A recent study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reveals that bed bugs actually have colour preferences for where they hide. The experiments revealed that bed bugs prefer black and red harborages while they seem to dislike green, yellow and white colours.
Scientist theorizes that the reason why bed bugs prefer black and red harborages is because black is dark which, being nocturnal insects, is their preferred environment while red is similar to their skin colour and may confuse with the presence of other bed bugs.
As for the lighter colours yellow, white and green, scientists chalk it down to the bed bugs being averse to light. The critters will stay away from light if they can help it and these lighter colours indicate an unfriendly environment.
Implications of the Study
One of the obvious claims from the study is to suggest that certain colour bed sheet could attract or repel bed bugs. This would be convenient and an easy and cheap solution for controlling bed bugs but that would be stretching the truth of the findings. The bed bugs cannot tell the colours in the dark which is when they are active anyway so changing bed sheet colour or wall paint may not be a solution for controlling bed bug populations.
A more plausible interpretation is these findings could be used along with pheromones, heat and CO2 in designing future bed bug traps and to increase their effectiveness. Bed bug traps function well as monitoring solutions rather than extermination methods.
Bed Bugs Attracted to Dirty Clothes
Yet another study published by a scientist from the University of Sheffield revealed that bed bugs prefer dirty clothes over clean clothes. In the study, the bed bugs were twice as likely to hide in soiled clothes as clean clothes in the absence of a human host. It appears that the odour left over in soiled clothes activates host-seeking behaviours in bed bugs.
One implication of this study is for people to be mindful about leaving their soiled clothes on hotel floors or other places where they are at risk of contracting bed bugs. Simply putting your dirty laundry in a plastic bag an in the luggage while travelling can reduce your chances of contracting bed bugs significantly.
Bio-pesticide Maybe Future of Bed Bug Control
There have been encouraging results from Penn State University where scientists have been working on a bio-pesticide to control bed bugs. One of the active ingredients is Beauveria bassiana which is a natural fungus that infects insects with the disease but doesn’t affect humans. Infected bed bugs die within four to seven days.
Other than using the bed bug’s nature against it, this solution also overcomes a major hurdle that exterminators face. Bed bugs need to be treated directly which is a tall order considering they hide in some of the most difficult and obscure crevices. The bio-pesticide only needs to be sprayed where bed bugs travel such as around the bed and the bugs pick it up underfoot much like wet feet and sand.
The bed bugs infect themselves while grooming and take back to their harborages where studies so far have shown nearly 100% contamination of other bed bugs in the harborages. The spores grow within 20 hours of exposure and begin to colonize the insect’s body, finally killing it. Trials are still ongoing and it might be a while before the product hits the market but the results so far have been encouraging.
Hire an Exterminator to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Permanently
68% of exterminators report that bed bug is the most difficult pest to treat. There is almost no chance that you will be able to treat the pest successfully on your own. Bed bugs hide deep in crevices and cracks making successful extermination very difficult.
The pests have also developed resistance to most over-the-counter chemicals and pesticides while homemade remedies simply don’t work. Only an exterminator in Toronto can guarantee that the pests are exterminated permanently and effectively. The expert will also take measures to ensure that the pests don’t come back in future.