The infamous Cimex lectularius: the bed bug. There are few pests that induce the same sense of anxiety. They bite. They drink our blood. They leave red swollen marks that itch. And they often do it while we’re asleep and helpless.

Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown insects that can be as small as the head of a pin or as large as an apple seed. They’re great at hiding and hitchhiking, and bed bug infestations can be picked up almost anywhere – offices, stores, hotels, and gyms. Once indoors, they are difficult to control. But you can reduce the chances of a costly infestation by knowing the truth about these pests and catching them early. That’s why we’ve rounded up some common myths about these nasty critters.

Myth: They live exclusively in mattresses

“Bed bug” is somewhat of a misnomer. They could also be called pet bugs, suitcase bugs, train bugs, or movie theater bugs. These pests thrive in many environments and can be found on any surface, including chairs, railings, and ceilings.

A study of infested living environments by the University of Kentucky produced this breakdown of the most frequent places where bed bugs were found:

  1. Box Spring (34.6%)
  2. Couch and/or Chair (22.6%)
  3. Mattress (22.4%)
  4. Bed Frame and/or Head Board (13.4%)
  5. Other (3.1%)
  6. Walls and/or Ceilings (2.3%)
  7. Baseboard (1.4%)
  8. Dresser and/or Night Stand (0.2%)

Myth: They spread by hitching a ride on people

Bed bugs do not like heat, so they do not hang around in hair or on skin like lice or ticks. Rather, they prefer to near a warm blood source on which they can occasionally feed. So they’re likely to hitch a ride on backpacks, luggage, shoes, or household items moving from place to place. If you suspect you may have picked up bed bugs somewhere, pay attention to cracks, crevices, seams, and folds in material.

Myth: They only feast at night

While bed bugs prefer darkness, keeping the light on at night won’t deter these pests from biting you. They are not specifically nocturnal. If they’re hungry, they’ll get up and get something to eat.

Myth: They thrive in dirty environments

Bed bugs are a public health pest and are nondiscriminatory. They thrive in a myriad of conditions, including clean environments. The prevalence of these pests in low-income housing or low-end hotels is no a result of the insects’ preference, but rather a result of dense human populations and the businesses’ lack of resources to pay for proper elimination strategies.

Bed bugs are attracted to warmth, blood, and carbon dioxide – in other words most living things. They are not attracted to dirt and grime specifically. A cluttered space merely provides more places for them to hide. Bed bugs are able to squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices, often going unnoticed by the casual observer until they reproduce and bite. They multiply quickly, so early detection and treatment is critical to prevent a larger infestation.

Using the latest technology, YES Pest Pros aims to solve your bed bug problem in one visit. For more information or to schedule a free inspection and consultation, visit YES Pest Pros today.