Think you are a bed bug expert? There a many misconceptions on the internet about the nature of these pesky insects. Take our quiz to see how much you really know!
1. Bed bugs are caused by uncleanliness
False. Obtaining bed bugs boils down to one thing and one thing only. Bad luck. Bed Bugs are hitch-hikers, so all it takes is sleeping in the wrong hotel room or sitting at the wrong seat in the movie theater for a bug to get on your items and come home with you. Just because you have bed bugs, it does not mean you are dirty. Please do not think this.
Cleanliness does, however, help with treatment. The fewer items in a home or on the floor, the fewer places a bed bug can hide.
2. Many people do not react to bites
True. Approximately a third of the population does not react to bed bug bites. This means that visual inspections are key to determine the full extent of a bed bug infestation.
3. Bed bugs are microscopic in size
False. An adult bed bug is about the size and shape of an appleseed and can be easily seen with the naked eye. They hide primarily in the nooks and crannies of beds, box springs, night stands, chairs and couches.
4. Bed bugs can be completely exterminated
True. With proper preparation and a proper treatment plan based on your unique situation, bed bugs can be completely eradicated, often times, if heat is used, in just one treatment. Most companies that utilize a heat treatment method have a success rate around 99%. At home treatments are far less effective, since bed bugs are becoming resistant to pesticides, but can in some very small infestations still be effective.
5. If you see one bed bug, there are a thousand
False. It is a fact that bed bugs can reproduce quickly, turning a small infestation into a large infestation in a matter of months. However, anyone who reacts to bites will know relatively quickly. If you see one bug, it is likely that there are no more than a dozen or two more, sometimes even less.
6. Bed Bug multiply rapidly
True. A female bed bug can lay upwards of 6-12 eggs a day and over 200 in a lifetime. These eggs take around a week to hatch. Once hatched, the bugs take a month to become adults capable of reproduction. This means that the first month or two of an infestation can remain light, but it can quickly turn bad as the weeks go on from there.
7. If one unit of an apartment building has bed bugs, all of them do
False. From our experience at Bite Back, I would say that 80% of the apartments I have treated were contained to the unit I was treating. However, it is always a good idea to check with neighbors. A professional can kill every bug in your unit, but if they are coming in from an upstairs tenant, the problem will continue to arise.
8. You can kill bed bugs as easily as any other pest
False. A person can’t just spray a barrier of pesticide around the house and expect it to work. Since bed bugs are hitch-hikers, they will often begin the infestation right in the bed or couch.
Also, unlike most other bugs, bed bugs are becoming more and more immune to pesticides. Heat treatments are the only sure fire way to kill bed bugs.
9. If one room in your house is infested, they all are
False. If the infestation was found early, it is possible that it is contained to one room. However, a treatment of the entire house is always recommended. A third of people don’t react to bites, and it is impossible to tell where the bites came from, so doing the whole house is key to effective eradication. Most pest control companies won’t give a guarantee unless they do the whole house.
10. Bed Bugs can reside in the walls
True. Bed bugs can fit in any crack that a credit card can fit into. They are sometimes seen in wall outlets behind beds and couches, near heating vents, under the baseboards or in any other crack or crevice. They often use walls to travel from apartment to apartment.
However, this is usually not the case unless pesticides have been sprayed (they act as a repellant as well as a killer), or if the infestation is heavy.
11. Bed bugs carry disease
False. Bed Bugs do not carry any blood-born illnesses. The skin irritation and itchiness of the bite is, in most cases, the only result of a bed bug bite.
12. Bed bugs can ‘smell’ you
True. Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide and body heat we emit. Unfortunately, we are their only food source, and once they pick up our scent, they will be drawn like a moth to a flame, and can travel approximately 40 feet in a single day