If you’re reading this Starts at 60 will take it to mean your skin isn’t tingling for an unexplained reason and you’re not repulsed enough by sharing your bed with creepy crawlies to not want to know more, but at any rate be warned — things are going on beneath the covers.
The Journal of Medical Entymology recently released a paper that revealed the lengths scientists will go to for your interests. In this latest bit of research, they wanted to see if colour had any effect on a bedbug’s behaviour, because who doesn’t want to know that?
As it happens, bedbugs are colour snobs.
The scientists placed the bugs into a petri dish with a selection of beautifully coloured shelters to see which ones they would scuttle off to.
Now, taking into consideration things like the bug’s gender, whether or not they had been fed, if they were alone or considering a house sharing arrangement, and even whether there was the distraction of a home wares store in the neighbouring petri dish (read: different stimuli) it turns out bedbugs have a penchant for the colour red.
You could deduct that this has something to do with their blood-sucking behaviour, and according to Dr Corraine McNeill that’s a definite possibility.
“We originally thought the bedbugs might prefer red because blood is red and that’s what they feed on.”
However, Dr McNeill also says the bedbugs’ love of all things red also has to do with its desire to be surrounded by other bedbugs. Anyone else a bit squeamish by the thought of a bedbug orgy? Yep!
Before you go and pull those red sheets of your bed or drag them from the linen cupboard to put them in the bin or set fire to them, you might want to consider what colour sheets you could replace them with.
Here’s the good news. It turns out the bedbugs aren’t really a fan of lighter colours in the spectrum; yellows and greens and boring old white sheets then. Maybe not such a surprise when you consider that bedbugs do their best work under the cover of darkness — they’re like pin-sized ninjas.