We all have color preferences, if only to have a response to the world's oldest icebreaker: What's your favorite color?
Turns out, bugs have favorite colors too. And when it comes to bed bugs -- the bane of every hotel's existence -- their peculiar color tastes could mean the difference between starting a colony of pests or keeping them at bay.
According to a study conducted by co-author Corraine McNeill of Union College and published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, scientists have found bed bugs tend to prefer red and black and dislike yellow and green.
As the authors explained,
It was speculated that a bed bug would go to any harborage in an attempt to hide. However, these color experiments show that bed bugs … will select a harborage based on its color when moving in the light.
They were surprised to find bed bugs showed color preferences at all, and when they tried to speculate why that might be, Corraine McNeill says,
We originally thought the bed bugs might prefer red because blood is red and that's what they feed on. However, after doing the study, the main reason we think they preferred red colors is because bed bugs themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bed bugs.
The study claims the results are not definitive and bed bugs' color preferences change with gender and age. Still, it might not be a bad idea to stick with a pastel palette next time you're shopping for sheets and leave the red and black ones tucked away until your next BDSM party.