There is a lot of speculation about what kind of environment bed bugs prefer. For example, there’s a persistent rumor that bed bugs prefer dirty or messy homes. In actuality, bed bugs are attracted to living, breathing humans, not dirt or mess. However, it’s said that bed bugs prefer dark colors to light colors, and this rumor actually has some truth to it. So if your furniture is dark, does that mean you’re doomed to have bed bugs? Not necessarily. Let’s explore why bed bugs have the preferences they do- and what you can do to keep them away.
It is true that bed bugs do prefer hanging out on dark fabrics or surfaces. This is because they’re dark in color themselves, so dark surfaces provide better cover for them from predators. In fact, they tend to go for dark red surfaces, probably because they’re a sort of rust color. Researchers don’t think this has anything to do with red being the color of blood- it’s more about blending into their surroundings and the reddish color suggesting that there are other bed bugs around. They also tend to be attracted to black surfaces for better protection.
Bed Bugs and Light Colors
Researchers have discovered that while bed bugs gravitate towards dark colors, they also shy away from light colors. Specifically, they avoid white and bright yellow in most stages of their lives, though bed bugs in the very early stages of their lives don’t seem to have developed color aversions or preferences yet. Naturally, if a dark red or black bed bug is sitting on a white sheet, predators will be able to see it more easily and attack it.
What Are Bed Bugs’ Natural Predators?
It might surprise you to learn that bed bugs have a long list of natural predators, including several types of ants, spiders, and even mites. Cockroaches are another natural predator of bed bugs, though you probably don’t want to set a bunch of those loose in your home in an attempt to control the bed bugs. You’ll end up with a different problem- and if you ask us, a worse one- on your hands. There’s even a bug called the reduvius personatus, which has been nicknamed the “masked bed bug hunter”. It belongs to a family called assassin bugs, aptly named for the multiple small bugs (including bed bugs) that they hunt.
Bed bugs have a lot of predators that are insects, but what about our household pets, like cats and dogs? On the one hand, dogs can be trained to become certified bed bug detection dogs, but neither cats nor dogs are really predators of bed bugs. While a cat will sometimes go for other bugs, like spiders, bed bugs are too small to be tempting to them. Dogs don’t tend to hunt bugs anyways- actually, most dogs don’t hunt, period. Hunting is more of an instinct for cats than it is for dogs, but don’t count on your pets helping you eradicate bed bugs in your home.
Will Switching to Light Colors Keep Bed Bugs Away?
After reading about bed bugs disliking light colors, you might think it makes sense to ditch your dark sheets and pick out some light ones instead. Unfortunately, this likely won’t make much of a difference. If the bed bugs are already in your home, they’re after warmth, carbon dioxide, and (unfortunately) blood. If they’ve found those things, they’re not just going to turn around and head out because you have white sheets. Light sheets are still a good investment though, partly because bed bugs are more visible against light colors. So if you do end up with an infestation, you’ll be able to spot it better if you have light sheets rather than dark ones. Don’t ditch your perfectly good dark sheets, but when it comes time to get new ones, perhaps pick out white or yellow ones rather than going for dark colors again.
Got Bed Bugs? Call Bed Bug Barbeque!
COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives recently, and it’s all happened fast. We want you to take comfort in the knowledge that Bed Bug Barbeque is still here for you and your family. If you think you have bed bugs or are interested in a home heat sanitation treatment, contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC in Lakewood, Ohio! We use heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs and we offer entire home sanitation heat treatments. This safe, effective treatment is completed in less than 12 hours, and Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC offers a 60-day warranty for you to verify for yourself that your bed bugs are fully eradicated. Contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC today for a FREE quote at (216) 221-1227 or through our website, and check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.