Scientists have just discovered that bed bugs might actually prefer black and red over other colors when it comes to finding a harborage place (a place where they hide and lay their eggs). According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, when researchers shone a light on bed bugs, which sent them into a frenzy trying to find a harborage spot, they showed a preference for red and black hiding spots over other colors.
Previous studies had already shown that bed bugs have a hard time distinguishing colors in the dark. This new information shows that when exposed to light, they do, in fact, have a preference.
So what does this mean for the average person trying to get rid of bed bugs or trying to prevent the spread of bed bugs? It probably isn’t time to go out and buy hot pink or yellow sheets because in the dark, when bed bugs move and feed, bed bugs can’t clearly make out different colors. They also wouldn’t likely pass up a meal because of the pink sheets. However, a yellow suitcase might make more sense, as it is easy to imagine a situation where a bug is exposed to light and looking for a harborage place.
The most significant implication for this research is that color will likely be incorporated in future bed bug traps and devices. The bottom line is that the more we know about the habits and preferences of a bed bug the better we will be able to target our treatment options.