Have you heard the legend of the bed bug? It goes like this. Bed bugs are microscopic, disease-spreading insects that live in dirty homes and feed on the blood of people only while they sleep. How much of this legend do you think is true? Let's take a look.
Are Bed Bugs Microscopic?
No. While bed bugs can be difficult to see, they're not microscopic. When bed bugs first hatch, they are transparent, pale, and about 1 mm in length. If you're not looking closely, you could miss one of these tiny insects, unless it is feeding on you. When a bed bug nymph feeds, its abdomen becomes bright red with your blood. This makes it much easier to see.
Adult bed bugs are 4.5 mm long. They're also a rusty brown color. This makes them easier to see. When you find them between your mattresses and box spring or under the cushion of your couch, you may think you've found a few apple seeds at first. They have a similar shape, size, and coloration.
The reason many people think bed bugs are microscopic is that they're so difficult to see. A home can be infested with bed bugs and never be seen. This is because bed bugs hide in tight spaces and compressed areas. They also have an aversion to light which drives them to stay hidden. A Louisville resident can find bites, contact a professional, and get rid of bed bugs without ever seeing one.
Are Bed Bugs Disease-Spreading Insects?
You may think that because bed bugs feed on blood the way ticks and mosquitoes do, that they would be a similar threat for the spread of harmful diseases. If you do, you're not alone. Many believe this. We're happy to say that this isn't true—at least not yet. As of this writing, there are no confirmed cases of bed bug-to-human disease transmission. While there are studies that show bed bugs can carry human pathogens, there isn't any real-world data to conclude that they make people sick when they infest a home.
Are Bed Bugs Only Found In Dirty Homes?
When bed bugs infest a home and are allowed to grow a large population, they leave black excrement and brown bloodstains on mattresses, box springs, cushions, and other fabrics. As these items are being brought out of an infested house, it is easy for onlookers to get the wrong idea. This is probably why rumors were started that bed bugs infest dirty homes. The truth is that bed bugs don't decide what homes they're going to live in. These bugs are picked up and carried from one area to another. They live almost exclusively indoors with people. They don't go from house to house in search of the best place to live.
Do Bed Bugs Feed On The Blood Of People While They Sleep?
Yes. But not always. While it is true that bed bugs feed on people while they sleep, these insects can also get a blood meal from a fully-awake human. If you don't know this, it can cause confusion when bed bugs get into your Louisville home or business. Bed bugs don't just infest hotels and motels. They've been found infesting movie theaters, libraries, retails stores, public transportation, nursing homes, schools, daycares, and more.
Other Facts You Should Know About Bed Bugs
- Bed bugs don't just live in beds. They can be found in other furniture items, electronics, and any objects that have a void inside.
- Bed bugs are attracted to laundry items. You should always protect your laundry when you stay overnight somewhere.
- Bed bug bites aren't bad at first. Wounds get worse with repeated bite events.
- Bed bugs can grow resistant to chemicals found in their environment. If you attempt to eliminate bed bugs with over-the-counter products and fail, you could make those bugs stronger.
- Heat can kill bed bugs in every stage of development, but it takes a lot of heat. While you won't have much success putting space heaters around your home to kill bed bugs, you can eliminate bed bugs in clothing articles and other objects by placing them in a dryer on high heat for 30 minutes.
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