Bed Bug Myths◀ Back To Blog
November 19, 2014
With upcoming holiday travel are you worried about bed bugs? Believe it or not, bed bugs are not just correlated with travel or the bed. In the past week bed bugs have shown up in New York schools, shelters and firehouses. Bed bugs are known as hitchhikers giving them ability to move from place to place on people and their belongings.
We recently came across bed bug myths we wanted to share:
Bedbugs are an indication of poor housekeeping – Bedbugs can infest even the most immaculately kept homes. Unclean or cluttered homes do give them more of an opportunity to hide from treatment efforts, however.
Bedbugs breed like rabbits – Actually, compared to other insects, bedbugs have a slow reproductive cycle. Females only produce an egg per day, and each egg takes about 10 days to hatch and more than a month for the bedbug to grow into an adult.
Bedbugs transmit diseases – Although bedbug bites can be painful and discomforting, there is no record of a bedbug bite transmitting a disease, although bedbugs are carriers of human pathogens.
Spray pesticide will eliminate bedbugs – Bedbugs have developed a resistance to pesticide, and it alone is not sufficient to deal with a pesticide infestation. Professional pest control companies use a combination of treatments to successfully eliminate bedbug infestations, like thermal heat remediation.
Bedbugs are only active at night – Bedbugs are largely nocturnal, but, if food is there, they’ll go for it, feeding off hosts even during daytime hours.
Bedbugs can fly – Bedbugs do not have wings and cannot fly. They crawl at a rate of about one meter per minute.
Bedbugs can live for up to a year without a meal – Bedbugs are capable of slowing their metabolism down and can go for about two to three months without a meal under normal circumstances. In some very cold climates, they can slow their metabolism and survive without feeding for many months, but these conditions are rare.
Bedbug sniffing dogs are the best detection tool – In recent years, specially trained bedbug sniffing dogs have been advertised as the best means of detecting the presence of bedbugs. A recent Rutgers University study debunked claims that bedbug sniffing dogs had a 90 percent success rate. Researchers at the university used bedbug sniffing dogs in apartment buildings and discovered that their true accuracy rate was around 43 percent.
Heating up your home will kill off bedbugs – High heat will kill bedbugs, but you can’t kill them by merely turning up the thermostat in your home. To kill bedbugs via heat, the home must be heated to 120ºF for more than an hour, and the heat must be applied evenly to your home. Professional heat treatments using multiple heat sources can do this safely. Your HVAC system alone won’t get the job done, and using propane heaters or other heat sources in addition to your HVAC to kill bedbugs is dangerous, as it increases fire and carbon monoxide poisoning risk.
Turning the heat off in winter will kill bedbugs. To successfully kill off bedbugs, your home would need to reach below freezing temperatures for about a month. Even that’s no guarantee, as the bugs may go into diapause - a form of hibernation, until warmth is restored.
If you want to know if you have bed bugs, review the signs of bed bugs to verify. If you find bed bugs, don't try to get rid of them on your own. 76% of pest professionals say this is the most difficult pest to control, and they have the tools and knowledge for bed bug removal.