Bed bugs aren’t welcome in anyone’s home, but are much more common than most of us think. They’re present in huge numbers in cities all over the world and are experiencing a boom as we all travel more after the pandemic.
No creature is more adept at hitching lifts and colonizing new places and they aren’t discerning about where they call home or who they feed on. We are all at risk; from the poorest to the wealthiest, the cleanest to the dirtiest. But what attracts bed bugs?
Read on to find out 4 common misconceptions about what attracts bed bugs as well as what does, and what you can do about it!
What Attracts Bed Bugs? 4 Common Misconceptions
First, let’s bust a few myths.
Contrary to popular belief, dirt and grime do not attract bed bugs. While clutter and rubbish may provide more places for this parasite to live and hide, bed bugs are not drawn toward dirt. Even the swankiest, cleanest homes and hotels can suffer from an invasion of this biting pest.
Accessible food may attract rodents but is of no interest to bed bugs. There are lots of reasons to be careful about where and how you store food but keeping bed bugs at bay is not one of them.
Bed bugs will feed on pets but only when they can’t get to humans. Cats, dogs, and other warm-blooded pets will not make a bed bug infestation more likely though their bedding may provide refuge for these tiny critters. (That said, they do make a flea infestation more likely!)
Yes, bed bugs do prefer darkness and dark places but keeping your lights on at night will not prevent them from biting you.
So what does attract bed bugs?
The answer is simple but not of much help in avoiding the six-footed bugs: it is you.
Bed bugs are drawn by carbon dioxide and body heat from warm-blooded animals, and their favorites are humans. They find where we are and crawl their way onto our skin, where they feed for minutes at a time. They can leave red bite marks, but some people show no signs of having been bitten at all!
Beds somewhat attract bed bugs, but only because they give the bugs somewhere warm and dark to hide – think of all the nooks and crannies – and keep them close to their source of food for hours on end. Think about it, your mattress essentially serves you up for around 8 hours a night!
Note, however, that they are not restricted to beds and any gap or crack could be a hiding place, including in sofas and other fabric seating.
So what can I do to avoid getting bed bugs?
While cleanliness and neatness won’t protect you from bed bugs, being diligent while cleaning and being military about getting your washing done after traveling can. For example, keeping your bedroom clean could help you notice an infestation in the early stages (find out how to identify bed bugs here) so you can get it treated before it spreads and putting your washing on a hot wash immediately when you get back from traveling can help kill off any hitchhikers on your clothes.
If you think you may have a bed bug infestation (or even just a handful), act fast. Bed bugs multiply quickly, so it’s best to deal with them as soon as possible. Don’t bother wasting your time with DIY solutions; nothing works better than hiring the services of a reliable pest control company that can treat your home or business with a bed bug heat treatment. Heat treatments are the only truly effective way to eradicate bed bugs in all life stages.
If you live in Arizona and think you may have bed bugs or any other pest, reach out to us for a free inspection today.