Bed bugs have been around for what seems like forever. There are reports of bed bugs bothering people in ancient Egyptian literature. Over time, many misconceptions have been spread surrounding them. Some people believe they are carriers of life threatening diseases and some believe bed bugs only thrive in dirty homes. Today we are going to get to the bottom of these misconceptions and expose the truth behind the bed bug.
You can feel the bite of the bed bug
In case you didn’t know, bed bugs feed off of human blood. In order for bed bugs to get to their food source they have to bite your skin. Many people believe that they will be able to tell if they have bed bugs by simply feeling their bite. But when a bed bug bites your skin, you come in contact with it’s saliva. The saliva contains a mild numbing agent that makes the bite almost impossible to feel. You won’t feel anything until the day after when you notice a line of itchy red spots.
Unfortunately, through scratching these spots can become welts. These welts can swell up to half a centimetre wide. If the initial bite becomes a welt, you become more at risk for common infections. So try and resist the urge to itch.
The presence of bed bugs is a sign of a dirty home
Many people believe that bed bugs are only attracted to dirty homes. This could not be further from the truth. Bed bugs are not picky when it comes to which homes they infest. Any place with a warm spot for them to hide and a source of food to keep them happy, is good enough for them. If you have blood pumping through your body and a bed to sleep in at night, you are a good host for bed bugs.
In today’s day and age there is a strong stigma against bed bug infestations. People associate an infestation with a dirty house. So if you happen to find yourself with a bed bug problem, don’t worry. You are not dirty, you are just unlucky.
Bed bugs carry diseases
Yes. It’s true, bed bugs can carry disease. But no need to fear, because scientists have found no evidence to suggest that bed bugs can transfer these diseases to humans. So no, you will not be catching any infections from your new roommates.
However, in some very rare cases people have been shown to have allergic reactions to the bug’s bite. The reactions can include anywhere from hives, to anaphylactic shock. But once again, no need to worry. These instances are very rare. In fact, it’s said that anywhere from 30-60% of the population doesn’t even experience any reaction at all from a bed bug bite. Apart from a small puncture hole that is.
Bite marks on my body means I have bed bugs
While bite marks are an indication of bed bugs, don’t assume you have them if a couple red spots appear on your legs. There are many other insects that can produce similar bites as to those of a bed bug. These include, mosquitos, fleas, mites, spiders and beetles.
The best way to tell if your bite marks are from a bed bug, is if there are several red, irritated bites in a straight line along exposed skin during sleep.
Bed bugs are only active at night
Bed bugs are a nocturnal species and are most likely to take a bite of you during your sleep. However they won’t hesitate to get their food at any time of the day. Unfortunately most people believe that bed bugs are only active at night and counteract by sleeping with the lights on. The only harm you are doing is depriving yourself of sleep
Bed bugs will crawl out of their hiding spots roughly every 3-5 days to feed. The lights being on won’t stop the critters from getting their food. So do yourself the favour and get the bed bugs removed instead of depriving yourself of sleep.
There are so many misconceptions about bed bugs. Hopefully by revealing the truth behind these misconceptions, we can all become a little more educated about these bugs. Knowing the truth over some silly myths can help you in the event you ever get struck by bed bugs.