Bed bugs have a favourite colour '“ so make sure you choose the right sheets
The insects prefer hiding places that are red and black and dislike yellow and green ones, according to a team of US researchers.
The discovery could help create traps for the blood-sucking creatures, they said.
But people should not to change their bedroom decor just yet, as it has not yet been proven if this could prevent them nesting in different coloured bedding.
Bedbugs are small insects that can live in cracks and crevices in beds. They are attracted by body heat and carbon dioxide and crawl out at night to bite exposed skin and feed on blood.
Experts from University of Florida and Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, created small tents made with coloured card and placed them in Petri dishes along with the bugs.
The results, published in the Journal Of Medical Entomology, show that bugs preferred some colours and avoided others. But the preferences depended on a number of factors including whether or not the bugs were hungry, their age and whether they were alone or in groups.
“We originally thought the bed bugs might prefer red because blood is red and that’s what they feed on,” said Dr Corraine McNeill, one of the co-authors.
“However, after doing the study, the main reason we think they preferred red colours is because bed bugs themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bed bugs, as they are known to exist in aggregations.”
Dr McNeill, an assistant professor of biology at Union College, added: “I always joke with people, ‘Make sure you get yellow sheets!’”
“But to be very honest, I think that would be stretching the results a little too much.”