Like a thief in the night, these things crawl out of the darkness and sink their teeth into a juicy meal, which just so happens to be you. Bed bugs are creepy and their name may be reminiscent of a childhood expression, but these pests are no joke. Bed bugs are now a problem in every state in the country and the instances of reports continue to rise.
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of their hosts. These bugs prefer to live in warm, dry places, such as in your mattress or the carpeting on your floor. One of the biggest reasons bed bugs have grown to such a problem is misinformation among the public.
If you truly want to protect your family from these biting pests, it is important to know the facts.
Myth: Bed Bugs Are Only Found During Travel
Unfortunately, you could never travel at all and still end up with a bedbug infestation. It's true that bed bugs are commonly found in hotels and motels, but these are only the primary instances that are reported. Bed bugs can be found everywhere, and 93 percent of pest control professionals have treated residential homes .
A few places you can find bed bugs that you may not expect include:
- Medical care facilities, such as nursing homes and hospitals
- Movie theaters
- Public transportation, such as buses, taxis, and airplanes
- Schools, including daycares and college dorms
- Shopping centers
- Sports arenas
Myth: Bed Bugs Are More Common in Low-Income Areas
This myth is so prevalent that 29 percent of people asked in a survey claimed it to be true. Even more people believed that bed bugs were more likely in a house that was not well-kept.
Both sides of this myth are completely false. This pest can live in your home no matter what it's value is or how clean you keep it, which is part of why they are so difficult to eradicate on your own.
Myth: Bed Bugs Will Go Away If You Kill Them When You See Them
Say you wake one night and find a bed bug crawling on you, so you jump from bed, kill the bed bug and go on a search for more. You do find a few, but you kill them quickly and don't see more for several nights. This does not mean the problem is gone. There are a few reasons why bed bugs are likely not completely gone if you find a few and eliminate them:
- Bed bugs are masters at hiding. They can crawl into the tiniest of holes with their flat bodies, and the babies are so small and hard to see, you can have a hard time seeing them with a naked eye.
- Bed bugs are sneaky. Their bodies are positioned very low to the ground, so you will not usually feel them crawling on you when they come out at night to feed.
- Bed bugs can be hiding anywhere, from the curtains in your room and the carpet on the floor, to inside the electrical outlets and in picture frames on the walls.