As bed bugs become increasingly resistant to insecticides, scientists are focusing their attention on figuring out the nuances of the bugs, with a goal of eliminating them. The latest reports come from a new study published by the Journal of Medical Entomology. That research revealed that bed bugs might actually prefer certain colors over others. Findings identified that the pest gravitated toward red and black over other colors.

The Washington Post reported that because many insects use color as a behavioral cue, and it is an inexpensive and easy thing to change when designing new traps, researchers focused their attention on this area.

Researchers at the University of Florida and Union College revealed that in previous studies it was determined that bed bugs couldn’t distinguish color very well in the dark, which is when they do most of their moving and feeding. And when the lights were on, the pests often sought out hiding spots.

To conduct the tests in daylight hours, scientists placed bed bugs in petri dishes with different color choices; little tents of colored material. Each bug got 10 minutes to pick a hiding spot, then its choice was recorded. The researchers shuffled the color choices around to be sure their picks weren't based on location within the dish, and they tested bed bugs of different age, sex and feeding status to check for differences in color preference. They also did longer experiments with females who were about to lay eggs.

In general, bugs that were hungry had no preference to color, and no matter the sex, no specific color was preferred as long as it wasn’t white. But, across the board, the bed bugs shows a significant preference for red and black. Yellow was as unpopular as white with all of the bed bugs tested, with green following close behind.