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Bed Bug Myths vs. Reality


bed bug bite on handYou may know a bit about those pesky bugs you try to keep out of the house. For instance, your house was built to turn termites away, keeping all wooden structures a few inches away from the soil. You know that water leaks attract all kinds of insects, from termites to mosquitoes to cockroaches. You’re aware that keeping food on the counter attracts ants, and that if those ants do get in your house, they can’t survive the tricks you have up your sleeve. However, bed bugs are another story. You can try to prevent them with many tips and tricks and you know how to be prepared, but there is a lot of information out there about bed bugs that is generally false. Do you know how big a bed bug can become? Are you aware that we don’t actually know if there is a reason for bed bugs to exist except to feed? Need a bed bug update? See the bed bug myths below to learn a bit about these pesky parasites.

Myth 1: Bed bugs cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Reality: Bed bug eggs are about 0.1 inches long. Bed bug nymphs range from that size to the size of an adult, which can be about 4.5mm, or the size of an apple seed.

Myth 2: Bed bugs carry disease.

Reality: Bed bugs have never actually been proven to carry disease or transmit it. People can be allergic to bed bugs, but this is on a case-by-case basis.

Myth 3: Bed bugs are not a risk to public health.

Even though bed bugs are not known to carry disease, bed bugs are a common public health pest, as determined by the EPA.

Myth 4: Bed bugs don’t like bright rooms.

Reality: Bed bugs prefer cool, dark areas, but they will attack you or pets in any light.

Myth 5: Bed bugs come to your house if it’s dirty.

Reality: This is one of the biggest myths around bed bugs. They do not exist in dirty homes simply because the home is dirty. They like clutter because it offers more dark spaces. However, they mostly like warm areas, blood and carbon dioxide.

Myth 6: Pesticides can completely eliminate any bed bug infestation.

Reality: Pesticide bed bug eradication can be dangerous to your health and the health of your home. It is also not the most effective treatment method for completely ridding of bed bugs – pesticides cannot, by themselves, 100% eliminate bed bugs. Another concern is that in some areas, bed bugs and other pests have developed resistance to certain pesticides.

Myth 7: Heat treatments are not effective in getting rid of bed bugs.

Reality: Heat treatment is one of the only safe and effective solutions for removing bed bugs from a home. Heat treatment is not harmful to people, pets or the inside of your home. Bed bugs cannot live in areas over 122ºF. Bed bug heat treatment professionals take care to produce heat that is way over this temperature to ensure all bed bugs, nymphs and bed bug eggs do not survive. Heat treatment takes a process, but it is does not take as long as pesticide treatment. In addition, heat treatment is about 100% effective.

Myth 8: People can get rid of bed bugs themselves.

Reality: People can try and prevent bed bugs by keeping things clean, keeping crevices in the home covered and inspecting everything after using public transportation or traveling. People can also educate themselves on how to detect bed bugs before the insects procreate exponentially. However, getting rid of bed bugs takes a professional who understands the right steps needed to get rid of them once and for all.

Myth 9: Bed bugs only need a little blood to survive.

Reality: Bed bugs can eat up to 7 times their own body weight! In addition, they reproduce at a great number, so usually, bed bugs do not eat alone. Imagine how much blood 50-100 bed bugs need to survive. Now multiply that to imagine what many severe infestations look like. Bed bugs can hide many days without feeding, but they can eat a lot.

Myth 10: Bed bugs are more present in cold climates.

Reality: While a bed bug cannot survive in high heat, bed bugs do not exist in one climate more than another. Most areas of the United States do not exceed temperatures over 122ºF, and most of the time, they exist in areas that have air conditioning anyway.

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