Do Bed Bugs Come Out in the Light?
Bed bugs don’t like the light very much. This is obvious. Even in a heavily infested home, you probably won’t see many bed bugs moving around during the day.
Because of this, you may be wondering: are bed bugs light sensitive? Does the light hurt bed bugs in any way?
Unfortunately, no, it does not. Bed bugs may have an aversion to light, but it’s not because light harms them.
It’s merely because bed bugs are naturally nocturnal. The presence of light indicates that it’s the day time, which is when they rest.
Why are bed bugs nocturnal? Because humans aren’t. When we’re sleeping, we’re the perfect target. We generally don’t move much during the night. So, there’s less chance we’ll (accidentally or deliberately) jostle the bed bug while it’s feeding.
Electric lights fool bed bugs into thinking that it’s day time. They’re less likely to come out when we have a light on.
You can test this for yourself. Lie down in bed with the lights off, and wait for an hour. Then, switch the lights on. Chances are, you’ll see at least a few bed bugs scurrying away to hide.
Can Sleeping With the Lights On Deter Bed Bugs?
If bed bugs have an aversion to light, does that mean they’ll stay away if you sleep with the light on?
Unfortunately, if you want to deter bed bugs sleeping with lights on won’t help much. By all means, you can try it. Just don’t expect it to work for more than a couple of days.
Why doesn’t it work? Well, sleeping with the lights on will fool bed bugs (at first) into thinking it’s daytime. They’ll stay hidden until the lights go out. However, it can’t fool them for very long.
Sooner or later they’re going to get very hungry. Bed bugs can survive for months without a meal, but they don’t like to. They prefer to feed at least once a week if possible.
If they detect that you’re nearby, they’ll eventually come out and feed whether the lights are on or not. It’s as simple as that.
Tips for Sleeping with Bed Bugs
It can be challenging to get a good night’s sleep if your home is infested with bed bugs.
Falling asleep knowing that you’re moments away from having your blood sucked by insects isn’t easy. It causes very real anxiety and paranoia in most people.
So, here are some tips to help you sleep, knowing that your bed is playing host to parasites:
- Relax in the evenings. Take a long, warm bath and read an old favorite book, for example.
- Drink chamomile tea about an hour before bed. Not only does it help you fall asleep, but it also helps improve sleep quality.
- Fall asleep while listening to soothing instrumental music, an audiobook, or a podcast. This will help to distract and ease your mind.
- Take natural sleep aids, such as melatonin. If you are experiencing severe sleep deprivation, talk to your doctor about prescription sleeping pills.
You may be tempted to sleep in a different room – on the couch, for instance. However, it’s not a good solution. Changing where you sleep may distract the bugs for a few days, but they will eventually find you again. Bed bugs can smell the carbon dioxide that your body emits.
Likewise, you may also consider covering as much of your body as possible in bed, to give the bed bugs less access to skin. However, if you do this, the bed bugs will bite an area which isn’t covered by your pajamas – such as your face.
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