Bed Bugs Might Dislike Certain Colors, Says Study

Posted: Apr 26 2016, 9:50am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 26 2016, 11:48pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Bed Bugs Might Dislike Certain Colors, Says Study
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New research suggests that bed bugs strongly prefer black and red colors for hiding while they tend to avoid green and yellow colors.

Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that can bite you without being noticed and can cause itchiness, inflammation and allergic reactions.

Now, you may have got a weapon to counteract those insects since researchers have found a secret about them. A new research suggests that bed bugs tend to like certain colors. They strongly prefer red and black colors for hiding themselves while they seem to avoid colors like green and yellow.

“I always joke with people, 'Make sure you get yellow sheets!'" said co-author Dr.Corraine McNeill. "But to be very honest, I think that would be stretching the results a little too much. I think using colors to monitor and prevent bed bugs would have to be specifically applied to some sort of trap and it would have to be used along with another strategy for control.”  

Researchers conducted a series of experiments to find out whether bed bugs really have favorite colors. They made little tents out of different colored papers and placed them in Petri dishes. Then, bugs were also placed in the middle of the dish and given the chance to choose a colored tent of their own choice. The little blood suckers who spend 90% of their live hiding in cracks and crevices, quickly moved towards the tents that were black and red instead of white, yellow or green.

“It was speculated that a bed bug would go to any harborage in an attempt to hide. However, these color experiments show that bed bugs do not hide in just any harborage; rather, they will select a harborage based on its color when moving in the light,” said McNeill.

“We originally thought that bed bugs might prefer red because blood is red and that’s what they feed on. However, after doing the study, the main reason we think they preferred red color is because bed bugs themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bed bugs as they are known to exist in aggregations.”

This can be one of the possible explanations for preferring certain colors and disliking others but researchers suggests that there could be many others factors to determine their preferred color and the preferences continue to change with age, sex or need for food.

Bed bugs are generally difficult to get rid of as they have evolved ways to resist insecticides. But these findings could help develop better methods to eradicate this potentially harmful insect.

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The Author

Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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