Bedbugs, aside from occasionally appearing in wishing somebody a god night, aren’t really a modern day problem anymore. Or at least that what you’d think, depending on which state you live in and on how much you travel and sleep in hotel rooms. As it turns out, not only are the insects becoming an increasingly common issue, but Die Hard bedbugs are becoming resistant to insecticides.
- Bedbugs have made a very big comeback last year
- They are becoming increasingly common in hotel rooms and apartment buildings all over the country
- A single fertilized female bedbug can infect a whole apartment building
- The creatures have a genetic ability to become resistant to poisons
- Some bedbugs require 1,000 times the regular quantity of insecticides to kill
When looking at bedbugs from Michigan and Cincinnati, a team of researchers discovered that the blood sucking creatures had a dramatically increased resistance to the regular insecticides used to get rid of them.
New, non-chemical extermination methods now have to be developed, as some individuals showed a thousand-fold increased resistance to their usual poisons.
Intense DDT use in the ‘50s led to drastically decreased numbers of bedbugs, but by the time the ‘60s rolled along, they had already started developing a resistance to them.
So, people started using a different class of chemicals to get rid of the critters, something called pyrethroids.
After the insects started developing a resistance to those, scientists started mixing them with neonicotinoids, developing systemic poisons that are still widely used today.
However, a recent study showed that a newer method has to be developed to fight the spread of the bedbugs, as old poisons barely affect them anymore unless they have hugely increased doses.
In the study, a team of researchers took three separate bedbug populations and tested to see what effects of four of the most effective neonicotinoid-based insecticides usually used on them would have.
The three colonies of bedbugs were as follows – one lived freely and was collected in 2012 from Cincinnati, the second one was resistant to pyrethroids and was collected from New Jersey in 2008, while the third one was collected 30 years ago and was never exposed to insecticides.
As expected, the 30 year old colony was killed with a mere 0.3 nanograms of neonics, while the more recently collected insects took an incredible 10,000 nanograms of insecticide to get the job done.
With these numbers, experts are looking to devise a new way to take care of the blood suckers efore they spread out of control, and preferably a non-chemical one.
Image source: Wikimedia