To many people, bed bugs are mysterious creatures that inhabit the nightmares of children. Bed bugs skirt the line between urban legend and reality, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. In truth, bed bugs are legitimate concerns that are well understood and combatable. You’ve probably heard some falsehoods and myths about bed bugs. Here are some of the most common.
Bed Bugs are Invisible to the Naked Eye
Bed bugs are incredibly tiny, often smaller than ants and termites. Still, if you have close to average vision you should be able to spot the bugs if you look in the right places. Some myths hold that bed bugs are microscopic, requiring a magnifying lens or microscope to see. However, mature bed bugs are fully within the visible range to humans. They’ll usually be identifiable as tiny, reddish-brown flecks about the size of a fruit seed.
Bed Bugs are Only Found in the Bed
Despite their name, bed bugs can be found almost anywhere in a home. They’re identified with beds because that’s where most people get bitten. Bed bugs feed on sleeping mammals so the association makes sense. Though it’s true the creatures love digging into a mattress or between your sheets, they can easily make their home elsewhere. Bed bugs are known for burrowing into carpet and hiding under furniture.
Bed Bugs Only Feed at Night
This is another myth perpetuated by the fact that people get bitten most often in their beds. Because you probably sleep at night, bed bugs are most likely to prey on you at this time. In reality, the bugs will bite away at any time of the day, as long as their prey is present and still. This means you’re still at risk if you’re sleeping in or taking an afternoon nap.
Bud Bugs can Fly
Because they can spread so easily and infest almost anywhere, many people assume that bed bugs must be able to fly. Actually, they have no wings or any other means of aerial locomotion other than a strong breeze. Bed bugs spread by hitchhiking on people, animals, and material like clothing.
Clean, Spotless Homes Never Get Bed Bugs
Messy, dirty homes attract other bugs like cockroaches and ants. So, it’s not a stretch to assume that clean homes would be immune to bed bugs. However, a clean room is just as vulnerable as a dirty one. The bugs will find a tidy, well-kept home easier to navigate and find their prey in. The only advantage of a clean house is that it’s easier to spot the tiny critters.