Searching the internet for information about bed bugs can throw you down a strange, confusing rabbit hole in a matter of minutes. The amount of bed bug myths and misconceptions out there is absolutely terrifying to professionals like us.

Here’s your friendly reminder, everybody!!!
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet!!!

There’s a lot of garbage out there! Always consider the source. And whatever you do, DON’T try getting rid of bed bugs on your own. Your health and safety is THE #1 priority. We see it that way and you should, too. We put together a list below that we hope will arm you with the means to prevent bed bugs. How is this article different from any other article out there? Well, for one thing, this was written by a doctor who specializes in Public Health and infectious diseases. He’s our Technical Director, Stan Cope. He knows his stuff.

Captain Stan and the Bug Lady

Janelle Iaccino “The Bug Lady” – Marketing Director, and Stanton E. Cope – Technical Director, at our New Albany, Indiana location

Travel has definitely picked up again since the pandemic has subsided. If you have travel plans out of the country, make sure you check out our previous blog post for the latest tips to avoid unwanted illness or harmful encounters on your trip. With increased movement around the globe, the risk of acquiring bed bugs becomes greater. And there can still be a stigma attached to having these public health pests. Buckle up, folks. We’re about to debunk a bunch of bed bug myths and misconceptions. We’re here to help you sleep tight, with zero chances of bed bug bites.


10 Bed Bug Myths and Misconceptions

  1. Bed bugs are found only in dirty places.

    Nope! You can be the neatest, tidiest person in the world and still get bed bugs. They aren’t attracted to filth and grime; it is warmth, blood, and carbon dioxide, all supplied by a potential host, that gets them excited. If you happen to live in a space with a lot of clutter, these conditions will ultimately provide more places for bed bugs to hide and breed while they’re not feeding on you or any other warm-blooded body in the house.

    cluttered spare bedroom

  2. Fancy, expensive hotels are safe from bed bugs.

    Not so! This is one of the most common bed bug myths we hear. Bed bugs have no concept of 1 star or 4 stars when they choose someone’s suitcase to latch onto. Any hospitality facility has the potential to harbor these bloodsuckers! Hotels, hostels, campground cabins, Airbnb rentals, vacation homes are all equals in the bed bug game.

    hotel room

  3. One must travel overseas to get bed bugs.

    Not on your life! They can be found at your friend’s apartment in the neighborhood, hotels, motels, movie theaters, workplaces, public transportation, etc. They are adept hitchhikers and even better stowaways. It’s totally a bed bug myth that you can’t see them. They’re flat and cryptic, but the adults are the size of an apple seed. And right after a feeding, they plump up because they’re filled with blood. So don’t be fooled! Know what you’re looking for and be very aware of where you sit and where you set your things.

    bed bug hiding on suitcase

  4. Bed bug bites can make me sick.

    Well, kind of yes and definitely no. Here’s why. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the bite while others will have no reaction. However, there is NO scientific evidence that these pests can transmit any disease-causing pathogens to humans or animals. Bed bugs have more of a psychological effect on folks, they can cause anxiety, sleep deprivation and paranoia because they take advantage of our defenseless selves when we’re sleeping. It’s a total creepy violation. Scratching bed bug bites can also spread bacteria and irritate them.

    what bed bug bites look like on an arm

  5. Bed bugs won’t bite my pets.

    False! Although bed bugs prefer to dine on human blood, they will also feed on dogs, cats, birds, and rodents. Pets that spend significant amounts of time sleeping in the same place will attract bed bugs with their warmth and carbon dioxide as they breathe.

    dog sleeping on bed in bedroom

  6. Bed bugs fly and jump.

    Well, they don’t have wings, so flying is difficult. And, they don’t jump; not even a little bit. But they can crawl pretty fast, and they are super-skilled at hiding in furniture, mattresses, head boards, bed frames, and other places. Oh, did I say they are not just confined to beds, as the name implies?

    bed bug myths

  7. Over-the-counter foggers or ‘bug bombs’ will solve the problem.

    Don’t even waste your time or money on this one. They just plain won’t do the job and in fact, they may make your problem worse! Many over-the-counter products have active ingredients that have been overused for decades. Bed bugs have shown resistance to many ingredients that once worked. And unloading an entire can of a contact killer is not only illegal, but it can damage your health and won’t even get rid of the problem. We say this over and over and we’re going to say it again here. Bed bugs are NOT a DIY pest. If you suspect you have bed bugs, please reach out to us. That’s what we’re here for!

  8. Throwing out an infested bed and other furniture is a smart move.

    Hold on just a minute! Disposing of any furniture before it is inspected and treated by a Pest Management Professional can be a costly proposition and it may result in spreading the infestation to other parts of the structure. Don’t do it. Bed bugs live in dressers, curtains, behind picture frames, in electrical sockets and we find them in the strangest places. Dragging a mattress down hallways or improperly disposal will cause the pest to spread on a much greater scale. Don’t be THAT guy.

    mattresses by dumpster

  9. Bed bugs are too small to be seen.

    Oh, doctor. No way. You can easily see adult and immature bed bugs (nymphs) without any magnification. Adults are about the size of an apple seed while nymphs are about the size of a sesame seed. Check out the pest library profile for the bed bug to see all the pictures you can handle.

  10. Pesticide applications alone will cure my problem.

    Say it isn’t so! Proper bed bug control can be difficult and requires using all the expert tools in the box; including skillfully trained eyes and critical thinking. This is known as Integrated Pest Management or IPM. The judicious use of pesticides to control infestations is just one component of IPM. The internet will try to convince you that cryogenic or heat methods, or spraying certain essential oils around baseboards will get rid of bed bugs. Don’t believe this stuff!! Our experts are scientists who know wayyyy too much about these kinds of bugs, what they respond to, what they’re resistance against, etc. They help folks get back to sleeping soundly every single day.

Don’t put your health at risk. If you suspect you have bed bugs, contact us as soon as possible. We’re here to help!

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