Bed Bugs Are Getting Harder To Kill

Posted: Apr 12 2017, 12:53pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Bed Bugs are Getting Harder to Kill
Credit: Kim Jung

New research says that bed bugs are getting more resistant to common insecticides

Common insecticides that used to kill bed bugs are now proving less effective against them, a new research suggests.

Bed bugs have developed considerable level of resistance to two widely used insecticides, chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin.

Trying to kill bed bugs has made them stronger and more resistant. Therefore, these bugs can no longer be defeated with chemicals alone. And this reduced effectiveness of the chemicals is also a main cause of bug’s resurgence over the last decade.

“In the past, bed bugs have repeatedly shown the ability to develop resistance to products overly relied upon for their control. The findings of the current study also show similar trends in regard to chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin resistance development in bed bugs,” said Ameya Gondhalekar, a researcher at Purdue University.

“With these findings in mind and from an insecticide resistance management perspective both bifenthrin and chlorfenapyr should be integrated with other methods used for bed bug elimination in order to preserve their efficacy in the long term.”

Researchers conducted a simple experiment to assess the effectiveness of two toxic substances on bed bugs. They used 10 populations of bed bugs that were collected from Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC and measure how many bugs are killed within seven days of exposure to the insecticides.

The bed bugs were deemed to have reduced sensitivity to an insecticide if more than 25 percent of a population survived and researchers found there were many bed bug populations that showed the signs of resistance to these two common insecticides. However, their further development of resistance can be slowed down if these substances are used alongside non-chemical methods.

“There is a plethora of research that has shown that if insecticides are integrated with additional control measures such as vacuuming, steam or heat, mattress encasements, traps, and desiccant dusts, effective bed bug control can be accomplished and theoretically this should reduce the risk of resistance build-up in populations.” Gondhalekar said.

Bedbugs are bloodsucking parasites that mostly rely on human blood. These bugs have had a formidable comeback across the globe. However, new findings could help in developing more effective methods for combating bed bugs.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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