Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 14, 2017
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Bugs that see red

The colours that bed bugs dislike — and the one they really love

According to a new study in the Journal of Medical Entomology, travellers should avoid hotel beds that have red sheets. Bed bugs prefer the colour red over other hues — they drink blood, after all — with black coming in second. Green and yellow are the critters’ least favourite colours. The bugs’ colour preferences were evaluated using cards of eight different colours that were folded into little "tents" and fit into petri dishes. Researchers released the bugs into the dishes and gave them 10 minutes to choose a hiding spot. The bugs called the red tent home 29 percent of the time — and also released a lot of eggs there; they called the black tent home 23 percent of the time; they avoided the green and yellow tents entirely. jme.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/04/20/jme.tjw033.

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