6 Things That Attract Bed Bugs (That You Can’t Do Anything About)
Despite the negativity we often aim at bug bugs (we hate them and want them all to die!), we like to think of ourselves as being fairly positive here at the Bed Bug Store. We love giving advice on how to get rid of them, and are sure you can take care of your own bed bug problem without having to resort to an exterminator. In fact, we’re so positive that you’ll be able to eradicate the bed bugs from your life that we offer a 90-day 100% Money-Back Guarantee. And if you have any questions about how to use our products, all you have to do is contact us at 1-866-371-2499 and you’ll speak to a friendly person who can offer you positive visions of your bed bug-free future!
Unfortunately, when you have bed bugs and haven’t started treatment yet, it’s hard to be positive when there are so many aspects of bed bug culture that you simply can’t change. Today we’re going to take a look at a few of the things that you can’t do anything about, as well as the solutions might sound like a good idea but doesn’t really help in the end.
One of the first things that many people learn about bed bugs is that they find you by following the largest concentration of carbon dioxide in the room, which is true. When you inhale you breathe in air, process the oxygen, and breathe out carbon dioxide and water vapor. Because you don’t move much when you sleep, the cloud of carbon dioxide just stays over your bed, tipping the blood suckers off as to where you’re sleeping. It’s like a big flashing arrow over your body saying “Free Food Here.”
You might try sleeping with a ceiling fan on, which more evenly distributes the carbon dioxide throughout the room. That might work well if it were their only way of detecting you, but unfortunately they can also locate you via...
Here’s something you probably don’t think about very often: you’re the warmest thing in a bedroom (especially if you’ve given up incandescent light bulbs and switched to LEDs). The water in the pipes cools off after a shower, while all of the furniture is at about room temperature, usually between 68 and 85 degrees as determined by the temperature outside or your home’s ventilation system.
So you’re lying there in bed with a toasty core temperature 98.6 degrees, with a skin temperature of about 91 degrees. Bed bugs are attracted to this warmth and will seek you out.
On the surface, this article from Newsweek would seem to give you hope. As it turns out, bed bugs prefer to walk on black or red bed sheets compared to other colors. The theory goes to that black sheets are preferable because they mimic the darkness that bed bugs are accustomed to. And they like red ones not because they are attracted to blood but because they like the color of other other adult bed bugs, which are red after a blood meal. (It probably also helps in camouflaging).
What colors don’t bed bugs like? Green, yellow, and white, which researches believe make the bed bugs feel a little too out in the open (they’re opportunistic night vampires that prefer to hide in the shadows, after all).
So, problem solved, right? Put some different colors of sheets on and you’re good to go? It’s not that easy. While the bed bugs prefer darker sheets, it’s not going to prevent them from going across them in search of food. For instance, if your only source of food was a restaurant across a busy street, there’s no doubt that you’d prefer a bridge to get to it. But when you’re hungry, you’re going to take your chances by crossing the busy street anyway.
Bed bugs aren’t big fans of hair. Sure, they’re opportunistic and will bite you just about anywhere, but they have a hard time navigating hair such as arm hair or leg hair (that’s why they tend to leave pets alone). Does that mean that women who shave their legs are bitten any more than men who don’t? Sorry, but that just means that men are more likely to be bitten elsewhere. A bed bug will just crawl up to the torso and start biting if they find the legs unpalatable.
Oh, to be the Wolf Man during a bed bug infestation!
Okay, so having more hair doesn’t prevent them from biting. So maybe you should cover up your skin with long-sleeve pajamas and sleep in socks? Seems like a good idea, but it just funnels the problem to a different part of your body.
Bed bugs don’t tend to like crawling under clothes, much for the same reason burglars will avoid basements: it makes escape harder. They’re good at crawling, so they’ll just head up to an uncovered spot such as you neck or face, concentrating the bites in one place. Just the thought of that makes most people long for the days they were ”only” biting the legs! If bed bug bites on your face don’t convince you that it’s time to look for an all-natural bed bug spray, we don’t know what will!
