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Bedbugs May Have Favorite Colors And Be Resistant To Common Pesticides

Bedbugs lurk in cracks and crevices and they’ve been living on human blood for centuries. Though they aren’t known to transmit disease or pose any serious medical risk, the stubborn parasites can leave itchy and unsightly bites. However, bedbugs don’t always leave marks. The best way to tell if you have a bedbug infestation is to see the live, apple-seed-size critters for yourself. Unfortunately, once bedbugs take up residence in homes and businesses, they can be difficult to exterminate without professional help.

milberger pest control bedbugs favorite colorsBedbugs are flat, round and reddish brown, around a quarter-inch (7 millimeters) in length.  A few decades ago, bedbugs were somewhat of a novelty in developed countries. But since the early 2000’s, infestations have become more common in places like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). A 2013 study in the journal Nature Scientific Reports suggested that bedbugs have evolved ways to resist insecticides.

The creatures don’t have wings and they can’t fly or jump. But their narrow body shape and ability to live for months without food make them ready stowaways. Bedbugs hide in the seams and folds of luggage, bags and clothes., behind wallpaper and inside bedding, box springs and furniture. They can crawl more than 100 feet in a night, but typically creep to within 8 feet (2.4 m) of the spot its human hosts sleep, according to the CDC.

In recent years, researches have discovered that Bedbugs may have favorite colors. Scientists conducted lab tests and found they sought out shelters that were red or black, while avoiding shades of yellow and green. The study co-author Corraine McNeill, an assistant professor of biology at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, said in a statement, “… after doing the study, the main reason we think they preferred red colors is because bedbugs themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bedbugs, as they are known to exist in aggregations.” 

Despite the findings, we don’t suggest you buy new sheets just yet. McNeill, as well as other additional studies, have pointed out that the brighter colors are less alluring but not actually a consistent deterrent. (April 25, 2016, Journal of Medical Entomology.) These pests seem to be more focused on warmth, moisture and the carbon dioxide released from warm-blooded animals, such as humans. Since most bites occur on exposed areas of the body, such as the face, neck, arms and hands, the color of your sheets is less likely to prevent them from biting you.

I more effective deterrent may be in removing clutter as this reduces the number of places a bedbug can hide. The most effective way to eliminate these pest is to hire a professional. We suggest a professional because, according to research entomologists, the common bedbug has built up resistance to some typical insecticides such as those containing certain pyrethroid chemicals like deltamethrin. A study published online April 10, 2017, in the Journal of Economic Entomology  found that three out of 10 bedbug populations collected in the field showed much less susceptibility to chlorfenapyr, and five of the 10 populations showed reduced susceptibility to bifenthrin. 
Milberger Pest Control has been eliminating pests since 1836, including bedbugs! For a professional evaluation of your home, contact us today! Phone: (816) 761-1313 
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