New Study Reveals Bed Bugs Favorite Color
Who would have thought that bed bugs have a favorite color – red. Intriguing new research published this month in the Medical Journal of Entomology suggests that bed bugs prefer certain colors strongly over others. The study was designed around bed bugs practice of seeking hiding places: they were placed into petri dishes with tiny tents made out of different color card stock and timed over ten minutes to see where they hid. Instead of running to the closest arborage they would seek out ones in their preferred colors, even when those were further away.
The authors went on to suggest that their color preferences could be based on the resemblance of red and black (the bugs two most preferred colors) to that of other bed bugs. They seek them out as a place where they hope to nest alongside each other. Likewise yellow and green, the colors bed bugs seemed to avoid, possibly remind them of light sources. The researchers believe this new documentation of bed bug behavior will help in future development of traps, and other pest control applications.
But, as John Oliver showed in his recent segment on scientific studies and interpreting them correctly , there’s more to this story than meets the eye. One of the study’s authors, Corraine McNeill, acknowledges that the research into what this means for decorating our bedrooms isn’t there yet. She also noted that the study was done in rooms that were fully lit, unlike the dark bedrooms that bed bugs most commonly feed in. Differing conditions for the bed bugs influenced their favorite colors too; group dynamics such as gender ratios, as well as how hungry the bed bugs were, made a difference. Before we can definitively say how colors will play a role in fighting bed bugs there’s a lot more research to be done.