First of all, Bed Bugs like an easy meal. They won’t be sawing through the thick skin on your heel if the can head a few inches up and get through the skin on your calf. The callous on your thumb is safe, but that juicy part on your forearm is in danger. Most of us are interested in softer skin, so toughening up your skin just to prevent bed bug bites isn’t really viable.
What about covering the skin in something that they don’t like? There are oils that work fairly well, but there are two big problems with them. First of all, you’re not dealing with the problem itself, which are the bed bugs. They can live for more than a year without feeding, so unless you want to put that oil on every inch of your skin every day, it’s not going to work. There’s going to be that point where they get really hungry and don’t care if you have peppermint, eucalyptus, or lemongrass oil on you.
Second, some people are very sensitive to essential oils. If they have a choice between getting a rash from oil or getting one from bed bugs, there’s only one option: choose the third option of using a natural remedy for bed bugs like our bed bug spray and get rid of them completely.
Your Blood Type
Okay, this one is a bit iffy, but we thought we’d bring it up. While most experiments have been done with mosquitoes, there’s some evidence that hematophages are more attracted to some blood types more than others. That’s because people with different blood types can give off different scents.
Of course, this is more helpful to know when it comes to mosquitoes. When you’re in a big group of people, those with type O blood should take more precautions than those with other types of blood because mosquitoes seem to prefer it. But while those with type O blood can draw more mosquitoes to them and save everyone else a few bites, that’s simply not going to make any difference in a bedroom. There are seldom more than two people in a bed at a time, and it’s not like the bed bugs are going to say “no thanks” just because they bump into one person sooner than another.
When could this make a difference? Places with lots of single beds, such as camps, military barracks, and developing world hospitals where bed bugs wouldn’t have to travel very far to get to the next victim.
Don’t get us wrong, you can change your surroundings. Clothes and extra sheets on the floor give the bed bugs a place to hide, so picking them off and giving them a good wash before putting them away is a good thing. After all, if you see a bed bug you can just go ahead and kill it with a good bed bug spray.
You might even think “I’m going to completely change all my furniture.” Perhaps the red and brown fecal stains are just too much to take and you decide to replace the mattress. Or maybe you go so far as to wrap up your dresser and send it to the curb.
But while you might change the individual parts of the surrounding, the basics stay the same. The new mattress you get will still have loads of places for bed bugs to hide. The dresser will provide them with dark places to reproduce. Unless you completely change the way you sleep that includes sleeping in a hammock and nailing your dresser three feet off the floors, your surrounding are always going to work against you in the battle with bed bugs.
What does all of this come together to tell us? This article from Science Daily sums it up pretty well with the title “Alive? You Are A Bed Bug Magnet.” Simply living and breathing and going about your daily routines like sleeping means that you’re going to be susceptible to bed bugs. Stay alive so that you can make those bed bugs dead!
So Why Are Some People Bitten More?
After noting all of these aspects that attract bed bugs that you really can’t do anything about, it might still seem that some people aren’t suffering nearly as much as others. One person in the bed might get bitten a lot, while the person next to them might not be bothered at all. One person wakes up with welts all over their body (or develops them over 24 hours), while another person gets off scott free. What gives?
One Person Might Be More Restless
It’s unlikely that biting bed bugs will wake you up. They inject you with painkiller first so that you don’t even notice you’re there.
What do bugs bugs absolutely love? A quiet meal. They hate being interrupted, and a meal for them takes around 10 minutes. If they have a choice between a perfectly-still person and one who tosses and turns a bit more, they will mostly likely choose the one who isn’t moving in their sleep (it’s also possible that the restless person scared them toward the still person!) They also hate to be trapped, so they might fear a person who moves about too much from side to side.
There Might Be No Difference At All
So one person wakes up and says “this is horrible” and the person beside them says “what?” The fact is, there are some people out there who don’t even know that they have bed bugs at all, because different people react differently to the bites. One person will have welts all over their body, the other person appears unaffected. Both people might have been bitten equally, but one simply showed the sign more.
So What Can You Do?
As it turns out, the only way to do it is to find a natural bed bug killer and eradicate them with extreme prejudice! But apart from that, are there any other steps you can take? Check back next blog to find out!