Do bed bugs prefer certain people?

11 November 2012

Question

My name is Robert. I'm from Norwich. I have some experience back in 1970 when I was living in RAF Changi. In each room there were 8 men, all very clean and showered every day and there was always 2 or 3 of them in each room who got infested with bed bugs terribly. Strange thing that I noticed, me included is that the rest of us never got infected, just those few. Seems a question out there that some people attract them and others not?

Answer

Toby - I don't think some people attract them more. It may just be that some habit that those people have, they may have gone to the same place which had an infestation and they were bring it back from that same area, but I'm not aware of any evidence that they prefer certain people to others.

Chris - Clive.

Clive - Bed bugs do seem to be really quite choosy. Time and time again, we hear a situation typically where we've got a couple of people and they say, "My wife gets bitten and I don't" or "My husband gets bitten and I don't". we don't fully understand that, but the reality is that bed bugs do appear to be quite choosy.

Chris - Rather like mosquitoes then because there are certainly mosquito attractive people and mosquito repellent people like my wife is an absolute magnet for them, I never get touched.

Clive - There are also people who don't react to mosquito bites and those that do, and sometimes the differences are down to the sensitivity to the person, the reactivity of the person rather than to the choice of the bed bugs. So, there's more work to be done in this area.

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