These parasitic insect pests,
Crave sanctuary that is sanguine;
As most unwelcome, picky guests,
They flee the hues of gold and green.
Lilac and violet are painted,
Daughters become well acquainted;
Whilst sons search for others in red,
To blacken the sheets on our bed.
This is a Rispetto, based on recent research by scientists at University of Florida and Union College in Lincoln, who found that bed bugs strongly prefer harbourages (places of shelter) that are red and black, and they seemed to avoid colours like green and yellow. The researchers also found that the bed bugs prefer different colours depending on their sex, appetite and whether they were alone or not. These colour preferences could potentially be used in the future to help to develop more intricate and effective traps.
Chromophobia is the fear of, or aversion to, certain colours.
An audio version of the poem can be heard here.