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SEX? [do bed bugs prefer men or women?]

(35 posts)
  1. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 12:20:54
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    Noooo...i'm not asking for it or offering it!

    My sister says that she read something that bed bugs prefer to attack women rather than men. I want to know how many of us are women. And in our households if there are men and women, who is getting bitten (as far as we can tell by skin reactions or actually seeing the bug feeding)...the women or the men?

    I'll start:

    In my house, there are two of us...man and woman. Only i have had bb skin reactions. Husband has not

    By the way, if there is a better, clearer way to ask this question or compile the answers, please feel free to discontinue this thread and start it again.

  2. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 12:26:12
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    Noooo...i'm not asking for it or offering it!

    There's gonna be alot of disappointed readers now.

  3. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 12:27:02
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    Back to your question. I haven't been confirmed, but I'm getting bites and my hubby isn't. (so he says)

  4. loubugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 12:28:52
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    Bed bug host preference according to sex? I wasn't sure if you simply wanted an answer of yes or no!

    Certain studies have demonstrated that it's actually 50/50 and bugs have no preference. Could be that your husband doesn't react. Have bugs been only on your side of the bed (harborage areas, included). Others will chime in.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  5. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 12:29:22
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    Thanks sleepless...i hope others will respond!

  6. bug-tired

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 12:42:55
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    Female gender here - boyfriend sleeps over sometimes but does not appear to react.

    And two kitties - both males - are on the menu.

  7. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 13:18:01
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    interesting.....

    Also, thanks Lou...

    i wonder if any scientific studies have been done on this? 'cause it it were that bbs had a preference for women, then maybe something in the hormonal system of females might be the key..

    anyway...you know me...always thinkin'

  8. Jenn28

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 13:37:15
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    I was told by a dog handler that bed bugs sometimes prefer women because of estrogen and that when it comes to two people sleeping in a bed, they'll (bb) pick one or the other to bite. Having said that both my husband and I were getting bitten. It's a good question Deedle

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 14:10:39
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    Hi,

    I have been collecting data on this subject for about 9 months but am trying to get the largest possible data set before I start analysis. From a quick random sample I would say that women seem to be a lot more responsive to bedbug bites than men and through analysis of the distribution of samples in a room they quickly even out and occupy both sides of the bed.

    I don't think they sex select the host but I have long since suspected that they have a favorite side of the bed connected with the person who brought them in first.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  10. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 14:20:30
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    Hi David..

    You wrote: "I don't think they sex select the host but I have long since suspected that they have a favorite side of the bed connected with the person who brought them in first."

    Now, that is very interesting, indeed!

  11. Jenn28

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 14:50:28
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    I don't think they sex select the host but I have long since suspected that they have a favorite side of the bed connected with the person who brought them in first.

    Wow, that is interesting.

  12. Richard56

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 15:07:53
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    Whoops. Thought for a second we were getting the overflow from craigslist. Oh, well.

  13. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 21:07:29
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    3 people in the house - 2 female, 1 male. 2 females react..male does not. 2 females were also the ones who brought them into the house...

  14. BBgotMe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 20 2010 14:10:23
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    It's just my girlfriend and me in our apartment. The harborage in the boxspring was on her side of the bed, no evidence of anything on my side of the bed or room. I was the only one getting bitten/reacting. My PCO mentioned that in his experience it was the females who get bitten/react more often. Guess I was a lucky exception, though I seem to attract mosquitoes more than other people too.

  15. bugnut

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 20 2010 14:28:06
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    Me & hubby in bed - I got bitten way more - he got 3 bites exactly a few weeks in (one bug?) Don't really know if son was bitten or just mosquito bites - no evidence in his room (turned upside down - literaly)

  16. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 20 2010 17:01:52
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    "SEX?"

    I want to go on record here, I'm in favor of it

  17. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 20 2010 19:51:46
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    As long as we're talking about this, has anyone done studies with whether they go for one type of blood (O, A, B, or AB blood) over another, or negative vs positive blood, or would that be unscientific since more people have O blood and I think more people are positive than negative?

  18. 123bugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 0:20:45
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    Awe - like cute baby ducks following the first thing they see when hatched...........(NOT!)

    I have heard that they prefer certain blood types too.

  19. Richard_Naylor

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 10:06:28
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    This is a very commonly reported phenomenon - the women gets bitten while the man doesn't. I have heard so many people independently report the same thing that I can't believe there isn't something to it.

    One possibility is that women are more attractive due to a slightly higher skin temperature while in bed. Another possibility is that the bugs struggle with body hair. We actually have a student studying this at the moment. She is looking at foraging times (time to bite) on shaved and unshaved arms. She is also recording skin sensitivity of shaved vs unshaved arms. The study is still ongoing but interestingly she is finding that body hair makes it much easier to detect a bug walking over your skin. Perhaps hairy men unconsciously brush the bbs off while they are asleep but women are less able to detect that they are being bitten?

    Perhaps you guys who aren't being bitten could shave yourselves and report back in a week?!!

