If are considering redecorating your bedroom you may want to think carefully about your selection of sheet colors. According to research, bed bugs have specific color preferences especially when it comes to finding places to reside in your bedding. In particular researchers noted that the favored choices for bed bugs were red and black while green and yellow tended to deter them from taking up residence where you sleep. The bottom line: it might be time to forget about your red and black color palette and begin incorporating shades of green and yellow into your decorating plans.
Why Do Bed Bugs Like Red?
According to research, scientists first thought that the color red might be a preference because of its resemblance to the blood which the bed bugs feast upon. But scientists now believe that red signifies the existence of other bed bugs which in turn attracts more bed bugs since they are known to congregate in groups. While researchers agree that the colors red and black were ultimately the two favorite choices, they did recognize that there were some inconsistences including the bed bugs age and sex. But even with these inconsistences, red and black was statistically still the top color preferences. Researchers believe that light colors may remind bed bugs of the light, which bed bugs have a tendency to avoid; therefore yellow and light green sheets are considered the most bug-resistant. If your sheets are orange or violet, these colors are found to be the most preferred colors by bed bugs who have already taken a meal as opposed to bed bugs that are starving.
Are Bed Bugs Attracted to Light Colors?
Before you run to the store and stock up on light colored sheets, take note; researchers found that light colored sheets repelled bed bugs rather than preventing them from making a home away from home where you sleep. In fact bright colored sheets and bedding make it much harder for the bed bugs to blend in. When the bed bugs are exposed they run the risk of losing too much water in which case they will either die or have to resume feeding immediately.
Bed Bug Research
How did the testing work? Researchers examined the bed bugs preference to color by putting eight pieces of different colored card stock in a petri dish before placing a bed bug in the middle. The test subject, in this case the bed bug was given 10 minutes to decide which one to burrow under. The results indicate that red was the first choice at 29%, and black running a close second at 23%. Scientists believe that the color red signals the presence of other bed bugs, while black may signal the bug’s instinct for seeking dark areas. Bed bugs are nocturnal and will hide in tight spaces before coming out to snack on a blood meal. Other areas of study include bed bug behaviors such as finding mates, laying eggs, and recognizing hosts. Research indicates that the visual cues are often based on the bed bugs perception of color. If you are getting ready to throw out your sheets based on your current decorating choices and fear of bed bugs, researchers agree that more intensive testing is required before making any unnecessary or costly replacements.