Although bedbugs were a widespread problem in the United States during the first half of the 20th century, it was believed that these pests had been eradicated by the 1950s. Since 2000, however, bedbugs have been found in all 50 states. Scientists attribute the pest's comeback to a combination of pesticide resistance, an increase in global traffic and the increase in densely populated metropolitan areas. Because it has been so many years since bedbugs were common in America, a number of myths have spread about these bloodsucking pests. Here are five widespread myths about bedbugs that need to be debunked.
1. Myth: Bedbugs can transmit diseases to humans.
Fact: There has never been a single case reported indicating that a human contracted a disease from a bedbug. It is true that bacteria, viruses and other human pathogens have been found in these insects, but the microbes are incapable of multiplying or reproducing within bedbugs. Bites can become infected, and an infestation of bedbugs can have a psychological effect, causing sleeplessness, anxiety or depression.
2. Myth: Bedbugs only live in and around beds.
Fact: Although bedbugs prefer to remain as close as possible to a food source, they can be found inside chairs and sofas in the living room, behind the covers of electrical outlets, inside empty suitcases, in taxis, inside coffee makers and other electrical appliances, in airplanes, inside handbags and in retail stores. Hitching a ride is a strategy that these pests use quite effectively to migrate to new locations and find new food sources. However, once they find a conducive environment, they can find virtually limitless places to conceal themselves.
3. Myth: Bedbugs are proof of poor housekeeping or unsanitary conditions.
Fact: Bedbugs are as likely to invade a five-star hotel or hospital as they are to invade a private home. These insects feed on blood rather than dirt or refuse, so cleanliness and hygiene are of no concern to bedbugs. However, a cluttered environment can give them more places to hide.
4. Myth: Bedbugs are strictly nocturnal and will avoid light.
Fact: Although bedbugs are more active during the night, they can come out to feed at any time. If they are hungry and sense the carbon dioxide and heat emitted by a human, they will go out for a snack regardless of the lighting or time of day. Therefore, keeping a light on overnight will not protect against being bitten by a bedbug, nor will it be safer to sleep during the day.
5. Myth: Bedbugs can fly.
Fact: Bedbugs can neither fly nor jump. They have vestigial front wings called hemlytral pads, but they do not have any hind wings, making them incapable of flight. The only way that bedbugs can travel is by crawling.
If you suspect that you have a problem with bedbugs or any other pest in your home or business, contact the experts at Germantown Pest Control & Termite. We have the expertise to evaluate your needs and tailor an effective solution specifically for your situation. For a free estimate, you can call us at (901) 296-0672 or submit the online form.