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Home Decorating as Defense Against Bed Bugs?

As dreary winter months move into spring, many of us start itching to do some freshening up around our homes. If your spring cleaning happens to include a bedroom makeover (who doesn’t love fresh new sheets?), you may want to take science into account when choosing your color palette.

A new study published in the Oxford Journal of Medical Entomology has determined that bed bugs have very specific color preferences. Although the study itself is complicated and the outcomes are affected by everything including bug gender, age, and hunger levels, the bottom line is clear. Bed bugs strongly prefer dark colors, with red and black being their favorite, while staying away from lighter colors, especially disliking bright green and yellow.

Dr. Corraine McNeill, a co-author of the study, believes they prefer dark colors like red and black because bed bugs themselves are these colors. Because they are known to exist in groups, they are drawn to the colors of other bed bugs. She also hypothesizes that the light colors may remind the bugs of light, which is their constant enemy. McNeill even speculates about the benefits of avoiding red and black luggage, which tends to transport hitchhiking bedbugs from hotel to home.

Because Chicago remains in the top three cities in the U.S. for bed bugs for the fifth year in a row, we may want to rethink our decorating colors. While green and yellow sheets are the most bed bug resistant, you’ll definitely need to employ stronger tactics than home decorating in bed bug defense.

If you have a bed bug problem, wash all bedding (no matter the color) in the hottest cycle and run them through two cycles in the dryer. Unfortunately, cleanliness doesn’t keep you safe from these tenacious and resilient pests, so we recommend calling in the professionals if you even suspect you have a problem. The highly-trained technicians at Pointe Pest Control know exactly what to look for when it comes to bed bugs and every other invasive problem and how to safely treat your home and yard. Call us today.