Warning: This series of articles may make you slightly squeamish….but wouldn’t you rather be informed than completely ignorant about such an important epidemic?
Please, keep reading.
In Part 1 of our four-part bed bug series, we helped you to identify the tell-tale signs of a bed bug infestation. As with any challenge in life, the more you know, the better equipped you will be to tackle the issue head-on. With sleep being so absolutely crucial to your health and wellness, bed bugs pose a serious threat to your overall physical and mental health. In order to help separate fact from fiction, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 myths about bed bugs:
MYTH: Bed bugs are only a problem for low-income communities.
FACT: According to a study by Rutgers University, only recently have bed bugs become a problem in lower socioeconomic housing. Co-author of the study, Rick Cooper, explains, “From the early 2000s, even the late 1990s up through 2008, this was largely a middle and upper-class problem.”
MYTH: Bed bugs only feed on humans.
FACT: While they prefer to feed on humans, they’ll also target other mammals such as your pets!
MYTH: The bed bug epidemic is over.
FACT: While some cities have gotten the epidemic under control, others are experiencing a rise in their number of cases. From 2015 to 2017, several cities (including Baltimore, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Buffalo, N.Y., and Norfolk, VA) have annual ranking changes denoting an increase of bed bug treatments according to a study by Orkin.
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MYTH: Bed bugs are only active at night.
FACT: Though primarily active at night, they will feed in full daylight if they’re hungry.
MYTH: Bed bugs transmit diseases.
FACT: Though Hepatitis B can be detected in bed bugs up to 6 weeks after they feed on infectious blood and live HIV can be recovered up to one hour after feeding on infected blood, according to the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention, no epidemiologic evidence for disease transmission by this route exists.
MYTH: Bed bugs bite are very similar to a bee sting.
FACT: A bee will sting you and fly away almost immediately. Bed bug feedings typically last anywhere from 3-12 minutes. (Ew.)
MYTH: If a bed bug was feeding on my blood for 3-12 minutes, I would feel it and wake up.
FACT: Because they inject you with a numbing agent before feeding, you won’t feel them latching onto you….nor will you feel them as they feed on your blood.
If you think your home might be infested with bed bugs, read the next installment of our four-part, bed bug series to find out the best treatment for these undesirable parasites.