More is needed as bedbugs develop resistance to insecticides

A recent study from New Mexico State University and Virginia Tech reveals that bed bugs have developed a resistance to chemicals
By Jason Spencer | Jan 31, 2016
Getting rid of bedbugs is difficult enough already, but it's about to get worse. It may be easier to throw out the bed altogether after numerous reports of bedbugs surviving and thriving after chemical treatment.

According to the National Daily Press, researchers from New Mexico State University and Virginia Tech concluded that bedbugs have developed a resistance to chemical treatment.

"Unfortunately, the insecticides we were hoping would help solve some of our bed bug problems are no longer as effective as they used to be," said Troy Anderson, an assistant professor of entomology at Virginia Tech. "We need to reevaluate some of our strategies for fighting them."

They published their findings in the Journal of Medical Entomology, revealing results from numerous tests on bedbugs collected from a variety of locations, including lab-bred bedbugs that had never been exposed to chemicals.

The samples, which were collected from homes in New Jersey, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Troy, Michigan, fared much better than the lab-bred bugs, and needed a bigger dose of the insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, or neonics.

In fact, the samples from Cincinnati and Troy were nearly 163-33,333 times more resistant to some of the components of neonics.

"Companies need to be vigilant for hints of declining performance of products that contain neonicotinoids," said Alvaro Romero, who works as an assistant professor of entomology at the study's partner school, New Mexico State University.

"For example, bedbugs persisting on previously treated surfaces might be an indication of resistance."

Romero and Anderson have suggested that perhaps it's time for another approach to bedbugs.

"If resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods," said Romero.

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