5 things you thought wrong about bedbugs

We're clearing up some popular misconceptions

A brochure is displayed at the Detective Bed Bug booth as bedbug-detecting dog Bella sniffs out the pests (File photo: Brian Kersey/Getty Images).
A brochure is displayed at the Detective Bed Bug booth as bedbug-detecting dog Bella sniffs out the pests (File photo: Brian Kersey/Getty Images). (Getty Images)

Are you traveling this summer?

We only ask because many people bring bedbugs into their homes after traveling -- more specifically, after spending time visiting hotels and airports. And did you know that bedbugs feed off human blood? Shudder.

Bedbugs and their (skin-crawling) infestations are still making headlines from time to time, so we thought this would be a prime opportunity to discuss bedbug facts vs. bedbug myths.

It seems like not a lot is known about these pesty creatures -- or perhaps, there might be some misconceptions floating around about how people get them inside their homes, or how to get rid of them.

Ready to become the smartest of your friends when it comes to bedbug knowledge? The following information was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Myth No. 1: Bedbugs transmit diseases.
This is definitely a myth. There have been no cases or studies indicating that bedbugs spread diseases between humans. So that’s a relief!

Myth No. 2: You can’t see a bedbug.
You most certainly *can* see a bedbug. You should be able to spot adult bedbugs, nymphs and eggs with your naked eye.

Bed Bug Central public relations associate Calvin Allen shows a vial containing live bedbugs at the Bed Bug University North American Summit (File photo: Brian Kersey/Getty Images).

Myth No. 3: Bedbugs won’t bite you or bother you if the room you’re in is brightly lit.
Man, that’d be nice, wouldn’t it? We could all just keep the lights on in any questionable hotel rooms, and bedbugs would be a non-issue. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. While bedbugs prefer the darkness, keeping the light on at night won’t deter these pests from biting you.

Myth No. 4: Bedbugs only live in dirty places.
While it’s true that clutter-filled spots offer more opportunities to hide, bedbugs can live almost anywhere. It’s not grime and dirt that they’re attracted to, but instead, it’s warmth, blood and carbon dioxide.

Myth No. 5: You can eliminate an infestation simply by performing some pesticide applications.
It’s actually pretty tricky to maintain bedbug control. Most treatment strategies involve a variety of techniques, plus additional monitoring from there. Pesticides might be part of the plan, but they won’t eliminate bedbugs on their own. What makes the situation even trickier is this: In some parts of the country, bedbugs have developed resistance to the ways that many pesticides work to kill these pests. So it often takes help from the pros to solve a bedbug problem in your home.

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