Bed Bug Myths

Myths

You can’t see bed bugs – Wrong! Bed bugs are actually visible to the naked eye. Bed bug adults are similar in size and color to an apple seed. Bed bug nymphs (baby bed bugs) are significantly smaller and lighter.

Bring Back DDT – Nope! Before DDT was banned in 1972, it is credited for killing major populations of bed bugs. However, bed bugs of today have developed resistance to DDT. DDT today would have no impact on bed bug infestations.

Bug bombs and insect sprays kill bed bugs – Wrong! Bed bugs are highly resistant to household insecticides that are available to the average consumer. It is NOT recommended that these products be used; they will not kill bed bugs. In fact, using these products will only make the problem worse! Spraying these products on a colony of bed bugs will cause them to RUN, thus spreading the infestation to multiple areas.

Bed Bugs can fly – Wrong! This one is easy. Bed bugs do not have wings; they cannot fly.

Bed Bugs only bite at night – Incorrect! Bed bugs have been labeled as “nocturnal”. This isn’t completely true. Bed bugs bite when we are sleeping… typically at night. If you work at night and sleep during the day, the bed bugs will adjust to your schedule and bite during the day. Also, leaving the light on when you sleep will not deter bed bugs from biting. Bed bugs bite when they are hungry and food is available.

Bed Bugs are found in dirty places – This is absolutely NOT true. The cleanliness factor has no effect on the survival of a bed bug. Bed bugs are found in the most expensive high rises just as they are found in homeless shelters. You should not be embarrassed to have bed bugs, they can thrive anywhere people sleep.

Bed Bugs transmit disease – Nope! There is no evidence that bed bugs spread disease.
UPDATE – see recent update regarding Chagas disease. Bed bug bites do NOT spread this disease, but bed bug feces may spread it from an infected bed bug.