Home Health & Wellness 5 Bed Bug Myths You Should Not Believe, According to Expert

5 Bed Bug Myths You Should Not Believe, According to Expert

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Recent research indicates that not just Paris, but a global uptick in bed bugs, not only due to increased international travel, but also how these tiny bloodsuckers have now evolved to develop resistance towards most pesticides.

These blood-thirsty pests, avid fans of human blood, have instilled fear as they infiltrate private spaces, feeding on us when we are the most vulnerable. This has hence given rise to a plethora of rumours surrounding these apple-seed-sized vampires.

To alleviate the escalating anxiety, Kevin Klingler, a pest control expert at Pest Wisdom, is determined to dispel these myths once and for all.

Here are five bed bug myths you should not believe, according to experts

You attract more bed bugs by killing them

Many people wonder if killing off a bed bug infestation will bring new bugs into their space. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Other bed bugs are not interested in deceased members of their own species, and it is unlikely that different types of insects will enter your home due to previous bed bug activity. While killing bed bugs might potentially draw the attention of other insects such as spiders, ants, and centipedes, this is only likely to occur if those insects already exist in your home. Nevertheless, the sense of smell of these insects is limited in range. For example, most species of ants can’t smell anything more than ten feet away, and therefore, it’s improbable that dead bed bugs would attract more insects from the outside.

Bed bug bites spread when scratched

It’s a common belief that scratching bed bug bites can cause them to spread. However, this isn’t true. The itchiness associated with bed bug bites is not due to a virus but is caused by the anticoagulant that they inject into our skin to make our blood flow more freely. Bed bug bites themselves aren’t contagious, what makes scratching a bad idea is that it can create tears in your skin, which might lead to infection or scarring. Hence, despite the temptation, it’s best to resist the urge to scratch.

Extra tip: If you’re dealing with itchy bed bug bites, the first step is to wash the affected area with soap and water. Be sure to rinse off all the soap to prevent further irritation. If the itching persists, try applying corticosteroid cream, and if it doesn’t improve or the area becomes painful, consider consulting a doctor, who may prescribe additional medications.

Bed bugs can smell blood  

Bed bugs do not possess the ability to smell blood. Instead, they are attracted by the CO2 and heat emitted by our bodies which they can detect as long as they are within three feet of their target and will begin to bite until they find a vein. This is why they tend to inhabit areas close to where you sleep.

Since bed bugs cannot detect blood, there is no correlation between their biting frequency and menstrual cycles or blood type. Some individuals may experience more bites simply because bed bugs prefer feeding on smooth, exposed skin, which is easier for them to access. Additionally, bed bugs don’t like movement, so a person who stays relatively still is favoured.

Bed bugs only live in beds

As misleading as their name may be, bed bugs don’t only live in beds. Hence, dumping your mattress will not eliminate bed bugs altogether, as these critters often nest in various other places. They can be found in crevices of bed frames, both inside and on box springs, drawers and closets, among items stored under the bed, in curtains, stuffed animals, and even on carpets and rugs. Consequently, discarding your mattress is unlikely to completely resolve your bed bug problem, and you may inadvertently spread bed bugs throughout your home as you transport the infested mattress.

If you opt to replace the mattress, there are several steps you should take to safeguard your home. Encase the mattress in a protective cover before taking it out of the room. These encasements serve as effective tools because they trap the bed bugs already residing in your mattress. Essentially, once you zip up the encasement, no bed bugs can escape, leading them to eventually perish.

DIY bed bug home remedies are effective  

People will often have a go at quick internet remedies in an effort to salvage their bedbuginfested homes before seeking professional help. Baking soda and rubbing alcohol are among the most commonly used, however, there is no scientific backing for their effectiveness. In fact, research by Rutgers University shows that even after being sprayed with rubbing alcohol, half of the bed bugs still survive after four days.

Moreover, dousing your furniture in highly flammable liquid can create a fire hazard, with cases of house fires inflicted by homeowners combating bed bugs happening across the globe.

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