Can Bed Bugs Infest a Kitchen?
Pests have been plaguing kitchens and pantries for as long as we’ve had them. Bed bugs aren’t necessarily one of them, as they prefer the bedroom, but it is possible.
It’s far more likely bugs that look like bed bugs in the kitchen rather than bed bugs themselves. We explain where bed bugs can live in kitchens, what attracts bed bugs, and how to kill them.
Do Bed Bugs Live in Kitchens?
When a bed bug picks a place to live, there are several considerations.
They require proximity to a host. They need to easily get from their hiding place, to the place that you can sleep. At the least, they need somewhere that you sit down for long periods of time. Preferably, they would be within six feet of where you sleep.
They also require somewhere that’s hidden. Bed bugs are photophobic, which means they don’t like the light. If they see the light, they quickly scatter and hide. That’s because the sunlight leaves them exposed, easy to find and squash. So, they prefer tight, dark, hidden spaces.
Your kitchen likely doesn’t meet these criteria. While there will be lots of hidden spaces, there will be nowhere for the bed bugs to feed. Ease of feeding is the main criteria by which they choose their hiding places.
That being said, it is possible for them to live in kitchens. According to PLoS One, a high percentage of bed bugs don’t live in beds, and travel extensively around the home. This can be proven with interceptor traps.
Some apartments and houses are so badly infested that there’s no room left in the bedroom. When this occurs, the bed bugs look for other hiding places elsewhere in the home. In this scenario, they may pick the kitchen.
There’s also the possibility that the kitchen and the bedroom share a wall. If the bed bugs get into the wall, e.g., through a crack, then some may nest inside the kitchen. But this scenario is unlikely.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Kitchen Cupboards?
Kitchen cupboards do tick two boxes: they are enclosed spaces that are usually dark. When selecting a new harborage (hiding place), bed bugs look for the colors red, brown and black, as this indicates darkness.
Also, if they’re cupboards, drawers or cabinets that you don’t use often, then they aren’t frequently disturbed. When you disturb bed bugs with light, they scatter. The less you open the drawer, the more time they have to live there.
However, you’re still unlikely to find any bed bugs in kitchen cabinets. That’s because they’re too far from their host, i.e., you.
Do Bed Bugs Live in Kitchen Appliances?
Bed bugs have been known to live in appliances and electronics. One thing they like is warmth. Warmth allows them to digest, mate, and grow quicker. It speeds up their metabolism.
They also like dark cracks and crevices. Plenty of these on offer both inside and behind your kitchen appliances. Again, you’re unlikely to find here as your kitchen is too far from your bedroom.
Do Bed Bugs Live Under the Kitchen Table?
The kitchen table is somewhere more likely for them to live, at least more likely than a kitchen cupboard. Bed bugs like living in furniture because:
It offers lots of cracks and hiding spaces, e.g., wood joins
It offers places that are dark enough for bed bugs on the underside
It’s close to somewhere that people sit for long periods of time
You can even make the table more inviting for bed bugs by covering it with a cloth. This would make the space underneath the table even darker, and therefore better for bed bugs.
Even so, you’re unlikely to find bed bugs here except in the worst infestations.
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