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How to Avoid Bed Bugs

Can the Color of your Bed Sheets can Attract Bed Bugs?

Some may think that bed bugs and sheet color do not really have any relationship. On the other hand, many people who are very keen at details have noticed that darker sheets tend to attract bed bugs more often than white and lighter colored bed sheets.

Fact or Myth?

How can you be certain if there is a relationship between bed bugs and sheet color? How can you be sure that your bed sheet color can possibly attract bed bugs? To clear all doubts about this matter, you can look at what the experts have to say. Many scientists already looked into the nature of these parasitical insects, but there is one research study that has shed new light onto the subject.

A research entitled Behavioral Responses of Nymph and Adult Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) to Colored Harborages conducted by Corraine A. McNeill, Roberto M. Pereira, Philip G. Koehler, Seth A. McNeill, and Rebecca W. Baldwin confirms the notion that bed bugs are attracted to certain sheet colors and are repelled by certain colors as well.

The result of this research was first published in the Journal of Medical Entomology on April 25, 2016.

Colors that Attract Bed Bugs

By now, you may be wondering what attracts bed bugs.

The aforementioned research study has proven that indeed there is a significant relationship between sheet color and bed bug presence. The study revealed that red, black, and dark colors tend to draw bed bugs. The bed bug color easily blends with dark color sheets, thus making the insects hard to notice.

The first researcher, Corraine McNeill, who is an entomologist from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, told Newsweek that bed bugs develop their sense of sight as they mature. At this stage of maturity, the relationship between bed bugs and sheets become significant. Young bed bugs do not really have the capacity to distinguish colors; thus, they are more likely to be found on light colored bed sheets.

Colors that Repel Bed Bugs

Tencel Quilted Bed Sheets Made in America by DreamFitIn the study, it has been observed that bed bugs tend to avoid light-colored objects for several reasons, which we will discuss in the next section.One of the proponents of the study, Dr.
Roberto M. Pereira, an urban entomology research scientist at the University of Florida, told CNN that bed bug color is easily seen in white, yellow and light bed sheets; thus, with lighter colors, bed bugs and sheets are on the opposing ends of the color spectrum.



Possible Reasons for Bed Bugs’ Color Choices

Taking the next step, you may want to know the reasons why bed bugs seem to be choosy about bed sheet colors. Or is this just a matter of chance?

  • Attraction. The same study reveals speculations about the reasons why bed bugs are attracted to red and dark colors. These colors mainly represent darkness, which, for bed bugs, means security. McNeill said that bed bugs are nocturnal insects and that they tend to hide in corners of the mattresses and in cracks when they are full and only come out when they want to feed on humans and animals’ blood.

Aside from hiding, red and dark colors attract bed bugs because they believe that they are other bugs. The scientists reveal that these bugs by nature thrive in groups for protection and reproduction.

  • Repulsion. Bed bugs are clearly visible on a white or yellow background, which is why they avoid them. Moreover, the researchers observed that bed bugs tend to become easily dehydrated when they are exposed to light.


Knowing about the relationship between bed sheet colors and bed bug presence is useful when applying bedding treatment for bed bugs. This knowledge makes it easy for you to avoid bed bug infestations. You can now easily find help in bedding treatment for bed bugs thanks to the research done by Mc Neill and company.

It is now evident that bed bugs and sheet color are significantly related. When traveling, you can avoid bringing home bed bugs in your baggage by choosing light colored bags and other personal effects. At home, you can use light colored sheets, such as many of the options found here.


McNeill, C. A., et al. (2016) Behavioral responses of nymph and adult

cimex lectularius (hemiptera: cimicidae) to colored harborages. Retrieved from

Storrs, C. (2016). Bed bugs are drawn to certain colors, study finds.

CNN. Retrieved from bugs-dark-color-sheets/

Main, D. (2016). Bed bugs could be attracted to the color of your sheets. Newsweek. Retrieved from bugs-could-be-attracted-color-your-sheets-452207

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