Just the mention of bed bugs can make your skin crawl. No one likes them. No one wants them. But beyond that, few of us really understand them. Outside of the experts of course. Which is why calling in a licensed professional bed bug removal service is always the smart move when you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation.
Over the years, however, a wide variety of myths and misinformation about bed bugs has been spread throughout the country. These old wive’s tales have spread with about as much ease as the bed bugs themselves. So, it seems like a good idea to bust some of these myths and lay some of that misinformation to rest.
So away we go…
#1 – Foam Mattresses are Safe from Bed Bugs
While it’s true that bed bugs can’t live in foam they can still hide in any other crack or crevice in your bed frame. So even though the foam is a hostile habitat to the bed bug it can’t protect you from an infestation or, more importantly, from being bitten.
Many people choose to use mattress encasements. These bags fully enclose the mattress and prevent bed bugs from getting in. Ultimately, mattress encasements aren’t really a protection from bed bugs. The pests can still hide in your bed frame, linens, or baseboards. What they can do is protect your mattress during an infestation. An encasement can prevent you from having to toss that mattress ofter a bed bug scare.
#2 – You’ll Need to Throw Out Everything after an Infestation
This myth has been around for a long time. To be fair, it’s partially true. In the case of a severe infestation you may be forced to throw away some pieces of furniture such as mattresses, couches, and upholstered chairs. But that’s a worst case scenario.
Your electronics (TV, computer, etc) will likely be fine. Bed bugs usually only end up hiding in electronics when all other hiding places are filled up. The same holds true for most large pieces of furniture. You will likely need to strip your beds and thoroughly wash all of your linens. You’ll also need to wash clothes, cushion slipcovers, and drapes.
It’s worth noting that bed bug exterminators often use heat to kill the pests. It’s efficient, effective, and the only mess to be cleaned up is dead bugs. This can save most, if not all, of your belongings.
#3 – Bed Bugs Only Travel by Hitchhiking
Hitchhiking is one of the methods bed bugs use to infest new environments. It’s the most common way they move from one building to another. However, hitchhiking isn’t their only mode of travel. They can get around just fine under their own steam. They’ll happily crawl through electrical outlets, up and around walls, and through cracks and crevices to reach a food-rich environment. On the plus side bed bugs don’t have wings and they can’t jump.
#4 – Bed Bugs Only Feed at Night
Bed bugs are not nocturnal creatures. While it’s true they mainly feed at night that’s more a reaction to our human habits than a lifestyle. When bed bugs feed they need their hosts to be docile and unaware. That’s why most bed bug attacks are on folks sleeping in their beds.
But this doesn’t mean bed bugs won’t feed during the day. During an infestation if you were to take a nap on the living room couch a hungry bed bug will happily nip out for a bite. Day or night, light or dark, bed bugs are always looking for a meal.
#5 – DIY Bed Bug Treatments are Cheap and Effective
We probably all know someone who swears by their home remedy (diatomaceous earth, cayenne pepper, or natural oils) and promises it will totally eradicate any bed bug infestation. These so-called treatments might slow the infestation, but they can never get rid of all of the pests. They always come back – fiercer and hungrier than ever.
The same holds true of over-the-counter pesticides and bug bombs. It may be tempting to try and save some money by using bug spray from the supermarket but eventually the bed bugs return. Sooner or later you need to call a professional. More importantly, these pesticides can be hazardous to your health. Especially when used improperly.
#6 – Bed Bugs Only Live in Big Cities
Some people think bed bugs are only a problem in large urban areas. They mistakenly believe that these pests are a big city problem. But nothing could be further from the truth. According to a study conducted by the National Pest Management Association bed bugs can be found in all 50 states in the union. They are found in big cities and small towns, urban city centers and rural communities.
Bed bugs don’t discriminate. They can, and will, go wherever they find a host. That’s why they can be found everywhere from five-star resorts to roadside motels.
#7 – Bed Bugs Transmit Disease
Bed bug bites can lead to anxiety and loss of sleep. In extreme cases the bites can even lead to secondary infections if you scratch them raw. But for all of the problems caused by these pests there have been no reported cases of bed bugs transmitting any diseases to humans. While none of us want to share our space (or our blood) with bed bugs at least there’s some comfort in knowing they don’t carry any life threatening diseases.
Published by Scott Palatnik
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