These uninvited little monsters can breed like rabbits and quickly infect your home, not just your bed.
What attracts bed bugs in the first place is often the subject of debate. But most of the time they are transferred on clothing from hotels, nursing homes, libraries, taxis, busses and other public shared spaces.
Most people think that bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes but actually, they are out for blood.
As I have mentioned in the introduction bed bugs do not chase the dirt. You can get bed bugs from just about any public place, such as:
- Residential homes
- Nursing homes
- Educational institutions
- Retail stores
- Comercial facilities
As opportunistic bugs search for food sources everywhere, you can also pick up them in taxis, trains, cars, buses, and cruise ships. If they fail to find a food source in one place they move to another ‘till they locate one.
Since bed bugs are experts in hiding for sure most of the time you are not aware that you carry one and they will come to your home with you. For example, when you arrive home from traveling, inspect your clothing for bed bugs and wash everything in high heat.
As an added precaution, when you stay in hotels always keep your clothes off the floor.
What attracts bed bugs: Myths VS Facts!
I will try to debunk some myths for you and present you with some facts about bed bugs and what attracts them to your home.
Wood - MYTH
Even cracks in the wood are great hiding spots for bed bugs the material itself is not as attractive for them as we think. They choose the wooden frame of your bed only because it is close to your mattress and bedding and it is a great place for them to hide while they are not feeding.
So discarding wooden furniture won’t make an infestation any less likely. Do not waste your time with that.
Household chemicals - MYTH
- Laundry detergent
- Fabric softeners
These chemicals above are the most common household chemicals that we all use in our homes almost every day, but contrary to the generally accepted view that bed bugs are attracted by them this is not true.
Bed bugs actually produce a chemical on their own, called histamine, which attracts other bed bugs.
Period blood - MYTH
Bed bugs are no more attracted to a person on their period than anybody else. It is body heat and carbon dioxide that draws them in. They have no mechanism for sensing if somebody is on their period.
Urine - MYTH
Even though urine has the right acidity to provide enough carbon dioxide to interest bed bugs, there’s no scientific evidence showing that urine is an attractant.
Bed bugs are “invisible” - MYTH
Most people think that bed bugs are invisible and that can’t be seen. But actually, bed bugs, eggs, and nymphs are visible with the naked eye, but you’re more likely to catch them out at night.
Dark bed sheets - FACT
Bed bugs can camouflage in darker colors and gain more protection from predators and that’s why they are attracted by the dark bed sheets. Bed bugs tend to gather around red and black colored items.
Dirty laundry - FACT
Dirty laundry is attractive to bed bugs because of the smell that reminds them of the potential host. So always keep your clothes off the floor.
Warmth - FACT
Regardless of what you wear, or what is the temperature of your room, your body temperature will betray you. Bed bugs know that a source is likely to mean a host is nearby.
Carbon dioxide - FACT
Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, as it is in the breath of a potential food source. Carbon dioxide serves as a marker that a suitable living host is close at hand.
How to make bed bugs come out of their bunker
There are a few ways that can make bed bugs come out of their bunker so you can eliminate them or reduce their number.
One of the ways to make bed bugs come out of hiding is to use a steamer or a hairdryer to heat the suspected areas such as mattresses. Normally, none of these sources are hot enough to kill bed bugs but you can use them to lure bed bugs out of their hiding spots.
Sacrifice one or more nights for night watch and keep an eye to locate their nests since they are “night birds” and they are most active then. Most common nesting places such as box springs, inside mattress seams, and crevices in the bed frame should be given the most attention.
What you can do to keep bed bugs out?
There are a few things that you can do if you want to keep bed bugs out of your home.
- First, if you bring home any second-hand furniture or any other object, you must inspect them for signs of pests and give them a good and thorough cleaning. If it is possible to launder the item, do it on the highest heat settings possible;
- Another thing that you can do is wash guest bedding in hot water and clean up the clutter around your home anywhere you can;
- When your children come home from visiting their friend’s homes, inspect their clothes for bed bugs. If you find something that indicates the presence of bed bugs wash their clothing on high heat because only soap and water aren’t enough to kill the pests.
- Inspect seats in the public on public transit. Even a short bus ride is enough for these pests to attach themselves to you. They detect body heat and move quickly to find a host. It could be you.
If you get bed bugs once it doesn’t mean that you have done with them. You can easily meet them again so it is best to keep up with these tips consistently in order to minimize your chances of future infestation.
No. They are attracted to blood. The blood type has absolutely no meaning for bed bugs. Thanks to the large amount of exposed skin you are an easy peasy target for bed bugs while you sleeping.
Pets are potential hosts for bed bugs because they have readily accessible blood. But fortunately, your cat or dog is not the preferred source of blood for bed bugs.
The smell of worn clothing and used bedding is something that bed bugs find very appealing because of how it smells once it comes in contact with humans. So the best protection for you is to do your laundry on a regular basis.