Bed Bug News: Body Hair Can Help Slow Down Bed Bugs - Alliance
December 19, 2011

Bed Bug News: Body Hair Can Help Slow Down Bed Bugs

Written by Alliance Environmental

A recent study done in the UK by scientists at the University of Sheffield and reported in Biology Letters, a peer-reviewed scientific publication, has found evidence that those little hairs discourage insects from biting.

The Experiment

The question they were trying to answer was whether fine human body hair provides protection from parasites that live on the surface of the skin, known as “ectoparasites.”  Bed bugs are a perfect example of an ectoparasite in humans.

Did you know that humans have the same number of hair follicles as other apes?  We do, but of course the hair is much finer.  The scientists were trying to determine whether the fine hair on our bodies provides any evolutionary advantage.

The British scientists tested two basic premises:

1. Does body hair make it take longer for a bed bug to decide where to bite?

2. Does body hair make it easier for a person to detect when they are being bitten by a bed bug?

The research subjects were recruited through Facebook and had one arm shaved and the other arm left unshaven.  An area was marked out on their arms using Vaseline, which prevents the bugs from escaping the test area and five female bed bugs which had not fed for a week were placed on one of the subject’s arms for five minutes.

The experiment was repeated a week later using the subject’s other arm and the same 5 bed bugs.

The Results

Bed bugs took significantly longer to choose a bite location on hairy arms of men, but not women.  The more hair, the longer they took.  And both men and women reported feeling more activity on their hairy arms than their shaved arms.  The scientists interpreted their results to determine that fine body hair makes bed bugs take longer to choose a bite site and also helps people to detect a bed bug on their body.  There might be a balance however, between improved detection and giving bed bugs better hiding places in body hair.

This might be an evolutionary reason for all humans having the fine body hair, but thick hair all over the body has disappeared through evolutionary changes.

So all that tiny hair has at least one good reason for being there!

If you are getting bitten by bed bugs, slowly or quickly, call in a professional to eliminate them, eggs, nymphs and adults in one treatment with ThermaPureHeat.  Heat treatment is the only eradication method known to kill all stages of bed bugs at once, without dangerous chemicals, bagging food, washing linens or worrying about retreatment later.

Alliance Environmental Group offers ThermaPureHeat treatment for bed bugs and other pests throughout California, including from our new office in Anaheim!  Contact us for help if you have or suspect a bed bug infestation. We also treat toxic mold, remove lead paint and eliminate asbestos from homes and commercial buildings safely and quickly.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Alliance Environmental Group!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions.  She welcomes your comments!  For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!  For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!

Related

Other Team Heat Posts

View Category
May 18, 2022
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 23
The month of May is dedicated to National Wildfire Awareness Month. Knowing how to prevent and be prepared for wildfires is crucial to the health and safety of all. Over the last few years, every corner of this country has been affected by devastating wildfires. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 45,518 wildfires burned…
April 13, 2022
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 22
Spring is in full bloom, and Easter is around the corner. As we enter the second quarter of the year, we are starting to see a return to life as we had once known. More people are dining out. Travel has seen an increase as people go on vacation, and retail shops see an increase…
March 8, 2022
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 21
We at Alliance Environmental Group would like to acknowledge the women who continue to break down barriers and excel in all industries but specifically those who play key roles either in the field or positions of management and leadership. March helps us celebrate these phenomenal women with the celebration of International Women’s Day and the…
January 6, 2022
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 20
Here’s wishing you a wonderful start to 2022 and a prosperous year ahead. With a new year, we are afforded with the opportunity for us to focus on ensuring safety while effectively addressing indoor air quality and the need for us as a community to maintain clean and sanitary environments at home, school, workplace, or…
December 27, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
The HOA & Manager’s Guide to Mold in Apartment Complexes
Winter is here and that means one thing when it comes to mold: it’s time for it to grow and spread. Since mold prefers areas with high humidity and moisture, winter can pose an issue for apartment and condo complexes in particular as it is harder for these spaces to regulate the condensation that happens…
December 20, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
Dangers of Lead in Children’s Toys and the Home
Protecting families from health risks is something everybody wants to do, and within many homes, there are still risks of lead poisoning for children and adults alike. Lead has been banned in many household products and children’s toys, but it is still a problem that can affect families. The holiday season is a big time…
December 17, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
Your Guide to Prepping Facilities for Winter
When we think of winterizing, we often simply think about preparing for the colder temperatures, ensuring that pipes don’t burst and the like. But proper winterization is about more than inspecting pipes. It’s about improving the heating efficiency in your facilities, increasing safety and workflows, and ensuring that the occupants are comfortable and content throughout…
December 13, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
Understanding Asbestos Risks During Winter Renovations
The holiday and winter seasons are a great time to get together with family and friends, however, it is also a great time to get some home renovations done while off from work. These renovations are often small, but they can still come with risks if working on an older home that could contain asbestos.…
December 2, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 19
December has dawned upon us, and we have entered the final stretch of what can be summarized as a tumultuous year. The holiday season is here, and as we look back on the past year, we can reflect on how we have had to adapt to pandemic life and living in this new normal way…
November 2, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 18
We have just commenced with the penultimate month of the year, and we have a lot to be thankful for. November marks National Gratitude month. As we move ahead with our daily lives and routines, we should be reminded of the importance of Thanksgiving and giving back. In chronological order, November 11 is Veterans Day.…
View Category