In this guide, we shall study a few interesting bed bug facts and well-known bed bug myths.
Bed bug myth 1: Bed bugs are invisible; one cannot see them
This is an interesting one among all bed bug myths since the truth is that: bed bugs usually are dormant during the day and hide in hard to reach areas during this period. They only come out at night to feed on their hosts and this makes them somewhat ‘invisible’. But the truth is: a thorough investigation can help reveal bed bugs. They are certainly very small in size-less than an average sized apple seed, but they are definitely not invisible and can be seen with the naked eye.
Bed bug myth 2: Bed bugs and fleas reproduce at the same rate
One of the bed bug facts that set them apart from fleas is that they do not reproduce as quickly as fleas. A flea can lay nearly 2000 eggs in her lifetime and a single flea grows into thousands in a span of few weeks. Bed bugs, on the other hand, require ideal temperature conditions to grow and reproduce. An interesting among the bed bug facts is that a single female bed bug lays only about 113 eggs in her lifetime; which is a lot less compared to other insects.
Bed bug myth 3: Throw away the mattress and you are rid of bed bugs
The problem with a bed bug infestation is that it is hard to rid of. Not only do you need to dispose-off all the mattresses and other infested items, you will also need to thoroughly examine the bed box springs. Bed bugs love to hide in dark and hard-to-access areas; but they also like to be close to their hosts. If they find their victims on the sofa or couch, they will not hesitate to hide in these places as well. If you are planning to dispose of all infested items, it is vital to seal those using plastic sealing bags, marking the items as ‘bed-bug infested’ and also destroying them to ensure that the infestation does not spread.
Bed bug myth 4: Bed bugs only live in low income areas
This is one of the most common of all bed bug myths. The reality is that bed bugs are even seen in five star hotels and high income housing areas. Important among the bed bug facts are that they have nothing to do with how clean or unclean an apartment is. Bed bugs can hitchhike into our homes through the luggage, when we travel in buses or even in airplanes. Bed bug infestations are certainly quite expensive to get rid of and hence they do tend to get out of control in the low-income housing areas.
Bed bug myth 5: I can leave my doors and windows open in the winter to get rid of bed bugs
On the contrary, bed bug facts indicate that these pests need extremely low temperatures to freeze and die off. This means that even winters in Nebraska will probably not be cold enough to get an infested home free of these pests. Bed bugs are rather more resistant to cold than to heat and the important among all bed bug facts here is that one must freeze them at 0 degrees for at least 4 days for the freeze treatment to be effective.
Bed bug myth 6: Bed bugs can be killed with heat and all I need to do is buy a room heater and kill them on my own – no professionals needed
The bed bug heat treatment is effective as long as you are able to attain very high temperatures of the order of 122F. Additionally, sensors must be placed in the rooms to ensure that the bugs and their eggs are all killed off from the cracks and crevices in the rooms. Professional exterminators ensure sealing the rooms being treated with special seals so that the heat does not escape. They also help owners remove heavy furniture away from walls and take the precautions to protect delicate electronic items. Additionally, with the help of experienced professionals the risk of fires is greatly minimized; something which DIY homeowners may not be able to achieve.
Bed bug myth 7: All over-the-counter chemicals and sprays will help get rid of a bed bug infestation
Many over the counter products made for killing common household pests claim to also kill bed bugs. The bed bug facts are: pyrethroid based products are no longer effective as bed bugs are quite resistant to them. Secondly; chemicals and pesticide sprays alone might not be enough to get rid of bed bugs in their various life cycle stages. An integrated pest management approach may be needed which includes complete cleaning as well as disposal of the infested items in addition to the right sprays and powders. For very large infestations, you might also need professional bed bug extermination services from the experts.