Bed bugs are opportunistic insects that hide by day and seek out their next blood meal at night. They hide in cracks and crevices around sleeping areas, within a person’s belongings, on public transportation and in the soft cushions of movie theaters, awaiting their next host. Studies have shown that much is misunderstood about this nocturnal pest.
In order to clear up some misconceptions about bed bugs, we compiled this third installment in our series on bed bug myths. A thorough understanding of bed bugs and keen awareness of what to watch out for is necessary to keep your home or business safe from a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs only infest low-income areas, unkempt homes and mostly urban environments or roadside motels.
This urban legend has been told time and time again, mostly repeated in the minds of suburbanites who travel to mid-level or five star hotels and who are repulsed at the very thought that bed bugs may be living in their hotel bed. But the truth, according to a recent Bed Bugs in America study, is that bed bugs are found in all 50 states, they do not discriminate in regard to household income and are found in both sanitary and unsanitary conditions. Bed bugs can infest a roadside motel as easily as they can a five-star luxury resort. It takes the introduction of just one impregnated female bed bug to cause an infestation inside of a home or hotel room.
Bed bugs transmit disease.
Bed bug bite victims tend to suffer from red, itchy welts, although not every person bitten will show symptoms. At this time, bed bugs are not known to transmit disease. That’s not to say though that a bed bug infestation does not have ramifications. When bed bugs infest a home that homeowner may suffer from anxiety, loss of sleep and be traumatized by the experience. More and more is being written and discovered about the psychological toll that a bed bug infestation has on its victim.
I can avoid bed bugs by inspecting for them.
Inspecting your home, hotel room or rental property for bed bugs is a great way to avoid them or to detect an infestation at an early stage when it can be treated more easily. However, a recent study proved that the majority of the traveling public could not properly distinguish a bed bug from other household insects. If you are not certain of how to properly identify a bed bug then perhaps another means of prevention, such as an active mattress liner on every bed in the home is prudent. For example, ActiveGuard Mattress Liners kill bed bugs 24/7 for two years, typically within 72 hours.
When seeking out information about bed bugs ensure that you are searching legitimate sites such as a pest control company, state university or national association like the National Pest Management Association. We will continue to debunk bed bug myths and encourage you to send in questions about bed bugs to: firstname.lastname@example.org.