With Thanksgiving this week and December on the horizon, the holiday season can call for very hectic traveling schedules for many people. Hotel rooms, fold out couches, airport benches, family living quarters and close friends’ guest rooms may be some of the exciting destinations SaddleBrooke residents will experience this winter. To keep your mind off bed bugs and on more important topics like food, family and the warmth from the fireplace, it is helpful to be able to differentiate between truth and myth when it comes to bed bugs:

Top 5 Common Bed Bug Myths Exposed

  1. Bed bugs are invisible!

False. Adult bed bugs, nymphs and their eggs are all visible to the naked eye.

  1. Bed bugs live in filthy surroundings or prefer dirty places.

Bed bugs prefer to live in clutter; however, they are not drawn to the dirt but rather to the warmth. Blood and Carbon Dioxide are also magnets for this pest but dirt itself is not appealing to bed bugs.

  1. Bed bugs can only bite you at night.

False. Although they prefer darker lighting, bed bugs can and will bite you at any time, that is, if they are hungry and you are around. Popping on the light unfortunately does not deter this pest.

  1. Bed bugs only infest mattresses.

False. Bed bugs can also live in couches, chairs, luggage, furniture, boxes, pictures and bedding for our pets. Another common area we seem to overlook, movie theaters, hotels and seating on the bus. Anyone can transport these hitchhikers which public places are no exception.

  1. Bed bugs transmit deadly diseases.

False. As strange as it seems, there are actually no reported cases of bed bugs directly transmitting human disease. Other symptoms, like insomnia and nervousness as well as side effects such as secondary infections, can be caused by the presence of bed bugs. However, zero cases of disease transmission have been reported even though they can, in fact, harbor over 20 human pathogens.

Prevention is the best approach for bed bugs. Making sure not to pick up furniture off the side of the road, use extreme caution when buying second hand furniture and other miscellaneous items. Keep your house tidy, clean walls, draperies, vacuuming base boards and carpeting often. Bed bugs find more places to live in cluttered areas than in those that are well maintained. Hot water for clothing and drying can help kill adult bed bugs. When traveling and staying at hotels, perform a quick inspection of mattress along the piping looking for black stains and possible small exoskeletons. Another suggestion while in hotels, keep your luggage in a bathtub whenever possible, the little guys can’t climb out. When you are back home from the holidays, store your luggage in the garage, keeping items in higher temperatures can be a big help. You can do your part to avoid these pesky bugs by keeping these tips and tricks in mind. (Tommy Gee is the Manager for Truly Nolen in SaddleBrooke. His service office can be reached at (520) 219-2494. Founded in 1938, Tucson-based Truly Nolen of America (www.trulynolen.com) is one of the largest family-owned pest control companies in the United States.)