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Bed bugs

Bed bugs can live in any area of the home and can reside in tiny cracks in furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture. They tend to be most common in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including mattresses, and bed frames.

Bedbugs are nocturnal pests that bite people and feed on their blood during the night. As residents sleep, the insects leave their hiding spots to find a host. Home infestations typically occur in mattresses or couches. Bed bug hiding places can also include clothing and linens, under clutter, in wall voids, and around window and door moldings. Generally, as bed bug populations increase in number, bed bugs are more likely to be active during the daytime and also are more likely to be found in other, hidden protective places within the house.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide in a Home?

These insects are flat and easily able to fit into tiny crevices within bedding or furniture. Signs of bed bugs include dark red or brown stains on fabric and surfaces. The pests also hole up in mattress seams or box springs. Other common spots where bed bugs hide are:

  • Couch cushions

  • Cracks in wood trim

  • Dresser drawers

A recent study on bed bugs provided evidence that bed bugs are attracted to certain colors when they seek harborage sites or when foraging for a blood meal.

In general, beg bugs preferred red and black, rather than yellow, orange, green, lilac and violet.

Red & Black: Bed bugs prefer black and red shelters more than white and yellow because darker colors offer better protection from predators.

Yellow & Green: Yellow and green harborages seemed to repel bed bugs. The authors suggested that bed bugs avoided yellow and green colors since those colors resemble areas of intense lighting, rather than darker reds and blacks.

Harborage color preferences change according to the bed bug’s gender, nutritional status, aggregation, and life stage.

Preferences According to Gender:

  • Female Bed bugs prefer harborages with shorter wavelengths such as lilac and violet.

  • The proportion of eggs laid by females was significantly greater under blue, red, and black harborages compared to other colored harborages tested.

  • Males Prefer harborages with longer wavelengths such as red and black.

Preferences According to Nutritional Status:

  • The preference for orange and violet harborages is stronger when bed bugs are fed as opposed to when they are starved.

Preferences According to Aggregation:

  • Bed bugs might mistake red and black colored harborages for their other bed bug buddies since bed bugs prefer to harbor in clusters, rather than individually.

  • Lone bed bugs prefer to be in black harborages while red harborages appear to be the optimum harborage color for bed bugs in more natural mixed aggregations.

Preferences According to Life Stage:

  • Bed bug nymphs preferred different colored harborages at each stage of development, which is indicative of their developing eye structures and pigments.

  • First instar nymphs showed no significant preference for any colored harborage soon after hatching; however, by the fifth instar, nymphs significantly preferred red and black harborage, similar to the preferences of adult bed bugs.

This establishes the potential relationships between color and bed bug behavior, plus gives bed bug pest management professionals the opportunity to greatly improve monitoring and trapping tools.

 

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