky bedmates.

The following are a few of the most common myths regarding bed bugs that need to be debugged when an effective bed bug removal regime is being developed:

  1. Bed bugs prefer dirtiness- Bed begs have no preference when it comes to an environment's cleanliness. They can be found in high class hotels as well as homeless shelters. Bed bugs are simply more common in poorer areas because of dense populations and the sometimes high costs of removing them.
  2. Bed bugs will only bite at night- While bed bugs are nocturnal, they will eat at any time of day if they are hungry. This means that leaving your light on while you sleep will not trick bed bugs into leaving you alone.
  3. Bug spray can get rid of bed bugs- Unfortunately, relying only on chemical sprays to get rid of bed bugs probably won't work. Although a spray may kill some of the pests, the ones that survive will develop a resistance to bug spray. This means that fumigation and heat treatments are typically necessary. 
  4. Mattresses and furniture must be thrown away to get rid of bed bugs- Many people assume that a bed bug infestation can only be eradicated if every infected item or piece of furniture is thrown away. In fact, other solutions sometimes work. For example, a mattress encasement can trap the bed bugs inside until they die. 
  5. Bed bug infestations can be prevented by a mattress cover- If you put a mattress cover around your mattress before an infestation develops, you can protect your mattress from infestation. However, holes usually develop in mattress covers over time that allow bed bugs to penetrate into the mattress. 
  6. Bed bugs transmit diseases- There has never been a reported case of a bed bug passing a human disease. While bed bugs may carry certain viruses and bacteria, these microbes are not able to reproduce within the bodies of bed bugs. 
  7. DDT should be used to treat bed bug infestations- Because of the persistence of cumbersome bed bug infestations, rumors have developed that DDT should be brought back to effectively eradicate such infestations. However, bed bugs had in fact already become resistance to this pesticide by the time it was banned in the early 1970's. For more information on bed bug removal, navigate here.