News > The biggest bedbug myths – busted!
The biggest bedbug myths – busted!
April 1, 2021
Because the more you know about bed bugs, the less you’ll end up living with.
It’s no secret that southern Ontario has a bedbug problem. Even the Canadian government has had to deal with them in federal buildings in the past couple of years.
As we’ve said before, bed bugs are one of the pests with the biggest ick factor, rivalled only by cockroaches when it comes to pests. But as with most pests, the more you know about bed bugs and their behaviour, the more successful you’ll be in dealing with them before they get a foothold in your home (or your office).
So we’re here to bust some bedbug myths.
MYTH #1: Bedbugs only bite at night.
Bedbugs, like most pests, will bite whenever they’re hungry and discover a food source, day or night. The reason we assume they prefer to bite at night is because nighttime is when our bodies are in closest proximity to a large quantity of bedbugs for an extended period: When we lie down on a mattress to sleep. If you took a nap in the middle of the day, you’d also get bitten.
MYTH #2: Bedbugs like dirty houses.
Having bedbugs doesn’t mean your house is dirty. It could mean, in fact, that you stayed in a 5-star hotel that had had an uncontrolled bedbug infestation and came home with a bunch of them in your suitcase.
MYTH #3: Infestations grow fast.
Here’s the good news: Bedbugs have a slower reproduction cycle (5-6 weeks) than lots of other insects. If you get professional treatment as soon as you see a couple of bedbugs, your chances of a full-on infestation are significantly reduced.
MYTH #4: Bedbugs only live in mattresses.
Bedbugs will live just about anywhere: Behind chairs, in sofas, in piles of undisturbed clothing, in pet beds, kitchen cabinets and ceilings. People tend to notice them in beds because that’s where they get bitten, but you could just as easily get bitten while sitting in your kitchen chairs, if you were sitting there long enough.
MYTH #5: Bedbugs can go years without feeding.
Clients often ask us, after a bedbug treatment, when they can expect the ‘dormant’ bedbugs to start hatching. However, in properties with central heating and a consistent temperature over 20C, bedbugs don’t have a dormant stage. They can go 2-3 months without feeding, but they can’t ‘hibernate’, and a professional bedbug treatment is designed to get all of them.
MYTH #6: It’s easy to get rid of bedbugs on your own.
It is possible to solve a bedbug problem without professional help, but it requires attention to detail, a lot of work, and diligence: Linens and clothing has to be washed and dried at high temperatures; any items in proximity to bedbugs have to be cleaned and sealed until any hidden bedbugs die off; frequent comprehensive visual inspections have to be done; and infested furniture or carpets may need to be discarded.
MYTH #7: Bedbugs live on people, like lice or fleas.
Bedbugs may like a blood meal, but they don’t stick to human skin and in fact they don’t really like to be snuggled up to our body heat. Humans may carry bedbugs into your home, but they’re more likely to travel in a suitcase or knapsack or even shoes.
MYTH #8: You have to buy a whole new mattress.
It’s true that in extreme cases, a bedbug infestation does necessitate discarding mattresses and other soft furnishings. However, if discovered in relatively early stages and aggressively treated, it’s possible to avoid throwing away your mattress, as long as you use an appropriate mattress encasement such as this one.
Don’t hesitate to ask us for help.
We know that finding bedbugs in your home is almost guaranteed to cause anxiety and panic. But don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be a disaster! If you have any questions, concerns, or want more info, don’t hesitate to get in touch.