    To my knowledge the blood type question hasn't been looked at but we have had unrelated studies where bugs have been fed on dozens of different people. The only time we found bugs were at all reluctant to feed was when the subject's skin temperature was very low, since they had just come in from outside on a cold day.

  20. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 11:27:20
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    okay...that's it...no more laser hair removal treatments for me...gonna let my stash, beard and side burns grow back...not gonna shave my pits, legs or any other (ahem) delicate areas Oh, won't my hubby be happy!!

  21. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 11:27:22
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    okay...that's it...no more laser hair removal treatments for me...gonna let my stash, beard and side burns grow back...not gonna shave my pits, legs or any other (ahem) delicate areas Oh, won't my hubby be happy!!

  22. FreakingOut82

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 18:12:04
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    They seem to love me and want nothing to do with my husband.

  23. ItchyinAstoria

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 22:08:08
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    I think they bite both my husband and me, but he doesn't react at all. He says he hasn't been bitten, but I highly doubt it. I react quickly to the bites and it stays itchy and swollen for days.

    I am also one of those people who claims to lure an inordinate amount of mosquitos. It's possible mosquito bites just freak me out more than the average person.

  24. ItchyinAstoria

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 22:08:10
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    ugh, sorry for the double post. that's a really slow-to-respond-yet-very-sensitive "post" button.

  25. bbpsych

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Oct 22 2010 9:48:09
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    Very interesting discussion. I'm female and live alone, so my uninvited house-guests have no other options.

  26. Ratorja

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 25 2010 17:08:58
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    I react more than my husband, though I'm not sure how accurate it is, since he adopts a "don't think about it" attitude as his way of coping. He tries to attribute any itches to his pants, cat hair, something brushed his leg, etc...

    Neither of us brought the bugs in though (it was a friend) so I can't help on that theory. As far as which side of the bed, they weren't on our bed, they were up in some picture frames above the bed, and I don't know if they were concentrated near either side of the bed since KillerQueen found them there, I never saw it.

  27. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 25 2010 17:31:53
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    Winston O. Buggy - 5 days ago  » 
    "SEX?"
    I want to go on record here, I'm in favor of it

    Ha!

    David...so, in a case where a friend of a person in the household brings in the bbs, do the bbs prefer the friend of the person in the household? Would they go to that person's side of the bed? And in a divorce or separation do the bbs leave with the person who is the friend of the bb bringerinner?

  28. Ratorja

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 25 2010 17:34:42
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    I wish it worked that way, it was my hubby's friend. If a divorce would solve all these problems...well...

    I'll think about it

    Thankfully I'm pretty sure we're clear right now, but random/mystery itches have been driving me insane.

  29. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 25 2010 17:48:20
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  30. ewwbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Nov 21 2010 12:24:47
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    don't know if you are still interested but...

    my roommate and i are both women.

    she reacts very badly, i don't react at all.

    but...i have a hormonal imbalance which means i have lower oestrogen and higher testosterone than most women.

  31. ana_t

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 17 2013 2:18:57
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    I know this is an old thread, but here is my experience. They plagued me (female) and never touched my husband (male). We had a miserable infestation. I couldn't sleep for weeks and was sick, weak, and covered with bites.

    The exterminator said that from his extensive experience, 90% of the time the bed bugs only bite the women. He was likely estimating based on his working knowledge.

    This correlates with the documented feeding preferences of Mosquitos, which also prefer to feed on female vertebrates. For reasons inexplicable, there is little comprehensive medical testing of much of anything on women (humans). Even breast cancer researchers using human test subjects use all male subjects. It wouldn't surprise me if this were another issue willfully overlooked by the medical/scientific community due to the relative complexity of the female metabolism, exacerbated by our strong cultural tendency to see maleness as normal and femaleness as abnormal.

  32. Blackheart

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 17 2013 6:02:37
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    Winston O. Buggy - 2 years ago  » 
    "SEX?"
    I want to go on record here, I'm in favor of it

    Ah thanks for that Winston, you are one funny bugger!

    x
    Sam

  33. Bayonnebedbug

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 17 2013 10:37:40
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    My observation pretty simple
    Men have more body hair women much less.
    Bed bugs are generally do not bite in hairy areas of the body they generally ill equipped for this.

    My wife would get bites on both sides of her arm and her chest area.
    Me I get the bites on the non hairy side of my arm and my stomach (belly area) my upper chest is hairy they avoid this.

    My wife has received bites on Her face and chin(below her nose) I have a beard at this time I have not received bites

    My observatation is that the bed bug(s) will a avoid the "hairy" parts.

    So to summmerize I do believe women do get more bites then men
    Because they have less body hair.

    Rob

  34. bedbuganxiety

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 17 2013 17:15:54
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    Yes, please....next question Just couldn't resist...LOL

  35. bedoozled

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2013 2:26:25
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    We've had them for about a month (just confirmed) and so far me and my sister have been getting bites, but not my boyfriend!


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