The secret to avoiding bedbugs? The colour of your sheets...

Hostels of the world take note. According to a new research, like interior decorators and footy aficionados before them, bed bugs also have preferred colour schemes.

Published in the Journal of Medical Entomology earlier this week, the nightmare of every traveller has been found to be a very particular little creature, with preferences depending on age, gender and how well-sustained they are.

Like us, it seems a pink fairy room may be ideal in primary school, but come high school, they’re like, totally going to need a redecorating scheme if you want to keep them at home.

Overall, researchers found that the dirty little male bite lovers possess a strong liking for blacks and reds, but shy away from whites, while females prefer lilac and violet. Both genders appear to hate white, yellow and green.

Like fashionistas, bed bug have colour preferences too. Source: iStock.

To discover the preferences, researchers created teeny-tiny bug sized tents known as harborages in multiple colours.

They would then set up multiple harborages in a petri dish before dropping in a bed bug and observing where they ran to and remained over a 10 minute period.


Seeing bugs run between a rainbow canopy of tiny tents could almost be cute if they weren't nature's greatest jerks.

According to Corraine McNeill, on the authors of the study, “We originally thought the bed bugs might prefer red because blood is red and that’s what they feed on," she said in a press release.

But actually it turns out that not even the world's greatest known destroyers of peaceful sleep want to spend the night alone.

Bed bugs in action. Source: iStock.

"After doing the study," McNeill said, "The main reason we think they preferred red colors is because bed bug themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bed bugs.”

And while McNeill and her highly specialised colleagues say that it's too early to know whether or not coloured sheets and a wall colour change will actually work, our takeaway is this: decorate a room like a cheap halloween party gone wrong and they will come. But make it look like a summer day mated with Scandinavian minimalism and they should stay away.

You're welcome.

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