Combat

Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

The Color of your Sheets Could Attract Bed Bugs

One of the most unnerving pests to find around your home is the bed bug. These parasitic bloodsuckers are typically brought into a home by people who accidentally carried in bugs or eggs with them. Bed bugs form their nest in locations with others, because they release aggregation pheromones into the air. The adult bed bug leaves its nesting area at nighttime when it is starving, searching for a host to suck the blood from in order to feed, and then retreats back to its nest.

If these insects do find a way into your household, they will prefer to gather in warm, dark areas, most often close to people’s bedding, hence the name of the pest. A recent study by the Journal of Medical Entomology has revealed that there may be another attraction for bed bugs.

 

Bed Bugs Are Attracted to Certain Colors of Sheets

 

Through studying the habits of bed bugs and testing their attraction to different patches of color, scientists have been able to determine that there is a difference in what color they are attracted to. It turns out that they will move towards red and black colors, trying to hide in these darker places. On the other hand, if the color is green or yellow, they are less likely to try to hide in that spot. It is theorized that because bed bugs are themselves colored red, they prefer to move towards red colors because that is the most likely location of other bed bugs. Bed bugs live in what are called “aggregations,” which is a fancy word for large groups of other bed bugs that huddle close together.

 

Could This New Knowledge Help Fight Bed Bug Infestations?

 

Because of the overuse of the pesticide DDT in the 1940s, most bed bugs have developed a mutation that makes them resistant to poisoning by these means. Because these traditional methods do not work reliably, some people find traps to be an effective means of controlling this pest. By using a specific color like red or black in a trap, it can attract the bed bugs to aggregate within the trap itself, drawing them in and making it much easier to reduce the population.

As long as you do not have bed bugs in or around your home, you won’t have to worry about changing your sheets. But if you do get an infestation, it may be a good idea to have yellow sheets and use dark red traps.