Consider your colours carefully if you don’t want the bugs to bite !

If you are using red or black beddings, you may want to reconsider your choice of colours.

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are a parasite of man, feeding and surviving on blood. Bed bugs like to hide in cracks and crevices.

Bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to insecticides, which prompted scientists to try and define what would make the perfect harbourage for these blood sucking creatures.

Researchers at the University of Florida and Union College decided to see if bed bugs showed any color preferences.Bed bugs were placed in the middle of petri dishes with different colour shelters made out of card and a 10 minute slot was allocated to each bug to choose a hiding spot. The color choices were shuffled around to cover different dish locations and the experiment was carried out amongst a wide range of bed bugs, with different age, sex and feeding habits. Females who were about to lay eggs were also part of the experiment to see if they had a favourite shade under which to leave their brood. The bugs’ choices were subsequently recorded.

The bugs appeared to show a preference for black and red, whilst they appeared to dislike yellow and green shelters.

You may originally think that these tiny creatures prefer red because it is the colour of blood, their 1st choice meal, but it may also be because bed bugs themselves appear red as adults and the little bugs simply like to go to these harbourages in order to meet up with their bug mates.Alternatively, it could also that red and black being dark colours, they represent a safe hiding place away from well lit areas, where bedbugs don’t like to hang out.

These findings are not conclusive as not enough research has been done. However, it gives us an indication of which colour could be used with a trap system for an effective way of getting rid of the little monsters.


By Myriam Clark

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