PUBLISHED ON February 15th, 2011
Despite the heightened publicity about America’s bed bug re-infestation, a recent survey by the National Pest Management Association revealed that misconceptions about these elusive pests still thrive. Here’s a look at some of the common myths – and the truth behind them – about bed bug pest control.
MYTH: Bed bugs transmit disease.
FACT: Current research has shown that bed bugs do not transmit diseases to their human victims, although some people may end up with red, itchy welts, according to the NPMA.
MYTH: Bed bugs only infest filthy, low-income homes.
FACT: Bed bugs are found in both sanitary and unsanitary conditions, and they are not picky about the income level of the homes they infest. All they require is a food source and a place to breed.
MYTH: You can get rid of bed bugs simply by spraying a pesticide.
FACT: Bed bug pest control is trickier than it used to be. Today’s strain is hardy and chemical-resistant, and do-it-yourself pest solutions are no longer as effective. Your best bet for bed bug pest control is to consult a professional pest control company.
MYTH: Bed bugs only come out at night.
FACT: While bed bugs are primarily nocturnal creatures, they are also opportunistic, which means they can sometimes come out to feed during the day. They spend 5-10 minutes feeding, then go back into hiding for 5-10 days.
MYTH: You would feel it if a bed bug was biting you.
FACT: The saliva of a bed bug contains an anesthetic to prevent you from feeling its bite.
MYTH: Bed bugs only live in beds.
FACT: These sneaky little pests like to hide near their food source, but that doesn’t just mean your mattress. They can stow away in furniture, behind electrical outlets, in crevices around the baseboards and even behind picture frames. They can also temporarily hitch a ride in clothing and suitcases.
Knowing the facts about these pesky insects is an important part of successful bed bug pest control. For more information, visit the NPMA’s “Bed Bug Hub.”