In this post, I’ll be covering the most common bed bug myths and misconceptions in the world of bed bug sufferers and the inquisitive.
Should you ever go through the ordeal of bed bugs, it’s important that you don’t fall victim to any of these tall tales.
You can check out this post that covers myths regarding various treatment methods and home remedies that could seriously harm the person trying home-brewed solutions.
Without further ado, here are the 6 most pervasive bed bug myths that really need to go!
1. You Can’t See Bed Bugs
Bed bugs start out small. Baby bugs are seriously tiny. For an idea of just how small I’m talking about, here’s a picture:
That doesn’t mean they’re invisible, by any means. If you have a feeling you might be getting bitten by bed bugs, it’s never too early to check for the observable symptoms and the specific symptoms of bites.
A little extra caution never hurt anybody; if you turn out to be right, you could save yourself thousands and a LOT of stress.
That being said, it’s relatively unlikely that you’d see a bed bug out in the open early on in an infestation.
They know when you’re sleeping and can hone in on the heat of your body and the carbon dioxide from your breath.
This is why you’re unlikely to see them during the day – and is likely why many imagine their bites come from invisible pests. I’ll expand on this a little more in #6.
You can take a look at the page on identifying bed bug bites here, but a combination of doing that and searching for observable symptoms is necessary to get an accurate diagnosis.
For more pictures that could be valuable a point of reference, check out the page dedicated to bed bug pictures. Just be sure that you aren’t eating before you click through.
2. Bed Bugs Only Live In Beds
If only this were the case.
In reality, bed bugs have been documented living in all sorts of furniture, electronics, bags, closets, and any other location you can imagine.
They thrive in hard to reach dark places, like behind power switches, in the cracks between the floor and wall, and even in utility lines.
They’re hide and seek masters which gives you a good understanding of why tossing your entire bed or sleeping on the couch won’t do the trick.
You can read more about where bed bugs like to hide on the Symptoms page starting from This Section specifically.
Bed bugs are mobile will go where the meal goes. If you move to the couch, the bugs will be there soon enough.
3. Bed Bugs Only Live In Dirty Homes
I probably bring this up in every single page, but this truth deserves to be put in the spotlight.
Anybody can get bed bugs. Do you travel? Do you visit friends? Do you go the movies? Do you stay in hotels, motels, or B&Bs? Do you leave your house and enter places of public use?
If you answered yes to any of these, you are not beyond bringing bed bugs home some fateful day.
That being said, bed bugs do thrive in homes filled with clutter. This does not mean that a fastidiously kept home is immune – even a beautifully kept home has a bed, bed frame, nightstand, and voids for bed bugs to slip away into.
You can do a lot to minimize the impact a potential infestation could have on your life through taking preventative measures and understanding how to recognize the early symptoms of infestation.
Those two actions alone might save you thousands in professional treatment and help maintain the very sense of comfort you feel when at home.
I highly recommend having a plan upon return from travel and an IPM at the ready so you can jump into action and have every advantage over bed bugs!
4. Bed Bugs Only Come Out At Night
Until your infestation is considerably advanced – meaning they’ve become brazen and desperate from competition – bed bugs will happily wait until you’re fast asleep to safely have a meal.
As I mentioned in #1, bed bugs have senses perfectly attuned to the human body. The species of bed bugs that bugs us; otherwise known as Cimex lectularius, has evolved to hunt humans.
They’ve come to know that we’re mostly harmless when asleep but won’t discriminate the morning should they get hungry enough.
In serious cases, it can seem like they’re pouring out of the walls.
5. Bed Bugs Transmit Diseases
Bed bugs do not transmit disease.
While you can have a serious allergic reaction to the chemicals in their bites, there have been only a few extreme fringe cases in which people were exposed to acute amounts of feces which resulted in disease transmission.
The EPA has reported that “There have been no cases or studies that indicate bed bugs transmit diseases between humans.”
You’re far more likely to contract an infection from incessantly itching a bite.
This is why stopping bed bug bites from itching is actually an important step in treatment.
You can learn much more about bed bug bites on the page dedicated to the topic.
6. Bed Bugs Are Not A Serious Threat To Health
Anyone that has suffered through bed bugs will tell you that they are a legitimate health issue.
While there are no cases of bed bugs transmitting diseases, sufferers experience trauma towards their mental health, monetary health, and regular bodily health all at once.
As you grow to obsess over the idea of some blood-sucking ectoparasite stealing away your blood in the night, you begin to feel helpless, disgusted, and trapped in your own home.
While losing sleep and failing to get any restful sleep, you must wait out the treatment time of at least a week acting as bait even if using a professional service.
That service is costing you money, your mental and physical health suffer as you lose sleep, and it really sucks in most ways as one can imagine.
Psychiatric studies have even seen cases of sufferers having symptoms of PTSD.
For these reasons, even the EPA has recognized the bed bug as a significant Public Health Threat.
Thanks For Reading!
That’s it for this post; if you have any suggestions as far as myths I missed or with any corrections.
The followup post regarding the Most Dangerous Bed Bug Treatment Myths is up now.
As always, congratulations on investing in your own health, and best of luck in your fight to get debedbugged!
Hi, according to me most of the time we are responsible to let the bed bugs enter into our house. They also entered in house from clothes and places where we spent our time. Last year my friend was on vacation in a resort and when he returned to his house, his luggage was infested with bed bugs and they were spreading in his house. He tried many things to treat them and finally suggested by his neighbor, he hired professional exterminator in NYC who provided him fumigation services.
It’s true that people frequently bring bed bugs home unwittingly. Travel is by far the most common way to get bed bugs! A professional is a good investment of money for those who can afford it. I recommend taking the time to figure out what a good exterminator does before taking the leap.